Meet the two candidates for mayor of Carrboro



Carrboro voters will vote to elect a new mayor in November, choosing between business owner and artist Mike Benson and city council member Damon Seils.

Lydia Lavelle, the current mayor of Carrboro, has served for the past eight years and will not be running for re-election. However, she is happy that there are several candidates vying for the post.

“This gives the opportunity to explain to the community what they have been working on, what the current issues are and also to go out and hear from community members,” Lavelle said.

Here is an overview of the candidates:

Michael benson

Benson was born and raised in Carrboro and is a product of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. He has been a waiter and bartender for over three decades and a restaurant owner for over 25 years.

“As a small business, I come from a background of supporting local small businesses and being active in the community as a business person – fundraising for schools and the (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, ”Benson said.

One of the reasons Benson was encouraged to run for mayor was to give citizens a choice on the ballot, since Seils initially ran unopposed. He said it is important to give community members a chance to make decisions about who represents them.

Some topics on Benson’s agenda include parking accessibility, affordable housing, alternative energy options, and tax reduction.

If elected, Benson would like to have regular office hours so he can be available to those who live within the city limits of Carrboro. He also thinks the job should be more of a full-time position since Carrboro has grown tremendously over the past 20 years.

“I love Carrboro and everything I come up with is progressive to try to help Carrboro,” Benson said. “(Seils and I) are both working really hard to try to make Carrboro a really great place.”

Damon seils

Seils has been a member of Carrboro City Council since 2013 and has since been re-elected twice. Prior to serving on city council, he served on the Carrboro Planning Board and the Orange County Human Relations Commission.

Seils said he was running for mayor because he wanted to continue his work on many of the city’s projects. Some ongoing projects include the recent hiring of a new city manager, the process of adopting and implementing the city’s first comprehensive plan, decisions on where to allocate federal recovery money from the city. pandemic and promoting the city’s goals of achieving racial equity.

“I have led these issues as a council member and I think I’m ready to lead as mayor on these issues,” Seils said.

One of Seils’ main goals includes a comprehensive plan for Carrboro’s growth.

“I want to articulate a vision for compact development focused on walking transit in Carrboro,” said Seils. “We would do this in a way that would support the advancement of our racial equity goals and support a thriving downtown and local economy.”

Additionally, as a member of the Chapel Hill Transit Committee, Seils has been a leader in the region. It has worked to address transit issues and increase walking and the ability of citizens to cycle in their area.

Seils also worked with Lavelle on statewide issues to pass LGBTQ + nondiscrimination orders. Ten towns, cities and counties adopted these ordinances – Carrboro being one of the first.

Looking forward

Regardless of who wins the election, Lavelle said she hopes the two candidates will continue to work on the issues she addressed during her tenure as mayor.

“I would like to highlight the work on our global plan, continue to work on our focus on racial equity and also continue to move Project 203 forward,” she said.

Eligible citizens can vote by mail ballot, advance poll or voting on polling day. The voter registration deadline for the November election is October 8. The early voting period will take place between October 14 and October 30. Requests for postal votes must be submitted by October 26 and returned by election day on November 2.

@DTHCityState |

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