Brent Finnegan -- December 7th, 2010
Harrisonburg Vice Mayor Richard Baugh is expected to be elected the city’s next mayor.
Baugh says being mayor is something he is willing to do. “The other members have indicated that they believe I am capable and would support me for this position. If they still feel that way when we meet on January 3, I am willing to accept the job,” he wrote in an email to hburgnews.
Jeff Mellott reported in the Daily News-Record on November 26:
Baugh said he has talked informally and individually with the other four council members, including Degner, about the mayoral post.
“I told him that he would have my support if he wanted it,” Degner said of his conversation with Baugh.
Chenault, who serves on the Harrisonburg Planning Commission, has gone on record supporting Byrd for mayor.
Mayors of Harrisonburg may carry out their role somewhat differently, but the core function in our council-manager government remains functionally the same: to chair meetings and vote last.
“Something that people who have not followed Council closely may not have picked up is that Harrisonburg has used the typical Roberts’ Rules model where the Chair generally cannot make motions,” Baugh wrote. “So, if the Mayor is the driving force behind an issue, at least two other members have to agree in order for it to become a motion and come to a vote. In other words, there are key aspects to implementing policy where it is sometimes disadvantageous to be the Mayor.”
During his current tenure as mayor, Kai Degner hosted the “Mayor’s Sustainability Summit” among others, in conjunction with the Fairfield Center. Baugh says that he is willing to remain involved in the summits, but explains that the meetings aren’t really “mayor’s summits.”
My understanding is that our referring to these events as “the mayor’s summits” is a function of branding. Early on they really became Fairfield Center events. Of course between Kai’s having been the driving force in getting the summits started in the first place, and his connection with the Fairfield Center, many of us still call them the mayor’s summits.
In my view these events have been valuable to the community. If I become Mayor, I intend to be in communication with Kai and the Fairfield Center as to their plans for continuing these events. If I can play a part in keeping these events going and providing a setting for the community to come together to discuss important issues, I would very much like to do that.
City Council will elect a mayor January 3.