And so it begins... Filing officially starts today!

From the Orange County Board of Elections :

2009 Municipal and

Chapel Hill/Carrboro School Board

Election Schedule and

Candidate Filing Information


Election Day is November 3rd

In observance of Independence Day, the Board of Elections office will be closed

Friday, July 3rd.


Filing will start at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, July 6, 2009,

and will end at 12:00 Noon, Friday, July 17, 2009.

Filing Fees and number of seats open:

  • Chapel Hill Mayor - $5.00 – 1 Seat

  • Chapel Hill Town Council - $5.00 – 4 Seats

  • Carrboro Mayor - $15.00 – 1 Seat

  • Carrboro Alderman - $10.00 – 3 Seats

  • Hillsborough Mayor - $10.00 – 1 Seat

  • Hillsborough Town Commissioner - $10.00 - 2 Seats

  • Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education - $5.00 – 3 Seats

Filing forms, along with the proper filing fee, must be received bythis office before the filing deadline of 12:00 Noon on July 17, 2009.This includes mailed notices of candidacy.


Important Dates


October 2, 2009 - Ballots available for Absentee Voting by Mail.

October 9, 2009 -Voter Registration Deadline. Postmarked or in Elections office.

October 15, 2009 - One Stop (Early) Voting Begins. Citizens mayregister and vote during the one-stop period if they failed to registerbefore the October 9th deadline.

October 27, 2009 - Requests for By-Mail Absentee Voting ends.

Note: Requests must be in writing and in Elections office by October 27th.

October 31, 2009 - One Stop (Early) Voting Ends at 1:00 p.m.

November 10, 2009 - Official County Canvass.

November 16, 2009 - Certificates of Election Issued by County Board of Election.



she just files and is already being called a witch?

Interesting?  Yes.  Relevent?  Probably not.  The people of Carrboro have shown themselves to be enlightened enough to judge candidates by their positions on the issues and past accomplishments rather than sexual or gender identity, or religion for that matter.  I wouldn't worry that a little research about a candidate is going to bias people against her.  To be honest, I have no idea what the religious views of most of my local elected officials are.  It might be interesting to find out, or it might not.  Some people are more personally intriguing than others.  But their religious preference would have no bearing on whether or not I voted for them, lest they found a religion that espouses specific views on transportation funding or solar setbacks.

I chose my words very carefully earlier today: Amanda could be anyone.  The Facebook page and various other writings are flamboyantly Wiccan.  They date back to 2006, however, and don't mean a whole lot.  I haven't seen Amanda around town in quite a while. 

She's not working in downtown Carrboro any longer. Phydeaux had to move to Chapel Hill to find a space large enough to accommodate the success of their business.

How can someone say they want to keep southern Orange "rural and green" and then say "I'm against more cars?"  That is a contradiction.I think what they mean is "I want to keep southern Orange rural and green  even though it will result in more cars, because although there will be more cars, I will see fewer of them."  Or maybe they don't mean that and instead are simply unable or unwilling to apply simple reasoning to the situation. 1 + 1 = 2, no mattr how much we wish 1 + 1 = 1.

... has filed to run for the Board of Aldermen again.  She is joined by Tim Peck of Peck & Artisans.

as expected, filed at the last minute.

Brian Voyce in for Mayor of Carrboro.

Braying Voice.

Yeah, and I could swear somebody said he had left the area. 

There will be seven candidates for three available seats for the Chapel Hill Carrboro School Board: Shell Brownstein, Susana Dancy, Joe Green, MaryAnn Gucciardi, Christine Lee, Greg McElveen, and Gary Wallach, They appear to represent a range of interests and experiences so I am hopeful that school board race will generate interesting and illuminating discussion.  And, yes, it's splendid to be in the audience this cycle!  At least it looks like they won't have to pound signs into rock-hard, drought-baked ground. 

This is not terribly relevant to the election, but as an aside Triangulator reports that Susana Dancy once starred in "Worlds Apart," a reality TV show on Fox:, Ms. Dancy and her family left their home in Southern Village to live with the Iban people in the jungles of Malaysia.  Sounds like a pretty incredible experience.  I suppose this experience might have given Ms. Dancy a little perspective on the increasing population of Karen refugees who have come to our area from Burma.  Although I think the Karen people are much more westernized than the Iban, judging by what I see on the internet.  Or maybe "Worlds Apart" is just completely irrelevant.

Nobody has mentioned Bill Strom here and how sigificant the timing of a possible resignation would be since it could give voters the opportunity to elect five, the current Council to appoint, or a new Council to appoint the person.If true, the decision would tell us that we're talking real politics!

[My understanding of a quick read of the charter is that any vacancy ocurring prior to 40 days before the election (late September) will result in the top 5 candidates being elected -- the council can appoint someone to serve until early December. ] oops overlooked a 1995 amendment that changed the cutoff to be 3 days before the filing deadline 

I think I actually initiated that 1995 amendment, Gerry.  The idea was to ensure that potential candidates would know how many seats were available in any given election.  But I don't really see how this whole subject is relevant, as there is no vacancy to be filled.

I was responding to speculation in a post

So then this would mean that, if Bill Strom quits between now and the elections, the current town council gets to pick a replacement for his remaining two years?!

Amanda Ashley, candidate for Carrboro Mayor, is having a fundraising party at Southern Rail at 8:00PM this Sunday.

As I am often wont to do, whether it be about issues relating to animal welfare, Franklin Street halloween, equality, local elections or what have you, I decided to share my thoughts in a WCHL Commentary regarding Voter Owned Elections.  Of course in 90 secs you can't hope to go into much detail, so I didn't try to go for a technical explaination of what the program was, instead I just went for an overview and focused on some of the aspects that I think make it a kind of cool way to do things.  Here is what I said (it'll probably play later this week):--------------------------------------------------This is Jake Gellar-Goad.  I’m a Chapel Hill resident, and I’ve got something to say.Filing recently ended for this November’s municipal elections, and I’m really excited about the new Voter-Owned Elections program our town is trying out.  I’ve been a big fan ever since I attended a town hall public forum in June, and here’s why:I like that it limits the influence of special interests.  For the bulk of their fundraising, Voter-Owned Candidates can only accept small donations -- between 5 and 20 dollars -- from registered Chapel Hill voters.I like that it gets new people engaged in the political process, even if they aren’t wealthy enough to fund a campaign, since they can now access this public finance program.  However, people who wish to use public funds must first prove that they are serious candidates with a certain number of donations from local voters.I like that anyone can have a big impact.  A receptionist like me can afford a 5 or 20-dollar donation.  My husband the grad student can too.  And I think not placing local politics out of a student’s price range is an important step in engaging youth with the political process.Finally, I like the idea of Chapel Hill being a statewide trendsetter.  The Orange County Democratic Party stated in a recent e-mail:  “The bill that would have extended public financing was put on hold in the Senate because they wanted to see how the Chapel Hill election goes.”Voter-Owned Elections have been effective in Portland and Albuquerque -- and I fully believe they can be effective here, too.  So I encourage everyone to research and support the Voter-Owned Candidates this election season! 

Bravo! and in 90 seconds.

Jake, I thought you did a good job with your commentary this morning.  I also believe that we need to fix our system, but this isn't the one.  I also don't believe that being "a statewide trendsetter" is the important or appropriate standard. And just because someone is participating in VOE, that doesn't qualify them for my support.You also mention Portland and Albuquerque.  Look at the differences in their electoral histories compared to ours and you will see that it isn't a real good comparison.  I  still say that if our leaders really wanted to fix things, they would address the "really big money" elections in North Carolina before these municipal ones where in our case, money generally doesn't win elections.After two elections with VOE, Chapel Hill's program gets evaluated, so we shall see.

"After two elections with VOE, Chapel Hill's program gets evaluated, so we shall see." I too look forward to that evaluation. I hope to do another commentary soon about supporting local shelters & a pet food drive I'm organizing, so you may hear me again as early as next week (I'll probably type up a blog post about it too) . ------------------------------------------------ Jake Gellar-Goad, who attended public information sessions on the
process, not only supports the spirit of voter-owned elections, but it
also plays a significant part in who'll get his vote.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with people who don't opt in,
but for me, as a voter, I am attracted to people who are using this
program," he said. "I think if either Mark or Penny wins, it'll get new
people involved because they'll see it work."-------------------------------------------------It looks like me, Fred, and a few other OPers made it into this article.  It is kind of fun to be a part of the public discussion about municipal elections.  Now the question is how to get more of my age-contemporary peers to see how much fun this can be.

Fred, your phrase: "where in our case, money generally doesn't win elections".Do you think Matt C would have won in 2007 without his record spending?  

chose those words, Joe because Matt has said the same thing, so I stick with the use of "generally."  Matt has said that he was against five incumbents working together and rather than try to raise the money, he spent his own.  I at least know where it came from and I also know that he derived no benefits from the spending of other candidates.Remember also that we have had a #1 who spent the least; that makes a compelling statement to me.

"we have had a #1 who spent the least"A number of times, too.

Matt C spent his own money. I don't think he should have spent so much but at least he wasn't bought by outside interests. And given that he was up against all incumbents, how do any of us know how much his spending offset their name recognition. We've had this discussion before.

I'm not sure this has been required before. This is an important part of the new policy.


If you go to the SBOE site you can look at his reports.Not sure what you are referring to by the "new policy" but if he is not participating in the VOE program, then what he spends becomes important in determining if a participant receives "rescue funds:"

Sec. 2-95.        Availability of Rescue Funds.            Additional public grants to certified candidates (rescue funds) shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of this Section.(a)    Rescue funds shall be provided to all certified candidates for an office (Mayor or Council) when a candidate for the same office files a required report showing that that candidate has raised or spent 140% of the spending limit for a certified candidate.(b)   Rescue funds shall also be provided to a certified candidate, when required reports of independent expenditures which oppose the certified candidate or support an opponent of the certified candidate show spending in excess of 140% of the spending limit for a certified candidate.   (c)    Upon the submittal of a required report by any candidate or entity making independent expenditures indicating that the threshold for distribution of rescue funds has been met, the State Board shall have up to two full business days to oppose the issuance of rescue funds to certified candidates seeking the same office.(d)   For purposes of determining if the limits have been exceeded to trigger the award of rescue funds, amounts raised and spent by a candidate and any independent expenditures that name that same candidate shall be combined; amounts spent that address multiple candidates shall be apportioned accordingly.(e)    Rescue funds for certified candidates for Town Council are set at $2000 for candidates for Town Council and at $4000 for candidates for Mayor. Rescue funds awarded to a candidate are not counted in the calculation of issuing rescue funds. (f)    In the event that the funds held in the Town’s account for grants would be insufficient to provide the maximum rescue grant to all certified candidates, the Town shall distribute funds so that all certified Mayoral candidates receive an equal amount of public funds and all certified Council candidates receive an equal amount at the same overall ratio as the amounts provided for in paragraph (e) of this Section.(g)   Rescue funds are a onetime award to each certified candidate for the office for which the limits provided by this Section have been surpassed.

It does no good for the electorate to know about key donors after the election.

From the letter I received today:

After a decade of service on the Chapel Hill Town
Council, the time has come for me to move on in my lifeís commitments and
challenges. I am resigning my council position as of Aug. 1, 2009, to pursue
other personal and professional opportunities outside the community.


More later and in Thursday's Carrboro Citizen. 

the date does matter, don't you think? 

the combination of an extra seat & the VOE option might have attracted more candidates to run if that seat had been made available sooner? What happens to the people who are running for town council now?  Can they be considered for that seat?   Or will someone who didn't want to run for town council going to be considered?  How does this work?

Not sure if more would have run or not, but any eligible citizen - including those who are declared candidates - can apply.  In the past we have appointed people who were never candidates. Here are the complete rules from our Town Attorney.  Note that the Council could delay making an appointment until the election (my preference) and letting the will of the voters prevail:

 Council Member Bill Strom's term of office is scheduled to run until December, 2011. He has resigned effective August 1, 2009. The procedures for filling a vacancy on the Chapel Hill Town Council are established by Town Ordinance. (See Chapter 2, Article 2 of the Town Code.) Under the provisions of the Town Code, a vacancy occurring at this time is subject to being filled by the Town Council for the remainder of the unexpired term of Council Member. (Sec. 2-24 of the Town Code) (In order for a vacancy to be filled by the Town Council only until this fall's election, it would have had to occur three days before the end of the filing period for candidates for this fall's municipal elections. (Sec. 2-24 of the Town Code; Chapter 339, 1995 Session Laws)) The first step in the process for filling a vacancy is for the Mayor to announce, at the next Town Council meeting, that there is a vacancy. (Sec. 2-25 of the Town Code) The Council at this same meeting is required to set a deadline for applications for the vacant seat. Notice of the vacancy is to be published within 7 days of the Mayor's announcement and the deadline for applying is to be 7-30 days after the notice is published. At the first meeting held after the deadline for submitting applications, nominations may be made from those applying. At the next Council meeting at least 6 days after nominations have been made, the Council may make an appointment. (Sec. 2-27 of the Town Code) If an appointment is not made at that meeting, the Code requires the Council to consider the vacancy at each subsequent meeting. (Sec. 2-28 of the Town Code) No specific deadline is established for when the vacancy must be filled. (my emphasis)The Town Council's procedures for filling a vacancy spelled out in the Town Code are established pursuant to the provisions of the Town Charter. These procedures have been followed for filling vacancies and were last modified in 1995, by Sec. 4.1 of Chapter 339 of the 1995 North Carolina Session Laws and Town Ordinance 95-9-11/O-4.

Fred is correct that any person, even a non-incumbent candidate, can apply for the Strom seat.  The incumbents cannot because they would have to vote on their own appointment.I disagree with letting the seat be vacant until the November election and here is why: With some very narrow exceptions that are unlikely to occur, five votes (not the majority of the members present and voting) are required to pass any ordinance or resolution.Thus, with a council at less than full strength, all people and groups who are asking for council decisions, (e.g., developers, non-profits seeking funding, a neighborhood that wants a stop sign) have a lower chance of success.  The council has a responsibility to all the people in town, people on both sides of issues, to have nine members.  To postpone a full-strength council until the first week in December, when the new and incumbent members are (re)sworn in, creates poor representation for several months.  As much as I dislike asking the council and staff to do work during the council break, I think they should call a special meeting to announce officially the vacancy and get the appointment process rolling, rather than wait til Sept 14.


Unless I'm reading the thing incorrectly, nothing keeps an incumbent up for reelection from asking for the appointment.  The can abstain from voting. And would they not be sworn in immediately? Gerry?

Okay then, how about this.  Let's ask the replacement to serve until December and then resign at which time that persons replacement will be selected by the new council.  The new council will be a better representation of the will of the people of CH.  And during the campaign we'd know that in addition to voting for candidates, we're also voting for the people that will select a council member. There may be people that are considering serving on the town council but that don't want to commit to four years because they don't know if it will agree with them and this will be a chance for them to get a short taste. Of course, if they decided not to resign  then we couldn't make them, but I doubt that'd happen since they'd have to live with the public shame of having broken their word and with the knowledge that they'd probably never win an election.

Sorry if this has already been commented upon on OP, but if so, then I haven't seen it:Gary Wallach has dropped out of the CHC School Board race, but has endorsed Shelly Brownstein:

I shared the following message on facebook recently, but I suppose I should share it here too.  Donating to a VOE candidate strikes me as a little more complex than donating to any old candidate so I decided to put together some information about how to donate based on what I saw at the public forum about VOEs & some info I found online.  If anyone sees anything that needs correcting or anything I forgot to mention that they said at the public forum let me know! Help Mark qualify as a Voter Owned Candidate!At this point we're only 50 donations away from our voter-owned elections goal, and I am asking you to help us down the final stretch.Who can donate?You must be a registered voter in Chapel Hill. Hence the whole voter-owned thing.How can I donate?By check only. This is required as a part of the verification process that campaign contributions really are coming from registered voters in town. Some people like myself rely on cards & cash, but even if you don't have a checkbook (like I don't!), you can still go by the local branch for your bank and ask them for an individual check with your checking account number on it.What additional information should be on my check for voter verification?Please make sure your check has the following information on it somewhere. Just write in any extra information needed.Your full name.Your address.Your date of birth OR your voter registration number.Your phone number.How much should I donate?By opting into the voter owned program small dollar donations are the order of the day. If you can afford it, a check for $20 would be much appreciated. If you can't afford to donate you can help by passing along this message on how to donate. Tell a friend, write a facebook note & tag some of your Chapel Hill neighbors, post it on your blog, or what have you.Who do I make the check out to?Kleinschmidt for MayorWhere should I mail it to?Mark Kleinschmidt208 Village Gate Dr.Chapel Hill, NC 27514Have any other questions?Feel free to send me a message!Cheers,Jake Gellar-Goad



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