In a move that surprised a lot of people, Summerfield Town Councilmember John O’Day has left the town and the Town Council.

O’Day and his wife have sold their house within the town limits and moved to a farm in the High Point area on NC 62 W.

That early May move meant that O’Day could no longer serve on the council, and now town leaders are looking to fill the vacancy.

O’Day did not return a Wednesday, May 4 voice message left with his cell phone by the Rhino Times.

The reason the move is surprising to many is that O’Day is a longtime councilmember who seemed to relish in that role and who appeared highly engaged in the business of the town. His term on the council was set to expire next year, but now he’ll no longer help lead the small town north of Greensboro with a population of about 11,000.

Summerfield is highly divided over questions of development and, at times in recent years, the Town Council meetings there have been somewhat hostile.

In early May, some residents of the town noticed moving vans at O’Day’s Summerfield residence, which is now under new ownership.

Former Summerfield Mayor BJ Barnes said on May 4, that he did know that O’Day had in fact left the council and a new town councilmember will have to be found.

“The process of filling that seat is already underway,” Barnes said.

The new councilmember will be chosen by a vote of the four remaining councilmembers. The town’s mayor gets a vote in case of a tie.

Barnes said one possible selection to fill the spot would “shock” and “please” a good number of people if selected, but he did not offer a name.