Richly Deserved: Czajkowski and Rich Get The Daily Tar Heel Endorsement

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

As I wrote recently, it’s been quite interesting to see how folks respond to the challenge of campaigning.

I know it’s not conventional to salute your campaign opponents – which explains why the incumbents don’t mention my role in hiring an economic development officer, green fleets, re-balancing the size of affordable housing on Lot #5, etc. – but, as I imagine most folks have figured out, I’m not big on following the status quo, especially when it means passing up an opportunity to improve our community.

Which brings me back to Penny’s and Matt’s well-deserved recognition and endorsement by the Daily Tar Heel.

I’ve gotten to know these folks and they’re both the real deal. They’re not running to be the next Mayor or position themselves to run for State office – ego building is just not part of their portfolio.

Instead, Penny and Matt are quite concerned about our community and have presented solid, pragmatic proposals for addressing some of the tasks left undone these many years.

This year, they also were the only two folks, other than myself, willing to engage in a real debate – an exploration if you will – of the ways we could realistically address many of the challenges still before us. As Matt notes, the incumbent monologue might have been an effective campaign tool but it was a miserable strategy for educating and engaging the wider community.

Here’s what the DTH had to say about Penny:
(more…)

Halloween Treat: Chapel Hill News Endorsement

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

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.

Thank you.

Election 2007: Sierra Club Interview

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

X-Posted from Will Raymond for Town Council 2007:

The local Orange-Chatham Sierra Club participates in the local election process two ways: endorsing candidates and sponsoring a forum.

Last Sunday, Chairman Bernadette Pelissier, Political Chair Loren Hintz and member Matthew Scheer interviewed me on behalf of the Sierra Club to determine if I qualified for an endorsement.

Questions spanned local zoning policy, a discussion of good and bad infill, personal commitment to environmental protection and Carolina North.

Folks that read CitizenWill already have a good idea about where I stand on many of these issues.

Surprisingly some issues, like local waste management, the trash transfer station and Rogers Road community’s complaints, our storm water utility policy or in-town open space preservation didn’t make the list. Of course, you can only fit so much into a 45 minute interview.

I appreciate these members taking the time to review my thoughts on Carolina North, zoning policy, pragmatic carbon reduction strategies, transit, etc. (I tried to cram way too much into my answers and digressions).

The Chapel Hill forum takes place next Tuesday, September 25th, 7-9pm at the Chapel Hill Town Hall. The event will be broadcast on our local public access channel.

In 2005 I did secure the local club’s enthusiastic endorsement. Here’s what they said two years ago:

Will Raymond has been one of the most outspoken and effective citizen activists in Chapel Hill in recent years. We look forward to him using his talents to advocate for the environment as a member of Town Council. In particular we are excited about his initiatives to promote energy efficiency in town buildings. He will also work to protect lesser known creeks in the Chapel Hill area and to minimize the number of single occupancy vehicles causing air pollution and traffic congestion at Carolina North.

We strongly encourage Sierra Club members and any residents of Chapel Hill who care about the environment to support these four candidates in the November 8th election. They are the best hope for a Town Council that will always make reducing environmental impact a top priority as Chapel Hill grows bigger.

We’ll know by mid-October if the work I’ve done since – on Carolina North, as a member of the Horace-William’s Citizen Committee sub-committee on environment, tracking and publicizing the landfill/transfer site problems on Rogers Road – will secure an endorsement in 2007.

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