Category Archives: Local Elections Matter
This election was a significant win because voters chose a new mayor over a popular incumbent, Mark Kleinschmidt. Pam Hemminger became Mayor of Chapel Hill on December 2nd. Jessica Anderson and Nancy Oates, endorsed by C.H.A.L.T., filled two of the four available seats on the Town Council. Congratulations to all who won. To see the video of the ceremony – farewell to the old council and the seating of the new – click here.
C.H.A.L.T. supporters look forward to working together with the mayor and all the council members, including incumbent council member Donna Bell and newly elected council member Michael Parker, and currently serving members Sally Greene, Ed Harrison, George Cianciolo, and Maria Palmer to plan for the future.
Supporters of the Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town worked hard in this election to clarify the choices for the voters. We campaigned for a mayor and town council that would insist on transparent fiscal management, responsible environmental stewardship, approvals that respect our college town character and won’t raise Chapel Hill’s cost of living, a town-wide traffic plan, and decisions that take into account the best input from citizens and advisory boards. In the forums and discussions, “supporting leaders who listen” was a theme with which many voters resonated.
We are very grateful to our many volunteers who hand wrote postcards, hosted coffees, canvassed, designed ads and wrote letters. Generous supporters helped us and because we believe in transparent financial reporting we followed state law to the letter forming a North Carolina CHALT political action committee. It takes a tremendous team to run a successful campaign and we are proud to have reignited a high degree of community activism.
Especially when the issues are controversial, local campaigns have tremendous value. More people than ever before became interested in discussing the pros and cons of the direction the town has taken in the last several years. We put forth our point of view on these topics as clearly as we could.
David Schwartz did not win a seat, though he came close, finishing only 295 votes behind Michael Parker. David’s research and analysis of land management were instrumental in forming our ideas, and through his writing and public speaking he has greatly enriched the public debate.
As we have in the past, C.H.A.L.T. will continue the public dialogue by holding talks and presentations on affordable housing, green buildings, stormwater management, safe biking and walking, addressing traffic congestion, and identifying the kinds of economic development that benefit residents. We intend to keep a spotlight on these issues and encourage more people to engage in local matters as the Council decides how to proceed. Of significant interest will be the matter of how the town spends the bond money approved in the referendum.
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