Ombuds Office

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Creative solutions for Town employees to some of life’s challenges

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Confidential • Informal • Impartial • Independent

When you don’t know where to turn, the Ombuds Office may assist you.

Town of Chapel Hill Ombuds
308 W. Rosemary St., Suite 202
(between Pantana Bobs and Breadmans)
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Senior Ombuds: Jim Huegerich

Ombuds: Beth Vazquez

Download a brochure

Ombuds Reports

Why Ombuds?

Employees come to the Ombuds office for many reasons. Sometimes visitors want to talk. Some are reluctant to go through formal channels. Some just don’t know where else to go. And some have tried other ways to get help but have not found what they need.

Ombud’s Role

The Ombuds will provide a safe place for all employees to share their concerns and explore strategies for CONFIDENTIAL, informal management or resolution of issues and matters. We will provide an outlet for delicate questions and difficult issues to be addressed in an informal, secure and discreet manner.

How we can best help you help yourself:

  • Role-play through a situation
  • Provide training about difficult issues
  • Provide information, assistance and referrals
  • Help analyze complex and difficult problems
  • Explore non-adversarial approaches for resolving concerns
  • Serve as a feedback mechanism for organizational climate issues
  • Assist personnel in obtaining an explanation or clarification of polices and procedures
  • Identify complaint patterns and trends
  • Educate
  • Offer a confidential, informal sounding board
  • Address issues at the most appropriate level

Limits of Ombuds

Ombuds cannot:

  • Advocate for any individual
  • Take formal complaints
  • Conduct formal investigations
  • Serve as a witness or testify in a formal proceeding
  • Accept or provide official notice of an alleged violation
  • Make the decision for you
  • Offer legal advice
  • Provide counseling or case management
  • Share your information with anyone
  • Force you to do anything

Arrange a Meeting

We will arrange a confidential meeting at a time and place convenient and safe for all parties. We believe we can be most effective if we meet with you, but if you prefer, we will work with you over the telephone. We do not do our work through email and discourage you from sending any confidential information through email.

For more information about the Town’s Ombuds Program, to schedule a meeting, or to have the Ombuds visit your department, please call 919-265-0806.

Ombuds Professional Standards

The International Ombudsman Association (IOA) is the largest international organization of organizational Ombuds practitioners in the world, representing over 500 members from the United States and across the globe

Chapel Hill Ombuds are members of IOA and practice according to the IOA Code of Ethics and IOA Standards of Practice.

LGBTQ Liaison to the Town Manager

The LGBTQ Liaison to the Town Manager serves as a liaison between the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community and Town government. The Liaison provides constituents with a point of contact for addressing and elevating the concerns of the LGBTQ community and serves as a resource to the public. The Liaison partners with Town departments to fairly and equitably address issues affecting members of the LGBTQ community, and to provide services and programs accessible to and inclusive of the LGBTQ community.

For more information, email Beth Vazquez at or call 919-265-0806.



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