The James City County Board of Supervisors will soon be revisiting its 2011 decision to end staggered terms, thanks to a request by Supervisor Wilford Kale on Tuesday night.
At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, Kale said he wanted the Board to advertise the item for a vote at the Oct. 9 meeting. The issue had been bothering him since he came on the Board in March, he said, and he had been researching it for many months before taking the action.
Kale said he wanted the Board to tackle his suggestion before the upcoming election so members could have “a nonpartisan discussion” of the issue “without any intrusiveness into other elections.”
December last year, Republicans still had a majority on the Board; at the time, they voted to end staggered terms, making 2015 the first year all five members would be up for reelection.
Before that vote, the Jamestown and Powhatan district elections happened in the same year, and the next three seats were up for election two years later. The citizen redistricting committee earlier last year had suggested to the board that they eliminate this system because a “significant percentage” of county residents were sometimes not able to vote for a period of six years if their districts change, an argument championed by two committee members at the time. Board Democrats argued at the time the decision was rushed for political reasons.
The Board voted to support Kale’s request; Supervisor Mary Jones dissented and Supervisor Jim Kennedy was absent for the vote.