Morrisville, NC – This is an installment in our Candidate 2019 series, in which candidates get to respond in their own words to the same three questions.
We publish the responses in the order we receive them. This questionnaire is submitted by Anne Roboti, running for Morrisville Town Council in the District 1 Seat.
Why are you running?
My family and I chose Morrisville after a year of living in an adjacent town and looking around for our “real” home. We love the beautiful parks, the diversity of our neighborhood, the green spaces, and how we’re close to everything but nothing’s on top of us. We love that no matter what we need, there’s a local small business that can provide it.
The development over the past few years has concerned me, as the traffic got more out of control and kids in my neighborhood got moved from school to school, while kids in newer neighborhoods replaced them in the schools they had grown to love. The excessive clear-cutting became an ever-present eyesore, and new cars and people quickly overwhelmed the infrastructure.
During this time, our Town Council was locked in rancor, trading snarky Facebook posts and arguing about “investigations” launched by citizens of other towns, and lawsuits, and who should be censured. And I looked at all of that and thought, “I can help with that.”
I have a clear vision for what I want Morrisville to be, and it’s not just a vision for this year – it’s way past time that we committed to a twenty-year vision and did the hard work of mapping out the steps to get there. I want a Sustainability Plan that will evaluate growth based on that vision, and that will prioritize growth of small businesses over giant corporations, the environment over the tax base, and the good of the citizens.
I want change. I want bold leadership. And I want it now.
And I believe that my 25-plus years in corporate America (and my experience as a mom of five) positions me uniquely to help the Town Council navigate the discussions that we *must* have for the health and prosperity of our town. I’m a consensus-builder at heart and a Community Manager by profession, and most of my time at work and at home is spent listening, finding common ground, building on it, and getting to the compromise. This invaluable experience would fill an enormous gap on the Town Council, and would love to have the support of Morrisville’s citizens for my candidacy to do just that.
What are your top three priorities and how will you accomplish them?
- Sustainability– What do we need to KEEP doing? What do we love about Morrisville? What do we need to foster, to celebrate, to protect? Our natural beauty, the diversity of our citizens, and our local small businesses leap to mind in this category. So does our long-neglected relationship between the Town Council and WCPSS. We need that $2.49 Billion WCPSS Capital Improvement Program!
- Change– What do we need to STOP doing? We need top stop approving development that is going to overcrowd our already overcrowded infrastructure – our roads, water lines, schools, garbage collection and town services. If that means changing the UDO, then we should do that. We need to get proactive, not reactive.
- Bold Leadership and Innovation– What do we need to START doing? We need to start prioritizing affordable housing, environmental protection, traffic calming projects, voting access, and our relationship with the school board. We need Shop Local campaigns and social media attention for our small businesses, school stability for our children, WAY more solar panels, and a commitment to planting the right kind of trees in conditions that will allow them to thrive and improve our air quality for many years to come.
Give us a brief bio and tell us about your relevant experience
I’m Anne Robotti. I have a husband, five kids, three grossly overfed and complacent dogs, and two disdainful and standoffish cats. I came to North Carolina seven years ago when my husband and I lost our jobs within three weeks of each other and we found ourselves gentrified out of the towns that had been our home all our lives. We came for the jobs and the schools, and stayed because we had found in Morrisville a new home that in time we grew to love as much as the old one.
I wasn’t politically active, like many people I know, until a few years ago. Since then I’ve educated myself about political issues at all levels of government. I’ve devoted a large chunk of the last four years to learning to listen to and center voices different than mine, whose needs often get neglected. I’ve tried hard, every day, to make the world a better place. And I’ve found my voice and have begun using it to advance the issues that I care about by speaking truth to all levels of power.
All of this has made me a passionate and well-informed advocate, a better friend, a better mom, and a better person. And I believe that it will also make me a voice to be reckoned with on the Town Council, because by nature I’m a mediator and a collaborator. I can find common ground where it seems like there is none. I can dream up a compromise that nobody loves but everybody gets something out of and will go along with. I can be counted on to be the voice of reason in a contentious room.
I’ve transformed my career in the past year too, branching out (with a TON of help) from a job I’d been comfortable in for 25 years to a brand new and exciting field.
Everywhere I look, it’s a time for change, for growth, for fixing what isn’t working. Let’s do it together for Morrisville.
Read more in the Candidate 2019 series.