Chambersburg Council: Chaudhry family move prompts resignation
Businessman Amer Chaudhry and his family moved this month, prompting his resignation from Chambersburg Borough Council. Chaudhry has represented the borough’s Fourth Ward for three years. His resignation was effective Nov. 9.
Chaudhrey’s term was not due to expire untilDecember 31, 2021.
Chaudhry purchased a new home with his family in the Borough’s Second Ward. Under Pennsylvania State law, if an elected official relocates their primary place of residence outside of their elected ward or neighborhood, they must vacate their seat.
Amer Chaudhry had the distinction of being both the first Muslim Council Member and the first of south Asian descent in Chambersburg’s history. He is a local entrepreneur, who together with his wife, Jasmina Ademovic, operates the Falafel Shack Restaurant, a popular local eatery on Chambersburg’s Memorial Square.
An active member of the community, Mr. Chaudhry was instrumental at representing Town Council in downtown civic affairs, on the Borough Planning and Zoning Commission, and as a member of the Board of Downtown Chambersburg, Inc.
“For the last three years, I have learned so much about our wonderful Borough of Chambersburg,” Chaudhry said in his email resignation. “It was an honor to serve as a Council Member for the 4th ward. My family and I moved yesterday to our new home in the 2nd Ward and the time has come for me to step down.”
Chaudhry praised for community involvement
Council Vice-President Michael Herbert and Council President Alice Elia praised Chaudhry’s work on behalf of the borough.
“It was an honor to serve with Amer, ” Herbert said. “I look forward to a continuous friendship.”
He urged Amer to run for office again “when the time is right for you and your family.”
“I consider it a true honor to have served with Amer,” Elia said. “He has brought so much to Council and has represented the Fourth Ward and our community well. It is my hope that at some point in the future, he will consider running for office again.”
At the Council Meeting, Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill summarized the replacement process pursuant to State law. Council has until December 2020 to name a replacement for Chaudhry to complete the balance of his term.
Council authorized an advertisement, which seeks volunteers to replace Chaudhry through December 31, 2021. Town Council will select one of the volunteers to take the open seat attheDecember 14 Council meeting.
Council must act to appoint a successor in December, Stonehill said. If Council doesn’t appoint a a successor in December, there will be a second opportunity in January 2021. Attorney Robert Schollaert, Chair of the Vacancy Board, would be present in January to help Council reach a consensus.
“I have every reason to believe that Council will fill the seat on December 14, without Mr. Schollaert’s assistance,” Stonehill said.
Volunteers must be age 18 or older and be a legal resident of the Borough’s 4th Ward for one year prior to appointment. The Borough’s Ward map is available on the Borough’s website.
Chambersburg Borough elected officials receive $4,125 per year and the Mayor or President receive $5,625 per year pursuant to State law. It is a stipend, not wages, and otherwise, no other benefits are provided. That stipend has been set at the maximum permitted since 1997.
Applicants interested in applying should send their resume and letter of interest to the Borough Secretary at[email protected]or call the Borough Secretary at (717) 264-5151.
The December 14discussion on the replacement will be conducted in public. Citizens are welcome to attend onMonday, December 14, at 7 p.m., at Chambersburg City Hall.