Cook and Ryan team up

Recently I noticed that two Carrboro candidates are running as a slate. Has this ever happened in Orange County before? Another thing that was pretty different was that there is one brochure and one sign for both candidates. Both of these materials advocate for both Sharon Cook and Katrina Ryan.

I believe two years ago Katrina threatened to run an all Northern Carrboro slate. Is this what this combo is about? I've seen candidates collaborate on mailings before, but this is practically two candidates with one campaign. What do you think about candidates running together?



Katrina, where did you get that figure for Lydia's mailing? Do you know her printer? Do you know how many houses she contacted? If it's just your personal estimate, then we have a credibility issue again...


I have a decent amount of experience with media in campaigns. I'll tell you what. If I am of by more than 10%, I'll recant and apologize.

oops! that should be "off by"

...then we have a credibility issue again…

Nice. The prior statement was explicitly characterized as an estimate. While the question about the number of items mailed is legitimate, framing the question as a "credibility" issue for an estimate is uncalled for. ("Honor your own viewpoints by expressing them thoughtfully, and treating your fellow discussers at least as well as you would treat your neighbor. Try to criticize ideas instead of people. In other words, play nice!")

Three to five thousand is a wildly broad estimate. Off by ten percent and you're in the danger zone.

Well put, Mike. Not to drag this out further, but I just looked at Lydia's campaign finance report, filed 10/29/07. (She is the only candidate in Carrboro planning to spend over $3,000, and therefore the only one required to file. The issue of joint campaigns raises an interesting question about that, though.)

The report shows $525.89 for "mailer" on 10/9 and $609.18 for postage on 10/22. There are also a 3 other charges for Kinko's ($202.27), postage ($210.74), and cards ($89.90) - but I would guess those are not related to this mailing. The only other expense shows is for yard signs.

While it's possible that the mailing was printed before the reporting period began on 9/26, it seems unlikely, and it certainly wasn't mailed over a month ago. If my guess about the expenses is right, then it was $1,135.07. If I'm wrong and you add all of the possible charges together, it could be as much as $1,637.98, tops. A very far cry from Katrina's "$3,000-$5,000" claim.

A lot of us have experience with media in campaigns. Some of us even have experience with local camapigns. For example, my entire campaign for Chapel Hill Town Council cost less than $5,000, and C.H. has 3 times as many people as Carrboro. It's also not the first time a gay candidate has been accused of being overfunded in Orange County. So 5k really sounds like a lot of money to me, and think the "estimate" needs to be backed up.

I think it calls for a little scrutiny when people throw facts out with unfounded confidence. If Katrina has some reason to be so sure of the figure, then she should explain it to us as openly as she made her original claim. Otherwise, I think it's kind of a sketchy remark given the political context.

Katrina, et al. Lydia is out of town tending to her ailing father who had a medical emergency. Katrina, with all due respect, I think your estimate of the cost of Lydia's mailing is way, way, way off.

Here's my estimate of how much a Carrboro mailing would likely cost, based on having run for office 7 times in that fair town. A prudent candidate is only going to mail to likely voters (that is, voters with history of voting in town elections). In Carrboro, that's likely to be between 1500 and 2000 voters. Further, a fairly standard estimate for a mailer is about 70 cents per piece.

Therefore, a more accurate estimate for Lydia's mailing is between $1050 and $1400.

And frankly, I think it matters far more what a candidate's positions are on the issues than how much she spends on a mailer.

Last election Dan Coleman took every opportunity possible to criticize Ed Harrison. He criticized family contributions to Ed's campaign, he criticized Ed's environmental ethics, and he challenged Ed's contribution as a member of the Town Council. I've thought about these criticisms for quite sometime now and wondered what Dan would have done if Ed had been the elected official who had the total loss of emotional control at Anderson community park.

Dan and I have our differences, but we also agree on many aspects of local government. So in honor of Dan's commitment to making Chapel Hill and, more recently, Carrboro a better place to live, I feel compelled to speak up before Tuesday.

Dan, for all his good points, threatened another human being with his car--a lethal weapon. He has acknowledged doing this so it's no longer an issue of protecting his civil rights. I appreciate that he has apologized, and I sympathize with his situation. Anyone of us is truly just a cats whisker away from a similar meltdown.

But the bottom line is that Dan threatened another human being, a woman, with a lethal weapon and apparently no one else on this "progressive" blog gives a damn. You all are willing to trade your friendships with Dan for the ethics and behavioral standards citizens have the right to expect from their elected/appointed officials.

Women I like and respect are continuing to support Dan, and I respect their right to make a personal electoral decision. But to me, attacking anyone is not acceptable, and male violence toward female is especially offensive. This is not political. Dan's politics and mine are aligned more often than not. This is much more basic. It's just not OK for one person to attack another. It's not alright for a town official, whether staff or citizen representative, to threaten the safety of children, visitors, or anyone else. It's not alright for a man to attack a woman, under any circumstances.

You can continue criticizing Katrina for what she did two years ago or for an exaggeration that she committed earlier today. But Dan attacked another human being who was trying to protect the children of this community. The fact that you continue to attack Katrina and Sharon while ignoring Dan's violence against another woman is beyond baffling to me.

It's OK, you baffle me too, Terri.

My name is Jay Ladd. I am the webmaster for the Lavelle Campaign, and a longtime personal friend of Lydia Lavelle. Lydia has been in Ohio because her father is critically ill. She asked me to monitor her campaign in her absence and advise her of any issues or problems. I called her about the earlier post from Katrina about what Lydia spent on her recent mailer.

The items with an * are on her recently filed campaign finance report.
She provided from memory the rest of the information below. Knowing her as well as I do, I have no doubt the rest of this information is also accurate.

Printing: 525.89*
Postage: 393.45*
Sorting & Delivery: 100
Design (by a friend): 135
Total Cost: $1154.34

As stated on her website (
campaign finance is one of the issues about which Lydia is most passionate.
Her campaign expenditures are public record, and we willingly provide detail to anyone who requests it.

Actually, the "likely voters" list in Carrboro is sort of hard to narrow down because of transiency and the addition of new voters on the north end of town. The list I have from a very good local political consultant has 4739 "likely" voters in the 27510 zipcode alone. Assuming everyone of those lives in a household of two voters, that would be over 2300 pieces. Lydia's piece also came to hundred of households in 27516 as well. It was also an oversized, glossy, full color piece, which would be tough to get for $.70 each. I guessed about $1.10.

I did say "I estimate" and those are the factors I used in making that estimation. I did not attack anyone in anyway, and I even said I would recant if I am wrong.

And Jay, since posted in the interim, are you referring to the first mailing or the second mailing when you quote those costs ?

Well, add me to the list of those baffled, and not by Terri. Why is violence against a women so easily dismissed by some voters and those who did endorsements? I can only imagine what Dan would have written in one of his columns about some candidate who had done the same thing.

Lots of folks here talk about values - where are those fundamental values like honesty and forthrighness when they need to be revealed?


In your original remark, you wrote:
“Lydia just sent out a mailing that I estimate to cost $3,000-$5,000.”, and you further describe the mailing as “It was also an oversized, glossy, full color piece”.

So in response to your question:
“And Jay, since posted in the interim, are you referring to the first mailing or the second mailing when you quote those costs ?”

Lydia only had one individual full-color mailer, the one you estimated cost between $3,000-$5,000. It cost approximately $1154.34. There is a link in Ruby's response above where you can view the detailed campaign finance report.

Fred, given that there has been quite a lot of dicussion of the Coleman/Kotecki altercation on another thread (where none of you has mentioned gender, strangely) bringing this up here and now just seems to me like a diversion. Hence my lack of interest in discussing it here and now.

Jay, thanks for filling in the info. Sorry for my sloppy guesswork on the costs, but glad to hear the result worked out about the same anyway.

I guess Katrina will recant now. (And maybe look for a cheaper consultant next time. ;-))

Serious kudos to Lydia. If she had that piece done by a direct mail firm, it would have cost a lot more. I haven't seen anyone have a mail merge piece printed by one company ( including the address) and then take it to the post office rather than have it all done by one company. Honestly, I am dying to know how many pieces she did for that cost.

I recant.I am also taking down the name of that firm in Oakland.

Yes, Ruby, there was dicussion of the Coleman/Kotecki altercation on another thread, but since the letter of apology, what have you said? Gender was at the heart of this from day one. I think the word "woman" was used.

Your lack of interest, and that of others is just what is so baffling. Right is right and wrong is wrong, but I guess it really all depends who's involved.

I remain baffled.

The altercation? That would imply two people of relatively equal power were having an argument. That's not what happened according to Dan's apology or according to the 911 tape.

I waited for you or someone else with editor rights to start a thread on the outcome of the court session, Ruby. It didn't happen. It's as if the situation never happened. He threatened her, he apologized, she dropped the charges, and its forgotten. But I bet she hasn't forgotten it. And I also bet that it's a long time before she does.

Terri is so right on this. It does not matter which thread you look at. There is a huge disconnect in the support that Dan is getting and his behavior. It is really strange. I have no doubt that if Brian, Katrina or Sharon had behaved like Dan did, folks here would be all over it.

And Dan has been known to lose it before. Dan is nice guy but I would not let him supervise my grandchildren. There is a history of anger management. Dan, needs some help. He does not to be on the BOA and he does not need enablers.

Contrary to Dan's original claim, this is not a private issue. It is a public one. Not only is he a public figure, all criminal complaints are public issues.

Katrina, this is a heck of a time for you to blast Lydia for a campaign mailing. With one weekend to go before election day, this looks like a last-ditch maneuver.

Terri, many female friends of Dan are faced with the question of whether or not it's right to vote for him on Tuesday. Many friends of mine, not only female, have decided not to do so. For my part, late as it is to express this thought, I strongly prefer not to go male vs. female but person to person on this particular political front.


I "blasted" no one. In fact I congratulated her on being creative and finding a great deal on her mailing.

1. Knowing Dan, I don't feel that I could have a better champion of women's rights on the Board of Aldermen.

2. Knowing Dan, I think he's just as likely to lose his temper with a woman as he is with a man. He may have a short fuse, but I have no reason to think it has anything to do with gender.

You may disagree with my opinion and I'm happy for you to say so, but that's how I feel. This is such an obvious diversion from the topic that I shouldn't even respond, but I am going to try to get back on track...

I wonder what do folks think might be the campaign finance implications of joint campaigning? Katrina and Sharon have both told the Board of Elections that they plan to spend under $3,000 each on their campaigns. But what if they spend nearly $6,000 together? That has the potential to generate a lot of slick campaign materials without any accountability over who is funding it.

I'm not saying it's wrong, but it raises some questions that I haven't seen discussed.

I wouldn't disagree with anyone's position on this, Ruby. Something like this is always going to be interpreted with respect to our personal histories. For me, as a victim of male violence, my deepest sympathies go out to Ms Kotecki. Because regardless of Dan's proclivity to losing his temper with any gender, she is a woman and she was a victim. It changes your life.

My motivation in bringing this up was to say to Ms Kotecki and any other woman who has been the victim of male violence that it is not acceptable. And I sincerely appreciate Fred and Catherine speaking up and letting others reading this thread know that it's not something that is being ignored by everyone. I also think it's good that Ruby can give personal testimony for Dan. It's a discussion that is long past due, IMHO.

Just to reiterate a few incontrovertible facts:

1) Nobody posting here was present at the scene of the incident.
2) Ms. Kotecki was not injured and has not claimed to be a victim of male violence.
3) Ms. Kotecki decided not to press charges.
4) Nobody seems to know her personally to give any insight into her personality so we don't know whether or not she has any traits that could have inflamed the situation.
5) This incident was resolved at the Dispute Settlement Center and we all know that most disputes settled like this result in a statement that contains compromises. No-one but those present knows what was discussed.

Obviously I wasn't there either. I don't know what happened and therefore I'm not in a position to judge. I don't believe anyone else is either.

Thank you Mark. Well said.

I have now talked to a couple of dozen people about Mark Marcoplos' "few incontrovertible facts" and George C's endorsement of them. Lots of interesting perspectives and opinions.

Here is what I've distilled:
1. People listened to the 911 call;
2. People read accounts by a variety of eyewitnesses;
3. People read the initial statement by Dan; and
4. People read the apology statement that came from the Dispute Settlement Center process.

One does not have to had been there to see that the four points above just don't connect. Which reflects the truth, more than a few wonder? That is why there is concern.

After all, in the not too distant past, we had a school board member who was not truthful about her education and a County school board chairman who was not forthcoming about the source of a speech he delivered at a high school graduation; both lost their positions of public trust.

After all, in the not too distant past, we had a school board member who was not truthful about her education and a County school board chairman who was not forthcoming about the source of a speech he delivered at a high school graduation; both lost their positions of public trust.

Hadn't thought about comparing all of these. These two historical events seem benign by comparison. Thanks for the perspective, Fred.

I really can't believe the extent to which folks are trying to inflate this. Dan has admitted to making a mistake that day in the parking lot, this does not equate to a violation of public trust.

As I am also the victim (to use Terri's language) of an on-going campaign of lies and attacks from a few angry individuals on another website, this repeated hounding of Dan is starting to touch a nerve with me. It's also making certain people look increasingly desperate to score political points, which I don't think is actually helping anyone.

In Fred's examples, I think the voters had the ultimate say on whether to keep those officials (or at least they did in Keith Cook's case). People are certainly well-informed about what happened with Dan this year, let's trust them to decide on Tuesday whether he is the right person to work for Carrboro at Town Hall.


You are, in my opinion, both right - and wrong.

You are right in that the ultimate decision will be made by the voters next Tuesday. But you're wrong in thinking that people will not make political points up to the very last minute. Of course they will. On both sides. Including you.

We don't live in an ideal world. There was an incident involving a political candidate. It has political repercussions. It will be commented upon - in ways both wise and ugly. That's human nature.

I'm much more interested about what happens after next Tuesday. Unless there is election fraud (and I really don't think anyone's suggesting there will be!), then next Tuesday should represent an end to all of the soap opera.

After the last Carrboro election in 2005, there was an ongoing ruckus about annexation and appointment, which, at the very least, poisoned debate in Carrboro for the following two years.

Now, I'm not suggesting for one moment that the issues raised were not vaild. I'm just characterizing what were the tangible consequences.

I see this latest round of political tit-for-tat (without in any way denigrating the strong views held on both sides) as simply the last gasp in that long-running saga.

I would ask that all participants find it within themselves next Wednesday - whatever the result - to draw a line, consign anything said and unsaid to the past, and move on to a new era of sensible debate within Carrboro.

That doesn't mean that there won't be active and genuine disagreement over issues and even personalities. But let's all hope that the election results will draw to a close the entirety of this particular unhealthy process.

Inflate this? No. In the opinion of many, he "admitted to making a mistake that day in the parking lot" AFTER telling a different story.

This does not equate to a violation of public trust? Disagree - not being truthful always matters.

Hounding of Dan? Pleeze!

Score political points? Classic deflection, in my opinion!

"In Fred's examples, I think the voters had the ultimate say on whether to keep those officials (or at least they did in Keith Cook's case)" No, the man resigned under pressure as chair AND was also on the ballot for reelection; two different events.

I don't vote in Carrboro but I think this is an important issue because Dan's history as an activist and writer in our community make it one.

Those who downplay this need to remember their double standard thinking when the next case comes along, as it's just a matter of time, sad to say.

Ruby--if you know about the insults and slanders about you on STP, you also know that Fred and I have been countering those lies with fact on your behalf. To use that as an example and then claim that any attempts to discuss Dan's situation as a desperate attempt to score political points fill in the blank.

In the thread Dan himself started (probably one of his Herald columns) on Keith Cook, he was challenging the calls from others for Keith to step down. Dan wrote "My own suggestion is that he should attend a writing class or, if available, a public speaking class this summer at the high school. He should be graded like any other student. In the fall, he should appear at a high school assembly to announce his grade and explain what he has learned to the student body."

That's a bit more punitive than a public apology, mandated by the court to avoid criminal penalty.

In that same thread Dan responds to Eleanor Murray with "Cook needs to take responsibility for what he did and acknowledge its special significance for him as a leader of the school system. You help neither Cook nor the community by collaborating in his equivocation."

"Of course, the candidates you support each have their own achilles heels don't they? One smear campaign could well end up begetting another one. How ugly would you like for this to get?"

Terri Buckner 10/22/2007

Apparently questioning Cook and Ryan's campaign policies and their attitudes toward Carrboro as whole and toward specific activities in particular ups the ante to the current ugliness of character defamation.

Inflate this? No. In the opinion of many, he “admitted to making a mistake that day in the parking lot” AFTER telling a different story.

This does not equate to a violation of public trust? Disagree - not being truthful always matters.

Hounding of Dan? Pleeze!

Score political points? Classic deflection, in my opinion!

I agree with all of the points that Fred made in the excerpted post. The Rove-like deflection particularly bothers me too.

In the thread Dan himself started (probably one of his Herald columns) on Keith Cook, he was challenging the calls from others for Keith to step down. ...

And I agree with Terri's comments on this matter.

"In the opinion of many, he “admitted to making a mistake that day in the parking lot” AFTER telling a different story."


Isn't it possible that after two hours of discussion and mediation that Dan now saw the situation from a different perspective, that of Ms. Kotecki, and thus admitted his actions were wrong and apologized? Isn't that the value of having this sort of procedure?

Terri and Fred, I do very much appreciate your attempts to keep Brian Voyce honest on STP, although I'm skeptical that any rational or factual arguments can have much effect there.

Like Geoff, I have been hoping for some post-election reconciliation. It's important to keep in mind that almost all of us are doing what we think is best for the community. We just have very different ideas about what is best and how to accomplish it. I wish the election could be more clearly about those two things (and I'm working on a new post to that effect).

As opposed to the Rove-like deflection of responding to every comment on a thread about two candidates with multiple comments about another.

The idea that there is an entire community of women - activists and attorneys and mothers and grandmothers and elected officials and counselours and health care professionals - who have tolerated a pattern of mistreatment of women is ludicrous.

And it is insulting to the amazing and savvy women in this community to continue to imply or state that it's the case.
And also gives an impression of what those belabouring that point think of that community.

I waited over a week after the court date to raise this issue Maria. I've pointed out the good benefits Dan has brought to the community and noted that anyone of us could find ourselves in the exact same position on any given stressful day. If you think that is defamation of character, so be it. I posted the other night after discussions with many of my women friends who are all as baffled, and in many instances, disillusioned, as I am by the responses such as yours.

Why can't we express opposing opinions without turning to insults? "We just have very different ideas about what is best and how to accomplish it." Exactly. And lately it seems like personalities rather than different ideas are what drive Orange politics.

Well, on a completely different note, While Sharon and I were working at the polls Saturday, we had a chat with Barry Garner who advised us that it was fine for us to have snacks and coffee available at the polling places, as long as we offered them to everyone...just like I did during the last election much to the consternation of some OP denizens. So to avoid any confusion, Sugarland Blend coffee and various tasty treats are our way of saying thank you to everyone for caring about Carrboro and for voting in local elections......No matter who you did, or didn't vote for.

Hey Katrina,

Since you saw the light and decided to locate Sugarland on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, we Chapel Hillians certainly wouldn't mind if you wanted to thank us for caring about Chapel Hill and exercising our voting privilege as well.

Stop by George ( and anyone else who may choose to do so) , and have a cookie and some coffee...we don't ask if you live in Carrboro.

Geez louise, tough crowd around here. First Katrina Ryan is faulted for bringing cookies, then she's faulted for not bringing enough cookies.

Come on over, there's cookies enough for everyone.

Somehow, my response to George jumped in front of his question ?????

I just manually updated the time zone, sorry for any confusion. It all looks in the right order to me, though.

Katrina, My polling place is Culbreth Middle School and I plan to vote on my way into work--around 8:45 am. Cookies before work sounds very decadent!

Eric, Katrina knows I was kidding. But I might still take her up on that offer.

sigh. I ALREADY voted. No cookies for me.

For you Melanie, there are always cookies. I can drop a sample box at Southern States as I seg into town tomorrow. Oatmeal with cranberries & candied ginger, chewy chocolate cherry, or double chocolate peanut butter boom booms ??

Katrina--you are too generous. Oatmeal with cranberries or chewy chocolate cherry, please! Hey, is Sugarland open? I'll make a pilgrimage if it is ! I didn't think to look when we voted at the Old Post Office on Friday. I was too intent on the whole voting thang.



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