According to Chapter 1 of the Leesburg Town Charter, vacancies on council caused by an election are to be filled by a majority vote of council members. The Town Code also stipulates that council members' votes "shall give great weight in selecting such member to an individual who was not elected in such duly held councilmanic election but received the next highest number of votes in such election."(How awesome is the term "councilmanic?")
During the last council elections, held in May 2006, the top vote getters after the three winning candidates - Fernando "Marty" Martinez, Kevin Wright and Ken Reid - were Tom Marshall, Todd Severance and David Miles. Marshall was elected Tuesday to serve as the Leesburg District's school board representative and Severance recently vacated his position on the town's Economic Development Commission because of personal time constraints. Frank Holtz, who recently announced his candidacy for May's town council elections, also ran for council in 2006, but finished seventh. - Leesburg Today
With the unavailability of the fifth and sixth vote getters from the last election, the difference between selecting David Miles, Frank Holtz or some other person is only a matter of a handful of 2005 votes, a marginal difference at best, given the changes in Leesburg in the past two years. (For example, we're no longer experiencing a housing boom.)
Thus, the Town Council has an opportunity to appoint a citizen leader with broad appeal, deep understanding of development and other issues before our community, and preferably someone without previous baggage. Leesburg deserves a good steward in the seat occupied currently by Kelly Burk. The Town Council should look beyond a narrow class of known activists to the wider community to find her replacement.
(P.S. Not Me)