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 Donna Fender, running for Morrisville Town Council in District 2.
Why are you running?
I am running, because I love Morrisville. My son and I have lived here seven years, and I love Morrisville’s small-town feel, its excellent location, and its parks and greenways that connect our community. Yet, Morrisville is at a crossroads, and the decisions we make today will impact the town for years to come. I want to ensure that the town’s development does not destroy the very qualities that make Morrisville a beautiful place to live.
What are your top three priorities and how will you accomplish them?
First, Morrisville’s greenways and parks are one of our greatest assets. Yet, our greenspace is in danger of being lost to development. We must continue investing in parks and greenways providing opportunities for nature walks, running, and biking. I support modifying to the Unified Development Ordinance to require more setbacks and developments to retain a larger percentage of trees. I will invest in our parks and greenways to further connect our community, and I support funding the Crabtree Creek Nature Park project.
Second, Morrisville is infamous for its traffic congestion, and I know the frustration of being stuck in traffic while taking my son to school and being late to work. Therefore, we must aggressively push forward road widening projects while also looking at public transportation options, adding bike lanes, and connecting our sidewalks. I support widening Hwy 54/Chapel Hill Road and the extension of Airport Blvd.
Lastly, as a mom, I know the importance of having good schools within a short bus ride away. Our town has recently made positive strides in this area, yet we still do not have a middle school or high school within the town limits. I will work with the Wake County School Board to advocate for additional schools in Morrisville as our town continues to grow. I will work with town staff to allocate land where a possible school can be located.
Give us a brief bio and tell us about your relevant experience
I grew up in Virginia and in the foothills of North Carolina where I spent much of my time outdoors. Growing up in a lower middle-class family, the importance of a college education was drilled into me by my parents from an early age. I was the first in my family to graduate from college and obtained a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology graduating with highest honors. I obtained Pell Grants, scholarships, and student loans and participated in Tech’s cooperative program to pay for my college education.
I now have 25 years of experience as an engineer and a project manager solving problems and collaborating with teams. This is the type of real-world experience that is needed on the town council. As a project manager, I estimate costs, manage budgets and project schedules, allocate resources, develop plans, and monitor progress. This gives me the knowledge and the experience to ask the right questions of town staff, consultants and engineers, and construction contractors.
When I’m not working, I am outdoors: hiking, kayaking, or gardening. I believe the natural environment is our greatest asset and as such, we have a responsibility to treat it with respect and preserve its resources.
Facebook: Donna Fender 4 Morrisville
Read more in the Candidate 2019 series.