CARRBORO, N.C. (May 26, 2021) -- Lydia Lavelle announced today that she will leave office at the end of her current term as Mayor of Carrboro, a position she has held since 2013.
“It has been a great honor to serve Carrboro, the town I consider the most progressive in North Carolina,” Lavelle said. “Carrboro’s core values have been my lodestar as mayor. With the support of this small-but-mighty community and the hard work of my colleagues on the Town Council, we have translated Carrboro’s progressive reputation into leadership and action on important statewide issues. We were the first town to push back against the now-repealed HB2, and I continue to organize and consult as governing bodies across the state craft local non-discrimination ordinances. Additionally, we are known for our condemnation of anti-immigrant policies, our priority of racial equity initiatives, and our pursuit of policies and practices addressing climate change.”
During Lavelle’s tenure, several significant projects came to fruition, including Shelton Station, the IFC Commons, and South Green. Additionally, long-overdue improvements came to the Rogers Road community, including sidewalk construction, increased transit service, the provision of water and sewer to historic properties, and construction of the Rogers-Eubanks Community Center with jurisdictional partners. Mayor Lavelle also presided over the approval of several future projects, including the Shoppes at Lloyd Farm; the ArtsCenter; and the 203 Project, which will locate the long-anticipated Southern Branch Library in downtown Carrboro.
Cathy Dorando has served as Town Clerk during Lavelle’s time as mayor. She said, “Mayor Lavelle’s capacity for work is matched by her appreciation for history, culture, music, and fun. She organized many creative projects out of the Mayor’s Office. One that stands out is Carrboro’s annual community reading of Frederick Douglass’s speech, ‘What the 4th of July means to the Negro,’ which she started during her first year as mayor.”
Other initiatives during Mayor Lavelle’s tenure include the following:
- recognizing Carrboro’s high school athletic team state champions
- engaging UNC-CH’s Moxie Program, which places an intern with the town every summer to focus on women’s issues
- starting an annual Bike Ride With the Mayor
- coordinating a roundtable in 2018 which included Lavelle and the five former living mayors of Carrboro
- designing a slate of events to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall for Pride Month 2019
- sponsoring several youth competitions in conjunction with Major League Baseball
- starting every council meeting with a poem
Mayor Lavelle, a law professor at North Carolina Central University, said, “Between now and December, I plan to focus on supporting our community, especially our local businesses and non-profits, as we climb out of the pandemic. The Council and I are also working to select a new town manager to replace David Andrews, who is retiring at the end of July. However, after fourteen years in local elected office, first on town council and then four terms as mayor, I am ready to consider new opportunities. To everything there is a season, and I look forward to exploring what comes next.”