August 25, 1975 Section A The Daily Tar Heel 7
I Voter registration
The Orange County Board of Elections
will open special voter registration desks
g beginning Sept. 13 in Chapel Hill and
& Carrboro in preparation for this year's
Nov. 4 municipal elections.
Persons over the age of 18 who claim
g Orange County as their legal place of
residence, have no legal residence
elsewhere and will have lived here for at
least 30 days prior to Nov. 4 are eligible to
register and vote in the 1975 election.
:: In Chapel Hill, special registration will
:: be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each
:: Saturday between Sept. 1 3 and Oct. 4 and
:j: from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each Tuesday at the
S Municipal Building. Registration will
also be held from noon to 8 p.m. each
: Wednesday between Sept. 24 and Oct. I
: at Woollen Gymnasium.
Carrboro residents may register to vote :
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Saturday jij:
between Sept. 13 and Oct. 4 at the jij:
Carrboro Town Hall. j-j:
Regular voter registration is held each :
Thursday at the Chapel Hill Municipal :
Building and every weekday at the
Orange County Board of Elections in :g
County residents must register before
Oct. 6 to be eligible to vote in the
election. Area municipal elections are
Registered voters in Orange County
are required to pay personal property
taxes at a rate of 96'; cents per $100 jij:
property value. However, new residents
may wait until Jan. 1976 to list taxable S
by Richard Whittle
Gerry Cohen, member of the Chapel Hill
Board of Aldermen and a May, 1975
graduate of the University of North Carolina
law School, will formally announce
Wednesday. Sept. 3. his candidacy for
mayor in this fall's municipal elections.
Cohen's opponents in the race will
probably include James C. Wallace, a
professor at North Carolina State
University, and Joe Nassif. a Chapel Hill
architect, as well as one or two others.
While neither Wfallace nor Nassif has
made any formal statement regarding the
mayoral race, each has privately indicated he
will be a candidate. Both have previously
served on the Boutd of Aldermen.
"I've had a very good response from
faculty, very good response from the black
community and very good response from
students, as well as other groups," Cohen
said in a recent interview.
Cohen. 25, said he feels there is a need for
more buses in the Chapel 'HUT system.
improved recredtona iacU'ities. better
housing and careful planning for the town's
"I'd like to see growth planned so that we
have open spaces and green land and Chapel
Hill doesn't become just another city," he
Since Cohen's term on the Board of
Aldermen doesn't expire until 1977. he will
retain his seat if unsuccessful in the mavor's
race. This has led to criticism of Cohen. by
some, including a call for his resignation by
Roland Giduz in an editorial column in the
Chapel Hill Newspaper.
ICohen has said he would have resigned if
Bard vacancies were filled rby , special
elections, but has decided not to because his
seat would be filled through a Board
' appointment if he were to quit now.
A native of Hartford, Conn.. Cohen has
lived in Chapel Hill since 1968, when he
enrolled as an undergradaute at UNC. He
w as the second-highest v ote-getter out of five
candidates for. four seats on the Board of
Aldermen in 1973
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A News Analysis
by Richard Whittle
Conservatives are restless in Chapel Hill,
and what's more, they aim to translate their
unrest into a political uprising in this year's
Nov. 4 municipal elections.
Howard N. Lee. the liberal black who has
been mayor here for the past six years, is
leaving office this fall to seek the North
Carolina lieutenant governorship.
Conservative unrest and Lee's departure,
combined with events of the past six months,
promise to make the 1975 mayor's race one
of the most interesting nonpartisan political
contests of the year.
The conservative faction began
mobilizing early this summer when George
Coxhead. a local insurance man. and
Roland Giduz, of the Triangle rainier and
an unsuccessful opponent of Lee in the 1969
campaign for mayor, organized a group
called Citizens for Chapel Hill (CCH).
Ostensibly, Giduz. and Coxhead started
CCH in the hope of changing the liberal
trend Chapel Hill's government has taken
under Lee's administration. But the major
issue behind the conservative mobilization
and CCH's formation centers around a
controversy which sprang up last winter
and led to the forced resignation of Town
Manager Chet Kendzior last May.
Kendzior came under lire from the Board
of Aldermen after an administrative foul-up
in his office last February which resulted in
the improper use of a landfill. Lee and the
Board of Aldermen asked for his resignation
on May 16.
Only Alderman Sid Rancer objected to
the action, saying the mayor and other
aldermen "want a town manager who they
can use and rule."
Kendz.ior submitted his resignation on
May 27 and gave up his post July 31.
CCH contends that the lines dividing the
duties of the mayor and Board of Aldermen
from those of the town manager have been
blurred under the Lee administration
because of growth in governmental
Chapel Hill's charter provides for a town
manager form of government in which the
mayor and Board of Aldermen are part-time
officials who set policies and the town
manager is the full-time official who
But the members of CCH have said Lee
and the board have ignored their proper
roles, taking a greater hand in day-to-day
decisions, due to the various liberal
programs they have instituted here.
Housing programs, sewer and street
improvements in the poorer sections of town
and the creation of a subsidized bus system
are some of the programs local political
observers point to as ev idence of the liberal
The result of this trend has been a growth
ol tow n gov ernment, in the form of a larger
budget, the hiring of more town employees
and an increase in the town debt. This
grow th, and more importantly, the distorted
roles of the mayor, board and tow n manager
in the eyes of the Citizens for Chapel Hill, are
the trends the conservatives want to stop.
Charles G. Beemer, CCH chairperson,
was invited to the organization's first
meeting primarily because of a petition he
presented to the Board of Aldermen last
The petition protested the board's
handling of the Kendzior controversy and
asked that the northern Booker Creek area
where Beemer lives not be annexed to the
town, a move which the Board was
considering at the time. (The petition was
denied and the area was incorporated into
Beemer, a 1974 graduate of the UNC Law
'.School and an attorney in Chapel Hill for the
past year, was urged to become chairperson
of CCH by founders Giduz and Coxhead.
He was elected to the position this summer.
The Lee faction, which includes board
members Shirley Marshall and Alice Welsh
as its mainstays, with Gerry Cohen runninga.
close third, according to one student of
Chapel Hill politics, sees the increased
activity of the mayor and board as necessary
and good in the face of the tremendous
growth Chapel Hill has undergone in the
past few years.
1 n fact, Lee himself has said he believes the
position of mayor should be made full-time.
Alderman Gerry Cohen, who will soon
announce as a candidate for mayor in this
year's election, said in a recent interview,
"Chapel Hill has had a full-time mayor for
years, though we pretend it's a part-time
Although no one has officially announced
as a candidate for mayor, the nucleus of
conservatives who form Citizens for Chapel
Hill have long assumed that Cohen will be a
Since Cohen is the only probable
candidate which CCH members directly
identify with Lee and his policies, he is the
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alderman CCH leaders oppose most.
Cohen was elected to the Board of
Aldermen in 1973 while still w orking toward
the degree he received last May from the
UNC Law School. His support of the human
services programs initiated in Chapel Hill
and outspoken v iews on socialism make him
particularly distasteful to the town's
His probable opponents for the mayor's
post w ill be James C. Wallace, a 52-year-old
professor at North Carolina State
University, and Joe Nassif, a local architect.
Both Wallace and Nassif have previously
served on the Board of Aldermen, and both
are generally considered fairly
liberal in their views, though Wallace is
thought by observers to be more moderate
because of his age.
Meanwhile, the conservatives of CCH
have said that, while they will have no
specific slate of candidates for the six elected
positions open this year live aldermen and
the mayor they intend to build their
precinct contacts and raise monev so they
can deliver votes for candidates they can
Thus CCH is placed in the position of
being a group w hich, despite all its talk about
specific objectives, may be forced into using
Ms resources against, rather than for.
Chairperson Beemer admitted this is a
distinct possibility. But neither he nor CCH
co-founder Coxhead have any real qualms
about this, since Gerry Cohen promises to be
their main target.
Beemer added, "I think it would be
extremely unfortunate for Chapel Hill if
Gerry Cohen, or someone like him who has
so often reflected the ideas of the present
administration, were to be elected mayor."
Cohen told the Daily Tar lice! recently
that the issues he would focus on during his
campaign would be transportation,
recreation, housing and long-range
According to newspaper reports. James
Wallace assuming he is a candidate plans
to stress environmental issues and. like
Cohen, long-range planning.
Joe Nassif. the only other possible
candidate w ho can be counted on to enter the
race, has made no statements as to issues he
thinks are important.
But no matter what issues the candidates
choose, if the mini-rebellion now planned b
Chapel Hill conservatives gets till the
ground, the real question the voters v.ill be
answering when they cast their ballots on
Nov. 4 may he: Who runs Chapel Hill, the
mayor or the town manager?
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