Chapel Hill News

Chapel Hill Town Council seat still vacant

The Town Council’s vote Monday failed to advance a pending decision about who would fill Matt Czajkowski’s vacant seat.

Six residents – Kevin Hicks, Adam Jones, Paul Neebe, Michael Parker, Amy Ryan and Gary Shaw – have applied to fill the seat Czajkowski left in March. The term expires in December.

Town rules require the council to consider the vacancy at every meeting until someone is appointed or voters elect a new member. The council must decide to fill the seat before voting to appoint a new member. An applicant needs five council votes to be appointed.

The 4-3 vote means the question will return to the council’s next meeting on Monday, May 18. Council members have hesitated to make the decision until all members are present. Councilman Lee Storrow was absent Monday; Councilwoman Donna Bell missed the previous meeting.

Waiting to vote is the best way to show the community that its council is fair and open-minded, Chapel Hill resident Nancy Oates said.

“By waiting until all eight members of the council are present until you make your decision, each of you will be on record as to where you stand,” she said, “and that increased transparency will go a long way to restoring some of the trust and accountability.