Welcome to the Archive of The Carrboro Citizen Logo Image

Alderman Coleman Australia bound

By Taylor Sisk
Staff Writer
Carrboro Board of Aldermen member Dan Coleman has announced that he will be resigning his position early next year and relocating with his family to Australia. Coleman told The Citizen on Tuesday that his wife, Paula Michaels, has accepted a position at the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies at Monash University in Melbourne.

Coleman said that while he will probably seek to establish his database-development business in Australia, “My initial responsibilities will be to establish the household and support our son during the transition.”

Meanwhile, in the eight or nine months in which he’ll remain on the board, Coleman said he plans to continue to work closely with the new town manager, who, he said, “is off to a great start.”

Coleman said he also has been strategizing with fellow board member Sammy Slade on new approaches to combating climate change and on “expanding Carrboro’s commitment to cooperatively organized affordable housing, a very popular if often below-the-radar aspect of our housing strategy.”

Of his most significant accomplishments on the board thus far, Coleman cited pointing the town toward the Local Living Economy approach to economic development and in establishing Carrboro’s affordable-housing trust fund and payment-in-lieu mechanism for affordable housing.

Board of aldermen member Lydia Lavelle said Coleman has always done his homework.

“Dan is my go-to person on the board when I need to find out the nuances of an issue, and I can count on him to give me a well-considered perspective,” Lavelle said Tuesday night. 

“We will miss his forward thinking and his commitment to Carrboro.”

As for politics in his future, Coleman said he would probably get involved in the Australian Green Party.

After Coleman’s departure, applications will be accepted to fill Coleman’s seat until the November 2013 election. A successor will then be elected to fill the remainder of his term, through December 2015. An announcement regarding applications will be made.

  1. Gerry Cohen

    The Carrboro Citizen article says “After Coleman’s departure, applications will be accepted to fill Coleman’s seat until the November 2013 election. A successor will then be elected to fill the remainder of his term, through December 2015. An announcement regarding applications will be made.”

    This is not the case. In 2007 Carrboro got local legislation enacted by the General Assembly that PROHIBITS vacancy appointments unless the vacancy occurs in the last year of the term (not the case here)


    The Carrboro Town Board must at the next regular meeting after the vacancy occurs has to call a special election, which will chew up several months between filing, absentee voting, etc. If the vacancy occurs in late January, the earliest the special election could be held would probably be early April. The board COULD devide to leave the seat open until November and schedule the special election at the same time as the regular municipal election and fill the last two years that way

    here is the law that Carrboro asked for and got:

    “(f) Notwithstanding the first four sentences
    of G.S. 160A‑63, but subject to this subsection and subsection (g) of this
    section, whenever a seat on the board of aldermen (other than that of the mayor)
    becomes vacant at a time when one year or more of the term of office of that
    seat remains unexpired, such seat shall be filled by a special election. Such
    special election shall be called by the board of aldermen by the adoption of a
    resolution pursuant to G.S. 163‑287 at the next regular or special meeting of
    the board held after the vacancy occurs. Such resolution shall not schedule an
    election during the time period beginning on the first Monday in July and ending
    on the last Monday in August in any calendar year. Vacancies that occur in the
    office of alderman at a time when less than one year of that alderman’s term of
    office remains unexpired shall be filled by appointment of the board of aldermen
    in accordance with G.S. 160A‑63.

    (g) If the board of aldermen adopts a
    resolution calling for a special election to fill one or more vacant board seats
    as provided in subsection (f) of this section, and the resolution sets as the
    date of such election the same date as a regular municipal election, then (i)
    the resolution shall provide that the same filing period, filing fee, and
    absentee voting period that are applicable to the three seats on the board whose
    terms are expiring shall also apply to the special election for the vacant seat
    or seats; (ii) candidates who seek to fill either the expiring seats or the
    vacant seats shall file and appear on the ballot simply as candidates for
    election to the board of aldermen (i.e. they shall not be allowed to file or
    appear on the ballot as a candidate for either a particular vacant seat or an
    expiring seat); and (iii) the three candidates receiving the highest number of
    votes for the office of alderman shall be elected to full four‑year terms, and
    the person receiving the fourth highest number of votes for aldermen (and, if
    necessary, the fifth and the sixth highest number of votes) shall be elected for
    the remaining two years of the unexpired term of the vacant seat or seats.”