At a work session earlier this month, the Chapel Hill Town Council received a report on the fiscal sustainability of Chapel Hill Transit. The report describes CHT's current situation as akin to “tale of two cities.” One the one hand the system has been enormously successful in attracting new ridership and on the other hand facing some fairly significant obstacles because of that sucess. The report identifies funding as the chief area of concern, noting that the urgent need for capital expenses mostly to help replace the agency's aging fleet.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the makeup of interest groups and other constituencies in Chapel Hill lately, and how it reflects upon the diversity of our community. I focus on Chapel Hill, because, well, that’s the local entity I spend the most time following. But the same questions I ask below should be asked at any level of government, and of any organization we associate ourselves with.
It’ll be another busy week from Orange County’s public bodies this week. Both the Chapel Hill Town Council and county Board of Commissioners will hold their annual retreats, and both will also hold other meetings where the Ephesus/Fordham Renewal District and associated public improvements will be up for discussion. The Hillsborough Board will get a status update on an invasive plant in the Eno River, while the Carrboro Alderfolks will consider the rural buffer. The county school board will discuss several school improvement plans.
More than 40 people came out to Carrboro Town Hall earlier last night to give the Board of Alderman their thoughts about a proposed Carrboro Arts and Innovation Center downtown. The project, a joint effort of The ArtsCenter and Kidzu, would consist of a center with three performing arts center and kids museum located at at the intersection of Main and Roberson Streets.
A good friend of mine spent some time over the holidays in another college town, where his parents live. We were chatting upon his return to Chapel Hill, and he said something that really struck me: Compared to his parents’ town, Chapel Hill just doesn’t have a real sense of community.
It’ll be a quite a busy week for the Chapel Hill Town Council with four meetings scheduled covering a wide range of subjects including a new ETJ, Chapel Hill 2020, Obey Creek and the future of Southern Village. The Carrboro Alderfolks will hold a public hearing on a proposed downtown arts venue, while the county commissioners will discuss what to do with the unassigned general fund balance. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board will hold a development meeting, while the county school board and Hillsborough Town Board take a break.
Researchers at the UNC School of Government recently released the results of a survey (PDF) they conducted about Chapel Hill’s Central West Small Area Plan process. You might have seen some press and spin about this survey and the comments participants provided in the survey. But before we start extrapolating from these data, it’s important to make sure we understand who provided feedback on the Central West process and how those individuals compare to our community at large.