Chuck’s Common Sense usually doesn’t invest much energy in making endorsements in Town Council races. Because of the small scope of such bodies, the kind of bribes I insist upon for my coveted support are shamefully small. I mean really…you want me to base endorsements on actual things like issues and politics!?? HARUMPH
At any rate, I will do just that in this year’s Chatham Town Council race. Matt Bell is running a write-in campaign for one of the seats. It was announced late in the season, after an incumbent decided not to return. That would have meant one fewer candidate on the ballot than open seats.
I first met Matt about 12 years ago while working news at WBTM/WAKG. At the time he was an enterprising college student who had done some VERY interesting and exhaustive research into Dan River Mills. One quickly saw the intelligence, fused with passion. THAT is a winning combination.
I also took pity on a college student who loved the Atlanta Braves by “loaning” him my MLB Subscription password. Don’t worry, Matt. The statute of limitations is up on that.
After graduation, Matt continued to follow his passion. When he became interested in photography, he quickly became one of the best in the area. (See picture for proof) His sports work was particularly noteworthy. His pictures graced the pages of the Danville Register and Bee. Matt won awards for his NEWS photography.
But Matt’s interests were broader. He eventually became a full-fledged reporter, covering his new hometown of Chatham. Like with photography, he quickly became a pro—one of the best in the area at what he did. Like I said earlier, when you combine talent and passion, you get success.
In terms of policies, Matt is as practical as you would expect from someone who has impressed me. He realizes municipal infrastructure is crucial to creating the springboard from which REAL improvements can occur. If you are constantly addressing issues with your backbone, the rest of your body will suffer.
Matt is a hopeless sports fan. That should be enough to vote for him right there. But through that he realizes that there is a very real economic impact from having a vibrant and thriving High School and children’s sports system. It brings people to town. It brings *excitement* to town.
Matt wants to re-kindle Chatham’s bucolic town center. He says the opportunities are bountiful. And he says they must involve things beyond county government in order to be truly effective.
Matt realizes that while Town Council’s authority stops at the Town Limits sign, their interests do not. He is VERY keen on forming partnerships with the County, and with private entities nearby to make sure the people of Chatham benefit. Helping people comes in more forms than just jobs. Often it is a series of smaller things that leads to a better quality of life.
Matt’s fusing of his formidable talent and passion have already produced outstanding results. Now that his talent and passion is focusing on municipal government, the winners will be the town of Chatham.
It is with unbridled enthusiasm that CCS endorses Matt Bell’s write-in campaign for Chatham Town Council.
Now about those Detroit Tigers jokes….