Results / Accomplishments
As an incumbent, I think it is very important to show what I have accomplished during my first term.
It is paramount that the public is able to participate in government for proper representation. In the last four years we have launched a new website, hired a Public Information Officer (PIO) and allowed for remote public input for all Board meetings. Most importantly, we now broadcast all Board meetings live on YouTube where they are also stored with time stamps for reference at any time.
Pittsboro is one of the first places in North Carolina to install a Granular Activated Carbon (GAS) filtration system for our drinking water supply to filter out unregulated contaminants like PFAS. It was a significant investment for a small utility like ours but we have set the standard for water quality across the state.
I have led the coordination with Greensboro on 1,4-Dioxane and PFAS contamination coming from upstream. They continue to pay for our testing costs, work closely with our staff, and supported our application for a state grant for additional treatment which we were awarded.
We also brought a lawsuit against the producers of PFAS who have long known the compounds are harmful to people.
Water / Wastewater Capacity
Pittsboro has been low on wastewater (sewer) treatment capacity for almost 20 years and has been functionally out of sewer capacity for many years. Without decisive action we will be out of water capacity in a few years also.
The utility merger with Sanford will provide for generational water and wastewater capacity while stemming the increase in utility rates for citizens.
The Retreat at Pittsboro opened with 48-units of affordable housing, we added affordable housing incentives to our Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), and we have allocated hundreds of thousands of dollars to support affordable housing.
The Board was also able to come to an agreement with Chatham Park where they are required to provide affordable and workforce housing units for 7.5% of their residential units. This will provide well over 1,500 units at full build out and the first developments will be formally announced soon.
We created the Downtown department, hired a full-time Downtown Development Director, and started the Downtown Advisory Board. The Town is investing more money Downtown than we ever have and seeing many new businesses open up with lots of visitors.
One of the main reasons I got interested in local government in the first place was Pittsboro's outdated Land Use Plan (from 2011). We completed a comprehensive update of the Land Use Plan earlier this year and it will serve as an excellent guide to future responsible development in Pittsboro.
We also completed the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) and mostly importantly, have modified it multiple times since as we use it. In addition, we updated our engineering standards and added staff to ensure infrastructure is built properly.
We have made environmental sustainability a keystone in our updated Unified Development Ordinance and Land Use Plan. One example is coordination with Chatham County to have a unified allowable plant list which requires native plants and cultivars.
We partnered with the Girl Scouts in 2021 to hold the first Arbor Day celebration in Pittsboro. We have continued and expanded that yearly tradition. We designated 2023 as the Year of the Trail in Pittsboro and have events to correspond to the state-wide effort.
Professional / Personal Development
I have taken advantage of the extensive training opportunities available at the University of North Carolina School of Government and other local resources. I am very proud to have participated in the Advanced Leadership Corps program and built relationships with elected officials all across the state.
I also earned the Smart Cities Practitioner Certificate from the Smart Cities Council. Accurate data is a integral part of sustainable cities.