Author: Bridget Manley
The Harrisonburg City Council re-elected Deanna Reed as mayor and selected Sal Romero as the vice mayor at Wednesday’s organizational meeting.
It’s deja vu with the Democrats seeking the 26th District nomination — but the selection process could be new
It’s beginning to look a lot like 2017. Or is it? Once again Cathy Copeland and Brent Finnegan are vying for a chance to take on Republican incumbent Tony Wilt, who was first elected in 2010. But while the candidates might be the same, the campaigns might look a little different this time, especially if the election process for the Democrats changes.
Almost a year after the city of Harrisonburg began looking at how to regulate Airbnb properties, the city council is still grappling with how to do it in an enforceable and fair way. Now city staff are drafting a two-pronged plan to cover the different ways properties are being rented out through the popular site.
Two years’ work by four committees and many meetings later, Harrisonburg very nearly has a new comprehensive plan. It emphasizes mixed-use zoning––areas that combine residential and other uses, allowing people to live, work, shop and play in the same neighborhood––and was the subject of a public hearing before council on Tuesday night.
In a city with a growing Latino population, there has never been a Latino voice on city council. That will change in January when Sal Romero is sworn in. And Romero also could become Harrisonburg’s first Latino mayor.
Democrats Sal Romero and Chris Jones have won what ended up being a lopsided victory in the five-candidate race for Harrisonburg City Council. Romero finished first with 6,737 votes, while Jones, the only incumbent in the race, came in second with 6,186 votes, according to unofficial Tuesday night returns sent in to the city registrar’s office.
Frank McMillan says he wants to be an independent voice in city government. While his top campaign donors include Republicans office holders as well as local Republican groups, he said he’s not loyal to any party. For instance, he says he believes in promoting environmental sustainability and disagrees with many positions that the Trump administration has taken on immigration.
Sal Romero, a Democrat in the five-candidate field for city council, is hoping the second time’s the charm as he focuses on education and inclusion in this year’s race—eight years after running unsuccessfully for council.