The City Council on Monday unanimously picked Harry J. "Hal" Parrish II over Ulysses X. White to become the new vice mayor of Manassas.
Members hope this will be the final move in a tumultuous five months that has changed the council membership.
"It's certainly an honor," said Parrish (R). "I look forward to serving Manassas in a slightly different capacity."
Council member J. Steven Randolph (I) also had considered vying for the position but ended up nominating White (R) at Monday's special City Council meeting. The rest of the council supported Parrish, and the vote was recorded as unanimous, per Randolph's request.
The vice mayor's slot opened when John P. Grzejka (R) stepped down in June to become commissioner of revenue, replacing the late Gary Plauger. Last week Eugene R. Rainville (R) was selected from nine candidates to fill Grzejka's spot on the council. Rainville was sworn in during Monday's special meeting.
In March, Judith S. Hays was appointed after Douglas S. Waldron, a fellow Republican, left the council to spend more time with his family.
The council supports a change in the city's charter that would force Hays's seat to a vote in next year's election. The charter change needs the approval of the General Assembly in Richmond.
The title of vice mayor is largely an honorific bestowed upon a council member by his peers, though it will allow Parrish to run meetings if Mayor Marvin L. Gillum (R) is absent. Parrish, who is president of Manassas Ice and Fuel Co., said that working locally makes it easier for him to attend every meeting.
Parrish has been on the City Council since 1993 and has distinguished himself as a probing questioner and analytic thinker. Parrish also claims deep ties to Manassas. His father, Harry J. Parrish, was the city's first mayor, serving from 1975 to 1981.