Charlottesville City Councilor Sena Magill has resigned from her position, effective Jan. 11. Magill was elected in 2020 and her term was set to expire at the end of 2023.
She made the announcement at the end of the Tuesday night Council meeting.
The four remaining members — Mayor Lloyd Snook, Vice Mayor Juandiego Wade, Brian Pinkston and Michael Payne — will appoint a new member within 45 days. According to Virginia state law, if they cannot agree, judges of the city circuit court make the appointment.
The appointed member will be in office until a special election in November.
“Effectively, we would be appointing someone to complete the calendar year of 2023,” said Snook. He pointed to a similar process in Albemarle County to fill a vacant position on the school board.
“My suggestion is that we now call for applicants — similar to what the county just did when they filled a school board seat — by Jan. 30,” he said. Snook suggested a public hearing Feb. 6 and that the Council make a decision by Feb. 21. City Council has a meeting scheduled that day.
The Council will create an application Wednesday and post it to the city’s website. Anyone living within city limits may apply.
Magill, who has been on City Council for three years, struggled through tears to give her resignation, so Councilor Michael Payne read her statement on her behalf.
“This evening I have the regrettable news that I must step down from office. The needs of my family have changed during my term in office and in the last few months it has become more and more apparent that I cannot meet the needs effectively of both. At this time, I cannot be the mother I need to be and also provide the service to the people who elected me that I committed to,” he read. “This has not been an easy decision as there is much that I still want to do for this city, but right now I need to focus on my family and their needs. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.”
Magill served as vice mayor for the first two years of her term. She focused on issues such as mental health care, homelessness and social services, said Payne. Wade commended her for offering knowledge and partnership since his election last year.
“There have been so many times with us four gentlemen up here — what we would have missed out on if you didn’t say, ‘Hey guys, what about so-and-so?'” said Wade. “We’re going to realize that we’re going to miss you more and more.”
Charlottesville Council members are given a salary of $18,000 per year. Their service includes two public meetings per month, and overseeing finances and ordinances in the city.
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