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Pittsboro citizens launch political action group for municipal election

By Elizabeth Reid
Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2005

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Pittsboro, NC - A group of concerned citizens has launched a grassroots political action committee to support candidates for mayor and two town board seats in the fall Pittsboro municipal election.

Leaders of Pittsboro Together seek to endorse a slate of candidates who are committed to long-range planning and economic development, downtown vitalization, open government, expanded cultural and recreational opportunities, and preserving and enhancing the unique small-town feel of the county seat. The committee has sent a questionnaire to the candidates on these issues and will publicize candidates' answers, and the committee's endorsements, in about two weeks.

Pittsboro Together volunteers also plan to knock on doors in every neighborhood in the town limits to elicit voters' concerns and views, and to share information about the candidates' positions and qualifications.

"We are a diverse group of citizens and business persons who live or work in Pittsboro and its planning jurisdiction," said Jim Hinkley, a planning consultant and former county planning board member who lives on Evergreen Drive in Pittsboro and serves as co-chair of the group.

"Our volunteers include whites, African-Americans and Hispanics, young and old, natives and newcomers, who share a common vision to preserve and enhance what makes Pittsboro a special place. We will support candidates who have a long-range vision and wish to use thoughtful policy tools to manage the growth of the suburban sprawl that threatens to clog our highways and pollute our waterways," he said.

Pittsboro Together co-chair Michael Knight, a Pittsboro native living on Fire Tower Road, added, "We are also interested in attracting good-paying jobs to the area and diverse businesses to the downtown, and to maintaining and expanding resources for recreation and cultural activities, especially for our young people. In addition, we want elected officials who welcome citizen involvement in local government decisions."

In addition to Knight and Hinkley, Pittsboro Together officers include Gary Simpson, secretary, who lives on Russet Run in the Pittsboro planning jurisdiction, and Chris Boyce, treasurer, who lives in Chatham Forest near the downtown.

Candidates running for office in the Nov. 8 municipal election include, for mayor, incumbent Nancy May and challenger Randy Voller, and for two seats on the town board incumbent Chris Walker and new candidates Pamela Baldwin and Efrain Ramirez. Incumbent Burnice Griffin is not seeking re-election.

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Anyone interested in volunteering or making a financial contribution may contact Pittsboro Together at 545-0678, P.O. Box 75, Pittsboro NC 27312.

Under North Carolina law, political action committees may only accept donations from individuals, not businesses. Gifts over $100 must be made by check and include your name, mailing address, job title or profession, and name of employer or employer's field.

 
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