Marlin W. Sharp appointed to the Windsor Town Council

Published 6:47 pm Friday, January 13, 2023

The Windsor Town Council emerged from closed session Tuesday, Jan. 10, and voted 5-0 to appoint Marlin W. Sharp to the Town Council to fill the vacancy created when Vice Mayor Greg Willis resigned Dec. 31.

Sharp has been appointed to Willis’ council seat, not the office of vice mayor, to which Councilman J. Randy Carr was elected Tuesday by unanimous council vote.

Sharp was one of four candidates running for three available seats on the Town Council in the November 2022 general election. Though he came up short, he still received a solid 310 votes.

When Willis later announced he would be resigning due to ongoing health challenges, the town put out a call for cover letters and petitions for applicants that may be interested in filling the council seat. The council is required by town charter and state code to appoint a replacement within 45 days of the vacancy.

“I just went on the website to find out what the process was in order to fill that seat, and I followed through on the process that they had laid out,” Sharp said during a Thursday, Jan. 12, interview.

He described his unanimous appointment to the council as an “incredible honor.”

With this appointment, Sharp will serve on the council through Dec. 31, 2023. The four-year term to which Willis was elected will expire a year later — Dec. 31, 2024.

In order to stay in the council seat for 2024, Sharp must run and win in a special election that will be held at the same time as the general election in November 2023. This special election is being held to allow the voters to determine who will serve the balance of Willis’ unexpired term.

The Town Council voted 5-0 on Tuesday to adopt a resolution authorizing Town Attorney Fred Taylor to petition the Isle of Wight Circuit Court for a Writ of Election for that special election.

If Sharp runs and wins in November and then aims to stay in the seat for a new, full, four-year term after Willis’ term expires, he will need to run again in November 2024.

“A lot of running to just hold onto a seat, and that’s fine,” Sharp said. “My wife was asking me about that: ‘Are you sure you want to run that many times?’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t know. We’ll find out.’”

Sharp, 67, has lived in Windsor since June 2020. In his candidate Q&A that he filled out leading up to the November 2022 election, he noted that his occupation is field director for S.T.A.N.D. — Staying True to America’s National Destiny — in Chesapeake.

Also in the Q&A he listed his primary qualifications for serving on the council as follows: “I am a resident of Windsor. I care about my community. I pay taxes. I attend Windsor Town Council meetings on a regular basis.”

A prior elected office that he held was president of the Landstown Community Civic League in Virginia Beach.

When asked in the Q&A what Windsor’s top priority should be right now, he stated, “I would like to see a greater emphasis on attracting new businesses to spur economic growth.”

In his Thursday interview, he was asked if any of his candidate Q&A answers have changed or if he would like to add anything to them, and he said, “No, not really. I want to keep an ear to the wind, so to speak. I want to hear from people, what they think and just be aware of what’s happening in the community and being on top of things.

“I guess I’ll put it this way: I don’t want to be sitting on the sidelines watching things go by,” he added. “I want to be involved in making good things happen and keeping bad things from happening — that’s pretty much how I would sum things up.”

He mentioned in the Q&A a desire to see more citizens attending Town Council meetings, and when prompted, he did elaborate on this point Thursday.

“That is one of my main goals is to get more people involved,” he said. “It’s interesting to me that it doesn’t seem like there’s very many people — at least not the ones that I’ve run into — who have any interest at all in Town Council, as to what’s happening, the decisions that are being made.”

He said that as he was gathering signatures last summer and as he interacted with people during his campaign, very few people asked questions.

“Very few people made any kind of statements whatsoever as far as what was happening, and that, to me, is disturbing,” he said. “I think people ought to be aware of what’s going on. Local government, to me, is the most important anyway. We’re all aware of what’s happening on the national scene, but local government is much more important because that affects what’s happening in your own neighborhood.”