After last Wednesday's Town Council public hearing on the UNC Development Plan, I'm beginning to understand what Lee Pavao's supporters see in him.
Pavao supporters have touted his record of speaking less than two minutes per meeting as a sign of speaking only when something needs to be said. On the UNC Development Plan, he had no other comment other than vague support for a relatively minor point of former council member Joe Capowski. Pavao's supporters are right: No sense bogging down the most important decision the council has probably ever faced just because a council member who thinks he ought to be mayor has no original insights to offer. Such thoughtlessness and disengagement are stellar qualities for a would-be mayor.
Finally, speaking for the Orange County Greens, I raised the issue of the University's responsibility to think about the housing needs of its low-income employees. Pavao's silence once again on government responsibility for low-income housing reinforces my belief in his sincere commitment to the principle that affordable housing ought to be financed out of the excess campaign contributions received by millionaire candidates. Necessity for many hard-working residents becomes altruism of a privatized afterthought.
This is not surprising given his former post as president of the J. Walter Thompson Latin American region, self-proclaimed first advertising and "global branding communications" company, founded in 1877. It's encouraging to read the company's "philosophy of Total Branding" and see Pavao's commitment to sustainable growth reflected: "We are for nurturing, building and sustaining brands." JWT's mission is apparently to turn people into consuming automatons whose minds are occupied territory of the branding corporation. Such a profits over people philosophy has Chapel Hill's "progressive" reputation to overcome.
Even with all these good reasons to vote for Pavao, I'm still supporting Kevin Foy if only because he usually has something sensible to say at council meetings and has no known ties to brand-personifying companies.
Anthropology and Psychology
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