Currently down a permanent town manager and two Town Council members, the Town of Lovettsville is working quickly to fill the gaps.
Interim Town Manager Larry Hughes said the town has received applications from 41 candidates interested in becoming Lovettsville’s fifth town manager, following the July 6 retirement of Sam Finz. The deadline for applications was Friday at 4:30 p.m. Hughes said the town staff is looking at Thursday, Oct. 4 as a potential date to hold interviews with five of the most qualified candidates.
The Town Council on Thursday night also gave Town Attorney Liz Whiting the go ahead to petition the Circuit Court to set up a special election at the earliest possible Tuesday in February to fill vacancies on the council that were left by the resignations by Mike Senate and Renee Edmonston on Sept. 6. Their terms expire in June 2020 and June 2022 respectively.
With Whiting submitting the petition, the town will be required to hold the special election at least 81 days after the judge enters the order. The Town Council will have to make two interim appointments before Oct. 21, according to Virginia law. The deadline for those applications is Monday, Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m.
The council decided to not hold a special election rather than wait until the November 2019 election so that it could fill out the dais in time for voting on the fiscal year 2020 budget next spring. Whiting said that holding a special election before then would eliminate any legal confusion surrounding the voting powers of appointed council members.
Vice Mayor Jim McIntyre said that while he understands there will be less time for candidates to campaign, it’s better to bring new councilmembers in before the budget voting begins.
Because the special election won’t be a part of another pre-scheduled election, the town will have to pay the county anywhere from $4,000-$6,000 to have it set it up, as opposed to the $20-$40 that’s normally required to set one up in the normal election cycle. Hughes said that money could be pulled from the town’s reserve funds in the current budget.