STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - A group of concerned Staunton citizens wants to explore the possibility of a recall election for Staunton’s four most recently elected members -- Mayor Andrea Oakes, Vice Mayor Mark Robertson, Stephen Claffey, and Amy Darby.
More than 50 people who live in the city virtually cast votes Wednesday night to form an exploratory committee. Shae Rosa volunteered to lead the committee.
Those who spoke listed their worries, which include outside influence and deception during the election, alleged misuse of City funds for a July 4th parade and private security, lack of accountability, and stifling the voices of minority council members.
“It’s really difficult as a citizen to ask questions that don’t get answered. And to not have any recourse to find out what the heck is going on,” Staunton resident Emily Sproul, who wants transparency in city government, said. “We deserve answers. We’re citizens, we pay taxes, we live and work here and we deserve to know. This is a small community. I don’t understand what needs to be hidden.”
Staunton Mayor Andrea Oakes says there is no merit to any of the allegations. Oakes said Wednesday night’s meeting, which was organized by an Augusta County resident, is a politically driven bullying tactic.