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Carrboro to fill vacant alderman seat in November election

The Carrboro aldermen have decided to fill their board’s vacant seat during November’s general election, when other municipal races will be on the ballot.

“We are not appointing,” Alderwoman Jacquie Gist said Tuesday night.

The board approved the measure unanimously in less than a minute.

Unlike many municipalities in the state, Carrboro's elected officials have the choice of appointing a new member to fill a vacancy, or holding a special election, which it agreed to do as part of this fall’s general election when voters will already be casting ballots. Town leaders asked the General Assembly in 2006 to allow special municipal elections following a controversial appointment process that lasted six weeks, resulting in the appointment of Dan Coleman.

Last week’s decision follows Mayor Pro Tem Michelle Johnson’s decision to move across the country. Her replacement will serve out the remainder of her term, which ends in 2019.

The mayor's seat and three seats on the board will also be up for grabs in November. Mayor Lydia Lavelle has already announced she'll be seeking a third term. Board members Gist, Randee Haven-O’Donnell and Sammy Slade will also see their current terms end, but haven't yet announced if they'll run for re-election.

Filing for the November elections begins July 7.

In other business Tuesday:

▪ Police Chief Walter Horton announced the promotion of Sgt. James Walker to lieutenant and Officer Trey Kennedy to sergeant.

▪ Lavelle proclaimed June 7, 2017 as “Carrboro High School Women’s Soccer Day,” the month of June as “Immigrant Heritage Month,” the week of June 18 as “Carrboro Pollinator Week” and the month of June as “LGBT Pride Month” in the Town of Carrboro. In association with Pollinator Week, the movie “Hometown Habitat” will be shown at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 18 in the Carrboro Century Center.

▪ The board considered amendments for parking restrictions on Cobb Street, Broad Street, and bike lanes on Hillsborough Road and Pathway Drive. The Board adopted an ordinance amendment that will extend bike lanes along both sides of Hillsborough Road to its intersection with Old Fayetteville Road, consistent with existing pavement markings. No amendments were made regarding Cobb Street, Broad Street, and Pathway Drive. Staff will bring back further information on those three locations at a later date.

▪ The board established a stormwater management utility, effective July 1, 2017. The FY 2017-18 budget has $308,383 of fund balance to be used for the utility during the upcoming fiscal year. It is projected that a permanent funding structure will be adopted and utilized for fiscal years 2018-19 and beyond.

Elizabeth Friend: