, 2015

Straughan resigns from
Kilmarnock Town Council

by Renss Greene

KILMARNOCK—The Kilmarnock Town Council received Howard Straughan’s resignation letter March 17.

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Howard Straughan

“It is with great sadness that, due to health reasons, I must tender my resignation as an elected Councilman on the Kilmarnock Town Council,” the letter reads. Straughan has been absent from meetings since January for health reasons.

The council unanimously passed a resolution in appreciation of Straughan’s service and will present a plaque to him. The resolution makes mention of Straughan’s service as chairman of the administration and finance committee, chairman of the town center committee, and his “immeasurable help with budget planning in 2007” to avoid a tax increase.

“I would just like to take this moment to add my profound appreciation and regrets to Howard Straughan for the work he’s done,” said town manager Tom Saunders. “I leaned on him heavily, particularly in the budget cycle.”

Straughan leaves a seat that will be filled by an appointee who will likely hold the seat for two years, according to town attorney Paul Stamm. Stamm told the council that according to Virginia code, in the event of a vacancy, an election for the seat should be held the next time elections for that position are held, unless the vacancy occurs within 90 days of the election, which it has.

In that case, the election for that seat is held the following election, which in this case is May of 2016. This is contingent upon an order from the Circuit Court judge, who can order a special election before then.

“I think it’s going to be May of 2016,” said Stamm. “The judge can change that. He can make us do it [hold a special election], but heretofore, he hasn’t.”

The town has 45 days to appoint a replacement to fill in before the election, after which the position can be appointed by the Circuit Court judge, according to Stamm. The town will now solicit interested citizens to fill the seat.

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