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Politics & Government

Wilm. City Council votes down recommended choice for vacant seat

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via Twitter @TwinPoets
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An ad hoc committee of 5 council members recommended Albert Mills fill the seat vacated by his twin brother, Nnamdi Chukwoucha

An open seat on Wilmington City Council will stay that way for a little while longer.

Council rejected a selection committee’s recommendation to fill the vacancy in District 1. 

That 5-member committee unanimously supported Albert Mills to replace his twin brother Nnamdi Chukwuocha, who was elected to the State House of Representatives last month.

But Thursday night Council voted 8-3 with one present against Mills, a social worker in Wilmington’s juvenile justice system and the state’s co-Poet Laureate along with his brother.

Several members voiced disapproval of the process, saying it lacked transparency and did not properly allow district residents to weigh in.

Councilwoman Rysheema Dixon was among them.

"It’s hard for me to make decision on this floor with having limited information.  So, its nothing against the candidate who was in the resolution.  It’s my objection to the process," said Dixon.

Councilwoman Michelle Harlee voted for Mills, saying he’s qualified, but also expressed reservations.

This process is (in the) city charter and we have to have some guidelines," said Harlee. "Yes, I believe it is broken.  I do not like this particular process. I do believe that 1st District residents should have been able to weigh in.  But today, this is the process. "

Councilman Vash Turner opposed Mills, and unsuccessfully attempted to force a vote on Subira Ibrahim to fill the seat.

Council President Hanifa Shabazz says the city is asking the General Assembly to amend its charter to allow vacancies to be filled by special election in the future.  But for now, the special committee will have to pick another person from the remaining 11 candidates it interviewed.

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