Foy Endorses Kleinschmidt

Mayor Kevin Foy endorsed Mark Kleinschmidt this morning. Here is his statement:

I hope the voters in Chapel Hill will join me in voting for Mark Kleinschmidt for Mayor. I’ve served as mayor for the past eight years, and I’m proud of our town – we’ve adhered to our values as a place that protects the natural environment, works closely with our university, and respects all our neighbors without regard for their economic status. Over the past eight years, with Mark Kleinschmidt helping to lead the way, Chapel Hill has invested in a safe, vibrant downtown, new greenways, the arts, a major new park, a transit center, a new public works facility, and an aquatics center. We’ve done all this with an eye to prudent money management (we have the highest bond rating) and diversifying our tax base.

And it has paid off – just this year Chapel Hill was named both America’s Most Livable City and Best Place in the Country to Start a Business. We’re doing a lot of things right!

We have a bright future. A vote for Mark for Mayor will keep Chapel Hill on the right track.

Kevin Foy



This endorsement is no surprise but voters should consider the many successes Foy mentions. Do they really want to change the leadership that made them America's Most Livable City?The CH right makes much about trivial issues like health insurance for council members (a bone-headed move but minor in the larger scheme of things) and Bill Strom's resignation (irrelevant to public policy other than that he won't be influencing it any more).Countless cities would envy the record of success that Foy recounts above.

Enough already with the labels like "CH right."  If that's who you think anybody who is not voting for Mark is, then you are really out of touch.  As for "trivial" stuff like money we don't have, take a look at our benefits debt load that was on Wednesday's meeting.It is amazing logic to assume that others can't do even more for our community.  Are you moving back to CH?I also got the endorsement in a mailer in today's mail, and you are right; it was no surprise.

You may know the cost of those proposed benefits. I don't believe that they amount to much in comparison with low-to-no property tax increases while accomplishing:-tripling ridership on CH Transit-building the new aquatics center-completing the Southern Park-completing the new Public Works and Transit Centers-hiring the first Economic Development Director-creating scores of units of affordable housing-exceptionally good town-gown relationships -etc.Maybe someone could improve on that amazing record but why would the voters risk it on some folks with with scant public experience and vague platforms?

I didn't noticed those exceptionally good town-gown relationships until Holden Thorp took over as chancellor. He's the one who deserves the credit for improving relationships, not Foy or the council members.

Terri,I don't disagree with your assessment of the very important role that Holden Thorp played in improving Town-Gown relationships but such relationships are a two-way street.  The improvement we saw couldn't have happened without a receptive Council and probably not without the help of a receptive Chair of the BOT as well.

Dan is painting this as if relationships between the TC and the university are longstanding. My point was that until Holden Thorp took over at UNC last year, there were 7 years of terrible relationships between town and campus. So we've had 1 year of good and 7 years of bad/awful. Was Foy really successful in that regard?Furthermore, it would be relatively easy to question the claim that the TC is responsible for the successful increase in the use of Chapel Hill Transit without knowing more about the data. For example, how much of that increased use is the result of the university's reducing campus parking? How much of that ridership is attributed to all the people who drive into the park and rides because they can't afford to live in town?I'm not saying the TC has not been great at supporting transit, but I think Dan's claims are the result of disingenous pre-election politicking. Which goes to my ongoing disagreement with Chapel Hill and Carrboro elected officials. They make a lot of claims in the absence of data.

I've served on the Transit Partners Committee for the past four years. I am fully aware of the role of the various partners. Believe me, I would not elevate Chapel Hill's significance in fare-free as compared to Carrboro's or the university's. All have been strong and consistent advocates. Jim Ward and Ed Harrison, representing Chapel Hill, have been excellent in supporting the policies that have led to increased ridership. Chapel Hill deserves a lot of credit for hiring Steve Spade who has been a fantastic transit director.In addition, Mayor Foy has been an excellent advocate on the Metropolitan Planning Organization (along with my own colleagues Alex Zaffron and now Lydia Lavelle). Bill Strom won awards for his regional leadership which included his effectiveness on the Triangle Transit board.

you didn't credit Foy and the incumbent council members with being strong advocates. I wouldn't challenge that statement. I'm challenging your attribution that Foy and council are solely responsible for tripling CH transit ridership.

Terri,I believe that the town/gown relationship took an ugly turn for the worse when Chancellor Moeser and his  crew went behind the Town's back and asked NCDOT to suspend their plans for the widening of South Columbia Street - plans which the University and Town had previously agreed upon after years of negotiation.  That delay resulted in the widening project losing its place in line and the result is obvious today.  Nothing has happened.  The distrust which that one act created had long and far-reaching effects.  I thought I saw the thaw in the town/gown relationship begin with the Leadership Advisory Committee (ironically convened by Chancellor Moeser) for which I thought Ken Broun did a masterful job of facilitation.  The Committee didn't reach consensus on everything but it did so on many items and I think that helped set the tone when Holden took over the helm.  Interestingly, Holden served on that Committee as did Roger Perry and Bob Winston, all three vital participants in the Chapel Hill/Carolina North agreement.

but I sat through most of the Carolina North meetings and the level of animosity coming from those council members who dropped by was always palpable. For the most part they walked in, sat together, frowned, asked a few pointed questions and then left early. Ed Harrison was the exception, and to a lesser extent Jim Ward.  I've also watched or attended many of the council meetings where the university has come to present a new project. The expansion of the co-generation facility particularly sticks in my mind. If I was Anna Wu, I would have felt like I was before a firing squad.  Was the animosity due to Moeser's playing politics with Columbia Street? Very possibly. I was angry as a citizen, and I would have been even more angry if I was on the council. But that really is besides the point. Dan wrote that there were 8 years of "exceptionally good town-gown relationship." How you or anyone else agree with that statement is beyond my comprehension. The council has accomplished much to be proud of, especially the homeless plan and a dedication to affordable housing. But they have not achieved 8 years of exceptionally good town-gown relationships except in someone's fantasy land.

Terri,I didn't say I agreed with Dan that there have been 8 years of great town/gown relationships.  All I was saying is that the relationship worsened during Moeser's tenure but also began to improve during his tenure when Ken Broun did a great job of sheparding the LAC process, even before Holden took over.  I'm not as jaded as you seem to be about the CN process.  I think people were convinced this needed to be done and worked to make it happen. Let's face it - people will always be nervous and on edge when there is an 800-lb gorilla in the room saying it is hungry for more.

Sounds like we are actually agreeing, George! :)

I recall, on the Chamber trip to Madison, taking note of the time Strom and Perry spent together. Very congenial. I know that Foy met often with Perry. The result was a respectful relationship which provided the foundation for the successful negotiation on Carolina North. Thorp played his role, and continues to do so (of course!), as did the rest of the Town Council.

For retirees alone, we are looking at a 118% increase over the last five years.  We must take care of our retirees but I bet new hires won't get the same package. How are we payiing for the things you mention with "low-to-no property tax increases?"  Look at the budget for the answers. 

"Maybe someone could improve on that amazing record but why would the voters risk it on some folks with with scant public experience and vague platforms?" I would have sworn that this very quote was uttered by the Republicans in the 2008 election.  Of course, we don't all agree on what "amazing record" means or beliving that "scant public service" is a clear concept (community organizer?) Are you supporting the Republican view of qualification for office Dan?

Now, the truth be known: I fled from Chapel Hill to Carrboro to escape the scathing repartee of Fred Black who, alone among all of Orange County, could discern that I hold "republican views".But, Fred, the implication of your question is that the Chapel Hill Town Council has done as bad a job as George W. Bush. Presumably, then, you object to most of the following accomplishments to the same extent that I object to pretty much all of the Bush record:-low-to-no property tax increases-tripling ridership on CH Transit
-building the new aquatics center
-completing the Southern Park
-completing the new Public Works and Transit Centers
-hiring the first Economic Development Director
-creating scores of units of affordable housing
-exceptionally good town-gown relations -named America's most livable city

When in a hole, stop digging!Just making a point about the words you used and how else they have been used.  It's not about what has been done, it's about the caution against any change that you made.PS: You forgot the art director.

Rick KennedyExcuse me for interjecting, but I am compelled to do so, with much of the commentary above going unchallenged.  These days OP seems to often slip into little more than a daisy chain of mutual affirmation, the same few folks affirming the same contentions, some healthy exceptions noted and appreciated.When it comes the upcoming election, vote for whoever you wish, but to crow about Foy's accomplishments and the need to continue on his path is a joke.Consider several items on Foy's list of "accomplishments."1.  "No Tax Increases" - Already one of the heaviest tax burdens in the state, prohibitively expensive and exclusionary for most people in North Carolina, if not the U.S.2.  "Increased transit ridership"- 75% of the transit fund come from outside Chapel Hill (Carrboro 6%.)  With about 70% of the $16 million budget coming from someone else, allowing folks to ride free, of course ridership would go up.  What has not been addressed is whether or not that subsidy would have been put to better use some other way. Even sticking within the realm of public transit, would those millions have been more effective allowing free transit in a larger, more congested city?3.  "Aquatics Center" - As I recall it, at the very end of a laborious process pushing for a bond referendum for construction of soccer fields, this item was tacked on after the bulk of work had been done, a "me too" ploy a la "Little Red Hen."4.  "Southern Park" - Funded by Orange County and bumped to the top of the list at the expense of other projects.  Bingham Township has been waiting 25 years for a community park, a need identified and put on the county list in its parks and recreation assessment way back in the 1980's.  They are still waiting, and Southern Village, which didn't even exist back then, is all set.5. and 6.  "Public Works" and "Transit Center" - Wonderful facilities, but too bad they are not in Chapel Hill.  What a shame they aren't centrally located in the area that they serve.  Foy also did his best to give us folks out in Orange County/Orange County school district the waste transfer station and the Chapel Hill men's homeless shelter.  If it wasn't for the kindness/consideration of others, we would have those too.  Remember too that 3 out of 4 of these sites are in the Rural Buffer.  So much for the sanctity of that.7.  "Economic Development Director" - With 30,000 captive consumers and millions upon millions of dollars infused into the community by UNC, how can anyone complain about how tough it is for economic development in town?  Go to Northhampton County where you can't find even a restaurant or ATM.8.  "Affordable Housing" - Even with subsidized/ regulated housing, affordable housing is still expensive here, or incredibly small, or both.  Further, the average cost of a new home in Chapel Hill is several hundred thousand dollars, excluding 95% of American families from considering the thought of home purchase within its limits.  The diversity that is held up as a prize here ignores the financial apartheid of Chapel Hill and its environs.9.  "Town- Gown Relations" - If Chapel Hill gets its way, then relations are considered good.  The University of North Carolina, though, has the duty of educating the young people of North Carolina, and keeping Chapel Hill happy should have no sway if it were to conflict withthe fundamental duty of the University.  The tail should not wag the dog, and a university town should not dictate to its university how it should grow.10.  "Liveable City" - That's great, but the cost of that is put upon others in the ways noted above.Good luck to whoever becomes the next mayor.  I hope they choose a path oftheir own making, one a little more considerate, and less arrogant, than the one chosen by Foy.   

I was going to write a long respnose to this and then I decided instead to write a short response with just adjectives telling what I thought of this post, but I'm not even going to do that.  All I'm going to say is that it is this kind of post that makes me and others dislike some of the local political establishment figures and its supporters.

Your opinions would actually start to matter if you were brave enough to use a real name.

Yes, Kevin's endorsement was expected, and the flier was excellent.  I think it will have an impact.On a similar note, I hope everyone heard Henry Lister's commentary on WCHL on Wednesday.  Henry mentionned no candidate by name, rather he asked whether the election should be about the values of Chapel Hill, built over two centuries to become a world leader in education and health care, or whether it is simply about money.  Yes, my bias is showing, but I thought his presentation was a very thoughtful way to frame the election.

The soul of Chapel Hill is at stake, Joe.  That is not an exageration.

I lived on Cameron Ave in the 1970's in a shotgun apartment. I could walk to one grocery store, one hardware store, three theaters, a couple of bookstores, a couple of drug stores, etc. That was livable. Nowadays I don't see how anyone can live downtown without having access to a car, especially if they have children. Maybe some people can do it, but I would guess not a whole lot.I was speaking with a neighbor today who told me she didn't know how she was going to be able to pay her property taxes this year on her house built in the 1960's. Taxes have gone up considerably in recent years. Chapel Hill is loosing its economic diversity. It takes a lot of money to live downtown. It takes more and more money to live everywhere else in Chapel Hill. This should be a Chapel Hill value too. This, too, is the soul of Chapel Hill.At its highest, budgets reflect our community values. Good fiscal stewardship goes along with good environmental stewardship. My heavens. 


This is why I'll be casting my vote for Matt Cz. I'll be doing it for the soul of Chapel Hill just as much as those of you who are voting for Mark. is the written portion, but as always with WCHL links there is much more if you go to the site and listen.

Current Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy has announced his endorsement of Mark Kleinschmidt in the current mayoral elections.Foy says he talked to Kleinschmidt on Thursday.  The mayoral elections have been a hard fought campaign by all candidates, Foy says, and he hopes voter turnout is high.Foy says he has thought a lot about the future of Chapel Hill, and thinks Kleinschmidt is the best candidate.Election day is this coming Tuesday. 


Town Gown relationships are what they are. Jeezus, Terry do you work for UNC or something? When UNC wants something they do whatever they need to do to get it. Moeser relished fighting with the council, Holden is a huge improvement. The LAC was a charade. It was actually fun to participate; Roger Perry taught us all 15 different ways to say "f*** Y***" while smiling. Jack Evans showed us he got paid by the word. Do you really think questioning UNC's expansion plans is something the council should avoid? What is scrutinizing development supposed to look like?Ya'll act like the present council has raised taxes by themselves. If the town went out of business tomorrow your property tax bills would be 70% of what they are now, that is because of the county and the schools.What indication do you have that Matt and co. will do anything about this other than campaign rhetoric? Matt spent $600 on invitations that he could have bought for $20-is that fiscally responsible? Do we want someone from the financial sector running our town? The job they've done with the country makes me wonder......Campaign rhetoric is just that-rhetoric. It ranges from hyperbolic or currently (by some) saying whatever they think people want to hear..... Cam

"What indication do you have that Matt and co. will do anything about this other than campaign rhetoric?" Well, there was the health-insurance-for-life vote, for one thing. And yes, I agree that the county is responsible for a lot of the property tax increases. But the county is not responsible for the current state of downtown. JMHO.  

I wonder how much Foy's endorsement realy helps, especially this late in the game. He made a lot of the mess for which Kleinschmidt is being blamed by some (unfairly, in my opinion).

Mark must think it helps -- I received a postcard with it today (the text of the endorsement was the entire content).

A favorite issue of challengers supported by the development community is the fact that Chapel Hill's cost of living continues to rise thus increasing the number of well-to-do residents and causing working class people to live outside the town. Ironically, it is these very same upper class voters that form the political base for their campaigns.


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