Frustrating Forum II

As I search the vast horizon of the print and web media for some small shred of evidence of the existence of a Town Council race, a realization dawns......If anyone is going to write anything about this race, it will have to be me.

Ruby is doing us a great service with this site and her postings have been good but she needs help. The way I see it: The Chapel Hill News has not been interested. Tomorrow's edition may signal the beginning of their coverage with a piece summarizing the candidates. The Chapel Hill Herald has had Rob Shapard covering the race. Too often his coverage of the forums has been a list of the candidates present with an answer to one or two questions. The Herald's Dan Coleman has done an excellent job but he is a weekly columnist. The Tar Heel has had several pieces covering the race; they were the first to discuss the campaign finance issues. Well, election day is three weeks from today and what is a voter to do?

This may seem like so much whining…..and that is exactly what it is. I am exhausted. There have been five major forums so far and it is hard to tell if anyone is paying attention. The forums are draining and stressful. I believe they are the best way to tell which candidates have the most to offer, but is anybody watching?

Last night at the Chapel Hill Herald forum there were some great questions asked and the individual candidates answers were revealing, hopefully people were watching. The issue of a conflict of interest concerning Dianne Bachman was finally raised. The redlight cameras were discussed again and several transportation issues were raised.

The general hubbub concerning Carolina North continued. It sounds as though several candidates are happy with it becoming the largest Park and Ride lot in the hemisphere.

Bottom Line. I have faith in Chapel Hill voters, I believe that good will prevail and evil will be vanquished.



I think you're right, Cam. I've always been disappointed in the papers' coverage of local elections. I think they bury the stories and that contributes to the "ignorance" of folks who say they don't vote in municipal races because they don't know what's going on. That's why I started this site.

I really do need help. I have spent a LOT of time building this site, and have been neglecting other responsibilities. It's time for the other authors on here to step up to the plate...

I can imagine your frustration. I have been to almost all the forums and have developed an opinion of each of the candidates that I do not see reflected in the media. In alphabetical order:

Dianne Bachman. Truly dangerous for Chapel Hill. When she speaks she sounds as if she is speaking for the university. She has said “state of the art transportation solution” constantly and never revealed what it means. She appears longwinded and disingenuous.

Woodrow Barfield. Where’s Woodrow?

Thatcher Freund. Growing more likable as the campaign progresses. His heart is in the right place. A little too concerned with Orange County open space.

Sally Greene. A well organized and informed candidate who has the right position on the issues.

Cam Hill. Clearly not a politician and that’s a good thing. Makes the race and will make the council more fun (and accountable).

Rudy Juliano. Says very little, too closely tied to UNC. Is trying to buy the election.

Mike McSwain. Only registered here in April and considers Starbucks experience relevant, huh?

Andrea Rohrbacher. Has the knowledge and the positions we need. Seems too withdrawn to be real candidate.

Doug Schworer. Running on the anti-Habitat ticket. Not even clever.

Bill Strom. A great incumbent who has to be re-elected.

Terry Tyson. Are you kidding?

Jim Ward. An incumbent who got the most votes four years ago and now appears to be beatable.

Reporting varies widely. Take, for example, the School Board Forum.

Daily Tar Heel reports that the issues have to do with instruction philosophies which divide the incumbents and the challengers in "Education issues divide candidates"

Chapel Hill Herald reports that the forum was about the 3rd high school in "Candidates: Opening 3rd high school may top agenda"

Were they at the same Forum?


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