There is an inconsistency between the place we want Chapel Hill to be and the decisions our current leadership promotes.
We should grow in ways that enhance our college town character, which is our calling card for economic development and key to our long‐term success. Instead, we approve big new projects that change who we are without bringing the commercial space or moderately priced housing we need.
We need to plan for a solid financial future and diversify our tax base. Instead, we’re making short‐term budget decisions and approving more and more costly residential development.
We say we want to live up to our values of inclusiveness, social justice, affordable housing, and environmental standards. Instead, we make decisions that don’t reflect those values.
We must start working together to decide what’s best for the town. Instead, our leaders have fostered a divisive atmosphere, ignoring the input of advisory boards, alienating citizens, and devaluing productive cooperation.
It’s time to get our town back on track. It’s time for a new mayor.
My Plan for Chapel Hill
- Strengthen collaboration with the public schools, Orange County, and UNC. By not working with our partners, we have missed important opportunities for public benefits, such as requiring Obey Creek to contribute to new school needs or securing the county’s financial contribution for the Ephesus‐Fordham road improvements. I will change this culture, engaging with our allies on initiatives that are important to us all.
- Attract commercial development and new investment. One of my priorities is diversifying the tax base and building a more robust economy. There are opportunities for private‐public partnerships to create more commercial space and places for companies developing new technology. We should be providing more flexible office space where start‐up companies like those nurtured at Launch can move to the next level.
- Plan more effectively; execute more efficiently. I will encourage good growth that brings new vibrancy to town and enhances our college town character; support home‐grown business; and streamline the development process so that quality developers want to bring their projects to Chapel Hill.
- Make our government more responsive to citizens. We need to not just take input from citizens but respond to their concerns. I support holding a series of Town Hall meetings in local neighborhoods to listen to citizen issues; setting new guidelines for prompt response to petitions; and better incorporating advisory board input into the decision‐making process.