5 to 4 Votes Are Healthy For Chapel Hill

Raleigh Mann

Raleigh Mann

Before moving to Chapel Hill 38 years ago, I was a newspaper reporter in south Florida.

Have you driven there lately?

The weather is still great, but the beauty is harder to find.  Over-development squashed it years ago.

But, I learned a lot as a covered the deliberations of those city leaders who struggled to deal with developers who saw dollar signs on every empty lot.

“I’d never want to be in their shoes,” I told myself.

It’s a thankless job.

We all owe a large debt of thanks to those who have served Chapel Hill for years, but who lost their seats in this past election.

It is a tough job.

Why do people run for public office?

Well, many reasons.  But, if we read the campaign websites of those who recently got elected to Chapel Hill’s Town Council, it’s clear why our local election turned out as it did.

Chapel Hill residents desperately want their voices heard.  Some of us have the quaint idea that council members who represent us should actually listen to and consider our concerns.

Mayor-elect Pam Hemminger said that too often the mayor and council dismissed residents with legitimate concerns as anti-development or afraid of change.  Thoughtful input for task forces and advisory boards is ignored.

New council member Jessica Anderson wants to promote smart development by listening to residents and advisory boards and prioritizing the interest of local residents over those of developers and investors.

Nancy Oates wants to restore trust and accountability.  And I quote her, “So all of us who care about Chapel Hill can live our lives without having to worry about what council members are doing to our town.”

Michael Parker says that he wants to insure that our town government works for and is responsive to the needs of all its residents.

Donna Bell, the only incumbent voters returned to the council. is proud of her work to develop more affordable housing in Chapel Hill.

Don’t expect these new council members to take over the castle exactly, but you can bet that their voices, and maybe ours too, will be heard.

We’ll see more 5 to 4 votes and that’s healthy.

 

Raleigh Mann

 

http://chapelboro.com/columns/the-commentators/5-to-4-votes-are-healthy-for-chapel-hill

2015 Election Results

Here are the 2015 election results for the races for Chapel Hill mayor, Chapel Hill Town Council, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, Carrboro Mayor, Carrboro Board of Aldermen, Hillsborough mayor, Hillsborough Board of Commissioners, and Chapel Hill referenda.

We have more detailed coverage on the 2015 election results here.  It was a rough night for incumbents in Chapel Hill.  But, it was a good night for incumbents in Carrboro and Hillsborough.

2015 Election Results

 

Chapel Hill Mayor
Candidate Votes Percent
Pam Hemminger✔  4,878  54.01%
Gary Kahn  84  0.93%
Mark Kleinschmidt 4,053  44.88%
Write-in 16  0.17%

(Precincts Reported: 23 of 23)

 

Chapel Hill Town Council(Elect 4 seats)
Candidate Votes Percent
Jessica Anderson✔ 5,318  16.98%
Donna C. Bell✔ 4,485  14.32%
Adam W. Jones 906  2.89%
Paul M. Neebe 771  2.46%
Nancy C. Oates✔ 4,449  14.20%
Michael Parker✔ 4,186 13.37%
David Alan Schwartz 3,890  12.42%
Lee Storrow 3,147  10.04%
Jim Ward 4,063  12.97%

(Precincts Reported: 23 of 23)

 

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board of Education(Elect 4 seats)
Candidate Votes Percent
Joal Hall Broun  3,996  11.19%
Rani Dasi✔  6,989  19.57%
Gregg Gerdau 1,587  4.44%
Pat Heinrich✔  4,445  12.45%
Margaret Samuels✔  5,618  15.73%
David Saussy  3,312  9.28%
Annetta Streater✔  5,369  15.04%
Theresa Watson 4,237  11.87%

(Precincts Reported: 29 of 29)

 

Carrboro Mayor
Candidate Votes Percent
 Lydia E. Lavelle✔ 1,746 96.36%
Write-In 66 3.64%

(Precincts Reported: 8 of 8)

 

Carrboro Board of Aldermen(Elect 3 Seats)
Candidate Votes Percent
 Bethany E. Chaney✔  1,585 32.65%
Michelle Johnson✔  1,635  32.65%
Damon Seils✔  1,562 32.18%
Write-In 72 1.48%

(Precincts Reported: 8 of 8)

 

Hillsborough Mayor
Candidate Votes Percent
 Tom Stevens✔ 677 94.55%
Write-In 39 5.45%

(Precincts Reported: 4 of 4)

 

Hillsborough Town Commissioner(Elect 3 Seats)
Candidate Votes Percent
 Mark Bell✔ 602  28.41%
Ashley DeSena  167 7.88%
Evelyn P. Lloyd✔  618 29.16%
Brian Lowen✔  611 28.41%
Cindy Lee Talisman  116 5.47%
Write-In 5 0.24%

(Precincts Reported: 4 of 4)

 

Chapel Hill Referenda

Bonds For Streets and Sidewalks
Candidate Votes Percent
 Yes✔  6,852 79.24%
 No  1,795 20.76%

(Precincts Reported: 23 of 23)

 

Bonds For Trails And Greenways
Candidate Votes Percent
 Yes✔  6,896  78.22%
 No  1,920 21.78%

(Precincts Reported: 23 of 23)

 

Bonds For Recreational Facilities
Candidate Votes Percent
 Yes✔  6,356 73.18%
 No  2,329  26.82%

(Precincts Reported: 23 of 23)

 

Bonds For Solid Waste Facilities
Candidate Votes Percent
 Yes✔  7,050 80.60%
 No  1,695 19.38%

(Precincts Reported: 23 of 23)

 

Bonds For Stormwater Improvements
Candidate Votes Percent
 Yes✔ 7,101 81.77%
 No 1,583 18.23%

(Precincts Reported: 23 of 23)

http://chapelboro.com/news/2015-election-results

Chapel Hill Mayoral Candidates Get Out The Vote

It’s been a highly contentious local election season (to say the least), but with Election Day looming, Chapel Hill’s three mayoral candidates do agree on one thing: everyone should get to the polls and vote.

Incumbent mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and challenger Pam Hemminger are running neck-and-neck: in the latest survey from Public Policy Polling, Hemminger has a six-point lead (43-37), but nearly 20 percent of Chapel Hill voters say they’re still undecided. (Another 2 percent support longshot challenger Gary Kahn.) With the race that close, turnout is going to play a major role: turnout for Chapel Hill municipal elections is typically only around 15 percent, so the candidate who wins is going to be the candidate who gets his or her supporters to the polls.

In the midst of the early voting period, WCHL invited Kleinschmidt, Hemminger, and Kahn to the studio to get the vote out together and make their final pitches to Chapel Hill voters. Kleinschmidt and Kahn joined Aaron Keck on the air Monday; Hemminger was ill that day, but joined Aaron later in the week.

Listen to Mark Kleinschmidt and Gary Kahn:

 

Listen to Pam Hemminger:

 

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. Polls are open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm. (Photo ID is not required to vote this year – though poll workers may ask if you have a photo ID, to make sure you’re ready for 2016 when the photo ID requirement kicks in.)

The nine-day early voting period ended on Saturday afternoon. There was a major spike in early-voting turnout in the final days: about 300 people showed up to the polls on each of the first six days, but 483 people turned out on day 7 (Thursday) and 642 people turned out on day 8 (Friday). In all, more than 3,000 people turned out for early voting in Orange County; once Saturday’s turnout is added to the total, it’ll likely be more than 3,500 and possibly as many as 4,000. For comparison’s sake: only about 2,000 voters turned out for early voting in Orange County in the 2013 municipal election – but about 4,000 did turn out for early voting in the previous municipal election, 2011.

Early voting turnout numbers here.

 

http://chapelboro.com/featured/chapel-hill-mayoral-candidates-get-out-the-vote

Meet Pittsboro, CHCCS Candidates In Forums Thursday

Election Day is approaching! Come learn about the candidates at a pair of forums on Thursday, September 24, both hosted by the League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham, and Chatham Counties.

The first is for Pittsboro voters: the LWV is hosting a forum for Pittsboro mayoral and town council candidates from 6-8 pm in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building at 65 East Chatham Street. (You’l be able to register to vote at the forum too.)

The second is for Chapel Hill/Carrboro voters: a forum for CHCCS school board candidates from 6:30-8:00 pm at the Chapel Hill Public Library.

LWV Voter Services chair Krishna Mondal joined Aaron Keck on WCHL Monday to discuss the two forums.

 

For more information on the two forums or on the League of Women Voters, visit LWVODC.org.

http://chapelboro.com/news/election/meet-pittsboro-chccs-candidates-in-forums-thursday

After Filing, Crowded Ballot For OC In 2015 Election

The filing period has wrapped up for candidates running for local office this year, and there are going to be several crowded races this fall.

Three candidates filed to run for office in Orange County before the deadline on Friday. Incumbent Chapel Hill Town Council member Donna Bell filed to run for reelection – and two residents filed to run for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School board, Gregg Gerdau and former Carrboro Alderman Joal Hall Broun.

Both races will be highly contested: there are now nine candidates on the ballot for four open spots on the Town Council, and eight candidates for four spots on the school board.

WCHL’s Aaron Keck and Elizabeth Friend broke down the ballot on the Friday evening news.

 

Get the full list of candidates here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/election/after-filing-crowded-ballot-for-oc-in-2015-election

Ballots Crowding Up In Chapel Hill, Hillsborough

With one day left in the filing period for local office, three more candidates added their names to the ballot.

There are two new candidates in the race for Chapel Hill Town Council: incumbent Jim Ward and challenger Adam Jones. Jones is a realtor; earlier this year he applied to be appointed to the Council to fill the seat left vacant by Matt Czajkowski when he stepped down to move to Africa. (The Council elected not to fill that seat.)

Ward and Jones are among eight candidates – so far – for four open seats. Incumbent Lee Storrow has also filed to run, as have challengers Michael Parker, Paul Neebe, Nancy Oates, Jessica Anderson, and David Schwartz. One more incumbent, Donna Bell, has not announced her intentions yet.

There’s also another candidate in the race for Hillsborough Board of Commissioners. Cindy Lee Talisman filed to run on Thursday; on Facebook she said she was running in response to the Board’s decision this week to take down the words “Confederate Memorial” from a public building downtown.

Talisman is the fifth candidate in the race for three open seats. Also on the ballot: incumbents Brian Lowen and Evelyn Lloyd, and challengers Mark Bell and Ashley DeSena.

See the full list of candidates for local office in Orange County.

The filing period ends on Friday at noon.

http://chapelboro.com/news/election/ballots-crowding-up-in-chapel-hill-hillsborough

Races Heat Up For CHCCS, H’boro Town Board

We’re almost through the filing period for local elections – and on Wednesday, four new candidates added their hats to the ring.

Incumbent David Saussy and challenger Pat Heinrich are now officially in the race for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School board. Saussy is running for his first full term; he was appointed to the Board last December to fill the seat left vacant by Mia Burroughs when she got elected to the Board of County Commissioners.

Saussy and Heinrich join incumbent Annetta Streater and challengers Rani Dasi, Theresa Watson, and Margaret Samuels in what is now a six-person race for four open seats on the board. Two other incumbents, Jamezetta Bedford and Mike Kelley, haven’t announced their intentions yet. (Bedford, though, has previously indicated that she was not planning to run again.)

And the race for Hillsborough Board of Commissioners also heated up Wednesday with two more candidates: incumbent commissioner Brian Lowen and challenger Ashley DeSena.

DeSena currently works as operations coordinator for the Pope Center for Higher Education, but she spent nearly five years as program coordinator at the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough from 2010 until this February. She also serves as vice chair of Hillsborough’s Parks and Recreation Board.

Also in the race for Hillsborough town commissioner: incumbent Evelyn Lloyd and challenger Mark Bell.

See the full list of candidates who have filed to date.

The filing period ends on Friday at noon.

http://chapelboro.com/news/election/races-heat-up-for-chccs-hboro-town-board

Schwartz, Samuels Throw Their Hats In The Ring

There’s another candidate in the race for Chapel Hill Town Council: David Alan Schwartz filed to run for office on Monday.

Schwartz has been recently active with the group Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town, or CHALT. He’s the sixth candidate to file to run for Town Council – joining Michael Parker, Paul Neebe, Nancy Oates, Jessica Anderson, and incumbent Lee Storrow.

There are four seats up for election on the Council this year – one of which is vacant, following Matt Czajkowski’s departure earlier this year. In addition to Storrow, the other two incumbents are Donna Bell and Jim Ward; they haven’t announced their intentions publicly yet.

Elsewhere, there are now four candidates in the race for a seat on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools board.

The terms of Mike Kelley, Jamezetta Bedford, Annetta Streater and David Saussy expire this fall. To date, Streater is the only incumbent who’s filed to run for re-election.

The challengers are Rani Dasi, Theresa Watson, and now Margaret Samuels. Samuels is president of OE Enterprises, which provides job training services for people with disabilities.

Dasi is a business analysis manager at Lord Corporation, as well as a board member for The Walking Classroom.

Theresa Watson has worked for years as a youth mentor. She ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Carrboro Board of Aldermen in May 2014.

See the full list of candidates in Orange County.

The filing period continues through Friday for those seeking office on the Chapel Hill Town Council, Carrboro Board of Aldermen, Hillsborough Town Board and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board.

http://chapelboro.com/news/election/schwartz-samuels-throw-their-hats-in-the-ring

Kleinschmidt Running For Fourth Term As CH Mayor

There will be at least three candidates on the ballot for Chapel Hill Mayor this year: incumbent Mark Kleinschmidt, former Chapel Hill Town Council candidate Gary Kahn, and former Orange County Commissioner and CHCCS Board member Pam Hemminger.

Kleinschmidt is a constitutional attorney; first elected mayor in 2009, he’s running for his fourth two-year term. He says he’s proud of what Chapel Hill has accomplished in the last two years, particularly with regard to inclusivity. But he says there’s still more yet to do, especially around housing – working to ensure that everyone who wants to be in Chapel Hill can find safe, quality, affordable places to live.

Read more about Mark Kleinschmidt on the Town’s website.

Mark Kleinschmidt spoke Thursday with WCHL’s Aaron Keck.

 

The filing period for local elections runs through Friday, July 17. Election Day is November 3.

http://chapelboro.com/news/election/kleinschmidt-running-for-fourth-term-as-ch-mayor

Former OC Commissioner Hemminger Makes Bid For CH Mayor

There will be at least three candidates on the ballot for Chapel Hill Mayor this year: incumbent Mark Kleinschmidt, former Chapel Hill Town Council candidate Gary Kahn, and former Orange County Commissioner and CHCCS Board member Pam Hemminger.

Kahn announced he was running earlier this spring, but Hemminger had not announced her bid publicly before filing to run on Monday. She says she was motivated partly by concerns over the direction of Chapel Hill’s development decisions – and partly by her concern that the town wasn’t doing its part to help the Rogers Road community.

Visit Hemminger’s campaign site.

Pam Hemminger spoke Wednesday with WCHL’s Aaron Keck.

 

The filing period for local elections runs through Friday, July 17. Election Day is November 3.

http://chapelboro.com/news/election/former-oc-commissioner-hemminger-makes-bid-for-ch-mayor