Purcellville Councilwoman Joan Lehr announced Monday that she will challenge incumbent Kwasi Fraser for the mayor’s seat in May’s town elections.
In a statement, Lehr said she had been approached by many constituents urging her to run for mayor.
“I spoke with residents of the town to understand their issues and concerns,” she said, citing her two terms on the council and previous experience on the town’s Planning Commission. “I have gained the knowledge and understanding of how our town government functions and the rules and regulations by which we govern.”
Lehr said her community involvement, including with the Rotary Club of Purcellville, the Purcellville Business Association and her years of working in youth sports and school activities, “enables me to listen to many points of view and work to find the best solutions for the town as a whole.”
Fraser was elected in 2014 and is serving his first term in elective office.
Also, the Purcellville Town Council has scheduled a special three-hour meeting Tuesday to interview four finalists who applied to fill the council seat vacated by the resignation of Vice Mayor Ben Packard, who is moving. The interviews will be done in public session. The council is expected to debate the selection in closed session before announcing its choice publicly. The selected candidate will serve until a special election is held May 3.
The four were selected Feb. 9 from a list of 10 applicants.
Those selected were: Eamon McAdoo Coy, Melanie Fuller, Amanda Athilia Kadilak and James O. Wiley. Also, Ronald B. Rise Jr. was selected as an alternate, should any of the others not be available for interviews that day. Tuesday’s interview time slots are as follows: 6:06 to 6:50 p.m. James Wiley; 6:55 to 7:40 p.m. Amanda Kadilak; 7:45 to 8:30 p.m. Melanie Fuller; and 8:35 to 9:20 p.m. Eamon Coy.
Coy serves as chairman of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. He has lived in town since 2009 and believes that the mission of local government is to simultaneously nurture the town’s history and bring new ideas and methods to local governance.
Fuller, who has lived in town since 2006, serves on the Board of Zoning Appeals and is a past member of the town’s Economic Development Advisory Committee. Fuller says that experience has given her a good understanding of how government works and of the collaborative efforts needed to bring all parties to consensus.
Kadilak has lived in town since 2006. Although this is her first foray into local government, Kadilak has spent most of her professional career in the federal government relations arena, representing municipalities across the country on policy issues. She describes herself as a forward-thinking fiscal conservative.
Retired dentist James O. “Doc” Wiley has lived in town for more than 50 years. He served on the Purcellville Town Council for two terms, during which his was an influential voice on budget and planning issues. Previously he served as a long-tenured member of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. He also served on the town’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Alternate candidate, Ronald B. Rise Jr. graduated from Loudoun Valley High School and his first job was at Nichols Hardware. An operations manager and software engineer in the aviation industry, Rise works closely with the Federal Aviation Administration regarding regulatory interpretation and compliance.
Others who sought the interim appointment were: Raul George Aramayo, Ryan James Cool, Kelli Grim, Marcos A. Salinas, and Rebecca Elizabeth Evans Visna.
The council is filling the seat vacated by the Jan. 12 resignation of Vice Mayor Ben Packard, who is moving out of town.