Published: Jan 25, 2013 02:03 PM
Modified: Jan 25, 2013 02:04 PM
CHAPEL HILL - Seven Town Council members chose former member Sally Greene to fill a vacant council seat Wednesday.
Council member Laurin Easthom, who supported Greene’s candidacy, also announced she will not seek re-election when her term ends this year.
Greene, who served on the Town Council from 2003 to 2011, will be sworn in Monday. She will serve until former council member Penny Rich’s term expires in December. Rich resigned from the Town Council when she was elected to the Orange County Board of Commissioners in November.
The council did not publicly discuss the decision, but Easthom said she based her vote on the community’s recently expressed confidence in Greene and its support for her in two previous elections.
“In my opinion, she is the most qualified and has the most experience,” Easthom said. “This is not a vote against any other applicants that applied.”
Council member Matt Czajkowski voted for Planning Board member Amy Ryan.
Ryan has 10 years of experience as a member of the Community Design Commission and Planning Board, he said. She also has been “a collaborator and a consensus builder” in the community debate about how the town’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan applies to the Central West (Estes Drive-MLK Boulevard) area, he said.
“She is quiet. She is thoughtful. I think she genuinely cares about preserving what we have in Chapel Hill,” he said.
Greene also has extensive experience, Czajkowski said.
During her previous tenure, she helped to strengthen the town’s affordable housing requirements, start the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness and create the 92-acre Morgan Creek Preserve. She also had a hand in a number of major residential and commercial developments, including UNC’s Carolina North project, and worked with multiple town committees and boards.
Greene works as a visiting lecturer in UNC’s Department of English and Comparative Literature.
Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said it was great to get to know all 11 applicants better.
Based on their qualities, the 2013 council election could be a good one, he said. Besides Easthom, Kleinschmidt and council members Gene Pease and Ed Harrison will face re-election decisions this year.
“The people in this community have some extra talent to choose from in selecting a new council member,” Kleinschmidt said.