There are 11 applicants to the seat. I believe that this applicant pool is more diverse than in past appointment processes. There are 4 women, one student, one Latino candidate, one African-American applicant, one candidate who identifies (per her voter registration record) as multiracial, and a Republican. Below is a brief introduction (in alphabetical order) to each candidate:
Sally Greene- Sally is a former Council member, having served from 2003-2011. She did not run for reelection because of job commitments, but has a new job now that will allow her the time to serve again. She has written about her candidacy here on OP. In that thread, there is also a copy of the resolution Council passed honoring Sally when she stepped down, which details her accomplishments as a Council member.
Loren Hintz- Loren is a long-time OP reader and commenter. He is a high school teacher, former Transportation Board chair, and has held a variety of positions in the local Sierra Club group. He applied for a vacant seat fifteen years ago, and also applied for Bill Thorpe’s seat in 2008, which was eventually filled by James Merritt. He has posted on OP about his candidacy here.
David Jackson- David is a newer citizen of Chapel Hill, having moved here 18 months ago from Denver, Colorado. He is a real estate broker working for his family business. In his application, he says that he has been active in Chapel Hill 2020 and the Friends of Downtown group.
Gary Kahn- Gary is a relatively recent transplant to Chapel Hill, having moved here in 2011 from New York. According to this WCHL article, he is on the Board of Directors of the Copperline Square Homeowners Association, and wants to be on Council so he can be an advocate for residents in the Southern Village area.
Jennifer Marsh- Jennifer is an attorney at the UNC Center for Civil Rights. She is a native of Chapel Hill, and has worked for the NAACP and Disability Rights North Carolina. She also serves on the Orange County Board of Equalization and Review, which hears appeals of tax assessments.
Paul Neebe- Paul is a Julliard-trained freelance professional musician (trumpet) and a real estate broker. He currently serves on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board. He grew up in Chapel Hill, and said in his application that if appointed, he would seek election when the term expired.
Maria Palmer- Maria is a long-time community activist. She is a former member of State Board of Education (1998-2005), and she served as co-chair of Chapel Hill 2020’s Getting Around theme group. She has also done a lot of work with the County’s Human Rights and Relations Committee. She has expressed interest in running for Council in 2013 regardless of her potential appointment.
Bjorn Pedersen- Bjorn is another Chapel Hill native. He is an undergraduate student at UNC, studying Physics. In his application, he calls for increasing density to expand our tax base and allow for more affordable housing.
Amy Ryan- Amy is a member of the Planning Board and the Central West Focus Area Steering Committee. She is also a former member of the Community Design Commission, and served on the Sustainable Community Visioning Task Force. This is her first time applying or running for a seat on the Council.
Carl Schuler- Carl is a well-known commenter and supporter of OP. He currently serves on the Board of Adjustment, and is past president of the Vineyard Square Homeowner’s Association. He ran for Town Council in 2011.
Aaron Shah- Aaron is a member of the Town’s Sustainability Committee, and lives in Northside. He ran for Town Council for about a week in 2005, but withdrew before the end of the filing period. He also applied for Bill Strom’s vacant seat in 2009, which was filled by Council Member Donna Bell.
What do you think of the candidates? Do you think the Council will be ready to make an appointment in 16 days? Continue to follow OP for additional blog posts and meeting live-tweeting as Council moves closer to a decision.