Fact-checking Czajkowski (again)

I continue to be amazed by the number of people who tell me they don't see a huge difference between Mark Kleinschmidt and Matt Czajkowski. These folks usually describe themselves as "progressive" (as do I, for the record) but they say they're voting for Matt based on some single issue. Let me tell you, folks, I believe there is a huge difference between these two mayoral candidates, and I think anyone who is concerned with social, racial, or economic justice will find themselves disappointed in a Czajkowski mayoralty.

One of my biggest problems with Matt has been that I think he takes credit for work he didn't do (and sometimes doesn't even understand). And while he's quick to criticize policies, I don't see him doing much to find workable solutions that can actually be implemented in Chapel Hill.  Recently I received a mailer from Czajkowski that was so full of arrogant and misleading statements that I just couldn't believe he had the nerve to publish it. Let's review:

"Matt Czajkowski: A leader for the entire community

"Matt Czajkowski saw that fiscal sustainability was a critical issue well before others did. He was the first to publicly call for a new vision for growth. And he's been the strongest advocate for taking the steps to make downtown a place we can all enjoy.

"He has the courage to challenge town expenses. He was the only council member to vote against giving the council lifetime healthcare benefits. And, he has promised that he will ask the council to freeze property taxes for the next two years.

"Matt Czajkowski has pleaded with his fellow council members to consider a broad anti-panhandling law for downtown and has consistently said we need to add more parking.

"As mayor, Matt will insist that the interests of the entire community are heard."

Matt didn't even attend a Council meeting until two years ago, when the Council had been working on fiscal responsibility for years, so he was actually pretty late to that party. For example, in 2005 the Council created the Citizens Budget Review Committee to recommend cost-saving measures. Also, the Planning Board was calling for the town to update the Comprehensive Plan or create a vision statement long before Matt was paying attention.

Matt was the only Council member to vote against lifetime benefits when it was first proposed on the Council's Consent agenda (what was Foy thinking?), but in no way was he alone in speaking out against it, and in fact the Council was unanimous in reversing the policy when it was brought back before them.

Every time I read him talking about including "the entire community," I just keeping thinking that he doesn't really mean everyone. For example, what about folks who are having such a tough time making ends meet that they are forced to live on the streets or ask strangers for money? He certainly has never indicated that he will work to represent people like me who disagree with him on many issues.

By the way, this mailer was a modest black-and-white, half page. What is Czajkowski using the rest of that $20,000 for?




Ah...the sense of humor slowly creeps back in to OP.  Thanks, Steve, for doing your part. 

Not really.  :)Matt did show leadership there whether you agree with him or not, whether you think the council would have acted differently or not, or whether you think it was justified or not. 

Is that the idea was originally to make running for public office more accessible to people who weren't as well to do. The concern being if you go part time at your regular job to do town council then you can lose your health benefits with that job.  So the answer to that was to town health benenfits, then the question is what if something happens to me while I'm a council person, and when that term is up I'm then between jobs and stuck with a pre-existing conditions.   Then the question is how do our neigbhoring municiaplities handle that issue.  The answer was longer term health benefits. Whether that was the right or wrong way to go about it, I hardly think it was an evil power/money grab by greedy public servants.

This was Health Care for life after retirement. In the current economic climate that seems a bit self-serving. But since I think we need Single Payer, I have to be careful not to get off topic. Council is part-time but they get full-time coverage. That is fair.The Health Care for life was the issue. Matt Cz. stood alone on it until the voters became outraged. If you want to be a public servant, then shouldn't you be doing it for the good of your community, not free health care.  

It's self-serving in _any_ economic climate.  It is absolutely ridiculous that anyone would actually seriously considering giving _lifetime health benefits_ in return for serving a few years on a part time job.  And yet were it not for Matt Cz the CH TC would not only have voted for it but voted for it _unanimously_.   If would probably be worth it, financially-speaking, for someone take a loan from the bank to put enough money into a campaign to win a seat if in exchange you get _lifetime_ health benefits.  What is the monetary value of that?  A thousand a year if you're 30?  Five thousand a year if you're 50?  Whatever, I don't know the exacts, but do some math and add it up over the course of a lifetime.  It's ridiculous.  It shows total disdain for the citizens of CH.

Having largely absented myself from discussions about local politics, it was with some trepidation that I visited OP last week to get my bearings about the election.  So many surprising comments on so many fronts.For me, mayoral elections are always about the future, about what will be important for generations to come.  I place more of a premium on having an inspiring vision for the common good than I do on fiscal or operational concerns. That's why I'm voting for Mark Kleinschmidt.  



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