Thirteen Apply for Leesburg Council Seat

A baker’s dozen of town residents have applied to be Leesburg’s next Town Council member, at least for a little bit.

Mayor-elect Kelly Burk’s victory in November means that someone will need to fill the remaining two years of her council term, set to expire Dec. 31, 2018.

A special election will be held to fill her seat, most likely in November. However, council members must appoint someone to serve on an interim basis until then. They have 90 days from the date the council vacancy is created to do so. That clock likely starts on or near Dec. 31, as Burk will resign her council seat by that date to begin her post as mayor Jan. 1, 2017.

Headlining the list of candidates is Katie Sheldon Hammler, whose council term will expire at year’s end. Hammler was unsuccessful in her November re-election bid, but is hoping to extend her council term and to retain Leesburg’s leadership seat at the Virginia Municipal League. Hammler is the president-elect of the VML and set to move to the top spot in the organization next year; she would be the first representative in the town’s history. However, if she is not appointed to the interim seat, a representative from another municipality will take her place. Hammler has also said she plans to run in the special election.

Other applicants include Gwen Pangle, who also ran in November’s election, finishing fourth behind Ken Reid, Ron Campbell, and Tom Dunn. Pangle, too, has expressed interest in running in the special election.

Rounding out the list of applicants are Jed Babbin, Michael Decker, Sean Duarte, Hugh Forsythe, Rusty Foster, Jay Greeley, Edward Kiley, Oliver Peters, Jeffrey Phillips, Paige Reitz, and Joshua Thiel.

The next step in the selection process is for council members to pick their top three from the candidate list. The candidates who receive the most support will be given an opportunity to speak and answer questions from the council at its organizational meeting on Jan. 9. An appointment could be made as early as that meeting.

The timing of the special election is another big decision that awaits this council in the New Year. The council must petition the Circuit Court for a writ of election. Council members may request a special election ahead of November’s general election, but doing so will come at a cost. General Registrar Judy Brown estimates that holding a special election at a date other than November’s general election will cost the town upwards of $30,000.

4 thoughts on “Thirteen Apply for Leesburg Council Seat

  • 2016-12-22 at 7:40 am
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    At the time, I did not know Gwen Pangle, but had vaguely heard of her name. I was an anquantance of her of son inlaw, who was a part Owner of the Dog Money Restaurant, and had stepped in for a dinner with friends at the restaurant. I had not seen him in at least a couple/few years and had inquired about his life, the restaurant and many other things. In the presence of “others” , he conveyed that Gwen Pangle, his mother inlaw, “helped pull strings with the help of someone on the town council in order to get the restaurant off the ground” amongst other things, which I am reserving , which was the restaurant was riddled with issues not only with the Town (Gwen, Tim, and possibly Kelly Burk and others will certainly know what I am talking about). As we left the restaurant, one of the “others” asked, who is Gwen Pangle and who was he referencing on the town council? I said I don’t know Gwen, but understand she is running for town council. I did find out very, very quickly afterwards about her very close ties to Kelly, Kristen and many others within other government, real estate businesses, extended communities, etc. as I felt a sense of oath to our town to minimize her becoming further embedded and leaving a stain. She probably feels a sense of entitlement due to tenure, her relationships with her elitist friends, money, etc., but her moral contempt in regards does warrant her holding any position in our government.

    I loathe needing to digress to this point, or further, and after knowing the information above, and digging deeper, have felt that there may be possible conflicts of interest between Gwen’s private real estate firm and her heading the Leesburg Economic Development Commission. I’ve been obviously apprehensive entering the arena because folks like Kristen, Kelly, Gwen, Michael (the restauranteur – their friend) and oodles of their other friends have tons of $$$$$, and I am a family man not intent on trying to be a marked man in a small town my entire life, nor my kids. If someone on the Town Council wants me to provide testimony, under oath in the presence of a Virginia State Police. or 3rd party polygrapher, I will kindly due this with a LN newsperson present.

    I know Gwen Pangle reads these articles and is aware of the world around her. She is aware of her indiscretions and knows she is not suited for our Town Council, yet ego, pride and friends pushing from high places won’t allow one to stop from moving forward, so I’m almost hoping she keeps moving along even though a bit ago she stated that she wouldn’t seek the position.

    Should I need to produce “others” or additional information, I will kindly do so at the appropriate time. I refer to this as my LeesburgLeaks information.

  • 2016-12-22 at 12:35 pm
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    Well, I guess the night before Christmas will likely see Leesburgsfinest(Not!) with either a large lump of coal, or a straight jacket. Public discourse should have some basis in rationality. Which is sorely lacking with Leesburgsfinest(Not!)

    • 2016-12-24 at 7:43 am
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      Lawgh, I’ve got a deal for you in the spirit of Christmas. I will put up $500 to the charity of your choice if:

      (1) you reveal yourself (Umstattd maybe?)

      (2) we have LeesburgFinest testify under a polygraph to the Virginia State Police about the incidents described below

      (3) we have Pangle and her son-in-law testify on the same thing

      I don’t know what happened. But I am inclined to believe LeesburgFinest’s very detailed account. And I’m willing to put up $500 to say it’s true (and the costs of the poly). Trying to impugn someone just because you don’t like them pointing out corruption just shows how morally bankrupt you have become.

  • 2016-12-23 at 12:25 pm
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    We all should be impressed that Hammler is the President Elect of the VML? Ewww & Ahhh. Maybe if she focused more on the town and less on hobnobbing with the Richmond elites she would have understood the real concerns of voters here in Leesburg. Class dismissed. No more retread council members.

    Maybe we can have a fresh face that is not a real estate agent who wines and dines with developers and who thinks two-over-two units are the future of this town. Time to wake-up Leesburg. A simple drive around town and you will see this place is becoming a dump. Maybe Developer Hobie Mitchell should run. Oh, no need. He literally gets his way as King Snowflake of Leesburg. Cry, Cry, Cry until council ultimately caves.

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