|New command of Philadelphia
Author: Brandon L. Jones News Hearld
For those who believe their vote doesn't count, the recent mayoral race in the City of Philadelphia certainly helps prove otherwise.
Philadelphia — a small town of about 530 in southeast Loudon County that just months ago was drifting atop what the Loudon County Election Commission among others called uncharted waters, meaning the plight of the city, what with there being a seeming reluctance to hold office, was unprecedented in the known election history of the town.
A one-vote victor, however, has now changed that and will soon take the reins of the city.
Paul Stallings, one of only two people who registered and qualified for the position, won Philadelphia’s mayoral race, unofficial election totals show. But it was the 18-17 vote over John Drinnon that clinched the seat.
One vote. Stallings now faces what to do with, as it appeared only a short time ago, the city that nobody wanted to run.
But, as Stallings will tell you, the election proved one thing: “Every vote does count.”
It wasn’t only the mayor’s seat who seemed a mystery early on either. The two open alderman positions seemed unwanted as well at first. Then came Michael McGinnis and William Booher, the only two candidates, like the mayor, officially registered for the positions.
However, there are four alderman seats. According to the election commission, the other two seats will have to be filled with the help of Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS).
“What happens now is that MTAS will work with them, as far as their charter and how they fill vacancies,” said election officials. “At this point, that is out of our hands.”
Margaret Norris, a management consultant with the MTAS, said there are "constitutional provisions and there have been some court cases that have already decided this previously. Bottom line, the newly elected board will be making two appointments for the vacancies."
Should none of the following people be appointed, the city's outgoing aldermen are Calvin Scott Aikens, Chris Miller, Travis Gray and Terri Waddell, wife of Robert Waddell, the outgoing mayor.
The only ascertainable fact at present is that nobody is in it for the money, for they all are non-paid positions.
Notwithstanding the two alderman vacancies, Stallings is ready to take office and begin his four-year tenure. Changes? “Probably no big changes,” he said when asked what he would like to do with the city. There is one thing, though, Stallings feels will be needed during his term. “Community involvement . . . is going to be the biggest thing, trying to get people to be involved with their town and try to clean up some things,” he said.
Stallings will be sworn in Tuesday, Nov. 11.
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