The Carrboro Board of Aldermen will remain a familiar place after Tuesday night’s election added no new faces to the board.
Incumbents Jacquelyn Gist, Randee Haven-O’Donnell and Sammy Slade were all re-elected. The three garnered 81.12 percent of the vote, according to Tuesday night’s unofficial results from Orange County precincts.
Gist learned of her re-election to a seventh term on the board surrounded by friends, family and food in her home Tuesday night.
“It’s very affirming to be re-elected after serving for 24 years in this city,” she said. “I always wonder if I’m doing stuff right. It looks like I am.”
Shelley Gist, Jacquelyn Gist’s niece and a senior psychology major at UNC, recalled a time when she was crossing the road with her aunt and was able to safely cross thanks to street signs her aunt had implemented.
“It’s awesome to see the tangible differences that she’s made in Carrboro,” Shelley Gist said.
Randee Haven-O’Donnell celebrated her re-election at a friend’s home. In her upcoming term, Haven-O’Donnell said she hopes to improve environmental regulation and continue working on social justice issues.
She said she wasn’t surprised the town supported its incumbents in the election.
“In Carrboro, we don’t have a lot of faith in our state government, but this clearly shows that the incumbents are doing a strong job in Carrboro,” she said.
Sammy Slade, who was first elected to the board in 2009, said he is optimistic about his next term. He said he was going to focus more on the environment.
“I’m looking forward to continuing work on mitigating climate change,” Slade said. “I’m going to push climate change issues more.”
Slade said he realized environmental issues were serious after comparing scientific statistics on climate change to the town’s current emission reduction plan.
“We can’t dillydally anymore — we need to be reducing emissions by 10 percent,” he said.
Crowding around a phone in the Steel String Brewery, candidate Kurt Stolka, his wife and friends checked the latest election results.
After learning Stolka had not won a seat, they all looked up at each other, shrugged and then decided to toast their campaign efforts. Stolka did not receive the results he wanted, but he said he knew it was going to be tough.
“It is just the matter of getting the message out that in order to stay a progressive community and town you need to get some fresh ideas in the board.”
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