In an unexpected turn of events, the Richmond City Council selected Vinay Pimple, a 47-year-old attorney, to fill the vacant seat left by Tom Butt’s election as Mayor.
After failing for three weeks to select among the 18 residents who applied for the seat, the Council selected Pimple with no formal discussion or debate. Eduardo Martinez made the motion to appoint Pimple, which was seconded by Nat Bates. Mayor Butt and Jael Myrick joined with the majority to appoint Pimple with Gayle McLaughlin and Jovanka Beckles abstaining.
The selection of Pimple is likely to surprise many who saw the Richmond Progressive Alliance members as unwavering in their insistence that a member of their organization fill the vacant seat.
Pimple, who is blind, earned a law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law. In his application for the council seat, Pimple cited his work planting trees, mentoring at-risk youth and teaching math to adults studying for their GED degrees among his community service qualifications. Bates initially moved to nominate Pimple at the Feb. 18 council meeting. Martinez seconded the motion but Myrick, McLaughlin and Butt abstained. Beckles voted no.
According to the application, Pimple’s goals as a City Councilmember include:
- Work with the school district and other groups to implement solutions for improving student results.
- Create more jobs with better outreach to businesses.
- Use sound reasoning skills to craft laws that address the concerns of all council members whenever possible.
- Respect all other council members, and understand that we all want very similar things for the people of Richmond.
Pimple will be sworn in at the March 3 City Council meeting.