Tag Archives: Staunton City Council

2016 Staunton City Council election results

Staunton City went to the polls today and reelected all incumbents on City Council and School Board.

Here are the City Council results. Congratulations to all!


Candidate Votes Percent
Sarah P. Crenshaw 782 12.35%
Erik D. Curren 1,009 15.93%
James J. Harrington 1,153 18.21%
John A. Hartless 886 13.99%
Ophie A. Kier 1,261 19.91%
Andrea W. Oakes 1,229 19.41%
Write In 13 0.21%

Staunton proposes alternative to moving Augusta Courthouse

3841a-andreaoakesBy Andrea Oakes
Staunton City Councilwoman
Guest Post

An effort to preserve and retain the historic Augusta County Courthouse in the city of Staunton moved forward on Monday afternoon with a proposal to counter the county’s move of the courts complex to Verona with a new design to stay in Staunton. It would consolidate Staunton and Augusta County’s court services into shared buildings and shared costs.

The plan that was presented suggested renovating the historic county courthouse building and connecting it by an overhead walkway across the street to new court spaces on the corner of North Augusta and Johnson Streets that is now occupied by the Union Bank building. Behind the Cochrane building on West Beverley Street, another court space would be available, and would consolidate all the downtown courts into the three locations.

This plan would be able to provide additional parking, separate space for court personnel and the public, and cover anticipated space needs through 2035 at an estimated cost of $46 million.

By following through on this proposal, the courthouse complex would stay in downtown Staunton and the historic courthouse would remain a viable part of our community.

The Staunton News Leader has a detailed article about the proposed court space (see Staunton will propose shared courts to the county).


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Judge Stacey Moreau, sister of Staunton Councilwoman Andrea Oakes, tapped as one of the ‘Influential Women of Virginia’

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Judge Stacey Williams Moreau

Staunton City Councilwoman Andrea Williams Oakes

The Honorable Stacey Moreau, Pittsylvania County Circuit Court judge, has been tapped as one of the ten members the Virginia Bar Association named as “Influential Women of Virginia” by Virginia Lawyers Media, which publishes Virginia Lawyers Weekly.

Judge Moreau, 49, is the older sister of Staunton City Councilwoman Andrea Oakes who has been a member of council for seven years and before that served on Staunton’s School Board.

The “Influential Woman of the Year” for 2015 will be announced tonight while the honorees are being celebrated at a dinner and ceremony at Richmond’s Short Pump Hilton. All honorees will be will be highlighted in a special publication distributed at tonight’s event and included in the May 11th Virginia Lawyers Weekly.

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Staunton Councilwoman Andrea Oakes’ welcoming remarks at NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet

Andrea Oakes

Staunton Councilwoman Andrea Oakes

By Lynn R. Mitchell

During Staunton’s 67th Annual NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner last weekend, Councilwoman Andrea Oakes, who has been a member of the NAACP since 2000 and serves on their executive committee, welcomed the crowd that met at Covenant Presbyterian Church.  Former Staunton City Councilwoman Rita Wilson returned to her hometown from Richmond to act as MC in a room full of familiar faces.

Councilwoman Oakes’ welcoming remarks:

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Cole Brothers Circus and Staunton City councilwoman remember Eva Clark 108 years after her death

Cole Brothers CircusBy Lynn R. Mitchell

We don’t often associate the fun and excitement of the circus with tragedy but that is exactly what happened in Staunton 108 years ago.

In 1906, the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, now known as the Cole Brothers Circus, was in Staunton on its annual visit to entertain the community when catastrophe struck.

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Staunton City Council: New mayor and vice mayor elected

Staunton 2By Lynn R. Mitchell

July 1 marked the reconstituted Staunton City Council as they met to vote on a new mayor and vice mayor. Usually a cut-and-dried process that has been decided unofficially before the public vote, this year produced a bit more drama when Councilman Ophie Kier decided to abstain from voting for either position even though his name was entered for both.

In the vote for mayor, Carolyn Dull was nominated by Councilman Jim Harrington and Ophie Kier was nominated by Councilwoman Andrea Oakes. The vote broke down into 4 yes (Dull, Harrington, Terry Holmes, Walt Obenschain), 2 no (Erik Curren, Oakes), and 1 abstain (Kier).

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Betsy Bell Mountain: Staunton’s city council honors a tradition

By Andrea Oakes
Councilwoman, Staunton City Council

On a recent May afternoon, the members of Staunton’s city council drove to the top of Betsy Bell Mountain, a 70-acre public park located within the city limits, to fulfill a promise. Four-wheeling up the rough gravel road, they climbed out at the top (elevation 1,959 feet) and walked to the observation platform to take in the breath-taking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east, the Shenandoah Valley, and the city of Staunton that has built up around the mountain’s base.

Originally owned by John Lewis who founded Staunton, the mountain was passed down through the family over the years. In 1941,  owner Charles Catlett left the 50-acre summit to the city with a few stipulations:

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Staunton City Council election results

Staunton 1By Andrea Oakes
Staunton City Council

After today’s city council elections, I congratulate the winners — incumbent Carolyn Dull, Terry Homes, and Walt Obenschain — and look forward to working with them to continue making Staunton a great place to live, work, and play.


With 17 percent turnout, the results were:

– Carolyn Dull: 1,553
– Terry Homes: 1,507
– Walt Obenschain: 1,141

Thank you to Lacey King and Bruce Elder for their years of service to the city as they retire from council. It was a pleasure to serve with them.

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Staunton City Council elections Tuesday … what if there were purple fingers?

Staunton 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

Purple fingers, similar to “I voted” stickers in America, are proudly displayed in Afghanistan during elections where voters often risk their lives to exercise the freedom of casting a vote.  Staunton City Council elections are Tuesday. There are eight candidates running for three seats. The Staunton News Leader reports that there have been very low turnouts in past years.  What if voters’ fingers were stained purple to show who voted?

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Staunton News Leader endorses three city council candidates

Staunton 1

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The Staunton News Leader came out today with its editorial endorsement of three candidates for the upcoming May 6 city council elections. With three seats available — only incumbent Carolyn Dull ran for reelection and the retirement of Mayor Lacey King and Councilman Bruce Elder left two open seats — citizens have plenty of choices in eight candidates on the ballot.

The News Leader chose Carolyn Dull for reelection along with Terry Holmes who owns the Mill Street Grill and former school board member Walt Obenschain. Read the reasons for their choices in Dull, Holmes and Obenschain for Staunton City Council.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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