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Hillsborough: No need to upend the apple cart

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All must be well in Hillsborough, because few people ran for office in this town of 5,000. Incumbent Mayor Tom Stevens is running unopposed, and only three people, Mike Gering, Frances Dancy and Bryant Kelly Warren Jr., are vying for two seats on the Town Commission.

Any of the three would be and have been good stewards of the town. We simply think it's important to have more options in a democracy, so it's sad to see so few people running for office.

We endorse incumbents Gering and Dancy for re-election to the Hillsborough Town Commission.

Gering and Dancy have proven themselves as leaders in previous terms. Even Warren has told local media repeatedly that he has no problems with the incumbents. We don't either.

Gering provided the most detailed response to our questionnaire, detailing the 10 most pressing issues for Hillsborough, which he says include rewriting zoning ordinances to ensure the town is still affordable and creating a more diverse tax base that leans more heavily on commercial and less on residential.

He's a two-term incumbent who lists "initiating the town's purchase of the Collins property, organizing and co-chairing the senior housing task force, leading the effort against the proposed asphalt plant and waste transfer station and proposing work that led to the water rate assistance program" as his key accomplishments.

Dancy is in her third term. Like Gering, she wants to continue working to update zoning ordinances to reduce the residential tax burden. While we were surprised to learn that she couldn't think of one principled stand she'd take that could cost her popularity, we think her experience working with Triangle J Council of Governments and the Chapel Hill/ Orange County Visitors Bureau is too important to lose this cycle.

Warren is a member of the Small Rail Station Task Force, which is setting the criteria for an Amtrak station in Hillsborough. (Currently, passengers have to drive to either Burlington or Durham to catch the train.) He has served on the planning and parks and recreation boards; he has the track record to be a viable candidate, and we have no doubt that he'd be a good board member. However, we don't think he'd bring anything different to the table than the incumbents.

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