Though most of Orange County's public bodies are still in recess for the holidays, the Chapel Hill Town Concil will hold three important meetings. The first, a work session, will cover the financial side of the town's transit plan. The council will also meet with the county's state legislative delegation to discuss priorities in advnace of the Genenal Assembly re-convening next week, and hold a special on Obey Creek.
In a previous post, I detailed the initial steps that the Carrboro and Chapel Hill Police Departments are taking to move toward racial equity in policing. But what about other local government functions?
It is clear from recent police forums and from experiences shared by people of color in our communities that we have a serious problem with racial equity in policing in Orange County. The most recent example is a guest column by Stephanie Perry in Sunday’s Chapel Hill News (12/21/14). Perry serves with me on the board of Orange County Justice United. We heard other stories like this during the Carrboro community forum on policing in October.
Orange County elected officials and health department staff have recongized the immediate need to address poverty in our county. As a result, the Orange County Family Success Alliance has been launched, modeled on the Harlem Children's Zone. The Orange County Health Department used health and school system data to select six zones with the highest need. More information can be found here. Each zone held community meetings to glean information for their applications. They then made short presentations and fielded questions.
Though most of Orange County’s public bodies are in recess until after the new year, there are two key meetings happening this week. First, on Tuesday, a committee of elected officials, county board members and staff will hear presentations as to which zones should be selected to the first to benefit from the county’s new Family Success Alliance program. Then on Thursday, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board will discuss its growth plan, consider revising its policy on class rank and make committee assignments.
Though the holiday season is in full swing, there’s plenty this week to keep local elected bodies busy. The Chapel Hill Town Council will hold a special meeting on Obey Creek, while its Hillsborough counterpart will discuss improvements to Churton Street. The county commissioners will talk rural curbside recycling, while the county school board holds a community reception and advances its superintendent search.
In our semi-regular Question & Answer series, we have featured Meg McGurk, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and Brian Litchfield, Director of Chapel Hill Transit. The latest installment is with Robert Dowling, Executive Director of the Community Home Trust.
Coffee and buses, under most circumstances, discussing these two seemingly unrelated things in the same sentence would seem strange, that is unless you're talking about a certain part of Chapel Hill. I of course am talking about Weaver Diary Road, a fairly major thoroughfare in the Northern part of of town whose underwhelming bus service marks a major problem for the Chapel Hill Transit system.
I signed a new housing lease about a month ago in mid-October – a lease that won’t start until June of next year. This is how competitive student off-campus housing is in Chapel Hill, and the ever-high demand for student housing in Chapel Hill continues to negatively affect non-student renters.