The most important endorsement

In honor of early voting starting yesterday in Hillsborough and this Monday in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, I am kicking off our annual special-rules endorsement thread. The rules are simple: tell us who you are voting for, if you want you can also tell us why. Please do not discuss any candidates you are not supporting, or your comment will be deleted. This is the one post a year where I require that you keep your comments nice. ;-)

Here's where to vote, see this post for more details.

  • Orange County Public Library Conference Room, 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough
  • Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St, Carrboro
  • Chapel Hill Post Office, 179 East Franklin St., Chapel Hill

Early voting ends on Saturday, Nov.3, and the main event is Tuesday Nov. 6.



I was very happy to hear that Mike Kelley is seeking re-election for CHCCS School Board. I believe he has been a valuable addition to the School Board for a number of reasons, but will limit myself to discussing three.

1. Communication with Parents and other Stakeholders

Mike has frequently discussed school issues here and at SqueezeThePulp and, to the best of my knowledge, has participated in these forums the most of the School Board members. Additionally, I have been told by a number of parents that, if they send emails to the entire Board, they are most likely to hear from Mike and to hear from him first.

2. Preparation and Research

When I attend BOE meetings or watch them on cable, Mike always seems to be extremely well prepared to handle any business at hand and comes up with important insights and implications that others might not have considered. He also spends a great deal of time keeping current on education research and trends outside of this district which makes him an even more valuable resource for us.

3. Foresight

In the past year, the state has increased the EOG proficiency standards for math because NC standards were inadequate and some of the least ambitious in the nation. The state reading proficiency standards will also be upgraded. In the past couple of years, the district has realized that students achieving minimal proficiency on EOGs (Level III) in early grades are not necessarily prepared for later grades.

Mike was talking about the inadequacy of NC "proficiency" and the danger of being satisfied with minimal proficiency standards at least five years ago, long before this problem was "discovered" by some professional educators. Mike was sometimes demonized for his "heresy" but he held his ground and was ultimately vindicated. Some of the things Mike thinks about now are the things that the rest of us will be thinking about sooner or later.

I appreciate Ruby providing this opportunity for input and I hope others will value Mike's openness, hard work, and foresight.

I'm not excited by many of the other candidates in CH or CHCCS, but I want to add another reason I'm voting for Mike Kelley for school board.

He is willing to consider answers other than the "party line" on issues such as Gifted Education. Differentiation is not working to challenge all of our kids. Mike appears to be willing to keep the focus on making sure all kids grow and learn, while the administration is satisfied with proficiency only.

I also want to echo the comment about being the ONLY school board member I've ever received responses from when emailing the entire board (or even a response to a letter to the editor at the CHN).

In the school board race, my preferences are: Gary Wallach, Anetta Streater and probably Jamezetta Bedford and Mia Burroughs.

In Chapel Hill I support the same three folks that I did four years ago: Sally Greene, Bill Strom, and Cam Hill. They are all very experienced in their unique issue areas. And I've also become a zealous convert to Jim Ward, who I think has been doing good work and asking the right questions. All four do a great job representing Chapel Hill, and I want them on the Council for the tough issues ahead like Carolina North and the transition of downtown.

Of course I don't get to vote in Carrboro, but if I did I would vote for Joal Broun, Dan Coleman, and Lydia Lavelle. Each of these people brings a crucial perspective to the table. I've known Joal and Dan for years and appreciate their dedication to social and environmental justice. And I think Lydia will add an essential voice from the newly-annexed northern area.

And I think Mark Chilton is a great Mayor who deserves re-election, and (in full disclosure) he's also a good friend.

However you do it, please vote!

The Day family are supporting BOA candidates Broun, Coleman, Lavelle and Mark Chilton for mayor. They are the candidates that have ideas, vision and reputations that most closely represent what my family hopes for our community.
On Coleman, who I don't personally know, after his dust up in the park I had to be convinced. After doing some investigation I got a clearer picture of a thoughtful, committed indivdual that has long advocated for issues important to me. I especailly appreciated his reputation of accessibility to all.
That said I am grateful for all the candidates. I would rather get poked in the eye with a sharp stick than put myself up to that kind scrutiny. Besides that I don't like sitting in meetings, suffering fools, and being lied about, things that seem to be the daily diet of a politician. Thank-you all for caring and giving.

I am voting for the following candidates and looking forward to working with them
Mark Chilton- Hands down the best Carrboro mayor during the 31 years I have lived here and 18 years I have served on the board. Excellent at building consensus.always well informed, good at keeping his cool in heated discussions and keeping the board on track.
Dan Coleman-Very smart, does his homework and comes to meetings well prepared. Exciting vision for economic development that includes everyone and honors the environment.Great Dad!
Joal Hall Broun-We have learned to spare well together :) She is very committed to affordable housing and expanding the tax base. Good to work with
Lydia Lavelle-will bring a fresh voice to the BOA, Great experience with greenways and as a resident of the annexed area she will keep the board aware of and sensitive to the issues effecting our new neighbors. Plus I really enjoy hanging out with her!
Jacquie Gist

For Chapel Hill, I plan to vote for the incumbents,
alphabetically, Foy, Greene, Hill, Strom and Ward. The
town is in excellent shape, and these five have served us
well. That they wish to continue is good for them and us.

Since Ruby started the "Well if I lived there I would vote for"
thread, for Carrboro, I would select, again alphabetically,
Broun, Chilton, Cook and Lavelle. Ruby's instructions
not to discuss someone whom I wouldn't vote for prohibit
my stating reasons for the Aldermen selections.
I firmly agree with Jacquie that Mark Chilton has been a great mayor.

I plan to vote for Mia Burroughs, Gary Wallach, and Mike Kelley. Haven't decided on the 4th.

If I could vote in Chapel Hill, I would vote for Foy, Strom, Greene, and Penny Rich.

If I could vote in Carrboro, I would vote for Joal Broun, Sharon Cook, Katrina Ryan, and Chuck Morton. Would love to see a sitting council that was 90% female! Chuck Morton might have entered this race without any intention of being a serious candidate, but he has impressed me, not for his wonkiness, but for his capacity to get along with people from different camps. He was able to disagree on one issue with one or the other of the candidates, and then compliment them on their approach to another issue.

I have to echo my good wife Jacquelyn, Mark Chilton for Mayor Coleman, Broun, Lavelle for Alderman.
Mark is one of the most inclusive poltical minds I have come across on a local level. Dan Coleman has surpassed all my expectations from him on the BOA, he is probably the most prepared member at every meeting and his willingness to reach out to the greater community is outstanding. Joel brings her legal training and years of experience in public office to bear at all times and is a hugely valuable civic servant. Lydia is an extremely pragmatic breath of fresh air, I only wish that there had been two seats available for appointment as I think that she will make an estimable Alderman

Terri, We need to encourage Chuck to stay involved in Carrboro politics and run in the next election for the BoA. He is a terrific guy with a firm grasp on the issues and represents the Carrboro we all love best.

I agree James--except that I'd like to see him on the board in December. One more reason--I like diversity of thought. Too much like-thinking makes me nervous. From the forum performances, Chuck struck me for his ability to take a business approach on one issue and an environmental protection approach on another issue and make it sound cohesive. And he laughed a lot too which is a sure winner.

Voting in Carrboro, I go for Chilton, Broun, Coleman, and Lavelle.

Lydia shows the most willingness of the recently annexed candidates to go the distance. Her door-to-door campaign deserves the endorsement of every Old Carrboro citizen, and her professional credentials put her over the top in that category.

Joal knows everything, period. I have yet to hear a candidate for Carrboro Alderman or Mayor declare a moratorium on affordable housing. I tried and flunked two years ago. Joal somehow keeps the dream alive insistently along with our tax base imperatives.

Dan has done a fine job as Alderman. He replaces Alex on my preferred slate of candidates in terms of pure smarts. Dan also has never failed to treat this particular constituent like a friend at a time when I literally thrive on strokes.

I vote for Mark not only because he replaced Mike so gracefully but also because of his Chapel Hill affiliation. All Carrboro voters should keep a close eye on the Chapel Hill elections and key staff appointments.

In choosing candidates, I'm looking for experience. I want pragmatic knowledgeable candidates who understand what has been tried, what can't be done and what can be done and what hasn't been tried. I also want candidates who are here for the long haul.

As a former resident of Chapel Hill (like most people who have lived here awhile, I've been back and forth across the line), I've been voting for Mark Chilton for years. Mark's work for our communities began when he was an undergraduate - as was I at the time. Also like me/us, the Chilton family made a decision to live and commit to Carrboro as the town where they wanted to raise their children. As such, Mark is not just responding to the desires of the Carrboro that is, he's thinking ahead to what kind of Carrboro serves the next generation and what kind of Carrboro do we need to grow old in. He has a long term perspective. As a leader, Mark has a way of being both circumspect and cutting to the chase all at once.

I will also be voting with great joy for Dan Coleman. I have known Dan most my adult life, having met him when I first interned at Internationalist Books in the late 80s. For several years, we were out of touch and then ended up with children the same age and running into each other everywhere. But I have a lot of old friends with children and I don't think most of them should be anywhere near the BOA.
Long before Dan was running for office or in office, we would discuss local governance. I would say "Well, obviously, this needs to happen." And Dan would say "Possibly. But have you considered how this other group of people would feel about that?" Dan recognizes that communities are made of people not just principles and ideas.
Dan is also a powerful thinker who has spent the last twenty years researching innovative solutions to the problems communities and municipalities face and how they might apply here. We - as a community - can not get stuck in reactionary thinking. We have to turn our attention to what we desire and how we can shape a town with those qualities. Dan has the perfect toolset for this work.

I'm impressed with the work our BOA is doing and the way they've risesn to the challenges we face, so I will also be voting for Joal Hall Broun.

And my final vote will go to Lydia Lavelle. During the appointment process, I was impressed by her resume' and the work that she had accomplished in Durham. She's obviously a committed citizen who works hard and well wherever she lives. Again I'm looking for knowledge and experience in our officials and she has it. She's familiar with our region and she understands North Carolina laws and policies around business, development and the enviroment. It's also apparent that the current BOA is interested in working with her and that says a lot to me as I am still pretty happy with the BOA we have.

I feel so fortunate to live in Carrboro and have this caliber of person to elect.

I really liked this thread and am glad Ruby put it out here so I thought I would try to breathe some new life into it.

I am delighted that School Board Chair Jamezetta Bedford is running for re-election. I gave three reasons for why I like Mike Kelley and I have 3.5 for Jamezetta (not as a matter of preference but she gets an extra 0.5 for being Chair).

1. Broad Range of Children

Jamezetta and her husband have three unique children with differing educational needs. I believe this has given her a special empathy for a wide range of district children. As she stated at the PTA/LWV forum, we can't use a "one size fits all" approach. She has been candid about the limitations of differentiated instruction as it is practiced in this district yet also clear that "tracking" is not an option.

2. Money Stuff

Ms. Bedford is an accountant and has applied her skills to the tough and thankless task of district budgeting. Being both honest and astute with numbers, I am glad that she is one of the people keeping an eye on the almost one-half billion dollars that are spent during every four year term. As the budget (and money pressures) grow, her background will become even more important.

3. Jamezetta as Member and Chair

Jamezetta has been an effective and even-handed chair. Her style is to be low key with a focus on making things happen. That she is "below the radar" of many people is testimony to her humility and genuine dedication to public service.

And 3.5 . . . she is, without exception, one of the nicest people I have ever known (and has managed to remain so after four years of Board service!!)

I believe that those who know Jamezetta have already decided to re-elect her. I hope that this has been useful to those who are less familiar with her.

If I were in the CH-Carrboro district I would be pleased to vote for all but one of the candidates based upon their view of military recruiting and ROTC involvement in the schools.

Kelly, Bedford, Wallach, & Burroughs all took relatively strong stands in favor of countering military recruiting by education and information. This is a very hopeful sign and citizens should not forget that they took these stands after they are elected. It will be very important to follow-up on this isse.

We have seen that the national leadership has systematically ignored the will of the people on the Iraq & Afghanistan occupations and continues to support further militarization of our society, including preying upon our young people. Local resistance to this militarization is very important to the future health of our children and may be the most effective way we can counter the threat to our collective future.

See the Carrboro Citizen article:

I will vote for Burroughs, Bedford, and Streater for BOE. As for the 4th, I'll just leave that blank.

I voted on Friday afternoon at the old Post Office. I was
number 129 FOR THE WHOLE WEEK! Nancy Tolley, one of
the poll workers lamented how light the turnout has been, and
I sadly agreed.

I'm surprised to only have 16 comments here so far. Are you all being coy, or you not made up your minds yet? ;-)

I just voted Friday, for Foy, Strom, Greene, Ward, and Raymond in Chapel Hill. Despite all of the nasty ways Will's attitude has been framed, he's still the best ideological match for me, and I hope he'll use his abundant energy when on council for progressing his ideas and mending old rifts. That said, perhaps Ruby will allow me the exception to say something briefly about someone I didn't vote for, Cam Hill, to say that I think he's done a perfectly good job on Council and won't be disappointed to see him return.

I voted for Mike Kelley and only Mike Kelley for CHCBOE. I thought we had five excellent candidates to choose from, but I hope my vote is directly counteracting the vote of one person who relies solely on the Indy's misguided school board endorsements. Unfortunately, I think the number of folks who do little or no research beyond the Independent is pretty high.

Mark Marcopolos's School Board endorsements work for me. I'll vote for Kelley, Bedford, Burroughs, and Wallach.

My votes in CH will go to Foy, Strom, Greene, Hill, and Ward for reasons I have given in my letters of endorsement.

My votes for CHCBOE will be for Kelley, Bedford, Burroughs and Streater.

Will Raymond for CH Town Council. We need someone like Will to question future Lot 5 debacles and ask thorough questions about Carolina North.

Here are my CHCCS School Board votes

I would also like to point out that I voted for other CH Town council candidates, but I highlighted Will because of his treatment on OP.

This Carrboro voter is pulling for Will too. Chapel Hill's results greatly affect Carrboro. I think we need Will on our side over there.

See above: Yup.


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