BEHIND THE DAIS | New Roles Accent New Governing Body


After the new City Council was sworn in last week, roles were rearranged, names from the past returned and future paths were hinted at as a new group of policy makers took their oaths.

Vice Mayor Kerry Donley officially came back to the city government one notch lower on the totem pole than when he left as mayor in 2003.

Its good to be back, Donley said, eliciting applause from a crowd that sounded like they had heard his name before.

As a result, Councilwoman Del Pepper also received a new title, though not an unfamiliar one for the longest tenured member (24 consecutive years) of the City Council.

But no member of Council received more hoots and hollers than Councilman Frank Fannon, the third-highest vote getter in Mays election and the first Republican on City Council since 2003. The audience cheered as if at a sporting event, not a traditional ceremony.

I put myself forth because of my love for this great city, Fannon began. While I cant promise progress will happen overnight, I guarantee you that I will work to move us closer everyday.

Councilman Rob Krupicka announced that he would not be sworn in as an Alexandria Council member again, though he planned to serve in some fashion. Krupicka told the Times he does not know the specifics of his future, but did not rule out running for mayor or a state level office in the future.

While I plan to seek a new opportunity to serve, I want to let another person earn this seat to ensure that fresh ideas and energy continue to guide Alexandria forward, Krupicka said.

Councilwoman Alicia Hughes took the place of former councilman Justin Wilson as the youngest member of the City Council at 34 years old. The newest resident of the city among her colleagues, Hughes was sworn in after some residents alleged she was not an eligible resident to run for her post, and received ample applause for her terse words on the low graduation rate among public schoolers.

This is not a place that has been home because I was born in Alexandria, she said. I chose this place because it represents opportunity and it represents that thing in your heart that says this is where I want to be.

Mayor Bill Euille and Councilman Paul Smedberg remain in their current positions for at least another three years as former councilmen Ludwig Gaines, Tim Lovain and Wilson exited as elected public officials.