In alphabetical order, here are the non-incumbents running for Town Council:

Jason Baker brings experience from serving on the town’s Planning Board, the Comprehensive Plan Initiating Committee and the Transportation Board. Previously, he served on the board of the Orange Chatham Sierra Club and was an officer in the Orange County Democratic Party. In 2008, he supported the 0.4 percent land transfer tax property sellers would pay Orange County, a measure that failed at the polls. Expect a polished campaign: Baker handles public relations and outreach for Weaver Street Market. With an undergraduate degree from UNC, he’s now working on a graduate degree in geospatial information science at N.C. State.

Don’t interpret lack of yard signs as tepid support for Augustus Cho; as an environmentalist (and Presbyterian minister, taekwondo instructor and author), he has pledged to forgo the traditional campaign advertising. His focus is on increasing business investments by making Chapel Hill more business-friendly, which should create more jobs and broaden the business revenue tax base, to prevent residential property taxes from rising. Born in Korea, Cho stands to be the first Asian-American elected to Town Council, yet he pledges to make decisions best for the entire town, not pander to special interest groups. He serves on the town Transportation Board and the Community Design Commission and previously on the Northern Area Task Force and the Downtown Parking Commission. Cho’s campaign experience includes a run for mayor of Chapel Hill in 2009 and as a candidate for U.S. representative for District 4.

A transplant from Los Angeles, Laney Dale wants to preserve the small-town atmosphere that drew him east. One of the main planks of his political platform is maintaining proper growth limits for the town. As co-founder and CEO of a technology startup that designs mobile apps, he understands what drives future growth and can plan for the future. He’d like to make Chapel Hill easier to do business in, so as to reduce the tax strain on residential property owners. He serves on the Parks & Recreation Commission and supports the IFC men’s shelter relocating to Homestead Road.

The manager of a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage branch, Jon DeHart understands finances and how to put money to work. He’s lent his expertise to the Community Home Trust Finance Committee, Habitat for Humanity, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA and various committees at his church. While other teens were being teenagers, DeHart showed himself at a young age to be a leader with the heart of a servant, by earning the rank of Eagle Scout. He’s committed to transparency and restoring public trust in town government. He’s a member of the Transportation Board and belonged to the inaugural class of the town’s Citizens’ Police Academy. He ran for council in 2009.

Carl Schuler’s focus is on growing the local economy. A nurse consultant who runs clinical trials at the UNC Center for Heart & Vascular Care, Schuler has held leadership positions in professional associations and the Vineyard Square Homeowners’ Association. Perhaps because he was born in Canada, he knows something about being a good neighbor; in Chapel Hill he belongs to the Good Neighbor Plan Advisory Committee. He’s also participated in UNC’s employee forum and regularly attends Town Council meetings to observe the action.

Lee Storrow’s passion is affordable housing. (So why he took a stand against Aydan Court, which would have put more than $1 million in the affordable housing coffers, is a story to explore.) In his conversations with people in the community, he’s learned that residents are being squeezed out by the high cost of living in Chapel Hill. He says the town needs to make a commitment to affordable housing to stay a diverse community. A UNC alum, he is managing director of the N.C. Alliance for Health and has done advocacy work on the state and local levels. A volunteer in health-related organizations and a tutor with Orange County Human Services, he also serves on the town’s Comprehensive Plan Initiating Committee.

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  1. Mark Marcoplos

     /  July 25, 2011

    The key question for readers of this blog is: Who is Matt Cz endorsing?

  2. Terri Buckner

     /  July 26, 2011

    What would an election season be without a good stereotype to kick it off.