Volunteers for the Searing slate are passing out a flyer to voters at the polls called the “Voting Report Card for Chapel Hill 2022-2023” while telling them “actions speak louder than words. There are so many plans and endorsements and assertions, it’s hard to know what is true, false or noise.”
The endorsements candidates have received can be easily verified – here’s where to read each of them. But this flyer and the speech given at poll stations by Searing supporters is full of errors and completely misleading. Let’s begin.
The word absent is next to Jess Anderson three times in bold and big type, to imply she was hiding from votes around affordable housing. Trinity Court and Jay Street were voted on the same night – a night when Jess Anderson had COVID. She had previously supported both projects at every previous meeting.
We have no idea what the phrase “Affordable Housing” marking Jess as absent means. That’s not a thing. Jess has voted for many affordable housing projects during her tenure on council. There’s been nothing that has come before the council with that name.
The Legion land, which we have written about many times, will be the 5th biggest park in Chapel Hill. The land was bought with 45% park bonds. Council voted to use a quarter of the property for much-needed affordable housing, and keep the rest as a ~38 acre park that includes active recreation, such as pickleball courts and soccer fields, and passive green space, including 8.6 acres of forest. (As envisioned, this will be bigger than almost every existing park in town.)
Eastowne is also incredibly misleading. The applicant had the right to build on the entire heritage site by-right. Council negotiated to get 12 acres fully preserved instead of zero.
On 828, there’s never been a vote to pursue housing or anything else. Council voted to go forward with a Brownfield agreement, which means the state and other experts are currently assessing the site to figure out what the best way forward is. This is a complicated and nuanced topic – and it’s unclear whether it’s best to remove the coal ash entirely, or to cap it where it is. The town had previously decided to not pursue housing. This was confirmed in a memo published by Town Manager Maurice Jones on September 13, 2022 in which he outlines options for the town council to take. He stated: “No matter which direction we take, the Town will continue to be driven by science including the research that has been conducted on this project.”
In a speed round: the town did not remove single-family zoning from most Chapel Hill neighborhoods. We’ve fact-checked this several times before. Adam voted no on the Penny for Parks, which was established to give Chapel Hill much needed parks funding, and he voted no on raises for town employees, many of whom are compensated less than their peers in neighboring municipalities.
This document is misleading and inaccurate. We want you to look at it, and go to the primary source material. We’ve linked to it all above – presentations, council meetings, memos.
CHALT and pollgreeters for the Searing slate are currently trying to completely change facts and mislead voters right before they enter polling stations. We stick to primary sources and facts – and encourage you to do your homework as well.