Cary News

Morrisville Town Council names two finalists to fill vacant seat

The Morrisville Town Council on Tuesday named two finalists for a vacant council seat.

Kris Gardner, 37, an attorney, and Jason Faber, 40, managing partner at Perimeter Studio & Conference Center, are the finalists.

The council is expected to choose a new member on March 11. The winner will fill the seat left vacant last fall when then-Councilman Mark Stohlman was elected mayor. Two years remain in the seat’s term.

A total of 16 people applied for the seat. One was disqualified because the listed address was in Cary, and two others withdrew.

Former Morrisville Councilwoman Margaret Broadwell initially applied for the spot, but she was among those who withdrew her name from consideration.

Broadwell, a Democrat, announced Tuesday that she is running for the N.C. House District 40 seat. She will run against GOP incumbent Marilyn Avila.

Gardner was the top vote-getter on Tuesday, winning votes from all six council members. He was the only unanimous choice. Faber won four votes.

Morrisville leaders opted to select a new member through rounds of voting and interviews. Due to scheduling conflicts, Gardner and Faber missed the initial candidate interviews and had to make their pitch to council members on Tuesday.

Gardner portrayed himself as a candidate with a lot of government experience who could help Morrisville at the state level. He said he is a registered state lobbyist.

“My background is as an attorney, representing a small town in Halifax County, and I’ve sat with many boards across the state,” Gardner said. “I am familiar with the process. I’ve seen budgets, services the town provides.”

Faber said his career as a communications management expert would bring occupational diversity to a council that already has members with deep government experience.

“I don’t think they need more government experience,” he said. “I think they need someone who understands communication and strategy and understanding of how vision really engages the community. I think there is a disconnect. I’m the right person to help do that.”

Faber, who is deaf, is a member of the Morrisville Chamber of Commerce’s Innovation Foundation.