Rutherfurd steps aside

BREAKING NEWS! Walker Rutherfurd just used his closing statement at the DTH candidate forum to announce his resignation from the race!!!

His statement was thoughtful and mature. He said he would be applying for the Chapel Hill Tech Advisory Board. Well done.



A smart move. Walker brought some fresh perspectives to the campaign. I won't be surprised if we hear from him again.

Does anyone know anything about the Dean Dome vote in 1980??

was the letter to the editor true?
Examination of the Town Council minutes for July 14, 1980, reveals that Thorpe voted with the majority in the 8-1 vote for the resolution to allow development of the Dean Smith Center, contrary to his statements made at forums.

.– C. William Davis, Chapel Hill

how did this person get minutes from 1980?

Walker, you are a class act. You have my number and email, so let's get together. I'm looking forward to more discussions with you.

the minute books would be open for public inspection at the Town Clerk's office

Walker handled things tonight with class and aplomb, and he's always been very kind and accessible to me. Hopefully, he'll stick around these parts.

If memory serves, there were a couple of votes on the Dean Dome. I combed the minute books back when the buffer along Mason Farm Road was an issue, and it sticks in my mind that there was a 5-4 or 6-3 somewhere along the line. Can't recollect what Bill did; I do remember that Jon Howes supported the permit.

It is hard to express my feelings about your leaving the race. Your ideas, your presentation, your thoughtfulness and intellect were evident and respected. Your outspoken desire to see good Town/Gown relations and ideas about municipal wireless internet, amongst other very important issues, were so well articulated. I am so sorry to have such a great voice for Chapel Hill leave the race. Yet I feel better that you want to be involved on the IT Board and continue to serve your community in other ways. I am very sad at the news and wish the best for you. I don't know what to say. When the timing is right for you, I look forward to seeing you make another go.

As some of you might remember, I put a bit of effort into supporting those candidates opposed to the RLCs during the 2003 election.

From that experience, I knew that being on the candidate side of an election would be more difficult, and it is, but it's also distinctly different.

Walker is part of the Chapel Hill candidates club; he knows what I mean.

David and Laurin have said it well, so let me just add one last comment: we're losing a candidate but we're gaining a great advocate on the Technology Board.

Walker, I'll see you next TB meeting!

I'm sorry to see Walker go. One of the best feelings I got from this group of candidates was that we had a really diverse set of backgrounds and ideas to bring to Chapel Hill. No set of four possible council members could come from this set that do not represent a multitude of perpectives. With Walker's departure, as with the previous two, it means one less set viewpoint represented in this race, and that's an unfortunate thing.

I look forward to seeing him around town and keeping active in local affairs!

We over here at the DTH are sad to see Walker go, and we appreciate him giving us the exclusive last night. When any candidate drops out of a race, voters get to hear fewer bright new ideas. We wish him the best.

On a side note, we did some digging for you, Helena. (Ruby, perhaps this and previous posts pertaining to this can be put in a new thread so as to not disrupt discussion on Walker?)

in response to an Oct. 5 letter to the editor by C. William Davis in the Chapel Hill News ( that called into question Town Council Bill Thorpe's stance on allowing a special-use permit for the Smith Center to be constructed:

While Bill did vote for the permit to go through at the council's July 14, 1980 meeting, that vote came after he twice voted against it. This was because he and others had called for a rehashed noise ordinance.

Once an ordinance was adopted in a 6-3 vote, he voted in favor of granting the permit (the council voted 8-1 to approve the permit), with Joe Herzenberg the lone dissenter.

His insistence on a stronger noise ordinance is documented in the July 14 meeting minutes.

“What had happened was that we wanted the noise ordinance changed,” Thorpe said yesterday afternoon. “We wanted that clause in.”

Minutes before 1986 are available at Town Hall; after 1986 are available here:

Jake Potter
Assistant City Editor, The Daily Tar Heel

That also fits in with my recollection of the meeting -- that there were several votes on the issue. One of the important things to remember in looking at votes is not to take them in isolation. I recall there were times when I wanted to get concessions on issues and the quid pro quo was to be a team player -- my changes might be accepted but then I might be expected to go along with the amended package. I had been off the council for a few months when the Smith Center issue was voted on, but I was at all the public hearings and the meeting the final vote was taken. I remember annoying some University folks at the public hearing by referring several times to the then named "Student Activies Center" as the "Alumni Activities Center", mainly because so few seats were allocated to students. I recall shortly after that the student seating area was increased. Not that my complaints had anything to do about that change :)

FYI, we have a statement from Bill (sounds consistent with what Gerry et al have said) here:


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