Preservation Durham Polls 2013 Candid...

Preservation Durham Polls 2013 Candidates, Publishes Results

Posted in the Durham Forum

“Blueplate PR ”

Since: Jun 13

Raleigh, NC

#1 Sep 30, 2013
September 30, 2013 (Durham, NC )-- Are you a preservation voter? In other words, does a candidate’s attitude towards the preservation or adaptive re-use of your community’s historic properties inform your voting decision?

As a non-profit organization, the folks at Preservation Durham can not endorse candidates, but they do want to make sure fellow citizens of the Bull City, who care about preserving Durham’s historic properties, know which candidates among the slate vying for mayor and the City Council share their passion.

To that end, Preservation Durham’s Executive Director Wendy Hillis and Preservation Coordinator Elizabeth Marsh created the city’s first official Preservation Voters survey, with the Board of Directors’ support. The survey explores each candidate’s knowledge of, and feelings about, historic preservation and how important it should – or should not – be in city development and growth. They sent it to the candidates at the beginning of September and asked them to return it by October 25.

“The survey addresses very important local preservation issues and challenges,” Hillis explained, such as the role the Historic Preservation Commission should play in guiding future growth, whether or not preservation and adaptive re-use should be a central tenet of downtown development, and whether or not the candidate supports the Local Landmark program and expanding historic districts, among other issues.

“The questionnaire is designed to provide solid information to voters who care about these issues,” Hillis said.

Last week, Elizabeth Marsh published the candidates’ responses verbatim on the Preservation Durham website. At least, she published responses from those who chose to answer the questionnaire. All three mayoral candidates – incumbent Bill Bell, Michael Valentine, and Sylvester Williams -- filled out the survey. Four of the seven candidates for City Council failed to respond at all.

“In a city with such a wealth of historic properties, we felt it was vitally important to let voters who care about the historic fabric of their city know how candidates feel about the subject,” Hillis said.“We hope our example will inspire other cities throughout North Carolina to conduct similar surveys when local elections are looming.”

Hillis noted that Historic Seattle’s similar effort, launched in 2009, inspired Preservation Durham’s inaugural survey.

To read the Durham candidates’ responses to the first Preservation Voters survey, go to http://preservationdurham.org/advocacy/preser... .

About Preservation Durham:

Preservation Durham is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to preserving Durham’s architectural heritage. The organization was founded in 1974, originally as the Historic Preservation Society of Durham. Preservation Durham has worked to establish historic districts in Durham that provide tax credits for homeowners of historic houses. Preservation Durham ’s Endangered Properties Fund helps buyers and sellers of historic properties protect them with preservation covenants. Its Renovators Network provides information and expertise to homeowners and other renovators. For more information visit www.preservationdurham.org .

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