What do you want on a voting guide?

The Daily Tar Heel is planning on making a voter guide to be published on early voting day -- a page that Orange County voters can take with them to the polls from Oct. 15 until Election Day. We're envisioning a chart that you can use to match Chapel Hill and Carrboro candidates with their plans for addressing issues that are important to you, so you can compare them.

We've made a list of issues that we think concern those candidates. Some are more for Carrboro, some are more for Chapel Hill:

- economy
- development
- town-gown relations
- safety
- panhandling
- immigration
- environment

I want this guide to be as useful for voters as possible. What would your list look like? What are we misisng?



increasing public transportation (all modes)broadening tax baseaffordable housing (including lower middle-class)increasing diversitydefining adequate schools/water/fire & police - and how to fund

We take care of the poor (sort of) and the rich can take care of themselves, but the working poor to lower-middle class always get forgotten.  

Where candidates for office believe growth SHOULD go in Chapel Hill or Carrboro.  Not where it shouldn't go, but where it SHOULD go.  If they are against the towns growing, they should say that. 

Which candidates support shipping our waste to a landfill in a poor community somewhere else?

How about expanding this to include how the candidate would address the solid waste issue. Waste to energy, building a new landfill and where, working with communities outside our county.Mark likes to issue broad statements condemming all landfills with very little knowledge on the issue.

Those poor communities budgets are certainly a lot richer than before they had a landfioll with the hit they get from every bit of trash brought into their landfill. A good deal of those dollars go directly to their school budgets. We don't get a red cent to our schools from our landfill.

Exploitation is still exploitation, even if you pay someone for it.  School funding is a red herring.  We don't get any money for our schools from our landfill, but so long as we have a landfill here we're not diverting money (which could very well go to schools) out of the county budget to pay another community to take our trash.

I guess it's ok to exploit the Orange county residents that will live next to a potential new Orange County site. You must not live in an area that could be a potential site. I don't think there is any money left to divert to our schools. I believe that we are doing such a good job recycling that there is not enough tipping fees to cover just landfill expenses.

Patrick, I'm surprised to see that statement after all the time we spent working on solid waste issues in the early 90's. Here's a statement I made on WCHL a couple of weeks ago and also sent to all the commissioners. No response from any commissioners. The Economic Opportunity of Solid WasteBy Mark Marcoplos  I don’t think anybody in Orange County is happy that we are planning to send our trash over the horizon to a giant landfill in some poor God-forsaken community. I don’t think our county leadership is happy about becoming beholden to a giant waste corporation that will have us by the short hairs when they want to raise the hauling rates somewhere down the road. And you don’t have to be psychic to know that fuel costs are only going to rise. The current plans for a transfer station harness us to an unethical and increasingly expensive boondoggle. Our best bet is to avoid getting hooked into this unpredictable system by siting our own landfill in Orange County. First, we have to adjust our perspective and realize that solid waste represents an economic opportunity. The waste stream provides many materials that have a useful purpose. Plus we’ll save money over the long run by avoiding the inevitable price hikes from waste businesses and fuel cost escalation.We should site a well-designed landfill in one of our Economic Development Districts that have been sitting vacant for many years. Then we work to site businesses there that will make products from the waste stream. We could offer incentives such as free electricity from methane generated by the landfill. It could be the beginning of an Eco-Industrial Park.Another key element of making us self-sufficient with solid waste is to take advantage of the many, many opportunities that still exist to reduce our output. We’ve got the space in the Economic Development Districts. We’ve got a county Economic Development office in need of a clear mission. We’ve got time, since the current landfill will last longer than originally projected. We’ve got a chance to take care of our own business and not foist our trash on another community. It’s an opportunity to do the right thing – ethically and economically. If we commit to it, I know we can make it work.     

Economic Development Districts are located in the Efland/Buckhorn, Hillsborough and Hwy. 70 area if I recall correctly, which is probably news to every candidate running in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Mark, all those areas are not in the most well to do communities so how is locating a landfill in one of these areas not a form of racialism just like the Rogers Rd. area?Another question for the candidates name the 7 townships in Orange County and for school board candidates name each CH/Carr. school?

I would agree with you Poppalax. I'm sure the people that live around those sites do not want a landfill in their backyard. I'm all also sure those sites are not in Mark's backyard.Evidence from the last landfill site attempt in the 90's does not support above premise that the majority of Orange County residents want a landfill in Orange County. That siting had approximately 20 sites spread all around the county and I did not hear one resident in favor of siting it in their backyard. Of course Chapel Hill Carrboro residents would not have potential sites near tham so they would be all for putting it in someone else's backyard (ie rural Orange County, I despise that attitude of the right thing to do as long as it's not in my backyard). 

to focus on issues important to students, or important to the community at large (with students being one of many parts of that community)?  If it is a student focus then I think you've got it pretty well covered between SarahFrier and George C

is to inform the community. Not just students. Sarah Frier
City Editor
The Daily Tar Heel

increasing public transportation

Thanks for everybody's help.You can pick up the voting guide in The Daily Tar Heel Thursday.We'll also have something online at www.dailytarheel.com Sarah Frier
City Editor
The Daily Tar Heel

I get the feeling that some people think students don't turn out for voting enough to be worth courting their vote, but I was still struck by how few campaigns turned out for the first day of early voting. MaryAnne for school board was there at the Planetarium, and  Laurin for council was on campus too.  And then the Mark Kleinschmidt campaign we had people at the Planetarium, at the Pit, and at the quad.  We had a Rickshaw/Pedicab thing ferrying voters to the Planetarium, we took the time to flyer campus & create campaign lit (that was designed by a student) that had info on when & how to early vote rather than using only generic campaign lit, we had probably 10 to 15 people volunteering with our student outreach efforts yesterday, and much of this was organized by our student volunteers.Granted I was only on campus for about 3 hours (long enough to get a little sunburned) and I could only be in one location at once, so I may have missed other campaigns if they had a presence (& of course the first day isn't the only day for early voting, even if it is a big day for it), but Mark, a former UNC student himself, is definitely going the extra mile for student outreach & engagement from what I've seen so far.

http://dailytarheel.com/elections2009Click on the pictures to see coverage about that candidate.Scroll to the bottom to see links by issue.Pick up a paper copy of the voting guide in Monday's paper, page 5, to take to the polls. Candidate videos coming soon.   Sarah FrierCity EditorThe Daily Tar Heel

in my browser, the grids on the candidates positions are so light I can not tell which answers apply to which candidates

We can fix it. Thanks for letting me know.  


Internet Explorer

On development: 

  • Proactively solicit the interest of nationwide retailers and retail developers.

He makes no mention of local business support & propagation, which has been proven to be the firmest foundation of a sustainable economy.

One nice thing in a voter guide would be to give the hours for early voting.  Maybe it's on the DTH site but if so I didn't find it.  I did find it on here though.  And so let me whine about the hours, since I'm so good at that.There are a total of 74 hours of early voting in CH/C and 70 of them are 9-4 on weekdays.  So if you have to be at your job during the day on weekdays, as many people do, the only early voting  you can do is 9-1 on Sat, Oct 31.  Why not throw a few Saturdays in there and a few weekday evenings too?

Jose,I don't know how they determine which hours to have early voting, but I suspect that many of the poll workers/observers are retirees or other people who are available during the daytime hours and weekdays.  Perhaps it is harder to get people to work the polls on the weekends/evenings.  But cost certainly might be an issue.  In the recent election in Durham it cost nearly $30 per vote cast because it was, not surprisingly, a low turnout.  In these tight budgetary times I'm sure that the Board of Elections factors costs into their determinations and tries to find what they think is the right benefit/cost ratio.

My wife and I were #237 and #238 this morning when the Planetarium opened at 9am, very sad to say!  I think the hours are a function of logistics and staffing.  I suspect budget enters in there too.


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