Marie Waller plans to seek City Council seat
By Alicia Petska
Monday, February 11, 2008
Long-time educator Marie Waller announced Monday she plans to seek the Ward IV seat on Lynchburg City Council.
“I have taught the theory of the governmental process for 45 years,” Waller said from the front steps of E.C. Glass High School, where she made her announcement flanked by a group of supporters. “Today, I am ready to be involved in how our government operates day to day and to have a voice in how it is accomplished.”
Waller, 68, said she’d run as an Independent. She’s the only candidate to emerge so far in the Ward IV race. Current Councilman Joe Seiffert announced last week he plans to retire.
If elected in May, Waller would be the fourth woman to sit on City Council. She said she would support the continued revitalization of Lynchburg’s downtown and take a hard look at how development is impacting the city’s environment.
Among her supporters Monday was former mayor Pete Warren, who called her an “outstanding person.” Warren does not live in Ward IV, but said he still would work for and support Waller’s campaign.
“For 45 years she has been a stellar teacher in the city schools and taught many, many students about the importance of being involved in civics and the community,” he said. “Now that’s she retired, she has the opportunity to put those theories into practice.”
Waller, a former government teacher and one-time head of the social studies department at E.C. Glass, retired last year.
Throughout her career, she often said she might have gone into politics instead of education had women had such opportunities when she was young.
“I miss teaching,” she said. “But I’m excited about this opportunity to do something and stay involved with the city.”
Of Lynchburg’s seven City Council seats, four will be up for election this May.
Only one race is contested so far. In Ward III, Babcock & Wilcox Company employee Nathanial “Nat” Marshall is challenging incumbent Jeff Helgeson.
In Ward I and Ward II only incumbents Mike Gillette and Ceasor Johnson, respectively, have announced plans to run.
The deadline to enter the Lynchburg City Council race is March 4.