Chapel Hill town manager Cal Horton's upcoming retirement is major news. He has had a long, distinguished, and effective tenure. In my two years on the Council I've come to admire his many skills and, really, to count on him to be there to advance our objectives: the negotiation with Ram Development Corp. over our downtown project is one important example that comes to mind.
It's hard to imagine Chapel Hill without him. Council members knew that he was thinking about retirement, but we thought we had him for a few more years. He said that had been the plan, but that he and his wife Ginger had come to a different conclusion, realizing that you never knew what lay ahead, how much time you had.
The Council is going to have a tough job finding a worthy replacement. At least, in a move typical of Cal for its courtesy and and thoughtfulness, he has given us more than six months notice. He also said it mattered that this was not a Council election year. He has really thought it through. Yes, quite a challenge to find his successor.