Snow driven: Board picks moderate Craddock

After the controversy that's rocked the Albemarle Board of Supervisors for most of this year, thanks to the sexual battery conviction of former supe Chris Dumler, the meeting to announce his interim successor July 10 was virtually a love fest.


"It's been a wonderfully participatory couple of weeks," gushed board Chair Ann Mallek, as all five supervisors cast their votes at the beginning of the meeting to appoint William B. "Petie" Craddock to fill the Scottsville seat until the November 5 election. Behind the scenes, it was not quite the smooth sailing that the unanimous 5-0 vote seemed to indicate.


It was Samuel Miller district Supervisor Duane Snow, the man Dumler consulted before making his June 5 resignation, who held sway in Craddock's appointment.

Snow previously had said he wanted a unanimous vote; he didn't want the process to be political, and he wanted a candidate who promised not to run in November to finish the remainder of Dumler's term, which ends December 31, 2015.

Snow's Republican compadres on the board, Ken Boyd and Rodney Thomas, said they could live with a 3-2 vote for a replacement and a majority on the board. Thomas told the Hook that the frequently split 3-3 board made it difficult to get things done.

Of the 11 people who signed up to be considered for temp supervisor, the top candidates were former Albemarle sheriff Terry Hawkins, a Republican, and Democratic planning commissioner Richard Randolph, according to Snow.

He says that when Dumler met with him to talk about his resignation, "Chris told me he supported Rick Randolph and asked me if I would support him," relates Snow. "I said I know Rick; I've worked with him. I said, you've got my word I would support him. But I said I would not support him at the expense of Ken and Rodney. If I said otherwise, it would be a secret deal."

Snow says he was also asked to support Hawkins, and replied the same way: "I said yes, but not at the expense of Ann and Dennis."

Throughout the requests for support, Snow says he wanted to see a unanimous 5-0 vote. "I could have cast a vote and it would have gone 3-2," he acknowledges. "That would have gone against everything I told [the Hook] in an earlier interview, the Daily Progress, and everyone else."

Snow says there's even a rumor going around that there was a tape of his meeting with Dumler that purported to show his support of Randolph. "I have never said that from day one," insists Snow, who also says he has no idea if such a tape exists. 

Dumler did not return a phone call from the Hook.

Boyd admits that Craddock was not his first choice, but declines to say who he supported. "It was not an easy choice," he says. "The main factor for me was to have the consensus of the entire board."

By the 6pm July 10 meeting, the supes were in harmony. Dennis Rooker made the motion, and it was quickly approved by all of his colleagues: Craddock was the 5-0 pick.

"I'm just overwhelmed the supervisors thought enough of me to go with a unanimous vote," said Craddock, who didn't know he was the chosen one until he got to the meeting.

The lifelong Albemarle resident served for eight years on the Planning Commission. He's on the board of the East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Company and the Village of Rivanna Advisory Council. And he insisted he was not interested in the job beyond the November election, a key point on Snow's wish list.

Perhaps most importantly, Craddock billed himself as an independent moderate. When the BOS seat became open, he said, "I got many calls from Republicans, Democrats, and independents, I think because I'm a moderate."

Says Craddock, "I'm not here to follow the footsteps of the previous supervisor. I'm not here to play partisan politics."

First, he says he wants to get up to speed. And after several months of irate citizens appearing before the board to demand Dumler's ouster, Craddock looks forward to things settling down. "I hope to have stability," he says. "You don't need all that rancor upsetting the apple cart."

As for why he considered signing up for the short-term gig, says Craddock, "You only get so many opportunities to step up to the plate, and I felt this was one of those times."

Duane Snow says the response he's gotten following Craddock's appointment has all been positive. "I feel very relieved," he says. "I feel like a weight has been removed from my shoulders, and now we can get to the public's business."


Mr. Craddock will be the guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Jefferson Area Tea Party on Thursday, July 25 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Senior Center (1180 Pepsi Place, off of Greenbrier Drive).

The meeting is open to the public and the media. Mr. Craddock is scheduled to appear between 6:10 p.m. to 6:40 p.m. to discuss his new position and answer questions from the audience. The JATP cordially invites folks to stay after Mr. Craddock's departure to learn more about the group and the tea party movement in general.

The JATP frequently presents public officials and candidates for office as a valuable service to our community. Mark your calendars now for our candidate forums for both Charlottesville City Council and Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to be held on Thursday, September 26 at 6:00 p.m. at Lane Auditorium (2nd floor in the County Office Building at 401 Mc Intire Road).

I am pleasantly surprised that a rational bipartisan solution seems to be the outcome. Given the odd and distasteful events that lead up to Mr. Craddock's selection it restores my faith in government, if only for a moment. It will be interesting to see if 3-3 ties resume or the occasional 4-2 occurs.