With no opposing candidate and no nominations coming from the floor, David Dale, president, Spring Bank Community Association, was elected overwhelmingly July 25 as the new co-chair of the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens' Associations. He joins Dan Rinzel and Dan Fisher-Burrier in that triumvirate role.
With Rinzel presiding during last Wednesday night's meeting at the South County Government Center on Richmond Highway, the initial election process discussion centered on whether or not nominations remained open after the June deadlocked election to fill the Co-chair seat vacated by the resignation of Jerry Ireland, ended in a tie between former Council Co-chair Queenie Cox and Dale. Rinzel ruled they were.
During the June Council meeting there were 33 legitimate, numbered ballots distributed and 34 collected. The odd ballot bore the number 60, which is the number of ballots printed in order to have enough available if all 60 voting members attend a given meeting where an election is to be held.
"If the ballots had not been numbered they would have had to throw them all out and nullify that election process. But, because of the numbering they were able to throw out just that odd ballot and preserve the election," explained Sheldon Hoenig, representing Wessynton Homes Association on the Council.
With the mystery ballot gone, the election came down to a 16 to 16 tie as a result of one abstention vote. This forced a revote which was postponed until the July meeting. However, in the interim Cox withdrew her name from consideration leaving Dale as the sole nominee.
"Nominations were not closed at the last meeting. Therefore, we can accept nominations from the floor at this time," Rinzel ruled last Wednesday night.
That was challenged by Council member Catherine Ward who noted that since a vote was held in June, even though it ended in a tie, that would seem to indicate that the nominations had been closed at that time. Rinzel did not agree.
"There were two nominations and one person withdrew. There is no rule that says you have to have more than one person nominated," said Hoenig.
When he moved the nominations be closed and Dale be elected by acclamation, Rinzel ruled the motion to be a point of order rather than a motion calling for a vote. There was a vote on the point of order. It passed overwhelmingly. This was followed by another motion to elected Dale by acclamation, which also passed overwhelmingly.
"I am pleased and honored to have been elected. Right now the Council is having some difficulties and I hope I can contribute to getting it back on track," Dale said following his election.
"It's going to be a challenge to take on the Co-chair duties with my already full schedule. But, I'm sure I can devote the necessary time to fulfill the role of Co-chair in the proper manner," he said.
"I thought that I might seek a Co-chair position in several years. I just didn't expect it to happen at this time," he said.
"But, maybe I'm the right kind of person to help bring calm back to the Council at this time. I have no lofty goals. I don't view this as any stepping stone to any future elective office. Therefore, I can devote my energies to working for the overall good of the Council and its members," Dale said.
HOWEVER, THE ELECTION of Dale to the vacated Co-Chair position did not seem to placate an on-going schism within the Council concerning the future development of North Hill. The question was again raised as to why the resolution adopted by the Council's Environmental & Recreation Committee concerning the preservation of North Hill as an open space preserve was sent back to the committee without being published in the organizations newsletter the "Record."
Rinzel was asked by Council member James Davis, "Would you characterize the resolution being sent back to the committee as a rejection by the board?"
"No. It was just sent back to the Environmental and Recreation Committee," Rinzel answered.
"Why was the resolution not submitted to the whole council," Davis persisted. "That was what the board decided to do," Rinzel replied.
"The previous resolution of the Council said we (the Council) support having housing on North Hill. The E&R resolution seemed to be in conflict with that," Rinzel said.
Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald Hyland announced that there would be a meeting Aug. 2 on the entire North Hill project in the Mount Vernon Government Center on Parkers Lane. "The purpose of the meeting is to explain what is to be done at North Hill and what the site will look like upon completion," Hyland said.