WLM City Council 011019
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Wilmington City Council's inability to fill a vacancy in the First District has led to a slowing of other business.

Some members of council voted "no" on an ordinance that would've established a Census 2020 Complete Count Committee.  That followed a promise from some council members, who said they won't vote on other matters until it's filled.

"I just want to put out there that I'm not supporting anything that comes before us until we fill the First District seat," said Councilman Trippi Congo.

Congo made the declaration before the vote on the census committee at Thursday night's council meeting as the fight over the vacancy heats up.

Other council members also voted "no" along with Congo, including Bob Williams, Vash Turner, Yolanda McCoy, and Sam Guy. Guy also held one particular item of legislation.

"I don't know how many ways we're going to embarrass this council, but to say we're not going to conduct any business is just ridiculous," said Councilman Bud Freel. "I've never seen anything like this."

As for the empty First District seat, legislation amending city code to put all members of council on a selection committee to fill a vacancy was introduced; it still has to go through committee and a full council vote to be approved.

"My question is--if we're not going to conduct business, first of all, are we in violation of the charter or the code? And second of all should we be getting paid?" asked Freel. "Somebody else made a comment that the First District doesn't have representation, there's a mayor that represents that area, there's a president of council that represents that area, there's four at-large council members; they [also] have a state senator, state representative, a county councilman."

Meanwhile, Guy also filed a motion in Chancery Court for the court to decree that council has completed its portion of the city code (Wilmington City Code Sec. 2-34) of creating a committee to select a candidate to be voted on by the full council.

He also wants it to be judged that now the council is allowed to fill the vacancy in accordance by the city charter (Wilmington City Charter Sec. 2-101) allowing the full council by a majority vote to appoint a qualified person without going back to the selection committee again.

This article originally ran on wdel.com.

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