Why I won't be voting for Mr. Czajkowski for Major of Chapel Hill

In general most politician's campaign materials lack details.  Its easy to say we're going to reduce taxes, but much, much harder to identify what to cut, so I'm not going to rule him out based on that.  What did make up my mind, however, is his misunderstanding of mixed-use developments:

The notion is that people “live, work and play” within each “mixed use” project. We now have two major “mixed use” projects that have been in place for over a decade – Southern Village and Meadowmont – and the theory hasn’t worked the way it was anticipated. Few residents of these developments actually work in them, and the retail areas are generally perceived to be struggling. Despite this, the Council has continued to approve – indeed encourage – more of the same. During my time on the Town Council, I have tried over and over again to simply get the question of whether “mixed use” as we have defined it is working or not – with virtually no success.

- http://www.mattformayor.org/section_content/detail/17

The assumption that unless people live and work in the same neighborhood, then mixed-use neighborhoods must be flawed is so silly its obvious he doesn't know a single thing about city planning.  Mixed-use developments attempt to provide an alternative to the prevailing cul-de-sac design, not refashion society.  Say for example, I opened a business in Southern Village.  Does he think I'd only hire people who lived in the neighborhood?  Or that people who live in the neighborhood could only work at businesses in the neighborhood?

As far as I know the prevailing 60-year-old cul-de-sac development style never underwent an analysis by the town to see if it was meeting its goals. It would be an interesting experiment to have the town do a top-down analysis of people's goals and then decide what types of neighborhoods to build, but the tradition is to use supply and demand in regards to what housing to build, and then let people vote with their dollars.  In reality, its very clear that people want different styles of housing based on their individual needs, and there's no one neighborhood style that will satisfy everyone.  Unfortunately the point is moot as the town is almost completely out of land so there aren't any options left for building low-density Cary-style neighborhoods.

What I expect from council members and the mayor is they take the time to learn about the subjects that come up for our town, for example, transportation, city planning, neighborhood development, homelessness, etc, which I simply do not see in this candidate.



This is a good post, and I would normally promote something like this, but the front page is super crowded.  Thanks for doing the research and sharing your opinions, Michael.

Madam Sinreich where is the fairness in this post when in "the most important endorsement" blog dated 10-25-09 you state "do not refer to any candidates for whom you are not voting." Furthermore you state that the post will be removed. Both you and CZEI have stepped over the line so remove the blog and admit that you and CZEI broke the rule!

That was the rule for that specific post/thread.  This is a different one, so different rules. 

I didn't realize the site had a policy on this.  Is it in the FAQ somewhere that I simply overlooked?

JCB is correct that Poppalax is confused. Some posts, such as our annual endorsements thread, have special rules for commenting. They are tagged "special rules" and the rules are written at the top of the post. The rules do not apply to the whole site!

Thanks for helping to crystallize my thoughts regarding Mr. Czajowski's critisms of Southern Village and Meadowmont.  The alternative would have been housing only withouth the schools and businesses.  This approach would have further increased reliance on residential property taxes rather than reduced it.  So it's not clear what he believes would have been better utilizations of these spaces.I also find it ironic that Mr. Czajowski chose to hold a rally in the Village Green at Southern Village.  Part of the design of Southern Village was to provide a public common for events such as campaign rally.  By holding his event in the Village Green I would suggest that he is affirming the success of one of the key elements of the plan.


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