I am running for Orange County Commissioner District 1 because I believe commissioners must:

♦  Listen and understand the needs and values of the whole community.
♦  Work respectfully and collaboratively with other elected officials.
♦  Use our financial and natural resources efficiently and effectively.
♦  Be transparent and accountable.

 

Learn More About Why I am Running for Re-Election for County Commissioner

I am seeking a second 4-year term with the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to continue the progress we have made and to strengthen Orange County’s ability to meet current and future challenges.  I have worked hard in the past few years to listen and understand the needs and values of the whole community, to work respectfully and collaboratively with other elected officials and town and county staff, and to use our financial and natural resources efficiently and effectively.

  1. Fixing our Schools

Many of our school facilities have deteriorated to the point that they negatively affect the health, safety, and learning of our children. Addressing aging schools is an equity issue since poor children are likely to be most affected, an economic development issue since strong public schools attract businesses and employees, and an environmental issue since our older schools are energy inefficient.

I took the initiative to petition for a work group of elected officials and staff from Orange County, Orange County Schools (OCS), and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) to address our aging school facilities.  As chair of the Capital Needs Work Group I worked closely with OCS board member Bonnie Hauser and CHCCS board member Rani Dasi to draft a report of our findings with a recommendation to hire a consultant to look at the facilities of both school systems and provide a report with options on how to address the needs overtime in an effective and efficient way.  The consultant was hired and the final report is to be presented to the BOCC on December 4th. What direction will be taken will be determined by the BOCC in the coming weeks as it considers what options to pursue and how to fund that option.

My experience in chairing this work group has been the highlight of my BOCC service. It is a testament to how we can work together to address hard problems and better serve our children, families, and school staff.

  1. Meeting Other Critical Needs – Without Breaking the Budget

Orange County has other critical needs including affordable housing; public transportation; caring for vulnerable residents including those who are elderly, disabled, immigrants, and poor; addressing climate change; and diversifying the tax base through economic development.

In order to meet all these needs and keep tax increases to a minimum, we need commissioners who can make smarter decisions about the budget and be clear on community priorities and values. I fully supported fellow commissioners in hiring a consultant for what I believe is the first-ever Orange County Strategic Plan because I observed that it was difficult for the BOCC to make balanced budget decisions without guiding priorities to consult. I am optimistic that with our investments in long-term planning and the understanding of how plans like the 2050 Orange County Land Use Plan and the Climate Plan can be integrated, Orange County will be able to meet the our current and future challenges. 

Why I Get the Job Done

As a master’s level social worker, I’m trained and experienced in assessing the needs of vulnerable people, working in partnership with stakeholders, and staying focused on making sure the needs we’ve identified are met. As a PhD economist who did research in labor economics and public health, I know how to look at the evidence, assess costs and benefits, and track results. As a school board member, I’ve shown I can use my skills and experience to draft smart budgets, evaluate student performance, and decide what new programs to fund.

In my three years as county commissioner, I have been a good steward of our county’s resources looking first to cuts to pay for new services. I have worked to build common ground with the Capital Needs Work Group and with the School Safety Taskforce and to advocate for better communication between the County and residents as a member of the Strategic Communications work group.

Re-elect me and together we can continue to plan smarter, spend smarter, and forge a more equitable and sustainable Orange County.

Insightful, Collaborative & Effective Leadership

Election Information 2024

 

CONTACT JEAN HAMILTON

I would love to hear from you to discuss my campaign
and how I’ll work hard to serve Orange County.