Council deadlock broken


The 10th try was a charm.

At its regular meeting last night, the Manchester Town Council, in its 10th attempt, chose Christopher D'Amario to fill the council vacancy created when John A. Riley resigned Oct. 12.

Nine previous ballots, cast in four prior council meetings, produced 2-2 ties.

Last night, Councilman Robert Kolodziejski nominated Mr. D'Amario, who was first runner-up in the May 18 council election with 80 votes. The lowest successful candidate, incumbent Councilwoman Charlotte B. Collett, received 87 votes. Councilman Douglas Myers seconded Mr. D'Amario's nomination. The four-member council approved the nomination unanimously, with no discussion.

The Town Hall audience of about 20 people responded with applause.

"I'm just glad it's over, and now we can get on with the town's business," Mr. D'Amario said.

He said he was "really surprised" that the council chose him.

Mr. D'Amario said he did not know before the meeting that he would be chosen. He said he had been keeping "a low profile" since the birth of his third child in mid-October.

Mr. D'Amario was a member of the town's ad-hoc committee on water and sewers until the committee was disbanded May 26.

Mr. D'Amario said he had doubted that he would be considered as a candidate for the vacancy because of sharp remarks he and council members had exchanged at meetings.

"It's not a problem with me, and I don't think it's a problem with anyone else," he said last night.

"I'm glad it's settled," said Councilwoman Kathryn L. Riley after the meeting.

Mayor Earl A. J. "Tim" Warehime Jr. said he was "very happy" with the decision. He responded by canceling the Dec. 22 council meeting -- a reward that he had dangled before the panel as an enticement to fill the vacant seat.

At age 32, Mr. D'Amario, is the council's youngest member. He is a forensic chemist at the state police crime laboratory and Carroll County General Hospital. He has been a resident of Manchester for almost two years.

He said last night that he would be interested in working with the council on the town's water and sewer systems, because of his experience on the ad-hoc committee.

Mr. D'Amario was sworn in after last night's council meeting so he could sit in on a closed session that followed. Before he took the oath of office, he offered Mayor Warehime a hastily scribbled letter of resignation from his post on the town ethics commission. A person may not serve on the Town Council and the ethics commission simultaneously.

The closed session of the council was held to "consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto," according to the published agenda.

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