Charlottesville’s City Council plans to hear from four to six candidates of the 20 who applied for the vacant seat.

“We are planning to narrow down to four to six candidates over the next couple of days. Then we’ll ask those candidates to come speak at the meeting on Monday,” said Council member Juandiego Wade. The speakers, he said, will be given more than the three minutes speakers typically get at Council meetings.

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Community members can register to attend and comment in the Monday, Feb. 6 meeting, after the candidates give statements, or at the end of the meeting during the public comment period.

The City Council is seeking to replace Sena Magill, who resigned on Jan. 11. The four remaining members are accepting applications through Jan. 30 to fill the seat by appointment. They will hold a public meeting on Monday about the candidates and make an appointment by Feb. 21. By state law, they have 45 days to fill the position. 

The appointment will last until Dec. 31, 2023. Voters will select a new Council member in the upcoming November election to begin in 2024.

“Frankly, 20 candidates is about 15 more than I thought we’d be looking at,” Mayor Lloyd Snook wrote in an email. He said that Council members will decide who to interview out of the pool in closed meetings that community members cannot attend. They will then choose the finalists, and give each a chance to speak publicly Monday. The Council is still deciding if it will discuss the final vote publicly or in closed session, but they must vote before the 45-day deadline.

All 20 candidates are listed on the city’s website. Wade said he and his colleagues want applicants who are not chosen to know that there are other ways to serve, such as by joining boards and commissions.

“It’s such a good thing that so many people want to be involved,” Wade said. “We want to keep that.”

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