Chapel Hill’s Rich resigns Town Council seat

tgrubb@newsobserver.comNovember 21, 2012 

— Penny Rich ended her last Town Council meeting Monday, although she won’t officially resign until Dec. 2.

Rich thanked her fellow council members and an “amazing” town staff for the last three years. She’s looking forward to working with them on a different level as a county commissioner starting Dec. 3, she said.

“We are not just the municipality and the county, we are all Orange County, and we’re starting to get a little bit more regional, so we’ve got to start thinking outside the box,” she said.

Rich said she will take many memories, from council member Gene Pease’s words that “made an impression in my mind” to the many times she was mistaken for council member Donna Bell – “my sister separated at birth.” She also noted working with council member Jim Ward on mutual projects.

“Certainly, Rogers Road has been an eye-opener. A very hard committee to serve on but very rewarding at the same time,” she said.

Ward offered her this advice: Don’t forget where you’re from or where you live.

“Your enthusiasm, energy and the way you make yourself available to the public has been ... really wonderful. It’s been an example that I would like to emulate,” he said.

Rich saved Town Manager Roger Stancil for last, “because I think you’re just an amazing manager.”

“I think you can have a good staff, but if you don’t have a good manager, nothing works, nothing fits,” she said.

Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt will set a period to accept applications Dec. 3 for Rich’s replacement. Five residents already have expressed interest in finishing Rich’s term, which ends in December 2013.

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