Jim Ward


Mayor Pro Tem Jim Ward112 Bolton Place
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
(h) 919-929-7666

Term of Service


2011–2015 (2007-2011; 2003–2007; 1999–2003)


Four-term Town Council Member Jim Ward is a UNC employee, working as a curator at the North Carolina Botanical Garden for the past 29 years. He was elected to his first term on the Town Council in 1999 and now is serving his third term through 2011.

At the Botanical Garden, he oversees some native plant collections, teaches public education courses, and serves as liaison between the Botanical Garden and other agencies and groups.

He first became involved in community service through his appointment to various citizen advisory committees. He has served as a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, Greenways Commission, Library Committee, Design Review Board, UNC Land Use Planning Panel, Sustainability Committee and UNC Horace Williams Zoning Work Group. He is a member of the Chapel Hill High School PTA. He was a den leader for the Boy Scouts and a baseball coach for a Parks and Recreation baseball team. He has served on Citizens for Sewers, an advocacy group created to address failing septic systems in the community.

Ward grew up in Wilmington, Del., after living for short periods of time in Centerville, Pa., Richmond, Va., Buffalo, N.Y., and Clinton, Iowa. He moved to Chapel Hill in 1975. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and has completed coursework toward a master’s degree in botany from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Ward is married to Lynne Wentworth, program director for the Orange-Chatham County Guardian ad Litem program. They have two sons, Nick and Sam. Ardent travelers, places they have explored include the western United States, east Africa, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and western Europe. 


  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board
  • Council Committee on Economic Development
  • Council Committee: Facilities Naming Committee
  • Council Committee on Sustainability, Energy, and Environment
  • Council Committee: Orange Water and Sewer Authority (Interview Committee)
  • Intergovernmental Parks Work Group (OC
  • International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)
  • Library Board of Trustees
  • Orange Community Housing and Land Trust
  • Orange County Climate Control Committee
  • Public Transit Committee
  • Sustainability Committee


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.

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