Sharon Cook | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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Sharon Cook

Candidate for Carrboro Alderman


Name as it appears on the ballot: Sharon Cook
Full legal name, if different:
Date of birth:
Home address: 1610 Claymore Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Mailing address, if different from home:
Campaign Web site:
Occupation & employer:
Home phone: 919-933-2105
Work phone:
Cell phone:

I am an Independent (Unaffiliated) candidate who will look at each unique issue and judge it on its own merits, not along any party lines. I’ve worked with people from all walks of life in the community in a wide range of issues. I am results-oriented.

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

This, of course, is the Rogers Road neighborhood. Before the division of this generations-long community into two towns, I wrote editorials which were published in the “other” local papers.

Most recently I’ve stood with and spoken in support of relieving this neighborhood of the burden of our community’s trash.

This will not be a popular stand with some voters due to the possible increased cost of garbage collection to site the waste facilities away from the Rogers Road neighbors.

5. Large building projects like that under way by Main Street Partners and the Greenbridge development just across the line in Chapel Hill will change Carrboro’s landscape and it character in the near future. What is your vision for the town’s long-range development? What are the pros and cons of commercial and residential development?

The bottom line in this discussion is “If you wanted to live in a high density urban area, why did you move to a “small” (probably closer to medium) sized town?” The push for high density is a push by developers to make as much money as they can on as small of a piece of property as possible, while leaving the residents trying to solve the infrastructure problems which are being left in the wake (school overcrowding, traffic congestion, water availability, trash management, and other environmental impacts.)

8. 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 department or agency budgets could be cut?

Our town departments have a huge burden placed upon them. I’d like to see us fully support the departments which provide essential services including police, fire, and rescue workers. We need to look at other departments more carefully, and how can they operate more efficiently. For example, with the benefits provided to part-time workers, would a full-time position be more cost effective.

9. Earlier this year, the board heard a fiscal presentation about a pay-as-you-throw trash system. What do you think of the system from a financial, environmental and practical standpoint? If you approve, how would any additional costs be covered? If you disapprove, what are some alternatives?

There has been no study done to show who is throwing the most trash. The assumption is that single family homeowners produce more trash, yet oftentimes these are the residents who compost, who eat most meals at home with less packaging, and have space in their yard to garden and produce at least some of their vegetables. An important question to ask is would the cost of administering the program out-weigh the benefits.

10. Carrboro emphasizes locally owned, import-substituting economic development. What is your opinion of that policy? Has it, in your view, succeeded? How can it be improved?

The Farmer’s Market is a great asset to Carrboro. Locally produced products are an optimum choice. It’s the new 3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. This, in the end, is how we reduce the garbage discussed in question #9, and reduce the negative impact on our environment, including carbon emissions.

11. Carrboro is participating in the Jordan Lake Stakeholder Project to help manage this resource, which is polluted and threatened by growth and development. What is Carrboro’s responsibility in mitigating these threats? What policies should the Board of Aldermen enact to help protect water quality and quantity in Jordan Lake?

Carrboro is fortunate to be at the headwaters of the water stream. We have a responsibility to maintain the quality of the water. I’ve advocated for stream water protections on many occasions.

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