Sunday, November 17, 2013

Roanoke Councilmania May 2014 – seating is still available

Dave Trinkle (left) Court Rosen (right)

Dave Trinkle (left) Court Rosen (right)

You may remember the nighttime infomercial that advertised the amazing slicer/dicer do-anything kitchen utility the “Veg-O-Matic.” You may have even bought one and it still languishes in the dark recesses of your kitchen cupboard.

The “Delect-O-Matic” has been slicing, dicing and grooming Delegate Onzlee Ware’s successor for months. Ware’s resignation has been known to a select few in Democratic circles and I suspect by Republicans through Ware’s General Assembly colleagues.

So far five Democrats have jumped into the “Delect-O-Matic” process. One will emerge and there is no guarantee it will not malfunction and the groomed one is stymied. The Republican candidate for nomination Octavia Johnson so far looks to avoid this torturous process. That machine is hitting on all cyinders while the Democrats go through the “Delect-O-Matic” process.

The Roanoke City Democratic committee will meet Thursday to vote on the December 7 caucus process.

Two sitting council members are among the Democratic contenders. Dave Trinkle and Vice Mayor Court Rosen. They are the only two Democrats with office experience and giving them a name recognition advantage.

While Virginia ponders the results of the state elections and down ladder effects, Roanoke City may be facing a city council vacancy of its own. There are three council member seats up for the 2014 May elections. No one has of yet challenged the three incumbents Bill Bestpitch, Ray Ferris and Dave Trinkle nor have they indicated they would seek reelection.

The presumption is that all three would seek reelection. If Dave Trinkle wins the 11th district HOD seat in the special election there will be an open seat for the city council May election.

According to city code the remaining council members would be required to make an appointment within 30 days of Trinkles’ resignation. That appointee may or may not run for election in the months remaining until the May 2014 election.

However if Vice Mayor Court Rosen wins the HOD 11th district contest his term is not up until 2016. What does that mean – Councilmania 2014. An appointment would be made and that person would be Vice Mayor. In May since there are two years remaining that person would be up for election for the remaining two year term. That person may or may not seek election in May.

Either way technically there would be four seats up for grabs in the councilmanic election. Yes, “councilmanic” is a word (See the Roanoke City Code at the end.)

There would be one open seat assuming Trinkle, Ferris and Bestpitch run for reelection. As of yet no challengers have raised their hand to oppose the incumbents. Now is the usual time of year where you may begin to hear rumblings of or even a declaration of a council challenge.

If you think about it the council seat could be one of two or three on the losing end of the Democratic contest for the HOD if either Trinkle or Rosen prevail in the primary and special election.

Vacancies in the council or vacancy in the office of mayor shall be filled within thirty days, and until the day upon which the terms of office of council members elected in the next following regular councilmanic election shall commence, by a majority vote of the remaining members of council, and if as much as two years of any such unexpired term of a member of council or of the mayor remains at the time of such next regular councilmanic election, a council member or a mayor, as the case may be, shall be elected at such election for the remaining portion of such unexpired term.

On a side note we have MUSICAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY CHAIRmania as well: Saturday Democrats selected their candidate for Lt. Governor-elect Ralph Northam’s Senate seat – Delegate Lynwood Lewis. If he wins the special election then there is an open 100th district HOD seat. Who knows how that will trickle down on the Eastern shore.

As the attorney general sausage grinds to a recount (and possible lawsuit) the frontrunner by 164 votes, Democrat Sen. Mark Herring or Republican Sen. Mark Obenshain will leave a senate seat vacant. Candidates are lining up for both seats and it is unclear whether that will leave any vacant seats down the ladder.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Commentary, Election 2013, Elections, Politics, Roanoke City Politics, State Politics

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Comments (1)

Larry Rosser

November 25th, 2013 at 12:57 PM    

David Trinkle is an excellent choice to fill Ware’s seat. He has extensive financial & professional ties supporting Roanoke’s citizens & the City’s economy. He also has demonstrated that he can work across party lines to make political compromises that get things done.

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