The 21 Openings of 2011

A total of 21 seats are available in this year's municipal and school board elections. As incumbents and newcomers begin declaring their intentions, a quick summary of what we're in for is in order. Below is a list of the municipal and school board positions that will appear on local ballots in November.

But first, some important dates: 

Carrboro Board of Aldermen

Mayor (2-year term):

  • Mark Chilton

Aldermen (4-year terms):

  • Joal Hall Broun
  • Dan Coleman
  • Lydia Lavelle

Chapel Hill Town Council

Mayor (2-year term):

  • Mark Kleinschmidt

Council members (4-year terms):

  • Donna Bell
  • Matt Czajkowski
  • Sally Greene
  • Jim Ward

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education

Board members (4-year terms):

  • Jamezetta Bedford
  • Mia Day Burroughs
  • Jean Hamilton [see correction]
  • Mike Kelley
  • Annetta Streater

Hillsborough Board of Commissioners

Mayor (2-year term):

  • Tom Stevens

Commissioners (4-year terms):

  • Eric Hallman
  • Evelyn Lloyd
  • Brian Lowen

Mebane City Council

Mayor (4-year term)

  • Glendel Stephenson

Council members (4-year terms)

  • Everett Greene
  • Patty Philipps



The seat that Jean Hamilton will be vacating is a 2-year seat to fill out the 4-year term originally filled by Joe Green. The rest are 4-year seats. And, yes, I am running!  I haven't gotten a web site up yet but here is the link to my campaign Facebook page:

Thanks, Mia. I've added a link to your correction.

I'm out of town for yet another OP happy hour. Oh well, enjoy yourselves!

According to WCHL/Chapelboro, August Cho has answered the perenial question: What will he run for this year? The answer: Chapel Hill Town Council. He has several Republican congressional primaries and at least one mayoral race under his belt, but if I recall correctly this is his first run for Town Council.

I disagree with everything he stands for, but the way Council has kind of riled up the Asian population and the rancor that was hurled at Parkside in the Homeless Shelter Debate makes someone I consider a very scary candidate a potential upset winner. I don't think the strategy of demonizing Parkside was such a great idea with him running for Council. I just hope that I am wrong about his chances to win.  This is why I am so upset with the ham-fisted way the Shelter was handled. I think some of you guys who live in the Southern part of Chapel Hill have no idea who lives in the North. And as a Liberal who got lumped into that group, because I happen to be pretty darn sure a Transitional Shelter cannot have an Emergency component and work.  Anyone else watch Addiction or know an addict? Anyone? I am pretty mad.Not mad enough to vote for someone who's politics bother me at the core of my being, but I hope the Progressives of old Chapel Hill will start reaching out to us in the North, because if we're split, Cho wins and that should scare us all. 

This thread started out differently than we've had in past years
(where there was more "who's going to run" speculation written), so I've
hesitated to add this, but I do want to confirm I'll be filing for
CHCCS school board on July 5th.

This is my first run for office, but I have been involved in our
schools as a parent, as a volunteer, as a student (yes, I attended
CHCCS schools from 3rd grade on), and through our community
organizing-social justice group in town, Justice United.  I look
forward to making sure we provide an excellent education for *all*
kids as the new superintendent comes on board.  In our community, I
doubt we'll get much disagreement on that point, but it will be
interesting to see who is capable of actually bringing the change
needed to implement that goal far better than we have previously.

Of the 21 openings, I'll be seeking one. Specifically, I'm running for a seat on the Chapel Hill Town Council this fall. This, unfortunately, means I need to step down from my role as an editor here on OP in the interest of fairness to other candidates. But I look forward to continuing to participate here as a frequent contributer and commenter, and hope that other candidates will join me in doing the same. I look forward to seeing everyone at the OP Happy Hour and Candidate Coming Out Party on the 15th!  Meanwhile, for those interested, here is the letter I sent to several friends and members of the local media this morning. (And even if you weren't on my letter-to-friends mailing list, we're still friends! I just didn't catch everybody!)

Dear Friends,

I am writing to let you know that I have decided to seek a
seat on the Chapel Hill Town Council this fall. 
After many conversations with friends, family, and colleagues in local
government, I am excited by the opportunity to serve my town and my
community.  I hope to bring a new but
experienced perspective to the Town Council. 
Here is what I have to offer:

An approach to development that is sensitive
to environmental and neighborhood concerns

Chapel Hill will continue to grow and change.  That much is inevitable.  The Town Council's job is to ensure that it
grows and changes in a way that ensures our long term economic, environmental,
and social sustainability while remaining sensitive to the needs of current
neighbors. We must grow in ways that are respectful of the historical and
cultural heritage that make Chapel Hill such a great place to live, while at
the same time adjusting our building styles and land use patterns to do our
part in addressing complex issues like global climate change.

A focus on economic development to
ensure a vibrant and sustainable local economy

For too long we've treated economic development and
environmental & aesthetic preservation as two opposing goals - as if
working for one necessitates working against the other. I feel that it is time
that we begin to recognize the strength we have as a culturally diverse,
exciting, and fun place to live, and the incredible drawing power such a
strength has for locating high-paying and high-quality creative class jobs in
our area. Rather than just saying no to the kinds of business that we don't
want, we need to spend time and energy developing a plan to attract and grow the
kinds of environmentally conscious, community-oriented, and preferably
locally-owned businesses we do want.

Continued technology and communications

The Town has made great strides in the past several years in
improving our use of technology and communication tools, but there are still
many missed opportunities.  We need to
continue to focus on making information easily accessible in a timely manner,
and to be proactive about communicating proposed changes to those who will be
affected by them.  Open government leads
to improvements in efficiency, and allows citizens to provide higher quality
oversight and more informed feedback that our staff and elected officials can readily

Representation on behalf of those not at
the table

We are fortunate that wealth and a high standard of living
are so common in our community, but we cannot let this overshadow the needs of
those who have yet to achieve them. A fair wage, a decent place to live, access
to quality food, educational opportunities, and basic human dignities are among
many things important for us to consider at every turn. Whether these manifest
themselves in our affordable housing policies, the pay and benefits we give our
town employees, the provision of our fare-free transit system, or the many
human, health, educational, and other services we work with our local
government and nonprofit partners to provide, we must always remember that
those most in need of our help are often those least able to come to us and

My Background

I graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Political
Science and a minor in Environmental Science & Studies, and am currently a
part-time graduate student in Geospatial Information Science at NC State.
Professionally, I have worked for the past three years in the marketing department
of Weaver Street Market where I coordinate public relations and
outreach.   I'm currently beginning my fourth
year on the Chapel Hill Planning Board, served recently on the town's
Comprehensive Plan Initiating Committee, and was previously on the town's
Transportation Board while I was an undergraduate at UNC.  I have held numerous other leadership
positions within our community, including political chair and executive board
member of the Orange Chatham Sierra Club, third vice chair of the Orange County
Democratic Party, and as a member of other committees in local government and
at the university.

I also have a strong interest in economic development and alternative
revenue options in Chapel Hill and throughout Orange County, and believe that these
will prove our best hope of keeping residential property taxes affordable. To
this end, I served on Orange County's local revenue options committee in 2008 to
help educate our community about the transfer tax option. I have also been
involved with local business groups in all three of Orange County's municipalities,
including efforts to start a BALLE chapter in Carrboro, and for the past year as
chair of Hillsborough's downtown merchants association.

My Campaign

I am excited that Chapel Hill's public financing system will
allow my campaign this fall to be truly Voter Owned.  By committing to collect a large number of
small donations from Chapel Hill residents and adhering to the associated spending
limits, I hope to make my campaign about inclusiveness and freedom from special
interests, and further, to promote the idea that one's political speech should
not be directly related to the size of his or her wallet.  Campaigns should be about voters, not money,
and Chapel Hill's public financing system should serve as a model for similar
programs throughout the state.

I'm looking forward to the campaign this fall, and I hope
you'll join me! I will soon have a campaign website in place, and look forward
to the numerous forums and other opportunities to link with our community; in
the meantime, please feel free to email me at or give me a
call at (919) 442-8278.

I am so excited to see Jason's announcement. I'm glad to see his platform includes open government (something I want to blog about more in the next year) and economic justice, which are two issues often overlooked in Chapel Hill, as well as ensuring our growth is sustainable environmentally, economically, and culturally. He's got a great head for policy and knows so much about Chapel Hill, I think he'll be a fantastic addition to the Town Council.

Of course the flip side is that we're losing him on the official OP Posse, which leaves a significant hole. Next week the rest of the posse will be having our regular monthly meeting which is open to the public as usual. If you'd like to suggest someone, why not drop by?

My daughters are about to come with me to Hillsborough so I can file for a seat on the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools Board of Education.  I want them to witness healthy democracy in action.  Orange County citizens pay close attention to their government bodies and insist on continous improvement.  It has been and, hopefully, will be an honor to be part of that system.  For everything you ever wanted to know about me, go to:, and/or follow me on twitter: @mburroughs47 .

Council member Sally Greene made it official today when she posted on her blog, GreeneSpace, that she will not be seeking re-election to the Chapel Hill Town Council. She also gives her endorsement to Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Council member Donna Bell, and Jason Baker (planning board member and former OP editor).

It's been an honor and a privilege to serve with Sally, and an intellectual pleasure to have her as seatmate since late 2007. Her endorsements are worth noting.   Ed Harrison

Raymond D. Conrad has filed to run for a 4-year term on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education, making him the 3rd person to throw his hat in the ring for a 4-year term.Voter records show that he is registered in Chatham County and voted once (in the 2008 General Election).


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