Bill Strom wins Goodmon Award

Today's DTH reports that Bill Strom is the 2005 winner of the Jim Goodmon Award for regional leadership by an elected official in the triangle.

The award will be presented by Leadership Triangle at a luncheon next week.

Bill has been a strong leader on the TTA Board of Directors, helped broker the purchase of Erwin Trace, and has worked on regional affordable housing initiatives with the Triangle J Council of Governments.

Bill is the first elected official from Orange County to receive this honor.

It's nice to see folks from around the triangle recognize the quality of one of our own elected officials!

Tags: 

issue: 

Total votes: 0

6 Comments

Congratulations Bill.

Congratulations Bill.

Here's a fun tidbit. This past local election, at least three candidates were elected who attended 'Leadership Triangle' leadership training.

one more thing...

Not to take anything away from Bill, but for such a recently created award (2002), isn't the copy on this story a tad grandiose? (‘for the first time in history'… and ‘first official from Orange County ever'…)

Sorry to complain, but in my opinion, copy that implies amazing unprecedented accomplishment detracts from what is real about the story.

Dan Coleman's picture

Congratulations to Strom on

Congratulations to Strom on award

Chapel Hill Herald
Saturday December 10, 2005

I doubt that many in Chapel Hill were shocked to learn that Town Council member Bill Strom was honored this week by Leadership Triangle. Strom is the recipient of the 2005 Goodmon Award for "exemplary Regional Leadership by an Elected Official awarded to a local elected official who has consistently transcended jurisdictional lines for the advancement of the Triangle."

This was not the first time Strom has received regional recognition for his work. In its 2001 Best of Triangle Issue, The Independent named Strom as one of a "Dream Team" of Triangle elected officials, calling him "a global thinker."

Of minor import by comparison, this writer included Strom in a 2003 article on "25 Who Really Made a Difference in Chapel Hill," noting that he "has brought a unique and progressive effectiveness to bear on a host of challenges facing the Chapel Hill Town Council."

Leadership Triangle clearly agrees. In announcing the award, the organization noted that "during his six years as a Chapel Hill Town Council member, Bill Strom has worked hard to foster inter-regional cooperation. He has a strong focus on transportation and currently serves as treasurer of the Triangle Transit Authority board, and represents TTA at the Regional Metropolitan Planning Organization. Bill"s efforts are reflected in new express service from Raleigh to Durham and Chapel Hill and Hillsborough.

"This year, Strom took a leadership role in an intergovernmental collaboration among Orange County, Durham County, the city of Durham and the town of Chapel Hill to jointly purchase nearly 100 acres known as Erwin Trace and preserve them as parkland for future generations to enjoy.

"Bill has been a strong voice in the region for housing equity, and has collaborated on affordable housing policy initiatives through the Triangle J Council of Governments. Bill chairs Chapel Hill's Downtown Economic Development Initiative, which is spearheading an $80 million public/ private development project.

"This fall, Bill saw firsthand the importance of regional planning and cooperation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when he and his wife Jennifer, a journalist at The Independent Weekly, spent a week volunteering with the animal rescue effort along the Gulf Coast."

Strom's election this week as the Town Council's mayor pro tem should only increase his effectiveness regionally.

Although it is largely a ceremonial title, the pro tem designation will convey a certain standing on the council to Strom's regional peers.

Leadership Triangle's recognition of Strom bodes well for Chapel Hill. Not yet a city, Chapel Hill has often been neglected in regional decision-making, overshadowed by its larger neighbors Durham and Raleigh. A strong voice like Strom's can assert Chapel Hill's importance to the region and bring results such as the express bus service cited above.

To understand that Strom is a key local leader as well, one need look no further than his close second-place finish in the 2003 Town Council race. Within Chapel Hill and Orange County, Strom has stood out in many areas.

He, along with Mayor Foy, can take credit for Chapel Hill's push for developer-built affordable housing in the past six years. Along with Sally Greene and Mark Kleinschmidt, Strom stands strong in the tradition of support for civil liberties that has been a hallmark of Chapel Hill since the days of Frank Porter Graham. It was Strom and Greene who a year ago volunteered to a serve on the Workers Rights Board that took testimony on the need for collective bargaining rights for public sector employees.

Strom was a key player in the negotiating team that developed the OI-4 zone for UNC's main campus. He reprised this role with the Cobb Deck/ Chiller Plant, extracting some major concessions from the university to make that project more palatable. This year, he helped steward the unanimous vote to improve the holding zone for the Horace Williams property.

His hand can be seen in the town"s provision for Neighborhood Conservation Districts, the preservation of the Greene Tract and the strengthening of the urban services boundary. At his insistence, Chapel Hill now has perhaps the strongest stormwater runoff regulations in the state.

In fairness, Strom's business success at a fairly young age has put him in a position where he can devote more time to the job than most of his colleagues. But time is no more valuable than one's ability to make use of it. Strom has been a fount of progressive ideas and an incredibly energetic elected official. He also has a knack for strategic thinking and the ability to work with people across the political spectrum and to convey his ideas to them. It all adds up to what Leadership Triangle calls "exemplary leadership."

Congratulations to Bill. And congratulations to Chapel Hill for electing such a fine leader to its Town Council.