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Elections matter.

While Chapel Hill challengers swept Town Council in the Nov 2017 elections, Carrboro incumbents held-tight.

What does this mean for your business? 

Scroll below to read the Chamber’s top three takeaways for each town.



(The winners from left to right: Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger; Chapel Hill Town Council Members: Allen Buansi, Hongbin Gu, Rachel Schaevitz, and Karen Stegman) 

1) Chapel Hill Town Council newcomers (Buansi, Gu, Schaevitz, and Stegman) swept the elections and unseated two incumbents (Maria Palmer and Ed Harrison). Mayor Hemminger overwhelming earned re-election.

2) Three of the four newcomers work for UNC, all are regular volunteers but only two have served on a town advisory board or task force (Gu and Schaevitz), and all have impressed us with their willingness to listen and consider the business perspective.

3) While not in alignment on every issue, the newly-elected Chapel Hill officials agree with us on several key agenda items:

  • ??None believe Chapel Hill is growing too quickly.
  • All rank growing the commercial tax base and recruiting new retail and commercial tenants as very high among their priorities.
  • All agree with creating a set of criteria for desirable development projects and expediting the approval process for projects that meet those objectives.
  • None want to repeal the Ephesus-Fordham ‘form based code.' 
  • All want to sell a portion of the Legion Road property to fund improvements to the rest of the property.
  • Click here to see how they responded to all of our questions



(The winners from left to right: Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle; Carrboro Board of Aldermen: Barbara Foushee, Jacquelyn Gist, Randee Haven O'Donnell, and Sammy Slade)

1) Carrboro Board of Aldermen incumbents (Gist, Haven O’Donnell, Lavelle, Slade) held-tight and retained their seats with only one newcomer to the Board (Foushee, who is on the OWASA Board of Directors, Vice Chair Carrboro Human Services Advisory Board, and Secretary of the local NAACP Branch).

2) All Carrboro candidates engaged with the business community throughout their campaigns, including participating in our (un)forum, survey, and/or coffee and cocktails with candidates.

3) While not always aligned, we have identified a few key areas of shared interest with the recently elected Aldermen:

  • Only one (Slade) believes Carrboro is growing too quickly.
  • All rank growing the commercial tax base and recruiting new retail and commercial enterprises as high or very high among their priorities.
  • All are in favor of additional commercial development in downtown Carrboro.
  • All think it is appropriate for Carrboro to allocate municipal resources to recruiting and retaining employers.
  • Click here to see how they responded to all of our questions.

With less electoral predictability in Chapel Hill and ever-more in Carrboro, the role of our collective voice is more important than ever. Get to know your local representatives - watch their 90-second videos, and consider their ideas on how to make our community a great place to start and grow a business. And remember, your chamber is here to ensure you are connected, informed, engaged, and represented as we build a sustainable community where business thrives. 
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