Orange County Commissioner
An Experienced and Dedicated Leader
Candidate for District 1 Representing the Chapel Hill and Carrboro Area
As your county commissioner, I have been working hard for Orange County, including service as chair of the Board of County Commissioners and as chair of two regional transportation boards. Now I would like to build on my contributions, and I have future goals to accomplish.
Three generations of Alice's family are living in Orange County
In these tough economic times, the county must increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations and prudently streamline county services to reduce expenses. We must encourage thoughtful economic development which promotes green businesses, such as the two solar energy companies that recently located in Hillsborough, and which provides jobs. Support for our local businesses, including local agriculture, is crucial.
My presence on the board as a proven leader, with a track record of support for transparent and effective government, will be helpful as the county deals with the difficult and complex issues ahead.
Alice, shown here at Carrboro High School, has worked for excellent schools
As county commissioner, I have been a champion for quality education for students all over Orange County. I chaired the county-wide group of elected officials that crafted the Schools Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance to plan ahead for future school needs. Unique in North Carolina, SAPFO helps prevent future school overcrowding. Moreover, I have consistently voted for the funding necessary to support excellent schools, while continuing to remain fiscally responsible, and I will continue to promote fair funding of the schools.
Now I believe that more attention should be directed to improving older school facilities, and I will advocate for the renovation and maintenance of older schools as soon as it is financially possible. My overall goal is to continue school excellence in a climate of scarce resources.
Lands Legacy won the Excellence in County Planning Award
from the American Planning Association
My most important legacy as an environmental leader will be my initiatives to make environmental protection a separate function of Orange County government. In the past, environmental issues were handled by the Planning Department. To change that I proposed several initiatives, implemented by the commissioners. A fundamental one was the creation of a separate department for the environment to focus on clean air, clean water, and other environmental concerns. I also proposed the creation of the Commission for the Environment and promoted far-sighted studies of the county's groundwater resources before there was a crisis, like a drought.
The most well-known initiative is the creation of the county's nationally recognized "Lands Legacy Program," the first comprehensive county land acquisition program in North Carolina. In 2007 this program won the Excellence in County Planning Award from the American Planning Association. It was also a finalist for the Leadership in Conservation Award from the National Association of Counties and the Trust for Public Land. Orange County has now protected over 2500 acres of land in ten years, for farm easements, parks, and natural resource protection.
In 2006 Leadership Triangle honored me with the Goodmon Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership by an Elected Official. The award citation stated that, as an Orange County Commissioner, Alice Gordon has "proactively addressed regional growth while enhancing the quality of life that defines the Triangle" and it recognized my contributions in the areas of environmental protection and regional transportation.
I will continue promoting initiatives for the protection of our groundwater and air quality, for preservation of our natural resources and farmland, and for responsible land use planning and sustainable growth, and will work for the implementation of our comprehensive plan.
Alice chaired the western Triangle's transportation planning organization.
She helped lead the joint planning effort that won The National Award for Outstanding Achievement in Metropolitan Transportation Planning
As chair of two regional transportation policy decision-making boards -- the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro (DCHC) Metropolitan Planning Organization's (MPO) Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) and the Triangle Transit Board of Trustees -- I have promoted improved public transit and other alternatives to cars, and efforts to improve air quality in the Triangle area. For example, as an officer of the Triangle Transit Board, I spearheaded the creation of the agency's bus route from Hillsborough to Chapel Hill which began operation in 2006, and which is now one of Triangle Transit's most successful commuter routes.
As the DCHC MPO TAC chair in 2007 and 2008, I helped lead the effort to create the 2035 regional long range transportation plan that will guide transportation investments in the Triangle. The DCHC MPO is the regional organization responsible for transportation planning for the western part of the Research Triangle Area. The DCHC MPO is governed by the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), a policy board consisting of elected officials.
In 2009 the two metropolitan planning organizations in the Triangle region were honored with a national award for their collaborative efforts in creating this joint 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan. The National Award for Outstanding Achievement in Metropolitan Transportation Planning was presented to the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro MPO and the Capital Area MPO by the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO). The award citation noted that "starting in 2007, the two MPOs departed from their past practice of creating two separate planning documents for the one region. Instead they came together to produce a joint 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan that was adopted in June 2009. FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) has already commended this effort as an example of 'exemplary practice within the planning process,' and today AMPO does as well."
In the past I received an individual award from the Sierra Club for my work in transportation, and there is still much I wish to do to meet our transportation needs. In the future I will continue my work to promote effective public transit and walkable communities, and other efforts to achieve clean air and energy efficiency.
Buy Local! Support our local businesses and local farms
I can provide continuity and experienced leadership for important efforts by our county government. I advocate support for our public libraries; provision of responsive human services for our residents, including youth and those with lower incomes; support for our two senior centers; and provision of effective public safety and emergency services. I support affordable housing, Durham Technical Community College, recycling and other sustainable growth initiatives, and completion of planned park and open space projects. Please note that I will pursue these objectives in a fiscally responsible, transparent, and sustainable manner.
Recognizing that the economy has still not recovered, I will do all I can to craft a lean budget which still delivers essential county services in accordance with our core values. County government is facing extreme financial challenges, with declining revenues and more residents needing safety net services. The commissioners must face these challenges without raising taxes and with every effort to balance competing needs. I will also advocate for thoughtful economic development to promote green businesses and provide quality jobs. I firmly support our local businesses and farms, and will work for a vibrant economy in a socially and environmentally responsible way.
Finally, I am a strong advocate for meaningful participation in county government by all residents, including both women and men, to tap the rich resource of diversity within our community. I will continue to do my homework, ask the hard questions, and listen to your concerns. You know you can count on me to do what I say. I would appreciate your vote on election day. Thank you.
Alice's portrait by Catharine Carter
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