Two Chapel Hill Town Council members apologized Wednesday night over a recent vote to extend health insurance to outgoing members after two full terms.
"I wanted to offer an apology to anyone who was offended," member Ed Harrison said.
"I'd like to offer the same," said member Laurin Easthom.
She disagreed, however, with those who said the council was trying to pull a fast one by putting the issue on the consent agenda. The council does not typically discuss items on the consent agenda before voting.
The council rescinded its insurance vote at the next meeting. On Wednesday, Gregg Gerdau presented a petition with 600-plus names. It criticized that vote, along with the council's tax hike and planned pilot program for publicly financed town elections.
Gerdau thanked the council for rescinding its vote and quickly sat down. Minutes later, former council candidate and frequent critic Will Raymond came to the podium to offer a stinging rebuke. He called the insurance vote "sneaky" and its placement on the consent agenda suspect.
"This might have been a mistake, but it was no accident," said Raymond. "You're off the rails. Something has gone wrong here."
Veteran council member Bill Thorpe took it in stride. He suggested Raymond and other speakers were making political hay for another run for local office.
"It looks like the political season has already opened up," he said.