In Chapel Hill, Council members serve four-year terms, so every two years, half of the eight council seats are contested. This fall, six challengers have joined incumbents Donna Bell, Lee Storrow and Jim Ward to compete for four seats. (When Matt Czajkowski resigned before the end of his term Council declined to appoint a replacement creating an electable seat for voters to fill.) Details of the candidates are below.
Chapel Hill voters also elect a Mayor every two years. Mark Kleinschmidt has completed his third term and is running for a fourth term. He has two challengers for Mayor.
Here are the new candidates for Mayor:
Pam Hemminger, the owner and manager of Windaco Properties LLC, has served one term as a County Commissioner and four years on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board as vice chairwoman and chairwoman. She is a former member of Chapel Hill’s Parks and Recreation Commission and the Greenways Commission.
Pam has been active in Triangle United Soccer Association, Rainbow Soccer and at Ephesus Elementary and Phillips Middle schools. She is past chairwoman of the Orange-Chatham Sierra Club and is now a Habitat for Humanity of Orange County board member. Read more about her here.
Gary Kahn – a 2 year resident of Chapel Hill, Gary has run for Council in the past and applied to fill the vacant seat on the council earlier this year. A campaign website could not be located at press time.
Here are the new candidates for Town Council:
Jessica Anderson – a parent and homeowner who has lived with her husband and daughter in Chapel Hill for 5 years. Anderson holds a Master’s in Public Policy, with a concentration in social policy, from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and has spent her professional career immersed in education policy at the national and state levels.
Jessica has volunteered for the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools Blue Ribbon Mentor- Advocate Program and the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Mother’s Club. Read more about her here.
Adam Jones – a 30 year resident, and owner and manager of Mill House Properties, has no prior political experience. He applied for the empty council seat earlier this year. A campaign website was not available at press time.
Paul Neebe – grew up in Chapel Hill and returned as an adult; he is a professional freelance musician and real estate broker. He has served on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, and is currently on the Chapel Hill Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board, and the Bicycle Alliance of Chapel Hill (BACH). He has run for the Council before and applied for Matt’s seat earlier this year. Read more about him here.
Nancy Oates – a resident since 1996, Nancy is a freelance writer and editor for magazines, university publications and local newspapers. She has volunteered in schools, the PTA Thrift Shop and the IFC shelter kitchen and has held leadership positions at University Presbyterian Church.
Nancy started ChapelHillWatch.com – a popular blog about local government that holds the Mayor and Council members up to scrutiny and allows others to express diverse views. She watched Council meeting for years and realized that important decisions are made there affecting quality of life for residents. When Chapel Hill Watch became widely followed the Weekly and the Chapel Hill News asked her to write for them. Read more about Nancy here.
Michael Parker – a resident of downtown and Chapel Hill for 4 years, Michael serves on the Chapel Planning Commission, as well as on the Boards of the Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the Downtown and the Arts Center in Carrboro. He applied for the vacant seat on Council earlier this year. Read more about him here.
David Schwartz – a lifelong resident of Chapel Hill, David holds a PhD in Psychology; he has has worked as a scientific researcher and professor at Duke and UNC, and as a freelance academic editor. He is a Chapel Hill News columnist and regular commentator on WCHL radio station. He led the efforts to obtain Neighborhood Conservation District protection for the Little Ridgefield neighborhood and to improve the Ephesus-Fordham redevelopment plan.
As a co-founder of the Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town, he has worked to promote good governance and a more prosperous, sustainable, and just future for the town. Read more about him here.
Currently serving Council members Ed Harrison, Sally Greene, George Cianciolo, and Maria Palmer are not up for election until 2017. A future newsletter will highlight the voting records of the Mayor and all the Council members during their past terms.