Cook and Ryan team up

Recently I noticed that two Carrboro candidates are running as a slate. Has this ever happened in Orange County before? Another thing that was pretty different was that there is one brochure and one sign for both candidates. Both of these materials advocate for both Sharon Cook and Katrina Ryan.

I believe two years ago Katrina threatened to run an all Northern Carrboro slate. Is this what this combo is about? I've seen candidates collaborate on mailings before, but this is practically two candidates with one campaign. What do you think about candidates running together?



"If Carrboro continues to grow unchecked, and the demographics are similar to my neighborhood, Carrboro will lose much of it's unique charm."

Another way to lose it would be to relinquish our Carrboro identity to CH, as Katrina suggested in 2005.

"How about this ? Instead of cutting services, what if we merge the two towns ? Winston Salem did it. Then we can pay one police chief, one fire chief, one mayor etc, etc. It would save a ton of money, and we would still have all of the town services we progressives love"

Comment at 6:02pm 2/3/2005 by Katrina Ryan

Katrina and I had several heated exchanges over her proposal to merge the two towns last election. In subsequent discussions I've come to understand that there are economies of scale for merging functions like information technology so that duplication of services could be avoided without any loss of identity.

What I don't understand is why someone would want to raise this past argument when the lines between the incumbent candidates of the two towns are getting more and more blurred. Heck, the Chapel Hill officials have been writing letters of endorsements for the Carrboro officials.

So what's the difference between Katrina suggesting that economies of scale can be had by merging some town functions and 5 of the 6 incumbents acting like the Brady Bunch?

Mr. Arndt,
The Carrboro Revolving Loan Fund is NOT a successful business development tool. If It were, we would have a growing number of businesses and additional non residential town income. Neither of those things are true. We are barely keeping up replacing businesses that leave town. I would suggest that you confirm this with James Harris in Economic Development, as I did at a meeting in August.

The revolving loan fund is a wonderful cultural tool. It helps to fund and develop interesting local businesses downtown, but the actual numbers from the town budget point out that as an economic development tool, it has failed.

I will recant my stance on any town merger, including public safety services, which is what I previously advocated exploring. I have had such incredibly positive experiences dealing with town staff that I would hate to see them absorbed into a larger organization.

There see....I am not afraid to admit my mistakes, and apologize.

Maria, Coincidence? I think not.

Dropping my daugher at school yesterday, I saw Sharon Cook standing outside Carrboro Elementary with a Cook/Ryan sign and no umbrella, still waving pleasantly at the passing cars. Either she likes cold wet weather or she really is an amiable soul.

But I am still having this sense of "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

It's not only Katrina Ryan's remark quoted above:
"I can tell you that people in NE Carrboro are still very angry, and I can't forsee that ending any time soon. I fully expect to see a slate of candidates next year from north of Homestead Rd. It's going to be very interesting.”
Katrina Ryan, August 17 2006

But remarks like this from someone not running for office - from the DTH November 2004:
"If we are annexed, we will run for office," said Kramer. "If elected, we will change the face of Carrboro."

So either something has changed in the year 2007 and after three years of these comments, there is no longer an "us versus them" cadre with a slate of candidates. Maybe folks forgot about it or had other things to do or became one with the grooviness.

Or Katrina Ryan and Sharon Cook might be those candidates. If they wanted to give the impression that they aren't those candidates, then marketing together was not the smartest move.

So if I make the factual statement that "people are angry", how does that translate to Sharon and I being angry ? Are Sharon an I really personally responsible for everything any annexee says ? FWIW, John Kramer lives in Lydia's neighborhood, not mine, so maybe she should be held accountable for John's comments.

I do believe many people are still upset. Some because of taxes, but more because of the second class treatment " those people out there", to quote Jaquie, get at town hall.

One excellent example is Cindy Connolly. Cindy had two son-in-laws serving in Iraq earlier in the war. She asked to be able to set up a table at Carrboro Day to collect beanie babies to send to the troops. Here is one description of that effort:

She was refused. It would have cost the town nothing, and it would have been a nice thing to do. ( SInce that time Cindy and her husband have lead an effort that has sent over 1 ton of sundries, toys, and personal items to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan)

Yet we spend weeks during budget season figuring out a way for the RRFM kids to use Town Commons for free. Those are the things that keep the wounds of annexation open and salted for many people.

Sharon is nice, She is always nice. She is nice response to very bad treatment, which I am not. There is no agenda in her niceness, nor in my occasional prickliness.

Katrina, why was Cindy Connelly refused when she asked to set up her table?

Honestly, I don't know. I am sure that Terri Buckner will pick up on this thread and she was party to those discussions I believe.

So if you don't know, why do imply there was something "fishy" about it?

Paul, Nothing fishy about it what so ever. Carrboro Day is a very specific function and is approached every year by worthy causes which have nothing to do with Carrboro Day and are not allowed to set up booths. It is simply a matter of space and focus. I seem to recall that Jacquie did set up a table with Cindy at the farmer's market and spent an enjoyable Saturday morning raising money for school supplies for Afgan children.

I have to point out that Katrina Ryan has chosen to participate in what is obviously a hostile forum for her candidacy. She is not one one of the chosen ones. Many of the attacks have little to do with anything relevant to Carrboro. Yet Katrina has responded with civility and grace, honesty and intellectual integrity.

Since I know Katrina, this is not a surprise. Maybe this is why I fully support her. Katrina is also right about Sharon Cook. What you see is what you get. Both of them are dedicated activists and dedicated to doing right in their community. Both of them do not smile with that fake plastered politicians smile. While they may anger at injustice, hypocrisy and dishonesty, they are not angry people. Their human warmth is for real. In fact I think they represent what is right about Carrboro.

The Carrboro Day committee certainly did not turn away any worthy cause based on where an organizer lives! We don't even ask. This is by a mile the silliest complaint we've ever received.

Also, I'm getting a little tired of hearing how "nice" Sharon Cook is. I have no doubt that she's nice. You're making her sound like a blind date.

1) It is interesting that Ms. Connelly never raised this issue at the time and that the first I heard of it was in an attack on town government that you launched at campaign time. Any reason you didn't raise the question back at the time when the Board and I might have been able to do something about it?

2) Beanie babies for Iraq?

James, I suspected there was indeed nothing "fishy" about it, but Katrina seems to like to set up "straw men" just so she can knock them down.

And Dave, Katrina certainly doesn't seem to mind making attacks of her own, so cry me a river.

Actually, I brought it up only recently because I heard about it only recently. It was Terri Buckner who told me. The point I am making is that we certainly did go the extra mile to change the rules for the RRFM, whilst we did not for a " support the troops" effort.
There is inequity in the way different demographics in town are treated. If you think that's fine, so be it, but then don't wonder why people are angry.

There's nothing fishy about it at all--Katrina just mixed up the facts a little. It was the 4th of July, not Carrboro Day, and it was me who asked the Rec Dept if I could set up the collection table, after talking with Cindy about how the troops were asking for beanie babies to give to the kids in Iraq. I was denied because I didn't ask far enough in advance and for various other reasons that seemed inconsequential at the time.

"Either she likes cold wet weather or she really is an amiable soul."

I suspect its both, Maria. Who isn't enjoying this wet weather? And Sharon is a totally amiable soul. Did you smile back?

Mayor Chilton chided me after the last election that we needed to start treating those who were once annexees as Carrboro citizens instead of perpetuating the bad feelings. And yet, here we are on a "progressive" blog with the mayor himself perpetuating the bad feelings. Setting up Katrina or Sharon as the straw man for this election is not doing much to help heal old wounds.

I can't solve a problem that I am unaware of, Katrina. And I can't read Cynthia and Terri's minds.

You are not treated differently, Katrina. Indeed just about every time you have come and asked for a rule change, we have made a rule change - albeit not always exactly what you asked for.

You wanted to be the only neighborhood in town with no streetlights. Boom- you got it.

You wanted Rogers Road added to the sidewalk list. Booom - we put it at the top of the list.

You wanted us to change the town charter. Boom - we changed the town charter.

But you are mad because we showed the same kind of respect to folks who wanted to create a community garden at no expense to the town?


Since you brought it up, my issues with the community garden are/were two. The first was that it is not an actual "community" garden as most of the community has no access to this public resource. I understand that very recently, applications were being accepted to expand access, so if that actually happens, then that issue is resolved.

The second issue is more pernicious. The number one source of e-coli contamination in America is improperly grown organic vegetables. We have an unregulated, untrained gardening force using town property. The original articles I read included gardeners intent to give the produce from the garden to various community organizations. This situation makes the town of Carrboro the deep pockets defendant in a potential law suit. When I contacted the town manager and the OCPFYC about the garden no-one could identify the gardeners that were granted access to the property, so if something happened, who would we hold accountable ?

Oh, and I was drinking margaritas when Terri told me about it, so I'm pretty happy I remembered as much as I did!

All you have to do is show up on Saturday morning to get involved, Katrina. That's been pointed out to you repeatedly, but I suppose it better serves your purpose to complain than to participate.


When has this been pointed out to me? I never remember having any discussion with you about the community garden, and I've never had any margaritas with you, so you must be confusing me with somebody else.

For what it's worth, I am not talking about me. I am talking about the institution of a fair and appropriate process. I have more garden than I can handle at the moment.

Let's see everyone who shows up can participate and this is somehow unfair and inappropriate? I'm confused and I have not been drinking margaritas with any one.

I did smile back. And I waved.

I would caution anyone from taking the statement Organic Foods are dangerous before getting more facts. Here is what I've found so far. According to the Center for Media and Democracy at these claims are PR spins from a group funded by Conservatives. I'm looking forward to more information from the experienced scientist and gardeners in our community.

Hudson Institute is the source of a claim that organic food is more dangerous to eat than food produced using chemical pesticides.

"According to recent data compiled by the U.S Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people who eat organic and 'natural' foods are eight times as likely as the rest of the population to be attacked by a deadly new strain of E. coli bacteria (0157:H7)," Avery wrote in the Fall 1998 issue of American Outlook, a Hudson Institute publication. This happens, he said, because organic food is grown in animal manure, a known carrier of this nasty microbe. He said his data came from Dr. Paul Mead, an epidemiologist at the CDC.

Avery delivered this message with op-eds that bore titles such as "The Silent Killer in Organic Foods" that were disseminated by Bridge News to between 300 and 400 newspapers throughout the country and approximately 500,000 other subscribers including government departments, central banks and businesses. This claim seems to have taken on a life of its own. On August 25, 1999, for example, the USDA's National Food Safety Database carried a story titled "Organic Food Creates Higher Risk for Food Poisoning." The story originated with US Newswire, a service that electronically disseminates news releases. It quoted Dr. Robert Tauxe, chief of the CDC's Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, saying, "Organic food means a food was grown in animal manure."

Tauxe denies ever making that statement and says he believes the rumor originated with Dennis Avery. After fielding numerous media queries on the subject, CDC took the unusual step on January 14, 1999 of issuing a press release stating, "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not conducted any study that compares or quantitates the specific risk for infection with E. coli 0157:H7 and eating either conventionally grown or organic/natural foods." In addition, Tauxe says he called Avery to tell him to stop claiming that the CDC was the source of this allegation. Avery responded by telling Tauxe, "That's your interpretation, and I have mine."

Source: Trashing Organic Foods

There is more debunking of this claim from the Organic Consumers Association.

Now that the organic industry has grown to over $12 billion in annual sales, agribusiness and biotechnology giants evidently view organics as a viable threat. Over the past few years they have launched a sophisticated and well-funded corporate attack aimed at discrediting organic food and farming practices. Although their activities do not seem to have put a dent in sales growth, or consumer support of organic agriculture, nonetheless, their activities, including lawsuits and intimidation from government officials , have organic marketers and consumers rightfully concerned.

Attacks on organics have come from right-wing think tanks, lawsuits from Monsanto, threatening letters from the FDA, and have been facilitated by journalists who are either complacent about or outright hostile to organic agriculture. Some of these attacks have included:

Organic Food Is Dangerous?
The junkyard dog of the corporate attack on organic agriculture has been Dennis Avery of the ultra-conservative Hudson Institute. Avery, the author of Saving the Earth Through Plastics and Pesticides, has never missed an opportunity to denigrate organics. In 2000 he appeared on ABC's 20/20. Host John Stossel's sensational claims included that organic food has a higher level of a deadly E. coli bacteria and that, in terms of pesticide residue, organic food is no safer or "cleaner" than organic produce.

After being caught with their pants down by the Environmental Working Group and being further exposed in a scathing article in The New York Times, Stossel was forced to apologize and admitted that ABC never did testing for pesticide residues or E. coli, as they represented. In fact the Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, along with other research, has concluded that not only does organic produce have fewer, or no, toxic contaminants, but organic food also contains dramatically higher levels of vitamins and minerals. Based on the truth, score one for organics.

Source: Countering the Corporate Attack on Organics and
Fighting for the Family Farmer


Everyone may participate in the labor, but not in the decision making. We have ceded a major town asset to the control of a small group of unknowns, since we don't really know who comprises the " Carrboro Community Garden Coalition" according to the town manager. Why was this decision made at a work session with no public decision? Why wasn't there an application process so people who work on Saturdays might be able to apply for a part of the garden ?
Anyway, I am hopeful that the access issue will be resolved by the new process. The potential liability make the failure of the BOA to ask the coalition to secure insurance a bad decision.

Mismanagement of organic farms resulting in e-coli poisoning has exclusively been attributed to the use of human or animal waste water as fertilizer. This is, most certainly, not an issue for community farms within the city limits. Community gardens have been a simple fact of life in this area for many decades. My parents participated in both a food co-op and community garden plots near Finley Golf Course in the 1970's. As a gardener myself, I have greater confidence in what comes out of the ground where I can see it than what comes in a bag in the grocery store.

I, too, am a gardener, and know how to handle manure, but we have no guarantees that our community gardeners do, nor have we established any rules about what can and can't be land applied at the garden. A blanket liability policy would cost a few hundred dollars for the season. I think the gardeners should have been required to acquire one. I have hurt myself using various garden tools, etc. There are a lot of things that can happen and Carrboro tax payers shouldn't be the ones left holding the bag. The gardeners given the access to our publicly held asset should.

When Katrina speaks publicly about her campaign or about Carrboro, she often seems to make good common sense. However, sometimes her statements sound very well-informed but are actually based on only a partial understanding of the facts. her remarks above are a perfect example of this. She heard over drinks that a friend was not allowed to do something at Town Commons. Without understanding the context of the situation she took that nugget and ran.

Did she not know the rest of the story or did she not care? At best, it was a rush to judgment.

This kind of thing makes it hard for me to trust Katrina's statements unless I know the facts fully myself, even though I think she and I probably share many similar concerns for the environment and social justice. This is just not how I want an elected official to make policy.

Marc, just a quick comment about the lights in the Highlands. It required a petition with a super majority being in favor of no street lights. The requisite number was collected and that hurdle was cleared. Therefore there are no street lights in the Highlands. The Highlands not only added to the revenue side of the town equation it then helped with the expense side as well. Carrobor's ROI got a little bit sweeter.

She heard over drinks that a friend was not allowed to do something at Town Commons. Without understanding the context of the situation she took that nugget and ran.

But Ruby we all take things out of context and misunderstand at times. It's just human nature. For example, at the time of the beanie baby incident, Katrina and I were not friends as you imply in your summary statement above. We've had a conversation over drinks only once and that was just a few weeks ago--certainly not back in July 2005. So by putting my statement and Katrina statement together, you created a wrong impression. I don't think that means you are less trustworthy because you drew a wrong inference.

Writing on a blog is an imperfect form of communication. According to your posts, you agree with both Katrina and Will but will not support them for elected office. Would you even know about those things that bug you about them if they weren't taking the risk of posting here or on STP? We don't know nearly as much about Lydia, Sharon, Penny, or Matt because they haven't been as willing to expose their opinions here. Or how about Dan who posted here frequently before he was appointed to the BOA. He's been totally absent for the past couple of months.

It just seems to me that if Mark, Katrina, and Will are brave enough to continue posting here, despite the risks (and each have gotten tangled in those risks lately), that it says something about the openness we should expect of them in office. And I think that needs to be balanced against some of the wrong inferences or mis-understood details.

The Highlands is not the only neighborhood in town without streetlights. Meadow Run has declined the lighting as has Fox Meadow. I remember going there one night to look at Saturn though a telescope, and it was quite dark. Our end of town has the advantage of seeing stars that I never saw as a child because even then, where I grew up the light pollution obliterated their view. I see stars my parents never saw.

That's the reason why people on this end of town complain about the lighting on new neighborhoods- we know what we are losing. Should we have a clear night party one evening and invite the BOA and planning board members over? The sky is truly beautiful- and it's like going back 50-100 years in time. It would be a shame to lose that.

Seriously, Ruby, are you seriously saying that misremembering Carrboro Day festivities as 4th of July festivities somehow makes my judgement suspect ? Yet striking a track volunteer with a 2,000 pound weapon intentionally while screaming obscenities in a park full of children gives you no pause.

Wow! James Carville once told me you had to be perfect since you never know what peoples reason for voting might be. I always thought he was exaggerating, but I guess he was right.

Katrina, did James Carville know you were planning to run for the Carrboro Board of Aldermen?


The decision making of the garden is done by the gardeners at the garden. The garden is open to all in our community for participation. No one has ever been turned away. Garden workdays are from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. There have also been times for watering during the week. As you can imagine, the drought has made this season's gardening 'waterer' intensive.

I am sorry to hear that neither the OCPYC nor the Town manager could provide you with our contact information. This is a surprise to me as I know that Parks and Rec has our contact information and OCPYC does too. Thank you for pointing this out though. I will follow up with the Town Manager and OCPYC to see how this could have happend as we want to assure that interested gardeners and community members can find out about the garden and it's opportunities.

In the meantime, please visit our website:

We are very greateful to the town for allowing a community garden at MLK park. Beyond being provided interim use of the space at the park until the town is able to execute it's master plan for the park (around 2011), everything that we have done there, so far, has been done through the dedication, hard work, donations, knowledge and love of community participants. Beyond growing food and making friends ... we are growing community.

It is truely amazing to discover how resourceful community can be, how important a resource community is, and how essential it is to have community! I am looking forward to having you join us.

Sammy Slade
Community Gardener

No Catherine, but I worked with him in 1992 and it was one of the mantras in the war room.


I am not saying that they couldn't give me your name. I am saying no where is it in record who the members of the Carrboro Community Garden Coalition are. Thanks for the website info. I hadn't been referred it before.

BTW, I have some OP tomato seeds from tomatoes that have been volunteering in my yard for the past few years. They are a really great small to medium yellow, low acid tomato. ( My guess is that they are the child of Kelllogs Breakfast and Box Car Willie) They make a great, kid friendly tomato, and I'd be happy to donate some plants to the garden for the spring, or seeds now if you'd like.

Katrina, we all "mis-remember." But if you're going to make a charge against the town, as you did, especially if you are running for office, I think you have a responsibility to check your facts again before you go off half-cocked.

You did the same thing this summer when, on the STP blog, you accused the OCDP of ignoring a resolution regarding the siting of the solid waste transfer station submitted by Hogan Farms for consideration at our County Convention in April (I'm not talking about the resolution the OCDP passed last month).
How terrible you wrote, our party leaders didn't want to deal with it, blah, blah, blah.

The problem, however, which I discovered by calling Hank Elkins, who is chair of the Platform and Resolutions Committee, was that the Hogan Farms precinct never forwarded their resolutions to him, so no one but the Hogan Farm folks even knew they existed.

Yet even after I pointed that out to you and observed you still had two more chances to introduce it: directly to the P&A Committee or directly it on the floor of the convention, but you gave excuse after excuse as to why you didn't do it, still blaming party leaders and adding one of your little "digs"every time you did.

You've put yourself out there as a candidate, Katrina, so like it or not, you're in the spotlight when you make these statements with no back-up.

I'd like to second Terri in her appreciation for Mark, Katrina, and Will's frequent participation here. It is very useful and informative. Serving the public as an effective representative (or candidate to be a future representative) certainly requires one to be more measured and circumspect because of the important role that an official plays in the process. However, it would enrich the community if more officials and candidates would take their lead and not feel that they cannot risk participation.

Mark, you make a good point and I second you seconding Terri for giving credit to Will, Katrina and Mark for their participation. I'd also say the same for Brian Voyce, certainly not one of my favs, on the STP blog. One certainly knows where he stands on the issues.

I too often wonder why our elected officials, with the exception of a few town officials, and occassionally Mike Nelson, never do put their 2 cents in here.

And really, for them, it's more like putting in a dollar compared to our 2 cents because, unlike us, they are in the position of having to actually vote on these issues.

I understand their time constraints, but it seems to me it would do the voters AND them some good to participate at least occassionally. Seems like win-win to me.

It's not like this is a "nutty" blog full of ad hominen attacks; there mostly thoughtful posts here. While I certainly disagree with a lot of the opinions expressed, they are generally expressed with some thought and rationale.

Maybe we just need to ask our elected officials to take a look here and participate, although maybe Ruby's already done that(?) I should say it is probably not just our elected officials, my guess is that most elected officials around the country do not contribute comments to either national or local blogs.

From my brief and very pleasant experience organizing an event at the Carrboro Century Center this summer, I learned that if you have a question about something that Carrboro Parks and Recreation administers then you have to call Carrboro Parks and Recreation. And then they may in fact need to check on the answer or refer you to someone else in the organization.

It would never occur to me to call the Town Manager to find out who was doing what at the Century Center or in any of the parks. I would call Parks Rec. (And it is pretty easy to GOOGLE Carrboro Community Garden Coalition.)

What occurs to me about the Beanie Babies is that if Katrina Ryan or Sharon Cook or Terri Buckner really wanted to help out Cindy Connelly (as BOA member Jacquie Gist did by working with her at the Farmer's Market ) with the Beanie Babies or other benefits for Iraq or Afghanistan and it was important to them that it happen on town property or as a town event, then they could have learned about the process of asking for town sponsorship of the event and secured the Century Center or the Town Commons.
And even without town sponsorship anyone can book the Town Commons or the Century Center for a really reasonable fee.

(And before anyone says anything about the RRFM . I thought the end of that story was the the Town told them they had pay a fee if they wanted to have baked goods and they found someone to sponsor them and pay that fee.)

I'm so glad you finally see the problem Maria. Cindy had to work with Jacquie, the RRFM had to work with Dan and Mark. The system should be more transparent and open to those who don't want or have access to inside favors with elected officials.

Point of clarification.After hearing Cindy's compelling story and because of our shared interest in Afghanistan,I called her and proposed that we get together and try and raise some money for the troops to help Afghan kids.We had a nice morning together just outside the FArmer's Market and raised about $75.It was not a favor to Cindy on my part.In fact at one point the market manager made us move our table further way from the market -she (the manager)rightly did not care that I am on the board.
Jacquie Gist

Terri, I don't see a problem at all.

My point is that any one could use any of the local facilities to sponsor an event to benefit the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at any time without having to contact any local officials.

If you want to use Carrboro Parks and Recreation spaces you can go to the Carrboro Parks and Recreation website right here:

This is what I did when I wanted to use the main hall of the Century Center. But I could have also used the telephone if I didn't have internet.

If you scroll down this website you'll even discover - GASP - the number of the person to contact about the Community Garden.

And below that, numerous opportunities to volunteer or teach a workshop or class. Below that a link for a description of the facilities available and how to use them which includes insurance information.

I wonder how many people go to this site and organizes one of the following

* Community events sponsored by a variety of area organizations such as Triangle Swing Dance Society, Triangle Country Dancers, Triangle Tangueros, Carolina Song and Dance and others.
* Recreational classes and workshops for adults and youth.
* Town sponsored events and programs.
* Art exhibits.
* Dances, dinners and reunions.
* Business meetings.
* Private weddings, parties, receptions and bar mitzvahs.
* A conversation with a friend.

Without ever having to call anyone on the BOA.

Though I am hesitant to point this out, less someone decides any of these activities is too groovy and begins to come up with all the reasons they shouldn't be happening because it's a threat and danger to the town to have resources that citizens can use.

Kudos to Jacqui and Maria for setting the record straight. Forget about inside favors and calls to the Town Manager -- the system is transparent, and our elected officials are PEOPLE, less than one degree of separation from the rest of us. This is why we love them.

Why aren't you running for Alderman, Maria? You seem to know more about how town government works than either Sharon or Katrina.

Jacquie--I don't recall the specifics of the BOA response when Cindy came to the BOA and asked for their assistance in raising funds, but I do know she was turned down. That's when I called her and when you chose to do something to help. I apologize for not realizing that you were helping as an individual citizen, not as a BOA member. Kudos to you.

While I was disappointed that we couldn't negotiate something with the town for the 4th, I did understand the short notice and went ahead and held an event in my neighborhood, without giving it much more thought until the RRFM issue came up. They asked for, and were granted, exemptions from town policies on more than one occasion.

So how does the BOA decide when to bend and/or adjust policies, such as paying for facilities/booths, and when to hold firm? In Chapel Hill, I've heard the mayor agree to use his budget line to fund projects that didn't have their own resources rather than putting policy aside. I recall hearing Mike Nelson do something similar.

The Carrboro Town Attorney advised the Board that it would be illegal to use local tax dollars to buy beanie babies to send to Iraq.

"Yet we spend weeks during budget season figuring out a way for the RRFM kids to use Town Commons for free. Those are the things that keep the wounds of annexation open and salted for many people."

Do those annexed have a problem with helping kids hold community events? I'm not a kid, nor are many who participate in the RRFM--if that helps the wounds.

One reason for spending so much time on amending the rules of the Town Commons use was to make it more of a Commons, i.e. open to citizens who want to use the space in a non-commercial way. The RRFM use merely exemplified the tension between the spirit of a Town Commons and the rules governing the use of ours.

I hope you will spread the word to your neighbors that the event is not just for kids and the new rules benefit us all.
It's next Saturday from 2:30-4:30, and is a great way to share skills and goods, meet people, and enjoy free food.

Where is Robert Latta when we really need him? Oops - there he is!

Speaking of transparency, unlike other candidates Sharon Cook and Katrina Ryan are not revealing who donated to their campaigns and at what level. They claim to oppose a bill that would have required that on the basis on it being "a bad bill", which might be more believable if they were voluntarily making that information available.
Perhaps through their websites.

(I know I'm probably the last to know this, just like I was the last to know they were neighbors and sharing a platform and publishing a brochure together ...)


Lydia just sent out a mailing that I estimate to cost $3,000-$5,000. Along with what she has already reported spending, that would require her, by law to report her financial affairs. Dan is doing so by choice, which I applaud.

I opposed the campaign finance bill, as written, because 1- it did not contain any limits on out of state or out of county money, which I think any good campaign finance bill should, and 2- there was never any public hearing on the issue. I think the people of Carrboro should decide what a campaign finance reform bill should look like, not Dan Coleman.

(There were some other issues as to effective date etc, that merited having the bill sent back for the short session)

For what it is worth, I stopped raising money at $2200, every penny of it from inside Carrboro, and not one check over $200 ( and that was from my husband, who bought me campaign signs for my anniversary).



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