Fri 31 Oct 2008
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Here is my formal application to fill Bill’s seat.
I agree with recent Council comments that their new colleague must be “ready to hit the road running”. To do so, an applicant should be prepared, involved and experienced.
Council already has a demanding workload. Over the next 7 months two major challenges – troubled finances and the Carolina North development agreement – along with a number of demanding development,technology and operational issues will strain Council’s capacity to deliberate and decide with the due diligence Chapel Hill’s citizens expect.
I am prepared to take on both the substance of issues – mundane or otherwise – and the time demands (280 hours alone over the next 7 months) necessary to do the job at a level our community deserves. On many issues I’m prepared and already up to speed with no steep learning curve to climb.
Over the last 7 years Council has become familiar with my work ethic: creative, hard-working, dedicated.
I have been an entrepreneur, a consultant, a manager, an executive officer of successful startups. My experience balancing budgets, managing employees, collaborating with customers, finding pragmatic solutions and meeting tough time constraints will assist me in fulfilling Council’s requirement that an applicant be ready – day-one – to serve.
I’m involved with a broad spectrum of local issues: protecting the environment, community outreach, increasing diversity, Town finances and fiscal responsibility, economic development, Downtown revitalization, UNC growth on main campus and Carolina North, civil liberties, affordable housing, treatment of the homeless, building a framework for mutually beneficial negotiation between Town and Gown, hands-on arts, infrastructure enhancements, election reforms, solid waste management, airport relocation and more.
I’ve attended hundreds of meetings, researched deeply, developed informed opinions and offered innovative improvements on many of the issues a new Council member will face.
I have also fought, irrespective of concerns of popularity and political consequence, to bring the best policy to the table. My allegiance is to my conscience. I have no hidden agenda and will continue to fight for solutions that are fair and just for all residents.
Tapping Chapel Hill’s creativity is a cornerstone of my activism these last seven years. I will continue my efforts to draw in the wisest public counsel, to temper Council desires with wide-ranging public input. Without a seat on Council I have helped folks shape this Town for the better. With a seat – tapping staff resources, liaising with advisory boards, shaping Council decisions – my effectiveness serving will only improve.
My experience with UNC and the Carolina North plan, my advocacy on improving the Town’s financial condition and my record of promoting the broadest community outreach meshes well with the leadership requirements of the next 13 months.
I will focus on non-controversial goals: setting Chapel Hill on a firm financial foundation, preserving those Chapel Hill qualities we cherish, creating new economic opportunities and promoting the broadest of public participation.
There are many ways to serve ones community. I’ve done quite a few – hands-on volunteering, advisory board member, community organizer, activist. Like Flicka with her neighborhood sewer problem, I started out with a small issue and now, like her, find myself asking Council to let me serve our fine community as their colleague.
Finally, I can’t fill Bill’s shoes, but I will honor his memory by working-hard to improve Chapel Hill for all our diverse residents.
That is my pledge.