The Haymarket Town Council has agreed to postpone action on filling the mayor's seat until a recent decision by a special three-judge panel annulling the May 1 election of Terri R. Freeborn is premanently entered into court records.
On Monday, Town Attorney Turner Smith advised the council that, excepting further instruction from the court, the council does have the authority under state and local law to appoint a new mayor. However, Turner recommended that the council wait until the court order is final, which may take another month.
On Aug. 14, the court ruled that Freeborn had effectively withdrawn from the race a month prior to the election even though her name remained on the ballot.
Richard G. Bird, who was an official candidate but received four fewer votes than Freeborn, contested the election results and asked the Prince William County Circuit Court to order a special election.
The court, however, left the question of how the seat should be filled up to local and state law. Vice Mayor John Kapp is acting mayor.
At the court's direction, Bird's attorney, Steven P. Woodside, is preparing an interpretation of the court order. The court order will remain in "the bosom of the court" for 21 days, during which period the judges can modify the order, according to Turner.
Woodside contends that state and town laws provide for a special election to fill the mayor's seat.