The appointment: Republicans could pick Dumler replacement

The three Republicans on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors say they want a unanimous vote for the person to take Chris Dumler's place representing the Scottsville District– but two of them say they could live with a 3-2 vote on party lines.

A whopping 11 people signed up to be considered for the very short four-month term on the board until the November 5 election. At the July 3 board meeting, each applicant will get five minutes to make his or her pitch, according to county spokesperson Lee Catlin. "The board reserves the right to ask questions," she explains. "They go into closed session to discuss it." The replacement supe will be announced July 10, she says.

And the person elected in November will take office as soon as the election is certified, says Catlin, rather than waiting for the usual January swearing-in. The replacement will hold the position until December 31, 2015, when Dumler's term would have expired.

Dumler's abrupt resignation June 5, after months of turmoil stemming from his guilty plea to sexual battery and a court hearing for a petition to remove him from office, left the Republicans on the previously evenly split board with a 3-2 advantage. And that doesn't bother Ken Boyd or Rodney Thomas.

"There's a lot of things we could do, but can't get done because of the 3-3 split," says Thomas, who'd like to see seven members on the Board of Supervisors to avoid the stalemate.

Thomas says he'd like to see a "joint 100 percent vote for one person," but if that doesn't happen and the choice comes down to a 3-2 vote, "I could do that," he says.

Three of the candidates seeking Dumler's place on the dais identify themselves as Democrats, three as Republicans, and five as independents.

Thomas says he'll keep an open mind but doesn't see how politics can be kept out of the choice. "Politics have gotten into it since Duane [Snow] was supposed to be chair," he says, a tradition that was blocked by Independents Ann Mallek and Dennis Rooker, and Dem Dumler in response to the midnight vote led by the Republicans that resurrected the always-controversial U.S. 29 Western Bypass.

"I'll look for someone who's conservative-minded like me," says Boyd. "That's human nature."

Boyd, too, would like to see the board come to a unanimous pick, but adds, "It wouldn't bother me if it's not. If we don't appoint someone, the court can appoint. I think it should be the board's choice, not a judge."

Duane Snow not only wants consensus, he wants an appointee who promises not to run for the seat in November. "It makes it easier for that person to get a leg up from our appointment," he says.

"I don't think we ought to put any restrictions on it," opines Boyd. "I don't agree that in four months it will be a bully pulpit."

None of the three supes– the Hook was unable to reach Rooker and Mallek at press time– expected nearly a dozen applicants.

"It kind of floored me we got 11 people," says Thomas.

Lifetime area resident Thomas says he knows a number of them, some since the first grade. "There's a couple I could lean toward," he says, but refuses to say who.

On paper, Republican Terry Hawkins seems to have everything the majority of board members want: He's the most well-known, having served as Albemarle sheriff from 1987 to 2000, and he vows he will only stay in office until Election Day.

The other applicants are:

-Democrat Richard Armstrong, an attorney with Lenhart Obenshain, which is also fielding attorney general candidate Mark Obenshain in the statewide race.

- Independent Anne Bedarf, a senior manager with nonprofit Green Blue Institute, who previously worked for Rivanna Solid Waste/Sewer & Water Authority.

- Republican Cindi Burket, the chair of the Albemarle GOP, who ran for the School Board in 2011.

- Independent Nancy Carpenter, former  acting zoning administrator in Culpeper, who's involved with Transition Charlottesville and volunteers at the Haven and the Crossings.

- Independent William "Petie" Craddock, a pharmaceutical sales specialist and former member of the Albemarle Planning Commission representing the Scottsville District.

- Republican Prandip Phukan, a civil engineer and GOP party volunteer.

- Independent Kevin Quick, a realtor and real estate appraiser, and a life member of the Scottsville Rescue Squad.

- Democrat Richard Randolph, self-employed at Keswick Home Services, who serves on the Albemarle Planning Commission.

- Democrat Edward Strickle, who works at UVA School of Medicine as a programs coordinator and managing editor, and has been appointed to a number of civic posts, including the Yancey School work group and the Charlottesville Human Rights task force.

- Independent Adrian Weselin, COO and consultant at Metropolis Inc., who notes that he speaks five languages, including Mandarin.

On the application for appointment to the Board of Supervisors is a box that all applicants checked agreeing to a criminal background check. That's not a new addition in the wake of Dumler's conviction, according to Catlin. On applications for employment with the county, she says, "It's pretty standard."


It is appalling to me that Mr. Boyd and Mr. Thomas are willing to play politics with this appointment. Can't we find someone who would vote as Mr. Dumler did (which was the will of the Scottsville voters) and move on from this mess? Why drag it out, make it even more political, and sully the whole process even more?

Yeah, stop making the Dumler thing a mess! Oh wait, he already did...

Ann Mallek is incorrectly identified as an independent in this article. She is a Democrat.

The supervisors need to keep in mind that Independents are only designated as such because they do not connect themselves to a political party. It DOES NOT mean that they are not ideological or have firm opinions on issues. They are not automatically undecided or open to anything.

For example, Nancy Carpenter is a well-known advocate of social justice, free-to-low-cost housing, and a public supporter of the defunct Occupy Charlottesville encampment. She may be an Independent because she is not a registered Democrat or Republican, but her politics are crystal clear.

Never confuse Independent with non-ideological.

No one in Virginia is registered as a Democrat or a Republican. We do not have party registration in the commonwealth. So independent can mean anything, but Democrat and Republican is a title the person chooses when they apply.

Amanda, social justice is entirely subjective and the Occupy Wall Street movement was totally bipartisan. Supporting free housing would seem to be the only indication of "left" leaning politics for Carpenter.

The occupy wall street movement is widely supported in the Scottsville district.

Love the whining from Voter. If you wanted a supe who would absolutely positively no-doubt-about-it vote as a Democrat, then you shouldn't have elected a rapist.

Them's the breaks, sparky.