Matthew Sullivan, staff legal adviser for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said even with the new changes, the injunction will continue to be in effect.
“We are still prohibited from enforcing the current tow ordinance until after we resolve the injunction and the court action that we currently have pending in court,” he said.
Council members Matt Czajkowski and Laurin Easthom voted against the ordinance change.
Czajkowski said the council should not be debating the issue just because it was hit with an injunction.
“I’m not voting to amend an ordinance to fix a problem with an ordinance that I didn’t think was a good idea to begin with, sorry,” he said.
“I think it just makes our process look sort of reactionary, and I don’t think it really speaks especially well for the way we conduct things.”
Council Member Lee Storrow said the changes were necessary in order to resolve a conflict in town law.
“We made a modification to deal with the conflict between tow-truck operators who are required to have a cell phone available,” he said.
Storrow said he would have liked for the issue to have been dealt with during the normal decision-making process, instead of afterwards.
“It’s unfortunate that the mindset that this interest group used was to not be a part of the dialogue and the process, and instead litigate against us after the fact,” he said.
The council also decided to delay the implementation of an education outreach program on the new cellphone ordinance.
George King, owner of George King Towing Service, is suing the town to repeal both ordinances.
King could not be reached for comment.
King’s lawyer, Thomas Stark, said the cellphone ban makes it impossible for King to comply with the towing ordinance, which requires tow operators to answer their cellphones while working.
Ralph Karpinos, town attorney, said a date for the next hearing has not been set.
Contact the City Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.