Ruby Sinreich's blog

Is Chapel Hill ready for a Public Engagement Advisory Board?

With all the talk about restructuring Chapel Hill's advisory boards, I thought it might be good time to publicly share my idea for a new board to help foster better civic engagement and more open government, while also addressing the gap left by firing the technology advisory board 7 years ago. I shared this proposal with the Mayor's Committee on Communications in late 2010, but there didn't seem to be much interest at the time. Maybe now there is an opportunity to do something to make Chapel Hill more participatory and democratic.

Not enough Chapel Hill residents participate in public meetings and advisory boards. This lack of engagement leaves the Town at a disadvantage without the valuable input of a broad range of Chapel Hillians, and also leaves many people feeling frustrated and cut off from decisions that impact their lives and issues that concern them.

Welcome to the OP Posse, Travis Crayton!

Today I am very happy to announce that we have a new member joining the OrangePolitics Posse (a.k.a. editorial board)! Travis Crayton has been a regular poster & commenter here on OP for almost 2 years. Travis first became interested in local issues when he served as treasurer and an active volunteer for Lee Storrow's 2011 campaign. Since then, he's become particularly interested in transit, economic development, town-university relations, and all things downtown. He graduates this Sunday from UNC with a degree in political science and public policy.

I think he's going to make an excellent addition the the posse, and he's jumping in by helping to live tweet the Chapel Hill Town Council Worksession tonight on @OrangePolitics!

Please join us at our next editorial meeting on June 2nd to welcome him in person. 

Welcome to Chapel Hill, Dr. Carol Folt

As an alumn, I am pretty excited to have a woman chancellor at UNC. I also like that she's an environmental scientist. I'm always wary of folks without strong roots in the community, but Dr. Folt has a lot of potential.

What do y'all think?

Lavelle to make announcement tomorrow, other mayoral rumblings?

Carrboro Alderperson Lydia Lavelle is scheduled to make an announcement to the public and the press tomorrow in front of Town Hall. She has long been discussed as the successor to Mayor Mark Chilton who previously announced that he would not be running for re-election after this term.

Finally, an opportunity to give money to County Government!

Orange County's new Community Giving Fund isn't what it sounds like. You might think a "community giving fund" would give to the community. Which would make sense. Instead people are supposed to donate toward the same County government to which we already pay property, sales, vehicle taxes as well as other fees.  Do other governmental bodies solicit donations in this way? What if donors' priorities don't match those of the commissioners or the staff?

Can I donate to support the recycling program that Manager Clifton is trying to cancel, or toward a walkable library in Carrboro? Or perhaps we could take up a collection to hire some qualified planning staff for the County.

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