CARRBORO — Despite all the talk about affordable housing by the Carrboro Board of Aldermen, Kurt Stolka said he hasnt seen much progress toward opening up the housing market to young families.
Stolka, 32, is one of five candidates running for three seats on the Carrboro Board of Aldermen.
Married with one child and another on the way, Stolka said Carrboro doesnt seem to offer families like his an opportunity to live in Carrboro.
Carrboro is supposed to be a welcoming place but all the developments that the aldermen have approved seem to be luxury developments, he said.
To me, its $330,000 plus for houses, or you have to live in an apartment off the highway, he said. Theres nothing in between.
Stolka moved to Carrboro in the summer of 2010 when his wife was offered a job in the area. Stolka stayed home to take care of their baby and took evening classes at UNC Greensboro in urban and economic development. He earned a graduate certificate and is looking for a full-time job, he said.
Stolka thinks the Board of Aldermen needs someone with his viewpoint.
There isnt any young family representation on the board at the moment, he said.
If elected, he would emphasize growing quality local jobs. When students graduate from UNC, many might like to stay and live in Carrboro, but there just arent any jobs for them, he said.
Like the current aldermen, Stolka encourages walking and bicycling to get around town, but he thinks there is more work to be done to make it safer for children and seniors.
We need to make a town that fits for ages 8 to 80, he said. We have to think of both of those populations.
He would be in favor of reducing the speed limits in neighborhoods and in the downtown area, and if a road or street has a speed limit more than 30 mph, it should have a separate bike lane, he said.
Stolka would also like to see parks and plazas developed to create spaces where people linger and get to know their neighbors. He sees it as a way to increase social equity.
I think we need to get all the populations of the area out into public places, he said.
Why does Stolka believe he could do a better job than one of the three incumbents, which include Jacquelyn Gist, Randee Haven-ODonnell and Sammy Slade?
Besides his educational background in economic and community planning, he believes he could bring a younger vision for the next generation.
I think we need to have a higher turnover to give the aldermen a fresh perspective, he said.
Although he has not previously served in elected office, he has served on the Transportation Advisory Board of the town.