Name as it appears on the ballot: Tim Peck
Full legal name, if different: Timothy B. Peck
Date of birth: 4/9/55
Home address: 112 Elm St.
Mailing address, if different from home: same
Campaign Web site: working on it
Occupation & employer: builder/ plumber -Peck and Artisans
Home phone: 919 368 6912
Work phone: 919 933 8485
1) What do you believe are the most important issues facing Carrboro? If elected, what are your top priorities in addressing those issues?
The most important question facing Carrboro today is how to grow our population and commercial tax base in a sustainable way. I love Carrboro, I’ve been a resident here for twenty years, and I want to “keep it Carrboro,” while at the same time encouraging well-designed growth. To do so, I would emphasize building “up, not out” (higher residential and commercial densities per square foot).
Secondly, as a historical mill town, we have “hands-on” roots in Carrboro. The new businesses in our new economy are not going to be exclusively office jobs. They might be agricultural, technological, or light industrial, for the production of green technologies and products. We need to attract businesses that will be the “fixers” during an age of transition to a lower energy lifestyle. The mechanics at Mann’s Body Shop next door to my business (Peck & Artisans) may have less work if gasoline rises again to $4.00 or $5.00 a gallon, but they can fix any mechanical thing. That type of hands-on creativity and technical improvisation cannot be taught, but comes from years of skilled automobile repair. Tools break, old technologies become outmoded, so who will fix the tools of the New Economy? I think the answer lies in Carrboro’s talented citizenry.
2) What is there in your record as a public official or other experience that demonstrates your ability to be effective on the board? This might include career or community service; but please be specific about its relevance to this office.
As past President of the Carrboro Elementary PTA, I moderated and led a highly involved group of parents through a year of bumpy transition after the principal of 27 years had retired.
As the owner of a local small business I understand small businesses. I am in communication with many of the other small businesses in Carrboro, which supply either the parts or the referrals for my work. Most of Carrboro’s businesses are small so I will be in a good position to understand their needs. Developing business in Carrboro, especially “hands-on” businesses, is critical for the future of Carrboro, and I would like to be a part of that discussion.
As co-director of Sunset Soccer for 5 years I refereed hundreds of soccer games
And learned to be decisive and fair with people.
As a principle in the Carrboro Art Group ( which made large parade floats for the CH/Carrboro X-mas parade for 10 years) I learn how to work with several independent, eccentric, creative, strong-minded individuals to produce amazing results.
3) How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
I am a progressive. I have participated in citizen committees such as NC Powerdown, Carrboro Transition Towns, and the BALLE Carrboro. All three of these groups have an emphasis on local business ownership, “smart growth”, and getting past U.S. dependence on foreign oil via a lower energy lifestyle.
4) Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.
I might support a no driving day on a weekday to illustrate how dependant we all are on gas. This has been done on Sunday’s but a weekday would
force people to think about how do business without a vehicle.
5) Large building projects like that under way by Main Street Partners and the Greenbridge development just across the line in Chapel Hill will change Carrboro’s landscape and it character in the near future. The project at 300 Main Street also will alter the status quo. What is your vision for the town’s long-range development? What are the pros and cons of commercial and residential development?
Right now, there is no small-town model for sustainable growth. Carrboro, with its access to UNC and RTP, should be an example and a forerunner for what can happen when educated, experienced, and interested folks decide to grow their small town with well-designed, high density, sustainably constructed buildings.
I am a builder, I love buildings, and I love working on buildings, and to that end, I support 300 West Main St. and Greenbridge in spite of the controversies associated with it. These buildings will change Carrboro and we all hope for the better. Every building project should be considered carefully. Building design is important and can make the difference between fitting in with Carrboro or not. Carrboro needs to support both residential and commercial growth. We need to retain our younger population. We need to work toward providing affordable housing for younger folks that work in Carrboro and want to own a house. Because abiding by State building regulations and codes is expensive, buildings are expensive and that prices out most young folks. We need to plan for low-cost, high density housing. This might take the form of co-operative or communal housing. Ultimately, we need to infill, re-use, re-make, re-build, retrofit, and re-model a landscape that was designed over fifty years ago, and assumes cheap car travel.
6) How will you deal with growth in Carrboro given its limited physical boundaries? By extension, what are your viewpoints regarding high-density housing and its placement?
Once again, “up, not out” is a mantra that I’ve taken on. The key is that smart buildings do not have to have a big footprint. We need to raise awareness about these options for folks that may not be familiar with anything but either split-level sub-divided housing on one extreme, and dormitory housing on the other.
7) In the midst of a difficult economic situation and a tough budget year, what’s one thing that the town is cutting that you would save and what’s one thing that’s been saved that you would cut?
I would save the Cybrary .
8) Do you agree with Community Home Trust Executive Director Robert Dowling that the town’s affordable housing policy is not working? If so, what needs to be done to correct this? As for public housing, how should the town continue to manage these developments in light of reduced federal funding?
Affordable housing has been a priority for Carrboro many years and yet remains unattainable. High land costs and high building costs make affordable difficult to achieve. Using Carrboro’s “in leiu of ” affordable housing dollars may be a way to construct separate co-operative or communal housing. The few public housing units in Carrboro are controlled by the county.
9) What makes Carrboro unique to you? How would you preserve that while advancing it?
The unique thing about Carrboro is its acceptance of diverse groups. It’s OK to be different here. Also, it’s working-class history as a mill town makes it a special place to live. This hands-on history is the motivation, as I see it, to encourage hands-on businesses that will be re-skilling America for alternative energies.
I like Carrboro, and I like it the way it is. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t moving into a new era, and a new economy and we will change. We need to cherish our past, enjoy the present, and plan now for the future, especially one of lower energy consumption.
10) What important town departments or agencies have been, in your opinion, chronically underfunded? What have been the ramifications of that shortage? If elected, where would you find the money to more fairly fund these areas? Conversely, what department or agency budgets could be cut?
Again affordable housing should be on the list of items to be better funded.
11) Earlier this year, the board heard a fiscal presentation about a pay-as-you-throw trash system. What do you think of the system from a financial, environmental and practical standpoint? If you approve, how would any additional costs be covered? If you disapprove, what are some alternatives?
12) Carrboro emphasizes locally owned, import-substituting economic development. What is your opinion of that policy? Has it, in your view, succeeded? How can it be improved? What is the town doing and what more should it be doing to support small business during the economic recession?
I support this policy. We can be producing more local products. Our local organic Carrboro Farmer’s Market is popular, and could be expanded.
In order to improve that policy, we could increase the revolving loan fund dedicated to getting small businesses off the ground. This kind of funding, including microfinance, can be the engine for good ideas that would otherwise remain untested.
Also, with our highly educated citizens, we could provide pro bono consultants for existing small businesses that want to improve. Many small businesses have an idea and some capital, but not the operations or market knowledge to really flourish. Supporting local business may appreciate this kind of attention and oversight by the Town.
13) Do you believe there is enough citizen participation in Carrboro? What would you do to improve it? How can leaders make government more accessible and responsive to citizen needs and concerns? How do students fit in?
Largely, yes. We have great attendance, and a variety of passionate speakers at our Board of Alderman meetings. That being said, we can always be encouraging more folks to get involved. To do so, we could sponsor more informal leader/citizen discussions. We could also promote student attendance at BOA meetings. Students, and other short-term residents in our community might not have the same breadth of knowledge about Carrboro as a twenty-year resident, but they still can be stakeholders in our community’s future.
14) The 10-year plan to end homelessness is underway. Do you think it’s been effective thus far? What accountability measures are or should be in place? What are the hurdles to accomplishing it? How can the town overcome those obstacles? What is not in the plan that should be?
The recent cuts to the mental health budget at the state level will make it difficult to achieve the 10 year plan to end homelessness..
15) What’s your vision for Smith Level Road? Will it eventually need to be widened? How can the town move forward with adding bike lanes and sidewalks to this Carrboro High artery?
Make a request to add bike lanes and sidewalks from the DOT budget. The road should not be widened instead the traffic should be diverted to other corridors.