Four apply so far for vacant Morrisville Town Council seat

aramos@newsobserver.comJanuary 5, 2014 

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    Go to for more information about the vacancy on the Morrisville Town Council and application requirements. Information is also available in the lobbies of Town Hall, the Morrisville Aquatics & Fitness Center and the Cedar Fork Community Center.

— Four people, including a former council member, have applied so far to fill the vacant seat on the Morrisville Town Council.

The council began accepting applications last month to fill the at-large seat left open by Mark Stohlman, who was elected mayor in November. Interested candidates have until Jan. 17 to file an application with the clerk’s office.

Margaret Broadwell, who has served on the council intermittently since 1984 and was Morrisville’s first female mayor, has applied for the seat. She lost her District 4 seat in November to Vicki Scroggins-Johnson.

“I still have a desire to serve,” said Broadwell, 65. “The Town Council currently has a large number of projects in the pipeline. I would love to follow things through as well as bring a higher level of efficiencies through technology and bring more services to citizens through additional community events.”

Broadwell restarted the town’s annual holiday parade in 2011 and formed her own company, Variety Venues, to put on the event. She is co-owner of Leather Wraps, which imports artisan leather shawls from Ecuador.

“It’s a lot of hard work, and at the end of the day I feel I’ve contributed to the quality of life here in Morrisville,” Broadwell said about public service. “If I can make people happy, then I’m happy.”

Brian Donnelly and Z. Harlean Botha, who both volunteer with town-related groups, also want to serve on the council.

The fourth applicant did not meet the residency requirement for the job; the home has a Morrisville postal address but is within Cary town limits, according to Wake County records.

Donnelly, 44, is a real-estate broker and serves as a member of the town’s parks and recreation advisory board and economic development committee.

He said his parents instilled in him a sense of civic duty.

“When I first moved to town the first question I got from my parents was, ‘How are you going to serve your community?’ ” Donnelly said. “I have faith in this Town Council, and I think they are getting off on the right foot. I feel like I could be a part of it.

“I feel like I’m in tune with what’s going on. It’s not that big a leap from serving on a town committee to the Town Council as you would think. You work for the town, you work for the citizens, which is the same thing we do on the parks and recreation committee.”

Botha, 66, is a member of the town’s Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, and is secretary for Fire Chaplain 101, a Morrisville-based nonprofit that helps firefighters through grief and work-related stress.

Botha has a master’s degree in public administration.

“I was involved in some of the candidate races during the election,” Botha said. “I just got interested in the process, and I thought I’d toss my hat in the ring.”

Botha wants the town to do an in-depth survey of the current and future transportation plan, to build a soldiers’ memorial, to preserve historic properties and to build a public library.

The appointee chosen by the Town Council will be paid $9,400 a year, along with travel and training benefits, electronic equipment if needed and the option for medical and dental benefits.

Ramos: 919-460-2609; Twitter: @AlianaCaryNews

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