Jason Baker's blog

The Transit Referendum: Support and Opposition

For better or for worse, our local media works hard to give equal air time to both sides of the story. Some may fault them as giving too much voice to an opinion which represents a small minority of residents, others may thank them for giving life to a discussion. Regardless of what you think, it's sometimes difficult to cut through the noise. So where does the community stand on the whole?

Put your money where your mouth is

Or more to the point, put a night or two a month where your mouth is.  Spring is coming, and spring means many things: bird starting to return, daffodils and hellebores popping up in bloom, Bradford pears soon to be unleashing their terrible stench upon anywhere unlucky enough to have planted them.  But spring is also the time when, at least in Chapel Hill, most of the appointments are made to advisory boards and commissions.  According to the town's current vacancies page, there are almost 20 seats on various boards that are currently sitting empty.  But on top of that, since most board terms are three years long, about a third of current board members will be coming up for reappointment. While terms officially end June 30, most appointments are made in the Spring - last year, most of them in April or May. So, right now is a great time to get your application in.

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign

Among the items the Chapel Hill Town Council will be reviewing at tonight's public hearing is a revision to the LUMO to loosen the regulations on ground signs at commercial developments outside of downtown, including:

  1. Removing the limit on the amount of information that can be displayed on the sign;
  2. Increasing the maximum information display area from 15 to 50-72 square feet;
  3. Increasing the maximum overall signage area from 15 to 216 square feet; and
  4. Increasing the maximum height from 8 feet to 10-12 feet, depending on the speed limit of the adjacent road.

Improper Record Keeping at Hillsborough Police Department?

I just received the following press release from the town of Hillsborough.  I wonder what impact this will have on the sheriff's race, where (recently) former Hillsborough Police Chief Clarence Birkhead is challenging incumbent Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass, with early voting starting today.  Because this is the first I have heard of this issue, I have no idea if it's significant that the town chose to put out a press release today, as opposed to waiting until the investigation was completed.  The timing seems odd to me, and from the press release it's unclear that the police department (or its leadership) did anything wrong if indeed their accrediting agency instructed them to backdate reports.  Is there anyone more familiar with this issue who can comment?

Hillsborough Town Manager Eric Peterson is nearing the end of an investigation regarding improper recordkeeping in the Police Department’s CALEA accreditation process.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go

The candidates are known, and the races are starting to get under way.  Campaign signs are starting to spring up around the county faster than the daffodils.  And I know of at least three (edit: five) forums which are currently scheduled which I have added to the OP Calendar (a disclosure, I'm moderating the first one on the list). What else is going on in the local primary races so far this year, and what else are you doing to find out about the candidates?

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