As I took my seat in the Paul Green Theatre last Saturday for PlayMakers Repertory Company’s production of An Enemy of the People, I had no expectation that the performance would resonate with the kind of local government discourse and behavior I see right here in Chapel Hill. Yet, as the play began and the story unfolded, that is exactly what happened.
With the impending resignation of Chapel Hill Town Council member Matt Czajkowski, the OP Editors thought it might be useful to revisit exactly what happens in the case of a vacancy. The relevent code falls under Chapter 2, Article II of the town code of ordinances.
It’s another busy week for Orange County’s public bodies. The Carrboro Alderfolks will make several appointments and discuss the town’s affordable housing fund, while the Chapel Hill Council will hear about capital priorities. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board will consider designating over- and under-crowded schools for the next school year, the county commissioners will review their legislative agenda and consider approving funds for the Family Success Alliance.
The Hillsborough Town Board and county school board are both in recess this week.
It was a surprise to all of us on Town Council, judging from the reactions around the dais, to hear Council Member Matt Czajkowski resign effective March 30. He is moving to Kigali to work on providing clean water and economic development. I know the Council will be very different without him and the elections in November very interesting. Here's wishing the family all kinds of success!!
Though the Carrboro Alderfolks and Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board are both are break this week, it’ll still be a busy week for Orange County’s public bodies. The Chapel Hill Town Council will consider Obey Creek and talk about a number of other development proposals currently on the table, while the county school board will consider approving its strategic plan.
The Hillsborough Town Board will hold a workshop on stormwater and Riverwalk, and host a joint meeting with the county commissioners covering transit, economic development, planning and host of other issues.
Last week, Chapel Hill’s economic development officer, Dwight Bassett, presented some data on Chapel Hill’s housing market to a reasonably-sized crowd at Town Hall. Bassett’s presentation followed a brief talk from Robert Hickey of the National Housing Conference about what’s happening in housing trends around the country.
Though the wintry weather has delayed or cancelled many of the public meetings on tap for this week, we still wanted to give you an update as to what’s going on. Right now we know that the Carrboro Alderfolks discussion on the Carrboro Arts and Innovation Center will happen on Thursday and that the Chapel Hill Town Council will meet on Obey Creek that night as well.
Both school boards and the Hillsborough Town Board were scheduled to be off this week. As we get information on new meeting times we’ll update the posts below.
Parking, like traffic, is a recurring theme in local conversation about growth and development. We often hear from some community members that there is nowhere to park in downtown Chapel Hill/Carrboro, that a lack of parking is hurting local businesses, and that the parking minimums required for the Ephesus-Fordham renewal district are insufficient.
But the facts simply don’t support these claims. The reality is that providing more parking – especially surface parking – is fundamentally incompatible with urban land uses.*
It’s another busy week across Orange County, with all of the county’s public bodies holding at least one meeting.
The Carrboro Alderfolks will talk “green” cemeteries while the Chapel Hill Town Council will have a special meeting on Obey Creek and host an initial public forum on how to use Community Development Block Grants. The county commissioners will discuss mandating that county’s contractors pay a living wage to get government business, while the Hillsborough Town Board will consider an economic development grant application.
Whenever there’s a new development proposal pending before a local governing board, the center of the conversation always seems to gravitate toward traffic. Given this tendency, I think it’s important we understand historic traffic changes in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.