By Randy Arrington
STANLEY, April 8 — After serving nearly a quarter century as the town’s mayor and a council member, Doug Purdham will be returning to the Stanley Council next month.
On Wednesday night, the council unanimously appointed Purdham to fill the seat vacated by Mike Uram at the end of February.
Purdham was first elected to the council in 1992 and became mayor in 1996. He stepped down in 2016.
While several council members and citizens approached the former mayor about filling the void, the 69 year old said ultimately, two factors drove him to step back into public service.
“The first reason is I love this town, this community and its people,” Purdham said on Thursday. “Second, I believe we should work with a full council.”
Purdham acknowledges it’s a strange time to get back into public office.
“It’s a strange time to be doing anything,” he said in reference to the COVID-19 pandemic. “But I believe in community service. I believe if you live somewhere, you need to do whatever you can to make it the best place to live.”
The longtime mayor says he has no agenda heading back to the council, and no pet projects to push.
“Not until I get my feet wet and see what the priorities are,” he added. “I just want to offer my experience and opinions.”
The appointment lasts through Dec. 31, 2020.
If Purdham wants to retain the council seat, he will have to run in a special election in November. The town will be petitioning the Page County Circuit Court to hold that special election in conjunction with the general election this fall.
“Right now, it’s up in the air,” Purdham said of running in November. “When I approached the council, I said I would finish the year.
“I don’t know if I will seek the position again,” he continued. “I’m hoping there is more interest, but right now there doesn’t seem to be a lot.”
Whoever wins the seat in November will complete the remainder of Uram’s four-year term, which expires Dec. 31, 2022.
Two other council seats and the office of mayor will also be on the November ballot in Stanley.