Larry Veber Set for Appointment to Vacant Town Council Seat

Cape Charles Wave

July 4, 2012

Former Town Council member Larry Veber, who lost his May 1 re-election bid, is the choice of the majority of Council members to fill the vacant seat created by the June 13 passing of Councilman-elect Donald Clarke.

At a July 3 Council work session, three members said they would vote for Veber on July 12 – enough to assure his appointment.

Veber’s appointment would last until a special election takes place. According to Town Clerk Libby Hume, a special election could be held November 2012, November 2013, or May 2014. To hold a special election, the Town must petition the Northampton County Circuit Court within 15 days of the July 1 vacancy. A draft petition is under review by the Town’s legal counsel, and the requested date for a special election has not been revealed.

Vice Mayor Chris Bannon, along with Councilman Mike Sullivan and newly installed Councilman Tom Godwin, said they intend to vote for Veber. Bannon said he thought Council should select Veber because he was the next highest vote-getter in the May election (after the three winners).  Veber was “the will of the people,” Bannon maintained, and Godwin and Sullivan concurred.

Councilwoman Joan Natali favored former Councilman Steve Bennett as someone with “experience and an understanding of the details of the issues that Council has been working.” Bennett, like Veber, failed to win re-election May 1, but received fewer votes than Veber.

Mayor Dora Sullivan (who does not vote) said that in her opinion, one of the two candidates who ran in the last election should be selected to fill the vacancy.

Newly installed Councilman Frank Wendell said he felt the recent election was an unofficial referendum about the school and community center issue, and that the people had spoken by electing new candidates to represent them. “The results show that Town citizenry did not want business as usual,” he said – “People want to freshen up the intellectual gene pool.”

Wendell said he intends to nominate the Rev. Jim Davis, who has agreed to serve if appointed. Davis is a long-time former member of Council, but has not served in a number of years.

However, Wendell failed to receive support even from his fellow newly elected Councilman Godwin: “I have great admiration for Jim Davis, but we need to do what the people said,” Godwin explained.

At the July 3 work session, Council also held a closed session about “a real estate acquisition matter,” according to Mayor Sullivan. This is the second closed session on that subject, the earlier one being on May 17. No further details have been revealed.



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