Her motives aside, Ward 7 Alderman Esther Armmand’s decision to vacate her seat at the end of the month is ill-timed and will disenfranchise a significant portion of the ward if there is a special election to replace her during the summer. Ward 7, which includes Davenport and Pierson colleges and a smattering of undergraduates and graduates living on Park Street, is a seasonally active ward that lies dormant in the summer when an election would be held to accommodate Armmand’s surprise announcement to leave office April 30.
The timing is crucial because Armmand’s seat is up for grabs this year, and the winner of a special election will have a distinct advantage in next year’s general election. But a major portion of the ward will unable to cast a ballot; based on Armmand’s calendar, an election must be held within the next 60 days. One candidate for her seat, a Yale law student, said he will not run, in part because a presumed student base of support will be outside New Haven during the election this summer.
Armmand’s resignation, sadly, will silence the student voice within the ward.