I knew my best chance for an endorsement this year was from the Chapel Hill News.
These folks have watched my passionate activism on behalf of the environment, social justice, fiscal responsibility, public accountability, transparent and open governance, community engagement, planning policy and on and on for these last 6+ years.
Will Raymond brings a wealth of knowledge and creativity to the table. Few people in or out of government do as much homework as he does. His contributions to the public debate have provided valuable depth and context. He’s served on the town’s Technology Board, Horace Williams Citizen’s Committee and Downtown Parking Task Force. He’s been faulted on occasion for being overly fervent, but his ideas and strength of conviction, employed judiciously and tempered with a willingness to listen and compromise, can be a valuable asset.
This was the year where it would take some courage to break the incumbent blockade on endorsements. The safe bet would be to go with the flow, follow the lead of the entrenched powers and simply accept the status quo – a slate of incumbents who flailed around blankly at the WCHL forum trying to identify one mistake they had made in the last 4 or 8 years.
The right bet was to back candidates who would bring a fresh perspective, restore some balance and break the group-think within our current Council.
I knew the Chapel Hill News had the integrity and the concern for our community to choose candidates that were best prepared and steadfastly determined to improve our community’s lot.
I hope the Daily Tar Heel, the only other endorsing organization in Chapel Hill this year that is free of entanglements, will show the same kind of courage and choose at least one challenger. I know Penny and Matt are as determined as I am to see our Town through our coming troubled times – they deserve a full and fair evaluation.
I appreciate that the Chapel Hill News honored my service and recognized my passion for change. I will do my best to repay that confidence by “walking the talk”, working productively with my new colleagues and building on the strengths of our diverse community.