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“Nationals October 2019

Group petitions Mayor Buckley to hold election to replace outgoing Ward 5 Alderman

| July 11, 2020, 12:15 PM

The Annapolis Coalition of Black Progressives is petitioning Annapolis City Mayor Gavin Buckley to hold a special election to fill the vacated seat of alderman Marc Rodriguez.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

The group is circulating a petition to demand that the Mayor hold a special election for the replacement of Alderman Marc Rodriguez who initially resigned in March 2020 after serving a part of his term. At the time, Rodriguez said he had a job offer in Oregon.

Two days after submitting his resignation, at the request of the Mayor, Rodriguez agreed to withdraw his resignation to ostensibly to remain as the representative of Ward 5 throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Alderman Marc Rodriguez of Annapolis Ward 5 submitted his letter of resignation to Mayor Gavin Buckley on March 15th, 2020 with the effective end date of March 27th 2020. Alderman Rodriguez, at the time of resignation has accepted a job in Oregon, where he has been living since.

According to the City Charter, if a vacancy occurs more than 15 months prior to a regular election, a special election shall be held to replace the sitting Alderman. This is what happened when former Alderwoman and current Delegate Shaneka Henson was named as Delegate to replace the late Speaker Michael E. Busch. During that election, Alderman DaJuan Gay won the seat.

Should Rodriguez re-tender his resignation after August 2, 2020, the seat will be filled by a selection made by the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee. As the elected Democratic Mayor in the City, Buckley wields considerable influence on the committee.

The Coalition alleges that Rodriguez has in fact not been a resident of the Ward since his initial resignation in March and is calling for the City to conduct a special election to the fill the seat so that the residents have a say in who represents them in City Hall.

There is an Annapolis General Election in 2021 and with any election, incumbency (regardless of tenure) can be a powerful asset. Additionally, it is reasonable to assume that the appointed Alderman would be loyal to the people that placed them into that office. In an election, it would be the residents of the jurisdiction; if an appointment, it would be the committee or the person that placed them in office.

COVID-19 of course, complicates things as well; but this would not be a City-wide election, but merely among the registered voters in Ward 5.

The petition is below, and if you would like to sign it, here is a link.

The residents of ward 5 has been without representation since March, and Mayor Gavin Buckley has yet to call for a special election. The Mayor is waiting for the time to run out for when a sitting Mayor can call for a special election; which is 15 months before the city’s General election. In this case it will be August 2nd 2020 before our General election on November 2nd 2021. If this happens, that means the democratic central committee will nominate a person to this seat. This is nothing more than Mayor Buckley trying to stack the deck with people he want in this position. This will be another situation of a political back room closet deal that took place with the recent appointment of Delegate Dana Jones.

This decision should be made by the residents and voters of Annapolis Ward 5. They should have a say in who represents them. Help our family members and friends in ward 5 by signing this petition to give the power back to them by urging the Mayor to call for a special election.

Tell Mayor Buckley that the power belongs to the voters by signing this petition today.

Severn Bank

Category: Local News, NEWS, POLITICAL NEWS, Post To FB

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