Carrboro Economic Development Director to Retire

James Harris, the Town of Carrboro Community and Economic Development Director, will retire February 1, 2011 according to a email from the Carrboro Business Association email list sent today.

Mr. Harris has under his belt over twenty nine years of service to the Town. Of great interest to our community is his management of one of the States most successful revolving loan fund programs. The very shape of Carrboro's downtown is due to this program. Successfull businesses such as Weaver Street, the Cat's Cradle, Orange County Social Club, and Neil's Deli were all participants in the CRLF program. Please share in the comments the memories you may have of Mr. Harris and his service to the town.



I remember when James was hired. I got to know him when he came to work. My company, Cleora Sterling, provided the initial funding for the revolving loan fund. We borrowed money from the federal government through a community block grant program and the repayment was kept by Carrboro. When we first met he asked me if I wanted to serve on Orange Co.'s Economic Development Board, later after he got to know me he withdrew the offer (he never brought it up again).So here it is 30 years later and the only person at Carrboro Town Hall who I can count on to call me back is retiring. James will be missed.Cam

Thanks, Brian for posting this.James has been an effective and steady hand at the helm of economic development for Carrboro.  As global economic development theory has, IMO rightfully, focused more on the intrinsic benefits of locally owned and operated businesses, James' successful efforts in building our business community from the bottom up has demonstrated his wisdom in focusing locally for all these years.His enthusiasm and sincere desire to help anyone who crosses his path are, IMO, his most admirable traits. I've enjoyed working with James on commissions, task forces, and advisory boards, and feel indebted to him for his able service to the town.Congratulations, James.  It's been a good ride.  Well done.Gary Kramling 

Have any statistics on how much business he brought to Carrboro?

I post comments that are intelligent and well reasoned and they are tossed.  This blogsite is kind of a joke unless you agree with the blogmeister. This blogsite certainly is not representative of Orange Politics, that is for sure. 

If you spend any time on the site you'll see that contrary views are common and welcome here. If you simply register for a free account on the site ( and put an identity behind your words, you can say almost anything you like ( you're not willing to do that, then don't assume you have some right to disrupt the conversation or disparage real people.

I just noticed this:

ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR – Full-time Perm. Town of Carrboro (pop. approximately 20,000) is seeking an energetic and qualified applicant to fill the position of Economic and Community Development Director for a progressive organization with 155 f/t employees serving a diverse community known as "the Paris of the Piedmont." If you'd like to be part of an organization where "better together" is more than a slogan; where teamwork is paramount; and individual contributions are recognized, then Carrboro is the place for you. The successful applicant will direct the Town's economic and community development activities. Carrboro is seeking a director who embraces a non-traditional economic development philosophy that focuses on supporting the local living economy approach, which nurtures existing local businesses, supports entrepreneurs in the creation or expansion of local businesses, encourages green jobs and green buildings, and recognizes the value of this approach in the development of a more sustainable community. The successful applicant will also direct housing programs and special projects; serve as liaison to various boards and commissions; administer the commercial development revolving loan fund; and work with federal, state, and other local officials to obtain funding for local businesses, housing programs and special projects. Excellent writing and effective interpersonal relationship skills, especially outreach skills, required; ability to relate to diverse populations and communicate effectively with the Town Manager, Board of Aldermen and staff throughout all levels of the organization and the community. Supervises one part-time clerical staff member. Requires graduation from an accredited college or university supplemented by a Master's Degree in Public Administration or related field, and extensive experience in community relations and economic development in a municipal government strongly preferred. Excellent benefits which include a 3% 401(k) contribution in addition to local government retirement benefits; paid fitness membership with a fitness center within walking distance of the Town Hall; wellness events; staff retreats, and much more. Hiring range: $64,986 - $82,857. Closing date: January 4, 2011.


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