Washington Town Council member Gary Aichele announced at Monday night’s (Oct. 9) regular meeting that he would be stepping down at the end of the month because he’s moving to a new residence a half mile outside the town’s border.
Aichele has served on the council since December 2014, and was deeply involved in the town’s sale last year of the Avon Hall estate.
“Having served with Gary on the Avon Hall work,” said Alan Comp, a member of the town planning commission, and “just watching the depth of your commitment to this community . . . I have seen a citizen that should be deeply appreciated.”
“I’d like to put on the agenda next month an item that we enlarge the town’s boundaries so that Gary can stay on the council,” council member Mary Ann Kuhn joked.
Meanwhile, Aichele’s eventual replacement — all seven council members, in fact — could possibly serve an extra six months of their terms, from next June 1 to Dec. 31, if the council takes the advice of Rappahannock County Registrar of Voters Kim McKiernan, who has recommended the town consider moving its elections, which are now held in May, to the regular November general election.
She pointed out that during the town’s last election on May 6, 2014, 30 residents voted at a cost of $3,420, or $114 per vote. Holding the town elections during the November general election will save the town money, McKiernan noted, and the town also might get a better turnout from its approximately 130 residents.
The council voted to hold a public hearing on the matter at its Nov. 13 meeting; the council has until the end of the this year to vote to change the date of their next election to Nov. 6, 2018.