The Leesburg Town Council will discuss the process for appointing the town’s next mayor at its Jan. 11, 2016, work session.
Mayor Kristen Umstattd will formally resign from her post prior to Jan. 1, when her four-year term as Leesburg District supervisor begins. The council will have 45 days from her resignation to appoint a new mayor to serve out the remainder of her term, which expires Dec. 31, 2016. Vice Mayor Kelly Burk will serve as acting mayor until a new mayor is appointed.
Previously when a council appointment needed to be made, the Town Council held a special meeting in early January to choose a new council member. Such was the case when Burk won her seat as Leesburg District supervisor in November 2007, and again four years later when current Leesburg Supervisor (and then council member) Ken Reid defeated her for that same seat.
In both instances, the council convened in early January to select from a pool of applicants to fill the council vacancy.
The council Monday night appeared well on its way to repeating that trend until Councilman Tom Dunn garnered enough support to place the item instead on a council work session agenda. He first tried to gain the additional three votes needed to place the item on the Dec. 7 work session agenda but failed to get enough support, with several council members noting that the draft agenda for that evening already showed a heavy workload.
Dunn said he felt the mayoral appointment process and selecting a new mayor “should be an open discussion at a regular meeting” as opposed to a special meeting. Council members will need four out of six votes to appoint a new mayor.
The town is expected to solicit résumés from town residents interested in serving the remainder of Umstattd’s term.