, 2014


Town council fills vacant seat

by Renss Greene

KILMARNOCK—The town council filled a vacancy Monday night.

By a 5-0 vote, council appointed retired Navy Capt. Michael Sutherland to fill the seat vacated by Howard Straughan’s early departure due to health reasons.

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The administration and finance committee recommended Sutherland’s application over one other applicant, Otis Polk Sr.

“When the citizenry elects a council member, the rest of the council has nothing to say about it,” said council member and committee chair Rebecca Nunn. “They may be qualified or unqualified. They have been elected by the people. But as a council, we have a responsibility to appoint the person that we feel is the most qualified, and in this case three of us agree.”

According to his application to the town, Sutherland left the Navy as a captain in 1990 after 24 years in the Supply Corps, culminating in his work as commanding officer of the Navy Regional Finance Center in Washington, D.C. After leaving the Navy, Sutherland worked in a variety of financial and consulting jobs, including several government and nonprofit contracts. He retired to Kilmarnock in 2006.

“Mr. Sutherland’s resume reminded me a lot of Howard Straughan, and I think we need a mature, knowledgeable person that Howard brought to the town council,” said councilman and committee member Shawn Donahue. “I think Mr. Sutherland will give us that same guidance that Howard had when he was on the council.”


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