Jon DeHart | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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Jon DeHart

Candidate for Chapel Hill Town Council

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Jon DeHart
Full legal name, if different: Jonathan Paul DeHart
Date of birth: June 09, 1967
Home address: 102 Old Larkspur Way, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Mailing address, if different from home:
Campaign Web site: www.dehartforcouncil.com
Occupation & employer: Manager, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Home phone: 919 408 4749
Work phone:
E-mail: jondehartchnc@gmail.com



1. What is there in your public record or other experience that demonstrates your ability to be an effective leader? Please be specific about your public and community service background.

I have been a leader in numerous groups including but not limited to the following :

A. Currently President Triangle Mortgage Lenders

B. Leadership roles at Orange United Methodist Church such as chairing IFC, Finance Committee, Administrative Council, and chair of chair committee

C. Branch Manager for two different Mortgage companies with responsibility for budgeting and managing for 10 + years. I am an Eagle Scout.

D. Leader in YMCA activities including Chief of Y Princess Tribe and coach of multiple teams

E. Community Home Trust volunteer on their finance issues

2. How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?

A Moderate . Fiscally conservative , socially moderate to liberal .

3. Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.

Making budget cuts that might cause some services to be reduced.

4. The Independent's mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. How would your election to office help further that goal?

Working with the other local governments , especially on transportation issues will be crucial connecting our communities and preserving our resources.

5. 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 not make any changes in the cuts. I would definitely cut Voter owned/tax payer funded election funds.

6. What's your approach to growth in Chapel Hill? Where should the town grow? How do leaders manage it?

Smart, controlled and planned are the keys words. We need to plan for it and make sure that is what and where it is needed. It should all be on a case by case basis, and make good common sense decisions.

7. Do you think recent efforts to revitalize Franklin Street, such as adding welcome flags, using new parking rules, implementing Touchdown Carolina, etc. have been effective? What more needs to be done downtown? What would you do to increase occupancy rates and make Franklin Street a more vibrant and economically successful entity?

We need to make the perceptions about downtown be positive ones. Most people I have spoken with say that downtown has two major problems, lack of parking and aggressive panhandling. If we plan using , common sense, and make good choices, the parking will take care of itself. We can address the pan handling by strongly enforcing the existing legislating and if needed , create new regulations so people feel safe and not harassed when visiting downtown. We need to encourage the entrepreneurial sprit, working with groups like the Friends of Downtown and Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.

8. While Greenbridge has been lauded as an environmentally friendly housing development, there are also concerns that it threatens adjacent lower-income neighborhoods. What do you think the town's strategy should be in regards to gentrification?

It needs to be a on a case by case basis. Make good common sense decisions based on Smart planning .

9. 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?

I have not heard Robert say that . I have heard him say he wished he had more input into how the town helps Community Home Trust . I think he does an excellent job , and I have helped on their finance committee. It comes back to a case by case choice again and using common sense. Sometimes, they would prefer more units, sometimes they would prefer cash in lieu. It just depends on the project and what their current needs are.

10. What makes Chapel Hill unique to you? How would you preserve that while advancing it?

It is the ultimate American Melting Pot. It has people from every segment of America and from all over the world. It means opportunity for my kids to get a incredible public school education. It means college sports. It is a great place for me to raise my kids and give them an opportunity to learn about different cultures and people.

11. With that in mind, the town's comprehensive plan emphasizes regional planning and cooperation. How should this collaboration take place? On what kinds of issues? And, what strategies would you borrow from your neighbors that could work in Chapel Hill?

Yes, it should take place . The major issues are transportation and environment .

12. How do you view UNC's relationship with the town? What's the state of it, given recent Carolina North developments? How will you help further that relationship in the future?

Like any relationship it is give and take . Carolina North is a great opportunity that needs to be planned carefully and make sounds decisions that will be environmentally and fiscally sound.

13. The 10-year plan to end homelessness is underway. How will the town monitor progress on the plan? 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?

Working closely with Orange County and the State to give people the opportunity to improve themselves.

14. 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 town departments or agencies have been overfunded?

Economic development has been underfunded, we need to be insuring that we are trying to keep our budding entrepreneurs at home in Chapel Hill. And try to bring new opportunities to Town.

15. Many of the town's workers live in outside communities due to the high cost of living in Chapel Hill and the lack of what some term "a living wage." What would you do to address this? Should it be addressed? Is it important for our police, firemen and public works officials to live in the community that they serve?

We need to encourage more commercial growth . Our dependence on our residential tax base makes our tax rate too high . We need to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and have more opportunities to grow our own businesses. These changes should make it more affordable to buy here.

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