Manchester's Town Council tried three times Wednesday night to fill a council vacancy, but the three ballots, on three nominees, produced three split decisions.
The council did take initial action toward adopting new water and sewer rates.
The panel may try again Nov. 9 to choose former Councilman John A. Riley's successor.
The four remaining council members first tried to choose Mr. Riley's replacement at their Oct. 12 meeting. That night, the council voted on the vacancy twice and produced two 2-2 decisions.
Wednesday night, the council divided along the same lines.
On the first ballot, Councilwoman Charlotte B. Collett and Councilman Robert C. Kolodziejski voted for Robin Yingling. Mrs. Riley and Councilman Douglas E. Myers voted against.
Elwin Wagner was then nominated. Mrs. Riley and Mr. Myers backed him, but Mrs. Collett and Mr. Kolodziejski did not.
Next, former councilman Clyde Kreitzer was nominated. Mrs. Riley and Mr. Myers voted for him, and Mrs. Collett and Mr. Kolodziejski voted against him.
Mr. Myers said yesterday he favors holding a special election or a nonbinding referendum to select someone to fill the vacancy.
"We're never going to get it accomplished like this," he said. "How else are you going to do it?"
The town charter does not include such an option, Mayor Earl A.J. "Tim" Warehime Jr. said yesterday.
However, Town Manager Terry L. Short said yesterday that the town attorney will be asked to check whether the charter can be amended to allow a special election or to allow the Town Council to ask for a nonbinding referendum on the vacancy.
Also at Wednesday's meeting, Councilwoman Kathryn L. Riley introduced an ordinance that would replace the town's water and sewer rate structure.
Under the proposed ordinance, residential water customers would pay $9.60 a quarter plus $1.87 per thousand gallons used. Residential sewer customers would pay $12.00 a quarter plus $5.25 per thousand gallons.
The ordinance also would subject all local businesses, industries and institutions to the same water and sewer rates.
Currently, Manchester has five separate nonresidential water and sewer rates, for industry, schools and colleges, hospitals and nursing homes, hotels and motels, and other businesses.
The proposed ordinance is subject to change before a vote on it, which is scheduled for Nov. 9.