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First name: Donna photo
Last name: Bell
Phone: 919-627-1504
Web site:
Address: 611 Craig St.
City, state zip: Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Term of Service 2015-2019 (2009-2011; 2011-2015)

Donna Bell holds a master’s degree in social work from Smith College (2007) and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (1994). She currently works as a Clinical Social Worker in private practice. Her career has included working as a database designer, executive director, and clinical social worker at Durham VA Medical Center, Duke Inpatient Psychiatric and UNC Counseling and Wellness. Before being appointed to her first term on council, Council member Bell served on the Town’s Planning board and the Sustainability Community Visioning Task Force.

Council member Bell was born in Queens, N.Y., and was raised by her mother and grandmother in eastern North Carolina. She left North Carolina in 1995 and returned to North Carolina in the fall of 2001. In the fall of 2002 she bought her house in the Northside neighborhood. Donna continues to live in Northside with her husband Jason James, her daughter Olivia James, stepson Finn James, and dog Bailey.

Council member Bell is a strong advocate of social justice, affordable housing, economic development and smart growth.


  • Cemeteries Advisory Board
  • Council Committee on Affordable Housing
  • Council Committee on Boards and Commissions
  • Council Committee on Economic Sustainability
  • Facilities Naming Committee
  • HOME Program Review Committee
  • Mayor’s Committee on Affordable Rental
  • Public Transit Partners
  • Solid Waste Advisory Group


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.