Will Raymond, local activist and two-time candidate for Chapel Hil Town Council, announced today he is applying for the late council member Bill Thorpe's seat.
Raymond has served on the town's Horace-Williams Citizens Committee, the Downtown Parking Task Force and the Technology Advisory Board. He also maintains the 'blog CitizenWill (citizenwill.org) centered on local issues.
Two issues will dominate the council's attention over the next seven months, Raymond says: dramatically improving the town's financial health and establishing an equitable framework for managing the next two decades of UNC's Carolina North development.
“We have a wonderful community that is facing tough financial times,” Raymond says. “Living in the present, my focus will be on reducing expenditures and avoiding sharp tax increases in 2009. Looking to the future, I will work to make new financial policy that sets our Town on a long term path of fiscal responsibility.
“While I know UNC's broadening development could unintentionally harm those qualities Chapel Hill's residents hold dear, “good faith” should guide our discussions over the next seven months as we focus on creating an equitable framework for managing Carolina North's development. The past's soap opera, making political hay of Town-and-Gown frictions, has got to be replaced by direct and honest discussion.”
The council has not decided on a process for filling Thorp’s seat. Mayor Kevin Foy has said he thinks the council will want to appoint a black person. Thorpe was the nine-member council’s only black representative.