My op-ed from today arguing that the proposal under consideration this Thursday reflects the best of our progressive traditions while beginning to repay our debt to the Rogers Road community:
In the coming months the Orange County BOE will be setting the early voting plan for the 2014 election cycle. Since there have been issues with the Rams' Head one-stop site, we are looking for alternatives for an early voting location that will serve Chapel Hill, and the campus community in particular.
Keeping in mind that certain factors -- parking, ADA compliance, internet access, the ability to secure the ballot box, etc. -- are mandated by statute, we would appreciate your input about sites that would best serve the students, faculty, staff and residents during the abbreviated 2014 early voting period.
Up on Monday's Town Council agenda is the next iteration of the advisory board reorganization process. I have generally supported reworking the advisory board structure to ensure that the work of citizen board members is meaningful and provides Council with the type of input they need in order to make decisions. Making advisory boards' role in development review clearer for developers, and citizens, isn't a bad idea either. But the proposal the Town Council is considering Monday night isn't ready for adoption yet. While I think the committee descriptions are reasonably sound in a broad sense, it isn't clear to me that the proposals have been fully vetted by the existing town boards to be sure that all current board responsibilities have been captured and assigned.
With another Election Day behind them, our elected officials in Orange County are now tasked to turn their attention from the challenges of the campaign trail to the challenges of governing. But following a sleepy election cycle in which all mayoral candidates ran unopposed and election results show most races were uncompetitive across the county, what message should our electeds take with them as they prepare to take their seats at the dais for new sessions?
With just 11.72% of eligible voters casting ballots in 2013, it’s unclear what message voters are sending. Was municipal turnout its lowest in over 10 years because voters simply don’t see any local issues directly affecting their lives? If so, does that mean voters are content with the status quo of the towns, which is why they didn’t get to the polls in the first place? Or are voters simply apathetic and nothing more can be discerned from the low turnout figure?
Let us know what you're seeing at the polls, chatter about the candidates, where the parties are toight, etc.
Our main question about today is: Low voter turnout, or lowest voter turnout?
I've had to remove several comments on the endorsements thread as they were not in fact endorsements. But I'm certainly interested in what y'all have to say, even the snarky stuff.
The Chapel Hill Town Council race is an interesting contest this year with two incumbents and four strong challengers running for only four seats. In the past we had a "Pundit of the Year" contest to see who could best predict the results. We'll be a little less formal this year and just throw our educated guesses out there.
For example, I think Sally Greene will come in strong and that Ed Harrison will continue to hold on to his Council seat. I think George Cianciolo will have broad support, and I see a tight race between Maria Palmer and Amy Ryan for the last spot. I'm not sure which one of those will win, it may depend on who campaigns harder, and I don't have a sense of which that would be.
It's that time of year again. Early voting is already underway, and those of us who pay literally any attention to local politics are frequently asked by the rest of the world for whom they should vote.
Please share with us you're voting for and why. You may also list the people you would vote for if you lived in their districts. Do not refer in any way to to any candidates you are not supporting. You're free to critique the candidates through comments on other posts or by posting your own blog entry. In fact, you're strongly encouraged to do so!
Late this afternoon, via social media linked to a News and Observer article, came the gut punch news that beloved local restaurant Panzanella is closing. On a personal level, this is just very, very sad. Since my wife and I got married over a decade ago, we have celebrated all sorts of major life events, and perhaps most of them– graduations, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, rare visits from cherished friends, you name it – at Panzanella. With such good food, valuable relationships with local farmers, brewers, and other food producers, not to mention what has always been consistently a warm and friendly staff– this is a big surprise that nobody saw coming.
The House District 50 selection committee selected Graig Meyer to replace now-Senator Valerie Foushee as the representative for House District 50 tonight. Meyer was selected by a unanimous vote of the committee on the second ballot.
Interestingly, the committee split its votes five ways on the first round of balloting between Danielle Adams, Laurin Easthom, Meyer, Drew Nelson, and Bernadette Pelissier. Candidates Tommy McNeil and Travis Phelps received no votes. The breakdown of each committee member's votes on the first round can be seen in the table below.
It's rather interesting to me to see how the internal politics of a Democratic Party-based committee such as this one plays out, as you can see from this first round of voting.
Congratulations to Graig, and good luck in Raleigh!