Robert Frederick started getting involved in community efforts as kid, starting as a Cub Scout in elementary school. Throughout middle and high school he was in the Boy Scouts of America and reached the highest rank of Eagle. He enjoyed volunteering with charities and non-profits and still does today, currently serving on the board of the Music Academy of North Carolina, among other volunteer activities. 

FINDING A CALLING

BUILDING A BETTER JAMESTOWN

Rob's decision to run for mayor comes from wanting to make a positive difference in how our community addresses its problems, including ensuring all voices are heard. Seeking the community's combined wisdom, his background makes him a good choice.  He considers serving the public an honor.

Issues Rob have already raised to Council, and will be sure to keep them and other issues at the forefront of Council's attention:  better budgeting and spending, lower property taxes, planning for the long term, holding public hearings, noise nuisances that affect people's sleep and childrens' education, and public safety, among others.

     

Did you sign a petition to ask council to consider silencing the train's horn? It was signed by a number equivalent to 25% of the voters in the last municipal election. 

The number of signatures would have forced Council to consider it if it had been a petition in Greensboro (or in several other municipalities in North Carolina). That's why Frederick and others gathered that number. But Jamestown isn't subject to the same law. Frederick knew that, but the hope was that number of signatures would have persuaded Council to at least discuss the issue or hold a public meeting on it. He presented the signed petition at the May Council meeting.  A month later, it was the cover story in the Jamestown News. But Council still has not taken any action.

 

What about the petition Frederick led to place the Council's Charter Amendment to a vote?

That petition was successful (despite 1 out of 11 signatures being disqualified -- please help Frederick spread word about that), which required at least 10% of all registered voters in Jamestown's municipality to sign it. Council accepted the result because state law required them to. History: Council had passed an ordinance to change the terms of our representative government starting with this election cycle (2019). So the state law required that any successful petition would move the question to the ballot. So it's on the ballot this November, and we got a "thumbs up" from the HPE.

If the proposed Amendment is passed, it  would mean starting in 2021 that voters would elect a majority every 4 years instead of every 2 years because of "staggered terms."  With staggered terms, 2 (out of 4) Council members are elected at the same time as the Mayor (who only votes in a tie). Suppose the amendment is passed and that happenes (say in year 2021). If the 3 of them have the same agenda, they can ignore the results of the next election (for the other 2 council members in year 2023) because the mayor casts the tiebreak vote. That puts more power into fewer people's hands

We had a public hearing on the proposed Amendment in April, but neither the Council's official "Declaration of Intent" in March (signed by the current Mayor) to create the Amendment nor the Public Hearing in April included the Mayor's term also being extended to 4 years. Instead, adding the Mayor's 4-year term to the Amendment happened in late May, when Council passed the Amendment as an ordinance. So the point about electing in a majority every 4 years had not been discussed by Council nor by the public.

That's another reason why Frederick organized the petition: so the full consequences of the Amendment could be known and so the voters could decide. Frederick is voting "no." Elections aren't a nuisance. They're a necessity.  


Rob first worked minimum-wage jobs in high school. He then worked as a substitute teacher before starting college, during which he tutored others. After college, Rob worked as a management consultant, then a textbook editor. He also trained to be a mediator and worked as a volunteer in the court system. Through all these positions he identified his passion: helping people identify and address their problems. He then became a high school teacher. The students dedicated their first-ever digital yearbook to him. His peers elected him the youngest member to the Faculty Council. (More? See www.RobertFrederick.co.)

GETTING INVOLVED EARLY