Who’s Going to Be Our Next Mayor?

writes: Conventional wisdom has it that Maurice Cox is in line to be Charlottesville’s next Mayor. However, Blake Caravati is said to be interested in staying on for another term. Anyone care to speculate on how this is going to turn out, and why?

20 Responses to “Who’s Going to Be Our Next Mayor?”


  • Does anybody know when we last had a mayor serve two consecutive terms? Given that the position of mayor (technically, council chairman) is largely ceremonial, I don’t really know how anybody could make a compelling argument to retain a mayor. Of course, that cuts both ways, doesn’t it?

  • Some of the power of the Mayor comes from the “face time” he (or she) gets in the media. He is the point man for most reporters seeking comments and context from the city. As we all know, the media/media figures can have a significant impact on events and issues (ex: Schilling/Single-shot voting). Since the mayorial position is largely ceremonial, that face time is power. That’s why anyone would want the job–or rather seek the job in consecutive terms, speaking of Caravati… in my opinion.

    I believe there will be a reversal–everyone will vote for Cox and Caravati will be Vice-Mayor. Lynch is still too new, Schilling is definitely too new (and, well, he’s a Repub) and Richards is gunning for higher office.

  • I believe there will be a reversal–everyone will vote for Cox and Caravati will be Vice-Mayor. Lynch is still too new, Schilling is definitely too new (and, well, he’s a Repub) and Richards is gunning for higher office.

    Remember that Council appoints the Mayor. (My apologies if I’m pointing out something that you were already factoring in.) So Lynch and Schilling might be too new, and Richards’ interest may lie elsewhere, but that won’t necessarily keep them from all believing that they should be Mayor. (Not that I know them to be of that mindset.)

    My god, it’s 2:15 in the morning. Bedtime. :)

  • Do you think that’s one of the big problems in C’ville? Everyone wants to be the Big Kahuna but there’s room for only one?

    Somehow, with so many egos in line, perhaps there can be an amendment made to the city’s charter that Caravati can be mayor on odd numbered months, Cox on even numbered and Richards in months without an “R” in it. (Or could that be Rob Schilling’s?)

    All of this sense of entitlement from the council (along with their silly outrage over the shotting incident) just reminds me that the more I get older, the more life reminds of high school. Sigh. And, that’s not a good thing. On the bright side, it would be fun to see the council give each other wedgies at a meeting over the mayor thing.

    LG

  • Don’t you think Schilling is the wild card. My thinking is Richards because it might help against Goode, just a little. Cavarati votes for himself Cox and Lynch vote as a block. Schiling makes a deal with Richards and then Carvati caves. Leaving Richards the Mayor. There is no reason to take turns because Lynch should never be Mayor and Schilling will never get the votes to be Mayor, Darden Towe never did.

  • Cox and Lynch are a block. Schilling won’t vote Cox, aleast at first. Richards might if she gets support from Cox and Lynch on the congress run. Caravati will make a deal with someone. If Cox is elected it might not be 5-0.

  • “My thinking is Richards because it might help against Goode, just a little.”

    Sure it might help her, but I believe the others will say “pick me because I’ll have my mind focused on Charlottesville’s issues.” Council just isn’t generous enough to give Richards the Mayor title just because it might help out her run for Congress. There are others on council who are probably a little jealous of her because she took the reins of the Demo. nomination for the House.

  • My impression is that Lynch, surprisingly, is the wild card. Richards will vote for Cox; Schilling will vote for Caravati. That leaves Lynch. I can’t imagine Kevin ever voting for Blake for Mayor but you just never know.

  • and yet some of those same dems might be grateful, not jealous Richards has taken up the banner.

  • “Schilling will vote for Caravati.” I don’t buy this one. Seems there might be some bad blood left after the race. Richards seems like a better choice for Schilling. Caravati had few postive things ,before and after the election, to say about Schilling. So what does Caravati do, just walk up and say “bygones

  • their silly outrage over the shotting incident

    In all fairness, I don’t remember hearing any council members belly-aching over the “shotting incident”.

    As for wedgies at the council meeting, sounds like fun to me.

  • Am I right in thinking that the City could have direct election of mayor if a majority of Council voted so (i.e., without a referendum or such)?

    And if so, does anyone have an idea how such a vote might play in the current Council?

    (I’ll note quickly here that cvillenews.com’s admittedly unscientific poll shows more than 70 percent FOR the direct election of the mayor).

  • I’m not sure, but I would doubt it very much. Usually any changes in the way cities elect their leaders (council, mayor, etc) require a change to the city charter, which (I believe) requires action from the General Assembly. But it’s also entirely possible that I have no idea what I’m talking about.

  • sandandrew writes: “Usually any changes in the way cities elect their leaders (council, mayor, etc) require a change to the city charter, which (I believe) requires action from the General Assembly.

    I’ve done just a tiny bit of poking around, and I think you may well be right. Here is Lloyd Snook’s (pessimistic? anti-DFC?) appraisal of the tremendous challenge to switching to direct elections.

    Now, to speculation: Cox and Lynch ran on a platform that specifically called for direct election of mayor, right? And might we surmise that Schilling would be similarly inclined (given his professed interest in direct election of the School Board)? That would make it possible for a majority of the Council to pass such a resolution. Could some cvillenews.com legal eagle take it from here, and address the Richmond matters . . .?

  • Well, I think the first question should be: Who wants it? I mean, it stands to reason Cox would want the job. You say Caravati wants another turn. I would imagine that Lynch knows he wouldn’t have much support, and Schilling wouldn’t have any. Is there indication Richards wants the job? That’s my question. If she DOES want the job, does that means she wants the title to boost her visibility in the Congressional race?

    If she’s elected Mayor, it seems to me that she’s saying either “I have no chance against Goode, and so this is the best I can do”, or “I’m Mayor so I can look good for 6 months with the intention/hope of then ditching C-ville to go to Washington”. Either outlook seems kinda lame to me. I don’t want a Mayor who’s already running for something else.

    But back to the question: If we look at Council as a left to right scale, it looks like

    Lynch – Cox – Richards – Caravati – Schilling

    So if the race is between Cox and Caravati, the swing vote would be Richards. I’d see her favoring Blake, but I’m just guessing. But if Richards is in the mix too, who knows? That’s where deals and serious politics come into play.

    Of course all this is gross over-simplification and blind guesswork, but I’m bored so I thought I’d post it anyway… :)

  • It could come down to who is the first to utter the words “I nominate so-and-so…” and I think Lynch will be first to the jump (to nominate Cox). Nobody will want to look like an ass by voting against Cox at that point and he’ll slide right into his Mayorial role. If Schilling has any initiative being a new councilor, he would be wise to ally himself with Caravati (and I agree that Caravati is closer to the right than any of the others, save for Schilling) and be ready to beat Lynch to be the first to make the nomination (for Caravati). Gosh I hope that made sense…

  • Yeah, it makes perfect sense. A lot of politics is about not only the way leaders are perceived (by the public), but about the way they THINK they’re being perceived. The last thing any smart politician wants is to appear anything less than statesman-like, and you can be sure they think about this in the way they present themselves.

    But my guess is that the race will be decided before anone stands up (or speaks up I guess) and says “I nominate so-and-so”. Elections (selections) of mayors like this are often behind the scenes plays.

  • Anonymous writes: It could come down to who is the first to utter the words “I nominate so-and-so…” and I think Lynch will be first to the jump (to nominate Cox). Nobody will want to look like an ass by voting against Cox at that point and he’ll slide right into his Mayorial role. If Schilling has any initiative being a new councilor, he would be wise to ally himself with Caravati (and I agree that Caravati is closer to the right than any of the others, save for Schilling) and be ready to beat Lynch to be the first to make the nomination (for Caravati). Gosh I hope that made sense…

    That did make sense!

    If someone does make the make the motion to nominate Caravati, he’ll for sure second the motion himself, to bring it to a vote. That’s what happened last time, right?

    I’ll disagree with you about Schilling’s natural allies on Council. The DFC folks (Cox and Lynch) ran on platforms which have interesting convergences with Schilling’s priorities, e.g., direct elections of Mayor and/or School Board members. Moreover, reagardless of whatever politico-philosophical similarities between Schilling and Caravati there may be, Schilling might better use the selection of mayor to show he’s not for the status quo and do so by casting his vote for Cox (or Richards, but I think this less likely).

  • Anonymous writes: It could come down to who is the first to utter the words “I nominate so-and-so…” and I think Lynch will be first to the jump (to nominate Cox). Nobody will want to look like an ass by voting against Cox at that point and he’ll slide right into his Mayorial role. If Schilling has any initiative being a new councilor, he would be wise to ally himself with Caravati (and I agree that Caravati is closer to the right than any of the others, save for Schilling) and be ready to beat Lynch to be the first to make the nomination (for Caravati). Gosh I hope that made sense…

    That did make sense!

    If someone does make the make the motion to nominate Caravati, he’ll for sure second the motion himself, to bring it to a vote. That’s what happened last time, right?

    I’ll disagree with you about Schilling’s natural allies on Council. The DFC folks (Cox and Lynch) ran on platforms which have interesting convergences with Schilling’s priorities, e.g., direct elections of Mayor and/or School Board members. Moreover, reagardless of whatever politico-philosophical similarities between Schilling and Caravati there may be, Schilling might better use the selection of mayor to show he’s not for the status quo and do so by casting his vote for Cox (or Richards, but I think this less likely).

  • This is correct, as I recall. By all appearances last time, there appeared to be no concrete backroom deals to anoint the next mayor (althought I’m sure there were “discussions”). It was clear that both Cox and Richards really wanted to be Mayor, with Caravati saying “yeah, it would be nice to be Mayor.” So it looked like either Cox or Richards would have gotten it, had Toscano not first jumped in and said “I nominate Caravati!”.

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