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Bowers criticizes city council plan to fill vacancy

Mayoral candidate David Bowers criticizes city council's plan to fill a vacancy
Mayoral candidate David Bowers criticizes city council's plan to fill a vacancy(WDBJ7)
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 8:33 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke City Council’s plan to fill a vacant seat drew criticism Tuesday from mayoral candidate David Bowers.

Bowers said council should call for a special election, rather than appoint someone to serve the remaining two years of Djuna Osborne’s term. Osborne stepped down last week.

During Monday’s council meeting members defended a process that will solicit applications and include public interviews.

Council member Michelle Davis noted the timing of Osborne’s resignation precluded a special election in November.

“And I just applaud the council for taking the steps to make sure the public are involved in the process,” Davis said during the meeting, “even though it’s not able to be held as an election this coming November, which from a timing perspective is not legal and not possible.”

Bowers questioned their motives.

“They knew what they were doing. This is a power grab,” Bowers said. “This is the same thing they’ve done for the last year. They get together. They have an agenda. They talk about it in the back room. They decide how they’re all going to vote together. And then say ‘Oh, by the way, let’s have a public hearing.’”

Bowers is running for mayor as an Independent against Sherman Lea, the Democratic incumbent. We were unable to reach Lea for comment Tuesday.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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