While the 2020 election dominates the national headlines, voters will head to the polls in 2019 and have a say in how their towns and cities are governed — Pittsboro, Siler City and Goldston among …
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While the 2020 election dominates the national headlines, voters will head to the polls in 2019 and have a say in how their towns and cities are governed — Pittsboro, Siler City and Goldston among them.
Filing for those races began Friday, with all three municipalities’ mayoral roles up for election as well as multiple members of each town board. The races are nonpartisan and will be decided on Election Day, Nov. 5.
Things got off to a quick start in Pittsboro, with Jim Nass filing on Friday to replace current Mayor Cindy Perry, who announced last month she would not be seeking re-election.
Nass moved to Pittsboro in 2007 after a career as an executive with the U.S. Postal Service and working with a small consulting firm in Northern Virginia with partnerships that included Lockheed Martin, IBM, Northrup and Computer Science Corporation. Nass has served as chairman of the Pittsboro ABC Board for seven years, chairman of the Citizens Committee on Chatham Park additional elements and chairman of the Pittsboro Affordable Housing Task Force. He’s currently chairman of the Interim Affordable Housing Board and a member of the Main Street Pittsboro board of directors.
“What I’d like to do is lead the board of commissioners to focus and prioritize on the important issues facing Pittsboro, primarily growth, so that we can blend the old and new to benefit all citizens of Pittsboro,” Nass said at filing.
Kyle Shipp filed on Monday morning for one of the three open Pittsboro Board of Commissioners seats.
“I love Pittsboro and I’m excited about the future in Pittsboro,” Shipp said. “I want to use my skills and experience to serve in Pittsboro the best that I can [and I am] looking forward to getting to know more people through this process.”
On Tuesday, Pam Cash-Roper also filed for one of the three open seats in Pittsboro. Cash-Roper is a retired nurse and Chatham County native.
“I want clean water for Pittsboro residents and more affordable housing options,” Cash-Roper said. “There’s not enough affordable housing in Pittsboro.”
J.A. “Jay” Farrell, Bett Wilson Foley and John Bonitz’s terms expire this year, and none have yet filed. The terms for Mayor Pro-Tem Pamela Baldwin and Commissioner Michael Fiocco are up in 2021.
Siler City Mayor John Grimes filed for re-election on Friday. He has served as mayor since his appointment when former mayor Charles Johnson passed away in 2013 after membership on the Siler City Board of Commissioners for more than a decade. Before that, Grimes served on the Chatham County Board of Commissioners.
“The main reason I am running is to continue to get some industry and jobs here,” Grimes said at filing. “The main thing is jobs, and get some dollars moving around town.”
Grimes will face opposition in the form of Oasis Open-Air Market owner Jackie Adams, who filed for the mayoral race on Monday. Adams is retired from IBM and currently a member of the town’s Downtown Advisory Board.
“Living in Eastern Siler City and having a business in downtown, I know there is so much I can do to work with Siler City and build on its great history to actively bring more needed businesses, work on clean municipal water and strive for more affordable housing,” Adams said. “All this in the efforts to attract and retain the beauty of Siler City and make it welcoming.”
Siler City Mayor Pro-Tem Larry Cheek, who has represented District 2 for more than 15 years, also filed for re-election on Friday.
“I want to continue to work with the town board on infrastructure — improving water and sewage capacity so that when growth arrives, we can service it,” Cheek said. “Our challenge to affordable housing and I want to continue to work with the affordable housing committee. My main goal is to work for the benefit of all citizens of Siler City.”
Thomas (Chip) Price, an at-large representative on the board since 2011, filed for re-election on Monday.
“I still want to work on some infrastructure projects and continue to working on affordable housing,” Price said.
Curtis Brown also filed on Monday for the Siler City Board of Commissioners’ District 3 seat, which is currently held by Michael Constantino. Brown retired from working with the town of Siler City as a superintendent in 2009 and is the vice chairman of the town’s planning board.
“We have many challenges ahead of us — permits, equipment upgrades, etc.,” Brown said. “We must have proper water supply and wastewater capacity to grow our tax base and attract businesses and industries. I understand the town’s systems and budget process.”
On Tuesday, Constantino filed for re-election. He’s has been on the board for eight years and works as a trial assistant with the N.C. Dept. of Commerce focusing on workman’s compensation issues.
“I am running because we have so many irons in the fire — and some have been resolved, but not all of them — so I want to keep continuity on the board and wrap up some of the projects and open issues,” Constantino said. “It would be difficult for someone to come in cold and get up to speed.”
Along with seats held by Cheek, Constantino and Price, Bill Haiges’ District 4 slot is up for grabs. Commissioners Tony Siler, Lewis Fadely and Cindy Burke Bray have terms that end in 2021.
Goldston residents will have the opportunity to vote for two different boards in November — Goldston’s Town Board and the Goldston-Gulf Sanitary District Board.
Goldston Commissioner Steve Cunnup (Ward 2) filed for re-election on Monday. Cunnup, who retired from the telecommunications field, has been on the Goldston Town Council since 2007.
“I feel an obligation to serve the community,” Cunnup said. “I would like this last term to finish our sewer implementation.”
Mayor Tim Cunnup has not yet filed but told the News + Record he intends to seek re-election for his ninth term in the role. Prior to that, he served as a commissioner for four years as well.
Charles Fields III’s Ward 4 seat will also be up for re-election. The terms for Commissioners Wayne Woody, Lynn Gaines and Jonathan Hensley end in 2021.
The Goldston-Gulf Sanitary District Board will have three of its five members up for re-election — Ricky Beal, Henry Kitchings and Danny Scott. Board members Jane Owens and Adam Pickett have terms that end in 2021.
Candidates for all of these municipal elections can file for office through July 19. Any registered voter who resides within the municipal boundaries is eligible to file to run for office. Filing fees range from $5-15 depending on the municipality and the office sought. The early voting period is Oct. 16-Nov. 1. For more information about filing for office, registering to vote, or voting in the upcoming election, visit the Chatham County Board of Elections website at www.chathamnc.org/government/departments-programs/board-of-elections or call the office at 919-545-8500.
Reporter Casey Mann can be reached at CaseyMann@Chathamnr.com.