ORANGE — Amanda Kurland was appointed to Village Council on Monday to fill the seat held by Pradip Kamat, who resigned on Sept. 21 effective immediately.

There were five candidates running for four council seats in the Nov. 2 election, including Ms. Kurland, Councilmen Alan Charnas, Judson Kline and Brent Silver and Councilwoman Lisa Perry. Since Ms. Kurland was appointed to council, she withdrew from the race last week. The council race in Orange is now uncontested.

Council President Brandon Duber said he received a call from Mr. Kamat regarding his resignation last week. Mr. Kamat did not return a call from the Times. He missed council meetings from February through June of 2020 due to an undisclosed illness. He has regularly attended council meetings since then, which have been held on Zoom. Mr. Kamat was elected in November of 2019.

“I respect his decision,” Mr. Duber said. “I followed up with an email to confirm and thanked him for service to his community. I wish him the best of luck in everything in the future.”

Mr. Kamat founded Indus International in 1992, a company that helps clients who have manufactured items in the U.S. find an overseas market in India. Mr. Kamat has served as CEO since its founding.

His wife, Deborah, also resigned from the Orange Board of Education in May for “personal reasons” after serving since 2018. Scott Bilsky, a former Orange councilman, was appointed to fill Ms. Kamat’s seat on the school board. He resigned as a councilman due to his move to Pepper Pike.

In the last three years, council members had to fill two other vacancies. One was when Ron Barron passed away during his term on council. Mr. Charnas was appointed to that seat in 2019 but lost his bid to retain his seat during the election that fall. He was re-appointed to council in October of 2020 to fill Mr. Bilsky’s seat.

For these past vacancies, council members informed village residents of the vacancy and asked for applications. They also interviewed candidates. Although this was their prior practice, Mr. Duber said it is not required per the charter to solicit and interview candidates.

According to the charter, council has 45 days from the date of the next regular council meeting following the date of the vacancy to fill it. Council members would have 45 days after their Oct. 13 meeting to fill the vacancy. If council did not fill the vacancy within that time frame, Mayor Kathy Mulcahy may do so.

Mr. Duber noted that Ms. Kurland already serves on the village’s Finance Committee. She applied for previous vacancies and ran for office in 2019, although she did not win a seat.

“Everyone on council is aware of her resume and what she brings to the village,” Mr. Duber said. “This time we’re doing it a bit differently and we’re appointing her. She was an obvious choice. It’s in the best interest of the village to move forward with the appointment of [Ms. Kurland] instead of the usual process we do.”

Ms. Kurland is a co-owner of Corky and Lenny’s, a restaurant and deli in Woodmere. Her term on council will expire on Dec. 31, 2023 and she plans to run for a four-year term in 2023.

“I am honored and thrilled,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to serving with the council members and serving the community. It’s been my goal and it’s exciting to reach that goal.”

Ms. Kurland said that she did not accept any campaign donations because she funded her own campaign. She spent little money, she said, and already had yard signs from her last campaign. Ms. Kurland thanked all of her supporters for their help during her campaign.

“I’m so thankful for all of them,” she said. “Hopefully they will still be generous in two years when I run again.”

Julie Hullett has been a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times since August of 2018 and covers Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. She graduated from John Carroll University with a journalism degree in 2018.

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