Charlottesville City Council Elects Nikuyah Walker as Mayor, Heather Hill as Vice Mayor
The two newly-elected Charlottesville City Council members are now also the city's new mayor and vice mayor.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The two newly-elected Charlottesville City Council members are now also the city's new mayor and vice mayor.
Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, council chose Nikuyah Walker to serve as mayor, and Heather Hill for vice mayor.
It was a lengthy back-and-forth inside council chambers over who would take the top spots, and members went through several nominations for each position.
Kathy Galvin reminding the crowd that electing Walker and Hill, who don't have prior experience on council, is the same scenario the city faced when Mike Signer and Wes Bellamy were elected.
"A couple years ago we were in this situation where we had a brand new council and we had picked a brand new mayor and vice mayor," Galvin.
Signer, who eventually voted for Walker, also had some concerns. "I do have concerns that you were unwilling to meet with me or Ms. Galvin," he said.
He says Walker was reluctant to meet with him prior to Tuesday's discussion. Walker says she did not want to talk until the New Year began.
"I don't think people understand how difficult my campaign was and you in particular made it very difficult ... I didn't feel like it was necessary until my council term was official to meet," Walker said.
Cheers erupted as Walker accepted her nomination to be Charlottesville's new mayor. She will serve as the city's first black female mayor.
"I never looked at it as , I'm above anyone else ... there are just a few additional duties and whatever they are I will figure them out," Walker said.
Bellamy emphasized electing Walker is a way to change the direction for Charlottesville.
"I'm not voting for you just because of how you look, I am nominating you because I believe you are intelligent beyond measure, I believe you have the strength that is needed and and I firmly believe that you are the change that our community need to see," Bellamy said.
Walker says she'll learn as she goes and Hill says they will make a good team.
"I'm learning, this is all new, but again running a campaign was new, I have been successful," Walker said.
"I certainly believe that we are in a community that is looking for change and I would look forward to the opportunity to partner with Ms. Walker," Hill said.
Galvin and Bellamy were also nominated for mayor.
Some changes Walker mentioned that she wants to make as mayor include how City Council meetings are run. She spoke about changing the amount of time people are allowed to speak and making sure everyone is heard.