Name as it appears on the ballot: Jeffrey Hoagland
Party affiliation: Chapel Hill town council and mayor are unaffiliated races. But I’m a Republican
Campaign website: https://donorbox.org/campaign-to-elect-jeffrey-hoagland-to-town-council
Occupation & employer: Engineer, Nhanced semiconductor
Years lived in Chapel Hill: 10
1) In 300 words or less, please give us—and our readers—your elevator pitch: Why are you running?
To help downtown chapel hill thrive by pushing for better safety and road structure. To prevent more of my friends from being evicted when out of state corporations want to turn their old homes into modern luxury apartments, destroying affordable homes and driving the price of rent up for everyone. Also running to get the town spending under control, the town is $136 million in debt and did not fund its police or firefighters from its base budget and had to borrow money to fund them.
2) If you don’t currently serve on the town council, what is something members could be doing better? If you do, what has been your biggest accomplishment during your time in office?
They could be listening to business owners in town when they tell them that bike lanes killed business by making traffic terrible and lowered the number of customers coming in to local small business.
3) What are the three most pressing issues the town currently faces? How would you address them? Please be specific.
Safety is number one, and the best way to address this is to fund the police properly and get the personal back up to above 2021 levels instead of the 14 below that we are at now.
Second is housing, you can not help with housing by destroying the current stock, so no rezoning that leads to redevelopment. You also cannot out build a housing crisis, you can only help people get from one area to another faster, so a better layout of car utilization roads so that people can drive into and out of town faster and easier.
Third issues is the town debt, would address that by stopping all consultant work that should be done by town staff.
4) Local government, given the construction of the North Carolina constitution, is often highly limited in its jurisdiction. How would you best leverage the powers of the town council? What prior experience will make you an effective member of the town council? Please note any endorsements you have received that you consider significant.
The best leverage of local power is to help the local people. I have worked for the federal government at Los Alamos national lab doing nuclear and particle physics research, so I know how to navigate the government bureaucracy while at the same time solving complex problems in a timely manner. My current job is also one where I have to break down problems into variables and use them to produce the best outcome.
5) Community members frequently show up to town council meetings to share that they work in Chapel Hill but cannot afford to live here. With rising rents, even some that already live here are worried they will no longer be able to afford it. The town recently passed an affordable housing plan and investment strategy, which provides a general path forward. Do you support this plan? How would you, on the council, move forward to increase Chapel Hill’s affordable housing stock?
I do not support the “affordable housing plan” as affordable housing in Chapel Hill is $2083 a month based on housing and urban development standards of 1/3 income for housing and the Chapel Hill medium income of $75,000 a year, so this plan does not help townies trying to continue living here. I will say it again, you can not out build a housing crisis, but you can keep the stock from being lowered by preventing redevelopment of established homes.
6) In June, Chapel Hill approved its largest tax hike in years. In a town built around a tax-exempt public university with large land holdings, how can the council finance future projects? Should the town look to build a larger commercial base? Increase residential taxes? Some other way?
The town needs to focus on the basic services that towns should provide before looking to go into new projects. The town budget has almost doubled in the last 4 years and will likely double again once home tax evaluations happen again, so the town having money is not a problem, it the fact that the town wants to spend it all plus some that makes it troublesome.
7) Much of the work of the town council involves judging rezoning requests for new developments. Looking especially at recent proposals such as The Reserve at Blue Hill and Chapel Hill Crossings, what criteria should developers meet in order to gain approval?
That it does not kick current residents out of their home, and that it isn’t blatantly stupid, like putting a 12 story building in a swamp.
8) How should the Greene Tract be developed? Should affordable housing be built on part of it? How much should preservation be balanced with development?
I don’t know enough about the Greene tract to answer this.
9) How can the town improve its community engagement process to make sure that residents, especially those who do not have the time or resources to attend town council meetings on weekday nights, have their voices heard?
Start having council events on Saturday and Sunday during the day so that all people can come and not be up until after midnight on work days and school nights.
10) How can the town leverage its relationship with the university to achieve its goals? Should the town be trying harder to keep young talent in the area?
The town should disassociate with the university, the town up unit now has been following university advice and its terrible. The university itself is so mismanaged that it has over $2 billion worth of renovations to do on some of its older buildings so that they are safe to occupy, so they do not seem to be a good source of advice on money and project management or execution. I don’t think the town has to try to keep young talent in the area as RTP is where most of the jobs in the country being made and why population in the area is increasing.
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