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Oct 01

Mayor's appointment to White House position

Posted on October 1, 2013 at 10:39 AM by Mary Bunting


I am sending you a copy of a press release that was just issued concerning Mayor Ward's appointment to a White House staff position. I know you will all join in me in congratulating the Mayor on her appointment, which positively reflects not only on the Mayor but the entire City of Hampton as well.

 The logical question that follows this announcement relates to the method of selecting a replacement Mayor. The City Attorney has provided the following guidance about the relevant State law and Charter provisions on the procedures/timeframes for replacing the Mayor.

“The method for filling a council vacancy is set forth in Hampton City Charter Section 3.02 and Virginia Code Sections 24.2-226 and 24.2-228.  The Charter provision states that any vacancy occurring in the offices of mayor and council member “shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the council” (or by appointment by a majority of the judges of the Hampton Circuit Court if the council fails to make an appointment within 60 days of the occurrence of the vacancy.  The person appointed in this fashion shall serve on an interim basis until the office is filled by election in accordance with the cited general laws. 

 Under the circumstances here, the general laws governing elections to fill a city council vacancy require that within 15 days of the occurrence of the vacancy, the city petition the Hampton Circuit Court to issue a writ of election to fill the vacancy.  The court is required to issue the writ ordering the election “promptly, which shall be no later than the next general election . . . in May”.[1] The person elected in that special election “shall hold the office for the remaining portion of the regular term of the office for which the vacancy is being filled.”  See Va. Code Sec. 24.2-226.  The office would then be fill for a regular 4-year term on the regular cycle at the May 2016 general election.”

 As you might imagine, the Council Members have not yet had a chance to determine how or when they will fulfill these responsibilities as the news is just being shared. However, I will keep you posted.




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