Forum Open Thread: Carrboro Board of Aldermen

OP Editors's picture

Happy Monday evening, everyone. This is the open thread for conversation about the live Carrboro Board of Aldermen candidate forum. Post your thoughts and reactions here. You can also reach the editors during the forum via Twitter, Facebook, or the contact page.



Total votes: 44


OP Editors's picture


All candidates for office have the "candidate" role on the site and can technically post in any of the forums. But we sure hope you won't crash each other's parties. I'm sorry we don't have one for you (or the Chapel Hill Mayoral canadidates).

Mark Chilton's picture

Regarding Infrastructure:

I think that is what our capital improvements plan is for.  It's a planning tool used to make sure that we don't get hit with a whole lot of infrastructure costs in one whallop.  We've been saving up for this Weaver Street project for the better part of the last decade.

Mark Chilton's picture

The big infrastructure

The big infrastructure challenge that lies ahead is extending sewer lines to Rogers Road.  I think it is time that the three local governments get this project happening - or else admit that it's not going to be done by local government.  I prefer the former.


Since this is the open thread is it OK to ask a question? If it's not OK, just ignore this one.Infrastructure includes sidewalks and wifi. Does the town budget in advance for required future maintenace when new infrastructure is originally put in place? 

Dan Coleman's picture


Yes, Terri, this came up just last week when we were considering MLK Jr Park needs. We can't consider the cost of improvements without understanding the ongoing maintenance and operational implications.

Mark Chilton's picture


I can't comment on a pending development application b/c it's like a judicial proceeding, but the associated rezoning is legislative and we can discuss that.  I think whatever rezonings happen in the area need to take into account views from neighboring properties, building heights, aesthetics etc., but I also think that that block is an appropriate place for commercial re-development.

Mark Chilton's picture

Carrboro & Orange County

I can understand the question, but actually we have a pretty good working relationship with the Board of County Commissioners - at least as of last week.  We had a really productive meeting with the BOCC last Thursday and I think both boards had a good opportunity to share their perspectives.  I think the main thing we would like to see is better co-operation at the staff level.

Mark Chilton's picture

The key difference is that

The key difference is that with Loan Fund we get the money back directly through loan payments, as opposed to incentives which only payoff indirectly through tax base growth.  I view incentives with suspicion.

Big difference in CH web

Chapel Hill uses a packaged website, making it difficult to change vendors. Carrboro's site while it may not have as many bells and whistles is pure Carrboro. Last time I checked the entire tech dept for Carrboro consisted of 2 people. Two people to handle all the desktop support, the down-town wifi, the website, the GIS, and the town network. That's pretty amazing if you ask me. On top of that, I've always been able to find what I need/want on their website. I don't understand the complaint.

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Um, no

And how does it look on a smartphone, smarty?I am in strong agreement with Kirk's lousy assessment of Carrboro's web site. While it's true that Chapel Hill's site sucks less, it also has drawbacks, one of which was pointed out by Terri above. 

Dan Coleman's picture

Traditional media too

I know on OP we're all about our Macs and smartphones (disclosure: I have neither) but I'm interested in the town making better use of traditional media as well: newspapers, radio, etc. A lot of people will never visit the town website no matter how user friendly it is. They may still read The Citizen or listen to WCHL.G'night folks.

Kirk Ross's picture

good points

Local TV like the People's Channel and thoughtful use of social media could also help people better engage.And the mayor needs a call in show on WCOM. Well, maybe.  

Macs & the amazing Carrboro staff

I have a Windows laptop but my phone is an iphone and I don't have any problems finding what I want on it. The CH site however defaults to the mobile version, and I have never been able to find the bus schedule (the only thing I really want when I'm using my phone). Bottom line: we all have different expectations of a website. I stand by my feeling that for such a small shop, the Carrboro tech group does a fantastic job. In fact, I have always been impressed with the quality of the Carrboro staff in general. They are grossly overworked, and yet they maintain their professionalism and their (generally) helpful demeanors. 

gercohen's picture

new live bus status app goes live Wednesday

speaking of bus schedules:"You’re invited to join us as the GoTriangle regional public transportation partnership introduces “GoLive,” a free automated system with real time arrival predictions for Capital Area Transit, Chapel Hill Transit, Durham Area Transit Authority, Triangle Transit, and the NC State Wolfline. With the “GoLive” web interface, mobile app, and text messaging system, it will make travel easier for people to get to work or school, while delivering better service to transit customers.“GoLive” is the United States’ first regional, real-time transit project that completely integrates travel information across transit agencies and multiple bus tracking vendors to help give current and first-time riders the information they need to plan their trips. When: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 9 a.m. Where: Durham Station, 515 W. Pettigrew Street, Durham Who: David King, General Manager of Triangle Transit, Josh Whiton, CEO of TransLōc, William V. (Bill) Bell, Mayor of Durham, and Durham County Commissioner Ellen Reckhow"I understand this will be available for iPhone/Android/Blackberry. Indicates also a text function and works on PCs. Guess more details tomorrow.also see

Mark Marcoplos's picture

A web-site/technological suggestion

Building permit fees should be payable remotely, either via the web-site or by phone. This saves time and driving. Orange County has not implemented it. Chapel Hill did not as of last year or so. As for Carrboro, I haven't done a job in Carrboro lately - maybe they've got the capability now.