Town Taps Planner To Fill Vacant Seat
Posted: November 15, 2012
DAYTON — Town Council didn’t pick the odd man out in last week’s election to fill a vacant seat.
Instead, Kehris Snead, a Planning Commission member, was appointed to the position following a closed-session meeting Monday evening.
The vote was unanimous, Mayor Charles Long said, with Councilman Jerry Critcher abstaining and Councilman Greg Trissel absent.
Snead, 32, fills former Councilman Jeff McNeal’s seat for at least a year. McNeal resigned last month, citing personal and work commitments.
Voters will choose who fills the remainder of McNeal’s term — which runs through Dec. 31, 2014 — during a special election on Nov. 5, 2013, that coincides with the general election.
Council appointed Snead over Critcher and Colby Miller. Long said Miller is a new Dayton resident looking to get involved with the town.
Critcher, whom council appointed in March to fill a vacant seat that expires Dec. 31, came up short in his bid to earn a four-year term in the election last week. With five candidates vying for four open seats, he finished in last place, taking about 17 percent of the votes.
Voters elected current council members Trissel, Laura Daily, Josh Lyons and the lone challenger, Jeff Daly.
Council had a “hard discussion” on Monday about whether to appoint Critcher or Snead to the vacant council seat, Long said. Ultimately, he said the panel decided Snead was best suited for the council post, while Critcher would fit in best on the Planning Commission, where he served before joining council in March.
In January, that’s where he’ll return to, focusing on economic development issues.
Critcher said he was “mildly disappointed” about not being picked for the council seat.
“At the same time, I hold Kehris Snead in real high regard. I think she’s a great candidate to fit the role,” he said. “I really liked working with Planning Commission, and had a real good rapport with Gerald Lehman, the chairman. I’m comfortable with that.”
Snead, who has served on the Planning Commission for about 10 months and has been a Dayton resident for three years, works at Hammond Asset Management. She is general manager of 865 East, the high-rise on Port Republic Road in Harrisonburg that mixes retail and off-campus James Madison University housing.
Snead said she hopes to use her experience in project management to help guide Dayton’s downtown revitalization efforts.
“This is my community service,” she said. “We want the revitalization to be something that keeps downtown’s charms yet attracts visitors, retail and restaurants to Dayton.”
Contact Doug Manners at 574-6293 or email@example.com