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The Daily Tar Heel

Waldorf, Brown to Leave Office Next Year

Last week, Mayor Rosemary Waldorf announced she would not seek a fourth two-year term as mayor of Chapel Hill, and several council members have decided to run for other offices or not at all.

"I think I've been there long enough," Waldorf said. "I think it's important for people to do their duty, make their contribution and then move on."

Waldorf said recent town-gown relations, though stressful, have not played a factor in her decision.

"It's nothing complicated," she said. "I'm just personally ready to do something different."

Shortly after Waldorf's announcement, council member Lee Pavao put his name in the mayoral race and then, last Friday, council member Kevin Foy added his.

Pavao, a retired advertising executive, has been on the council for eight years and now serves as the mayor pro tem.

Foy also ran for mayor in 1995 but lost to Waldorf. He won a post on the Town Council in the 1997, but his four-year term will expire in December.

Foy has talked of putting a cap of the amount of money to be spent on the mayoral race, suggesting $10,000.

"There's a certain amount of money that's reasonable in a town of this size," Foy said. "Money is not, and should not, be a decisive factor of who gets elected in Chapel Hill."

Since mayoral candidates cannot simultaneously run for council positions, Foy and Pavao's seats will be given up.

Therefore, four Town Council seats could be available. Council member Edith Wiggins has decided to run for re-election, but council member Joyce Brown announced Tuesday that she would not run for a fourth term on the council.

"It's really time to move on," Brown said. "It's both political and personal. I would like to be open to other options."

Speculation is starting to arise about who might take the open spots on the council, but no one has come forward yet. Candidates have until Aug. 3 to declare their intentions.

Town-gown relations have been in the forefront recently and will likely continue to be a major issue for the upcoming elections.

"The University has set forth to grow pretty rapidly over the next four years and the town has suggested they follow guidelines the town has set forth," Foy said.

It's unclear, however, how much of an impact a new council would have on the University.

"I don't see that things will dramatically change," council member Pat Evans said. "I think time will tell."

Waldorf expressed similar sentiments.

"It's hard to speculate what the future relationship between the town and the University will be," she said. "But if the University is serious about developing the Horace Williams tract, that could provide another difficult issue for the town to deal with."

It's clear that the issues between the town and the University will not go away anytime soon.

"The University and town have been coexisting for 200 years and that will continue," council member Jim Ward said.

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Matt Viser can be reached at

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for November 20, 2023