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Election 2015
Albemarle School Board seeks applicants for seat, calls for special election in November
20150317-Eric Strucko
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Albemarle School Board member Eric Strucko discusses the school division's proposed budget
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Brian Wheeler | Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 9:10 p.m.

The Albemarle County School Board has set the process and timeline for filling its vacant Samuel Miller District seat.

The six remaining board members will make an interim appointment by June 15 to fill the seat. The board also will petition the Circuit Court to hold a special election Nov. 3 so that voters can elect a member to serve out the unfinished term of Eric Strucko that runs through Dec. 31, 2017.

Strucko resigned his seat last month to accept a position with Pennsylvania State University.

Residents interested in being appointed or running in the special election face some tight deadlines.

At a special meeting Tuesday, the School Board was briefed by senior assistant county attorney John Blair on options available for filling the vacancy.

“The first option in your petition for a writ of election [would be] to ask that the special election to fill Mr. Strucko’s seat be held simultaneously with the November general election,” Blair said. “The second option … is that the board could request the Circuit Court to set a special election before the November general election.”

“The greatest amount of voter turnout and least cost would be the general election,” said board member Jason Buyaki.

“To me that makes the most sense,” board member Steve Koleszar agreed.

Blair estimated that a special election held between July 7 and Sept. 8 would cost Albemarle County $15,000 to $20,000.

The board voted unanimously to ask the court to hold the special election in November.

Blair said candidates will have until June 9 to qualify to be on the ballot for the special election. The winner of the special election will take office immediately after the election results are certified.

The School Board also has to fill the seat with an interim appointee by mid-June and it will be making an application and list of qualifications available on the school division’s website Wednesday.

The person appointed by the board on an interim basis is not required to run in the special election, though they may choose to pursue both opportunities.

The deadline to apply to be appointed to the vacant seat is 5 p.m. May 26.

The board will make its first review of the applications at its May 28 meeting and is expected to name an appointee on June 11. After evaluating the number of applications received, the board will establish a process for reviewing them, which may include closed meeting discussions and interviews with finalists.

The board has not specified whether an applicant’s desire to run in the special election will be a factor in its decision. Blair pointed out that given the timing to get on the general election ballot, the board will be aware of who is running for election and who is not.

The interim appointee would serve on the board from mid-June to until the day the winner of the special election is certified.

Four other School Board seats will be on the ballot in November. With less than a month remaining for candidates to be qualified, two of the races have no declared candidates and two have incumbents running.

There are no candidates declared for the at-large seat or the White Hall District seat. Current board members in those seats, Ned Gallaway and Barbara Massie Mouly, respectively, are not seeking re-election.

Gallaway announced last week that he is seeking the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s 17th Senate District. The seat is currently held by Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania.

Board members Koleszar and Jason Buyaki, who represent the Scottsville and Rivanna districts, respectively, have both announced their intentions to run. Neither candidate has a challenger.

View a larger interactive version of this race summary on Kumu

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