The Scottsville Town Council discussed Tuesday night whether to take a stand in the debate about Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler's political future. At issue: whether Dumler should resign after pleading guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery charges last month.
With no power to influence whether Dumler resigns from his seat, the council asked General Assembly representatives to consider changes that would make it easier to remove an elected official.
The Scottsville Town Council heard both pros and cons from community members on the controversy surrounding Dumler. But instead of taking a stand on something they have no control over, councilors took a more productive route.
Whether it was support for Dumler to resign or support to give him a second chance, a handful of people stepped up to the podium during the public forum Tuesday night to voice their opinions about how the Dumler controversy has affected their town.
"As a town, because we have a vested interest in this, because Supervisor Dumler is the supervisor for the Scottsville District, we as a council thought it was important that our town have a chance to air their opinions about this," said Councilor Dan Gritsko.
Councilors say, although the town of Scottsville makes up a small portion of the Scottsville District, it was important to make some type of a recommendation on what to do about the concerns of their representative.
"We thought perhaps maybe if we could generate enough interest among the state legislatures to look at the state statute, and maybe expand it to cover more than malfeasances and office types of situations, maybe to expand it to more general misbehavior on the part of elected officials," said Councilor Ron Smith.
The council unanimously passed a resolution, asking the General Assembly to study their statute for removing a public official and determine whether it should be expanded to cover misdemeanor convictions. Councilors believe it was the most effective way of dealing with the situation at hand.
Smith said, "I believe we all know that there's the petition drive going on which may end up in the court and then the judge, the court will have a say - either do something or not do something. And I'm sure the Board of Supervisors for Albemarle County also has in place methods of removing a member of that body should they decide to do so."
The council hopes the recommendation will make a difference for the town of Scottsville and beyond.
"I have talked to people, both in our town and in this district. It's pretty universal, most people think that the law should be written in a way that Supervisor Dumler would step down. That's what I have heard as I have talked to people. I've heard this from people from both political parties, that they have felt that that was really what should happen," said Gritsko.
Scottsville Town Council Discusses Dumler, Proposes AmendmentsMore>>