By Randy Arrington
STANLEY — Town staff seemed shocked at the announcement that came with no warning last week.
“This was growing… the people who knew me were wondering when this might happen,” Councilman Mike Uram told Page Valley News on Tuesday. “I don’t think I have any chance to make a change in Stanley.”
Last Wednesday, Uram placed his letter of resignation on the town manger’s desk, effective at midnight Saturday, Feb. 29.
Reports indicate that Uram has moved out of his Stanley apartment, but when asked if, when or why he might be leaving the area, Uram simply told PVN that he was “down South”… “800 miles away,” followed by: “I’ve punched out…I’m 73 years old, and hey… I have my bucket list.”
Town council now has 45 days (from March 1) to fill the vacant seat through an appointment, which will last through the end of the year. The town must then petition the Page County Circuit Court to hold a special election coinciding with November’s general election to fill the unexpired term, which runs through Dec. 31, 2022.
Two other council seats and the office of mayor will also be on the November ballot.
Uram was not quite midway through serving his second, four-year term on the Stanley Council. He was first elected in 2014, after several previously unsuccessful attempts. He was then re-elected in 2018.
While Uram would not answer specific questions on why he abruptly left the council or what his future plans were, his letter to the council offers some insight.
“I envisioned that my past knowledge would bring a new dimension to our Town of Stanley, our community and Page County,” Uram’s letter states. “My focus was what governments do; use the past as a benchmark to help in making better quality of life, economic stability, an open government with transparency, etc., instead of a close door atmosphere.
“Yes, I’m an outsider, but I care for our citizens. My career path I have taken, oaths of office very seriously from the military, as a police officer, and as an elected official,” the letter continues. “I believe in being a proactive individual, that thinks outside the box. I’m not a ‘Good Old Boy’ playing follow the leader nor bowing my head to a bully.”
With only four current sitting council members, Mayor Mike Knight could be a deciding vote on upcoming issues until an appointment is made. The Stanley Council will vote on accepting Uram’s resignation at its Wednesday, March 11 meeting.
“Listening from our citizens, providing the best possible solutions to make our community safe, enhancing other avenues to assist us, attending other meetings both outside our county and within our county gives one a richer, stronger outlook,” Uram’s letter states.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, the citizens, Town of Stanley citizens and Stanley proper, Town of Shenandoah, Town of Luray, and Page County for your support, your trust, your openness, of trying to move forward proactively.
“By stepping down I’m only the start of others to step up to move forward to bring enrichment, better government to our community.”
Those interested in applying for the vacant seat should contact the Town of Stanley. Council members receive $100 per month and no benefits. The deadline for an appointment is April 15.