Politics & Government

Group targets Chapel Hill council in fight for town’s character

A grass-roots citizen group, galvanized by recent Chapel Hill development decisions, is taking aim at Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and four council seats up for grabs this year.

The Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town – CHALT – will throw itself a public “coming out” party from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Chapel Hill Public Library, off Estes Drive. The group is looking for strong candidates who share a goal of preserving the university town’s charm, trees, and small-scale buildings and businesses.

CHALT’s core members were characterized as a “small, vocal minority” when they took issue last year with the town’s direction on zoning decisions for the Ephesus-Fordham commercial district. The label stuck, even as the group packed meetings with overflow crowds of supporters.

“I think that you’ll find, while we may be vocal, we’re not small,” member David Schwartz said. “We do actually already represent a pretty widespread group of residents, and it is very much our intent to represent an ever wider and more inclusive group.”

Kleinschmidt said he’s looking forward to the conversation and the competition if he runs for re-election.

Wake boards to meet

PNC Arena in Raleigh will be the location of a joint meeting of the Wake County Board of Education and Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday.

The event is expected to be far less contentious than prior meetings between the Democratic-led school board and the former Republican majority on the county board, where members were known to engage in name calling. Monday will mark the first time the school board meets with the new all-Democratic majority on the county board.

School board Chairwoman Christine Kushner said the arena was chosen because of the expected large turnout of elected officials, staffs for both boards, media and the public. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Club East meeting room.

Political events

• Political strategist Amanda Eubanks, whose focus is on electing more women, will speak to the Democratic Women of Wake County at noon Thursday at NCSU University Club, 4200 Hillsborough St.For lunch reservations, contact Cindy Sinkez at cindydwwc@yahoo.com or


by Monday.