CHAPEL HILL – Chapel Hill Town Council member Gene Pease sat on his last council meeting this week. Serving since 2009, he chose to not seek a second term this year.
Pease counts freezing taxes for three years during the recession as one of the accomplishments he is most proud of during his time on the council.
“We kept our level of town services at the same rate and found ways to pay for things we had trouble paying for,” Pease says.
Outside of the Council, Pease is president and CEO of Capital Analytics, Inc. The company works to link investments in human capital to business outcomes using predicative analytics.
In 2009, after thirteen years of community involvement, he felt serving on the council was the next step.
The Council has taken steps recently to re-organize the Town’s various advisory boards, a measure Pease believes was necessary.
“Ultimately, long-term that will be a really good thing for both town employees, gaining some clarity in their roles in the advisory board system, and for citizens, who work on the advisory boards and volunteer their time, to get much more aligned between what they are doing,” he says.
Pease says he is also proud of the work that went into developing the town’s comprehensive plan, which turned into Chapel Hill 2020. With the help of diverse committees, the Council is now working through six small area plans to formulate a vision for those sections of town.
“I think that is important because there is so much uncertainty the way our current processes work that we get into a lot of fights between developers and neighborhoods,” Pease says. “If we were working more collaboratively and had a plan for that area, I think it would be more collaborative versus adversarial. I feel really good about getting that started.”
The expanded Chapel Hill Public Library opened this spring, a project in which Pease was heavily involved. He served as a Chapel Hill Public Library Building Committee member from 2006 till 2007, and also as the president of the Chapel Hill Public Library Foundation for three years.
Ultimately, his decision to not run for re-election was due to a busy schedule, with time spread thin between managing his business, writing another book, and traveling regularly to the West Coast where his two children live.
As to whether he would run again, Peace says this: “I’m old enough to know I should say, ‘never say never.’ I have no plans at this moment. I have no plans at all.”
Fellow council member Laurin Easthom did not seek re-election this year. Newcomers Maria Palmer and George Cianciolo will be sworn into office on December 2.