611 Craig St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Term of Service
Donna Bell won election to the Council in November 2011 after serving two years following an appointment to the Town Council in November 2009. She holds a master’s in social work from Smith College and currently works as an adjunct associate professor at Elon University. Donna graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Before working at Elon, Donna worked as a social worker at the VA medical Center in Durham. She also spent many years working in the nonprofit sector for organizations like Public Allies, which offers young adults mentored leadership opportunities and training.
Donna has served on Town boards prior to being appointed to Council. She served on the town’s Planning board and most recently on the Sustainability Community Visioning Task Force.
Donna was born in Queens, N.Y., and was raised in New Bern and Bayboro in eastern North Carolina. After completing her undergraduate studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, she left North Carolina to live in New York and California.
She returned to North Carolina in the fall of 2001 and bought her house in Northside in the fall of 2002. Donna continues to live in Northside with her husband Jason James, her daughter Olivia James, stepson Finn James, and dog Sarah Jane. Donna and her family can often be found having breakfast together on Saturday morning at Weaver Street.
- Community Policing Advisory Committee
- Council Committee on Affordable Housing
- Facilities Naming Committee
- Human Services Advisory Board
- Justice in Action Committee
- Mayor’s Committee on Affordable Rental
- Public Housing Program Development Advisory Board
The primary mission of the Mayor and Council, as the governing body of the Town is to adopt and provide for the execution of ordinances, rules and regulations as may be necessary or appropriate to protect health, life or property, or to promote the comfort, convenience, security, good order, better government, or the general welfare of the Town and its citizens.
The Mayor and eight Council Members constitute the governing body of the Town. In accordance with the Town’s Charter, the voters elect a Mayor every two years. Council Members are elected to four-year, staggered terms on an at-large basis. Town Council duties include:
- Amendment of previously adopted policies through changes in the Town Code of Ordinances and the Development Ordinance, and by revision of policies and documents.
- Appointment of advisory boards, commissions, task forces and committees.
- Appointment of the Town Manager and Town Attorney.
- Establishment of agreements with other governments.