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Haw River council decides on process to fill vacant seat

Haw River’s town council this week decided how it will go about filling the vacant seat left by Kelly Allen’s election as mayor in November.

Allen, who had already been on the council for a decade prior to her election, took over the post from former mayor Buddy Boggs, whom she defeated, leaving her council seat empty.

In deciding how the vacant seat would be filled, the council members were told by town attorney Charlie Davis that while they have the right to appoint a new member, they are also welcome to wait until the seat comes up for election in November.

The four-person council ultimately decided to reuse the same format from when they appointed Patti Wilson to the council at the end of 2018 following the resignation of Jeff Fogleman. Wilson was elected to the board last November.

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In that case, the council received applications from four residents and conducted public interviews. Following the interviews, the council members voted using a paper ballot; the individual votes were immediately shared following the decision.

Though Wilson was chosen on the first round of voting, the council had been told that it could vote for up to three candidates. The rationale was that the pool of hopefuls would be narrowed with each round of voting.

“I think it’s a fair process,” Wilson said, recounting her own experience.

Town manager Sean Tencer said that a notice asking for applicants will be posted on February 3, with the town accepting applications, available at town hall or through the town’s website, from then until February 25. The council then expects to hold a special-called meeting in March for interviews.

At the end of the process, Davis said that the council can either appoint a new member or reject the applications and start another search.

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