By Lloyd Madden
The suspense is over, and Councilman Jim Rogers should be commended for displaying the courage to cast his vote for Jael Myrick while Andres Soto and members of the Progressive Alliance advocated for the appointment of Eduardo Martinez.
Rogers ’ vote surprised many, because during the past weeks, since Gary Bell’s successor became an item of public discussion, some thought he preferred a June special election.
In the previous report of the Community Mobilization Leadership Coalition (CMLC), it was noted that the CMLC’s main objective was to swiftly respond to Richmond Progressive Alliance’s (RPA) announcement that Eduardo Martinez should be appointed by naming Kathleen Sullivan as our candidate to fill Gary Bell’s seat.
City Clerk Diane Holmes read a compelling letter from Gary Bell’s wife Shelly expressing her desire that Gary would want a special election, but it fell on deaf ears. Kathleen Sullivan and 10 other candidates were unable to secure four votes.
At the end of the five-hour meeting, and, after some opening comments by Rogers before the voting process began, the opportunity for a candidate that could receive four votes of the council started to unfold. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin made a motion to appoint Eduardo Martinez and the motion failed for lack of 4 votes. Councilman Tom Butt quickly moved to appoint Jael Myrick, the motion was seconded and the rest is now history. It was so smooth that it appeared that it had been rehearsed.
Myrick who works for Assembly Member Nancy Skinner will serve at least until November 2014, when he will be up for re-election. BAPAC and other members of the coalition congratulate him and are looking forward to working with our new member of the Richmond City Council.