Make Tim the mayor already

Fear and Loathing in Waynesboro column by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net

If what I was told is right, Tim Williams isn’t as much considering a run for mayor as a run for mayor is being considered for Tim Williams.

And I’m guessing what I was told is right. The Man Who Otherwise Would Be Mayor, Frank Lucente, told me about the plan over lunch last week.

He had asked me then not to talk about the Williams-for-mayor idea publicly, but the cat is out of the bag now.

Lucente told me that he first broached the idea to Williams on Election Night. The Lucente-Williams-Bruce Allen troika had just been swept into political power in the May 6 elections, and the assumption of many – even Williams, according to Lucente – was that Lucente, the kingmaker who crafted the threesome’s campaign strategy, would succeed Tom Reynolds as the next mayor.

Lucente shared with me two key reasons that he had in mind for making Williams mayor. One, that it’s been a while since the mayor has come from Ward A; Lucente actually said Ward A has never had a mayor, but I haven’t had a chance to verify that independently yet. Two, Lucente said Williams could use the extra money that is paid to the mayor. According to the article on this in today’s News Virginian, Williams recently started a new job contracting for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Reason one I can see. Personally, I’d like to see the city adopt a system similar to the one in place in Augusta County where the board of supervisors rotates its chair position every year so that different parts of the county can lay claim to the chair on a somewhat regular basis.

As Lucente and I agreed over lunch last week, the mayor position in Waynesboro is largely ceremonial anyway. It’s not like we’re Richmond with an elected mayor who is basically the CEO of city government.

As to the second reason, I don’t know that I can agree with us choosing a mayor, ceremonial or not, because it would boost the personal finances of the person getting the job. That’s just … too unseemly to even go into more detail on.

Lucente did offer up a third reason to put Williams in the post. “He has a strong voice,” Lucente said, and I have to agree with him there. Williams is a top-notch vocalist, and if you’ve never heard him belt a tune, you’ve missed something.

Lucente’s soft, sometimes inaudible voice can only be boosted by a microphone so much. Allen, for what it’s worth, could probably handle the mayor’s job from a vocal-chord perspective.

So we’ve gone down the list of reasons presented to me for making Williams mayor. Score two in his favor and a big one in the other direction.

What would Meatloaf say? Two out of three ain’t bad?

Good luck, Tim. Or should I say, Mr. Mayor …


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