⇒ For complete Elections '09 coverage, see our Elections section
My endorsement of Will Raymond comes from working with him on the Town Technology Committee, both as a visitor and as a member. As a visitor, he would show up at a meeting, disrupt the agenda and distract the members and town staff. Nevertheless, he had great information, insight into Town Operations beyond that of most people on the committee and a real passion for doing the right thing by the town. His input was never biased—just fact-based, intelligent opinion. Sometimes lots of it.
Once I invited Will to join the committee as a member, his approach really changed. Will played by all the rules and brought his enormous intellect and passion to the table in a productive and organized way. There were other members of that committee I would have traded a hundred Will Raymonds to get rid of, because they lacked his intellect, experience, common sense and passion for what might be the right solution for the town. Very detail oriented, Will could review construction documents for the Town Operations Center as fast and well as I could. He spotted many issues created by the old town manager, but he always kept that knowledge contained and never abused his privilege.
Will has the very human desire to be adequately recognized for the gifts he has to offer. Moreover, his gifts are significantly greater than most people could, would or do offer their community. Adequate recognition for Will can never happen in four-minute time slots standing before the Town Council podium. Will is campaigning for a seat on the Town Council to do what he and I enjoy most—to be a servant leader of the community we passionately enjoy living in.
I enthusiastically recommend voting Will Raymond for Town Council on Nov. 3.
This newspaper has tried to tell you how to vote in this year's Carrboro elections. You're smart and you're technologically savvy. If you're taking the time to vote, first take the time to visit the candidates' Web sites and find out what they've done to put their ideas into action.
I graduated from a public high school in the Chicago area and a public university in Hawaii. By the time my son graduates from Chapel Hill High School, I will have had children in our local public schools for 15 years. I believe in the strength of our public schools. As a member of the Planning Board for the past two and half years, I've worked hard to make sure new developments maximize the ability of students to walk and bike to school, both for their own health and for the health of our environment.
I've stood with our farmers as they pleaded with the current board to reconsider current town rules that threaten their ability to continue farming in our community.
I've stood with the residents of the historically African-American Rogers Road neighborhood, pleading with the current board not to place additional waste facilities near their homes. I've stood with them in asking to lower the speed limit where cars race through their neighborhood as elderly residents walk across the road to get their mail. I've stood with them in asking for sidewalks for these same sweet ladies.
Community gardens are great—but at a cost of more than half a million dollars, we need to find more cost-effective solutions to providing gardening spaces, such as the ones currently tended by students at our public schools.
Please visit my Web site at www.SharonCookforCarrboro.com before you vote.
I am bemused by Matt Czajkowski's push to cut Town of Chapel Hill employee health care benefits, since Czajkowski's health care premium ($351) is the highest paid by the town for any council member, according to data provided by Town Manager Roger Stancil in response to a public records information request. (Mayor Foy and mayoral candidate Mark Kleinschmidt carry the cheapest premium of those council members enrolled, at $186.18 each.) "Now is not the time for the council to be spending money on itself," Czajkowski has said. But it seems like the town is spending more on him than on most other council members!
The true "sensible choice" in this race, as the Independent Weekly recently affirmed (echoing the Sierra Club and the UNC Young Democrats), is Mark Kleinschmidt. We need someone experienced and engaged with Chapel Hill's populace and the town's well-being, like Kleinschmidt, not a big-money reactionary like Czajkowski, who before his election in 2007 had not even attended a Chapel Hill council or board meeting—and who was a named defendant in an insider trading court case (Pozen Shareholders Litigation, Consolidated Civil Action, No. 04 CVS 1540; see ncbusinesslitigationreport.com/2005NCBC007.pdf) and only got off on a technicality [because the plaintiffs did not go to the company first for legal relief—editor's note].
Matt Czajkowski is a sensible candidate who sets political ideology aside, understands the economic challenges Chapel Hill faces today and recognizes when tax dollars are being recklessly spent. Czajkowski was the only council member who voted no to providing current and previous Town Council members with lifetime health coverage. This measure was set to cost over $20 million and was to be paid for through new taxes on lower-, middle- and upper-class families in Chapel Hill. Czajkowski also voted against allowing taxpayers' money to be spent on political campaigns, because he knows there are far greater priorities during these pressing times and that using tax dollars to fund a political campaign is nowhere close to the top of that list.
I am baffled as to how Mark Kleinschmidt, who voted in favor of both measures, can claim he has the best interest of Chapel Hill in mind when these two measures demonstrate he simply had his own interest in mind when voting in favor of them. Today Kleinschmidt, thanks to his vote for "voter-owned elections," is eligible to receive up to $19,000 in taxpayers' dollars to fund his political campaign. Forgive me, but shouldn't that money be spent on something more genuine and in the public interest, like on our public school system?
I urge my fellow citizens to vote for someone who has Chapel Hill in mind—Matt Czajkowski for mayor.
UNC 2011, Business Administration
I am a liberal artist living in Chapel Hill, and I want Matt Czajkowski for mayor. As an artist, it is difficult to afford living in this town. Matt understands fiscal responsibility and is committed to lowering property taxes through creative and appealing commercial development. He is a consensus-builder who is open to hearing all views. Matt wants a thriving downtown visually, artistically and commercially. He will deal with panhandling and continue to help the underserved in our community. Matt has demonstrated his integrity with his dedication to government transparency. Matt is the choice for mayor of Chapel Hill.
Why is it that all of my young professional friends move to Durham and Chatham County instead of living in Chapel Hill, where they would love to live? It's because they refuse to pay the astronomically absurd taxes of Chapel Hill! That's why I am voting for the mayoral candidate who is going to support business and commercial development. Residents can no longer shoulder the tax burden. I strongly believe it is a huge mistake for Chapel Hill to lose all the young people who live here. Join me in voting for Matt Czajkowski!
When we moved here 11 years ago, we loved to go downtown. Now, the empty store fronts and parking problems have driven us away. We believe Matt Czajkowski can, as mayor, expand both business and jobs opportunities here.
We need more transparency in our local government. We need new faces and new ideas in City Hall, so Gene Pease, Jon DeHart and Matt Pohlman will also get our votes.
Please vote early or on Nov. 3 for these candidates who will honor Chapel Hill's past and understand our future.
Carol and Victor Minton
Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to support Susana Dancy in advocating for the construction of the arts wing at Carrboro High School. I have been impressed by her comprehension of the school development process, her determination to influence the process through strong and effective leadership, and her practical approach to budget issues. A real estate developer for first-time homebuyers, she is accustomed to reviewing budgets and working within tight budget constraints. At the same time, she has a tremendous commitment to improving the schools in the district, and to working toward educational equity across the board. Currently she serves on the School Improvement Team at CHS.
I have also worked together with Susana over the past year in the founding of CHS Encore!, an arts booster club at CHS. She has worked diligently to build an organization that will both enrich the arts and engage the community in the arts programs at the high school. Her vision for the organization and her dedication this past year have been extraordinary, and CHS Encore! promises to be a highly successful arts organization.
Susana is a parent of three students in the CHCCS school district, with years of experience in the elementary, middle and high schools. She has worked through the challenges of setting up a 504 plan for one of her children, and she understands well the need for and complexities of such programs.
Susana Dancy is a highly competent, experienced, qualified and committed team player with balanced views and a solid understanding of the current issues facing the CHCCS Board.
Please vote for Sharon Cook for the Carrboro Board of Alderman. Sharon has worked hard to improve safety for the students in our community. Sharon led a group of neighbors who worked to get a traffic signal, bike lanes and sidewalks in the Chapel Hill High School area.
Sharon listens to everyone and researches each issue before making a decision about the best solution to a problem. She cares about helping children not only in her neighborhood, but in neighborhoods throughout Carrboro through her countless hours of volunteer work in our schools. You can find out more about her at www.SharonCookforCarrboro.com.
Will Raymond: A person who knows the issues and the effects they have on policymaking in local government. Will has and will advocate for social and environmental justice. Will sees the importance of citizens' voices and will be the voice of those who are not at the table where decisions are made. We are at a critical point in planning for the future of our town. Construction will soon begin in Chapel Hill Planning District, and a waste transfer station is part of the development that must be addressed. Will Raymond knows that our roads, schools, housing and right to basic amenities is on the minds of citizens. Local and political education, accountability, honesty and democracy are the keys to transparency in government. A vote for Will Raymond is also a vote for green initiatives and sustainability. We need a new visionary to make the right decisions. Will Raymond sees from within and not from without, and he has been at the meetings and has seen and heard the voice of the people.
I call for all friends, family members, church members, citizen and veterans to vote for community service and experience—vote for Will Raymond.
I am a retiree living near Ram's Plaza who has followed Town Council's many missteps for 11 years. David Hughes, UNC retired business administration professor, summed it up in "Town out of touch with economic reality" (The Chapel Hill News, Oct. 11, 2009).
Matt Czajkowski, Jon DeHart, Matt Pohlman and Gene Pease are experienced budget planners, financially responsible, business and commerce experts, socially liberal, pro-justice and environmentally concerned.
Vote for them for broader representation in Chapel Hill and avoid the frequent-candidate bloc.
Since The Chapel Hill News published my column titled "Town out of touch with economic reality" on Sunday, Oct. 11, many people have asked for whom I will vote. I feel that we need a complete change in Chapel Hill leadership to move us through difficult economic times. Voting for persons who claim years of experience on the Council simply guarantees that we will have the same faulty decisions. We need leaders who have the training and experience to deal with challenging economic questions that face Chapel Hill now and in coming decades. I will vote for Matt Czajkowski for mayor and Jon DeHart, Gene Pease and Matt Pohlman for Council.
Matt Czajkowski offers the experience and wisdom that Chapel Hill needs in a mayor. During candidate forums, he has detailed his ideas for revitalizing downtown, using specifics instead of just cheerleading. He would freeze the town tax rate for two years and look for ways to cut town expenses. And his approach to Town Council business has been a refreshing mix of candor and common sense—he was the lone council member to bring to light the sneaky health insurance-for-life issue last year because he believed the public should have a say on that issue. Matt has my vote for mayor on Nov. 3.
Chapel Hill has benefited these past two years from Matt Czajkowski's willingness to examine proposals that come before Town Council and think decisions through to their long-range impact. We could benefit even more by voting him into a position of greater leadership.
Matt has used his graduate degree from Harvard Business School to build a career helping startups make strategic decisions that have set them on the path to success. Busy as he is, he also takes time to volunteer with young people to steer them toward success in life. As Chapel Hill struggles to balance quality of life with strategic growth, we would gain from the leadership of Matt's sharp mind and kind heart.
Matt has my vote for mayor on Nov. 3.
For two years Matt Czajkowski has brought to the running of our town government a welcome background of business acumen and practicality.
I have known Matt for virtually the entire decade he and his family have lived in Chapel Hill, and I know him to be one of the most thoughtful, practical and inclusive people I have ever met. For someone of Matt's leadership capability, integrity and practicality to be willing to serve us as mayor is an amazing offering of service to our community. Let us not pass up this opportunity.
Councilmember Matt Czajkowski has been looking after our interests, insisting on the kind of transparency that we deserve, against the formerly entrenched bloc led by those out of sync with their constituents. In his run for mayor, Matt represents changing Chapel Hill demographics, mainstream folks who hold liberal values but who are also concerned about financial stability for ourselves and for our Town. Encouraged by Matt's exemplary campaign for Mayor, we are pleased that he's a person of integrity and honor for whom we will cast our votes for Mayor of Chapel Hill!
Sandy Turbeville and Glen H. Elder Jr.
I strongly feel that Matt Czajkowski is the right person to chart the future course for Chapel Hill. Matt has the unique combination of characteristics that an educated, caring community like Chapel Hill needs. He is a strategic thinker who has a viable set of programs to strengthen the community's financial well-being, improve the viability of our downtown business district and support our diverse community goals.
A leader of impeccable integrity, Matt Czajkowski has shown the dedication and logical thinking that has been valuable and will be more so in the future.
Matt's the leader we need!
Rising taxes and the questionable financial decisions of our town government make us uncertain about our ability to afford Chapel Hill in the long term. We need a pragmatic approach to governing Chapel Hill. Our elected officials need to measure the long-term impact of their decisions, be faithful stewards of our very hard-earned tax dollars and prioritize the needs of this community. Lofty ideals are great, but please address them after you fix the potholes that are half the size of my car at Cedar Falls Park.
Join us in supporting Matt Czajkowski as our next mayor for Chapel Hill.
Monica and Jose Gulisano
I think Matt Czajkowski's ideas for the re-birth of our downtown are some of the most exciting I have heard. They are both achievable and will also greatly benefit our local arts community.
Michael Brown, muralist
We chose to move to Chapel Hill for the quality of life here; it is an amazing place that we are fortunate to call home. But Chapel Hill has some fundamental problems right now that will determine our future.
Our tax base is unsustainably lopsided. Our government is gridlocked when it comes to clear vision and execution for our future. And our beautiful collegiate downtown (with the potential to be one of the best downtowns in the nation) is dysfunctional.
I encourage everyone to visit www.MattforMayor.org to learn more about Matt Czajkowski and his vision and passion for Chapel Hill—he will truly make a difference in our now and, more importantly, our future.
A. Carter Linstead