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Madeline Jefferson
Chapel Hill Town Council
Candidate's statement


I have been asked, "Why are you running for Town Council?" My Mother said, "Madeline, Why take on such a heavy responsibility?" "Why not sit back and smell the roses. You deserve it."

I understand why I'm running. The most important way a citizen can effect change is to get involved in the public process. I have a deep commitment to Chapel Hill. I am unhappy with the decisions of the Chapel Hill Town Council with regard to growth issues. I'm upset that so many of Chapel Hill's majestic trees are being plowed down by bulldozers. I'm unhappy that development after development is being approved with a lack of regard for surrounding neighborhoods. Traffic is becoming impossible, and we, the citizens, are paying higher and higher taxes for infrastructure to support this growth. It's time to take a stand, step back and evaluate where we are. We need a long-range plan for future growth.

"What is your vision in the year 2010?" was asked on a recent questionnaire I filled out for one of our local newspapers. My response is: a community that has retained its character and has preserved its diversity of people. There is mass transit that has a healthy ridership, bike lanes along arterial roads, greenways throughout town. There are large parks with adequate playing fields and community centers and adequate open space with indigenous vegetation and smaller parks for young children in every area of town. Developments have open space and trees that were preserved and are truly pedestrian and environmentally friendly. We have a new landfill that is designed to recycle all waste materials efficiently and is operated by Orange County. The old landfill has been converted into a large park. There is genuine cooperation between the town and gown. It is a community where citizens live and work with both dignity and quality of life, a community that offers its citizens affordable housing and a livable wage. Citizens are a part of the public process, and the Town Council decisions are thoughtfully made with planning for future generations.

I had not planned on becoming a candidate until I was approached by a number of citizens urging me to file. I decided that this is now my turn to be out front leading. I am a candidate for Chapel Hill Town Council. I urge you to read the newspapers, to attend public forums, to study the issues and to consider my views as we proceed in the next few months. I urge you to vote and invite you to become part of the process.


  My life is of the stuff books are written about. A series of events changed the course of my life. My husband committed suicide when our children were very young. I was in my mid-twenties and had to accept the hand that I had been dealt and commit myself to raising our children. Years later, my first child was killed by a drunken driver at the age of sixteen. Again, I had to pick up the pieces and re-commit myself to parenting my remaining children and finding a life with purpose and promise. I feel that the adversities in our lives and how we deal with them define our character.  

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