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Bill Strom resigns from town council

Town Attorney’s memo on council vacancies.
Bill Strom’s Resignation Announcement

By Kirk Ross
Staff Writer

Chapel Hill — Bill Strom, who has served on the Chapel Hill Town Council since 1999, announced Wednesday afternoon that he is resigning “to pursue other personal and professional opportunities outside the community.”

In a statement emailed to The Citizen, Strom said his resignation is effective Aug. 1. He thanked his colleagues and the community.

“Serving as a council member in Chapel Hill has been a great honor, and I am deeply thankful for my fellow citizens’ trust and confidence in electing me three times,” the statement said.

Speculation about Strom’s plans began after he sold his home on Greenwood Road earlier this year and heated up when he did not enter the Chapel Hill mayor’s race after Mayor Kevin Foy said he would not seek another term. Strom was widely viewed as having a strong interest in the office.

He served as one of the town’s chief negotiators with the university on expansion plans for the main campus and Carolina North and was a member of the Triangle Transit Authority’s board of trustees. He recently was named by Leadership Triangle as the winner of the Goodmon Award for regional leadership by an elected official.

Strom’s announcement comes too late for his seat to be included in this year’s municipal races. The filing period for those races, which this year include mayor and four council seats, ended on July 17. According to Chapel Hill Town Attorney Ralph Karpinos, had Strom stepped down within three days of the end of the filing period his seat would have been included on the ballot and the town council would have been charged with filling his seat until the election.

With the announcement falling after the end of the filing period, Karpinos said the council will follow the procedures it used recently after the death of council member Bill Thorpe.

Karpinos said at the next council meeting, scheduled for Sept. 14, Foy will officially announce the vacancy. The council will then set a time period of not less than seven and not more than 30 days for applications for the seat. Council members will then review the applications and officially place names in nomination. After the nominations, the council must wait at least one week before making its decision. The new council member will serve out Strom’s term, which ends in December 2011.

The Citizen has published both Strom’s resignation announcement and Karpinos’ memo to the mayor and council on the procedures for filing the vacancy on our website at carrborocitizen.com/main

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