Student forum for Town Council candidates

UNC Student Government and Campus Y host candidate forum: What do candidates really think about town-and-gown relations?

As a student of social justice at Chapel Hill’s largest employer, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I am acutely aware of the impact my education plays on the economic and demographic make-up of our community. With the UNC Student Government and Campus Y (the center for social justice on campus) coming together on November 3, 2011, to host a candidate forum, I had hoped students would finally have their most salient concerns heard by potential council representatives. Even more, I was optimistic that students without cars or a thorough understanding of the intricate bus system would finally gain access to the campaign process, which has built to a climax over the past weeks.

With all of the candidates seated in the intimate setting of the Campus Y’s Faculty Lounge, students, staff, press, citizens and candidates were greeted with a brief introduction from UNC-CH Student Body President Mary Cooper, who stressed student participation and optimism.

“Forums like this are the best way to get an informed electorate,” Cooper said. “And, the University’s relationship with the town can be beneficial if we work together.” 

Moderated by two student leaders, questions were pre-submitted by a number of sources including students and pleasantly represented a wide spectrum of topics, many of which have been fleshed out (in detail) at many of the previous candidate forums. Notwithstanding, questions spoke to the unique four-year student experience of undergraduates and allowed candidates to frame global topics from student relations to off-campus housing to food trucks in a distinct way for the student audience.

Surprisingly, all candidates seemed to genuinely value the university and its role in infusing the region with jobs, brilliant thinkers, off-shoot businesses, fine arts, consumers of local products and positivity. “The bottom line is without UNC in Chapel Hill,” candidate Matt Czajkowski said. “I wouldn’t live in Chapel Hill.”

Many candidates who, over the course of the campaign season, have often spoken about the university community as a source of neighborhood frustration, gentrification and unsafe public behavior articulated a fondness for my chosen institution of higher learning in a manner seldom heard before tonight. Some even cited the university as the primary reason for their decision to relocate to the region. Notably, all but a select handful of candidates have direct ties to UNC-CH: multiple graduates, a member of the faculty, an employee at the NC Botanical Garden, a UNC parent and several spouses to graduates.

Candidates rarely strayed from their platform focuses. Much of the responses were, to a seasoned forum goer, more of the same. Candidate Donna Bell stressed the importance of community, Jason Baker emphasized sustainability (both environmental and economic), Jon DeHart spoke to business development downtown, Carl Schuler underscored transparency and Lee Storrow highlighted inclusion in local decision-making processes as well as multi-faceted interpretations of livability.

Yet, each candidate paid homage to the student experience in some way through addressing each issue. Conversations of transportation and business development ventured off topic into personal anecdotes of late-night bar hoppers searching for food options, of shopping at the old downtown grocery as a student and of fostering positive business climates downtown so we “have more than t-shirt shops.” However unrelated business growth downtown may be to access to transportation on South Campus, several unique concerns were brought to the forefront of discussion as a result of these tangents.

For an example, the lack of access to grocery vendors and personal means of transit for students living on the expansive southern part of the UNC campus speaks to the rarely-talked-about injustice of putting barriers to accessing food for young, vulnerable populations living there.

“The town is changing and the university is changing and the gaps between have to be met,” Bell said.

Bell said that many grocery stores have told the Town Council that there is not a vibrant market for such a retailer downtown. “But, as a student who once used the grocery store downtown,” Bell said. “I know this is not true. You (students) have to make yourself known as a market.”

Several candidates walked a tight-rope dealing with topics closely tied to the university such as transportation. Some shifted responsibility back to the university who, as candidate Augustus Cho noted, funds nearly 60 percent of Chapel Hill Transit’s annual budget while Chapel Hill provides only around 30 percent.

“Chapel Hill Transit is number two in the state behind Charlotte,” Cho said. “But, it’s up to the university to decide how to expand.”

On the issue of the Occupy Chapel Hill movement protests, all candidates showed support with only a few raising reservations or minor concerns of safety.

When asked about the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan process thus far, lack of student involvement was a common theme in responses. DeHart said the process is broken and that he did not see many students at the initial kickoff meeting. But, with meeting sites off campus and at times late into the evening, students are clearly disadvantaged in attending.

Candidate Laney Dale, said his only concern has been that the planning committee is putting meetings in the wrong places. He said a site choice on campus or in the Northside community would result in more diverse participation. 

Others, like Storrow, who graduated from UNC-CH in May 2011, pointed to structural barriers to participation. “There will always be a natural decline in structures like this as we move forward,” Storrow said. “It is our job to keep people there.”

On the topic of livability for a diverse population in Chapel Hill, Storrow echoed his previous commentary on the multi-dimensional definition of livability (including affordable health care, child care and utilities). Once again, Baker looked to the lack of control in the rental markets as a possible source of concern.

However, Czajkowski added to the discussion unlike any other. Pointing to the lack of expandable land as a source of rising rental and home prices, he suggested the town look into expanding into northern Chatham County.

Not only does this proposed solution fail to address housing scarcity and prices in the neighborhoods closest to the university, it blindly overlooks all other alternatives (including high-density design and multi-use space) to building more low-density units farther from the economic heart of the community.

With perhaps the most seasoned response, Bell said livability can become a reality if the council makes it a strategic priority. “We have to recognize the strengths of the markets, but we must also recognize their weaknesses,” Bell said.

On students living in off-campus neighborhoods, many cited the community desire for “good neighbors” and said students are not the problem. Storrow said the university has to “catch up” with peers like Michigan State University, which utilizes student programs to educate students transitioning to life off campus.      

Finally, on the issue of food trucks, most showed support, and only a few expressed concerns about sanitation feasibility and its effective regulation. DeHart said he was in support of the trucks as long as they have “a local presence” and keep tax revenue in Orange County.

Overall, I left the forum satisfied that students had been given a chance to chime-in on the political happenings of these municipal elections. In the least, attending students were given a detailed outline of most major issues dominating the campaign, from Northside to the proposed tax increase. But, many responses seemed to be tame and student-proof opinions omitting some of the more controversial truths of opinion.

With all early-voting locations moved off campus for the first time in years, I wonder if my peers (who make up nearly a quarter of Chapel Hill’s population) will show up to vote and access the information they need to make educated decisions.    

 

Issues: 

Total votes: 155

Comments

Burton, I'm curious about what you mean by "many responses seemed to be tame and student-proof opinions..." Also how engaged do you think students are in the 2011 election? WIll they turn out and vote this year?

192 voters under age 25 with CHAPEL HILL listed as voter city had early voted

Thanks for the comment. I felt that candidates were generally trying to appeal to student affinity for environmental sustainability, biking and fun. Too many comments about delicious hamburgers, collegiate frivolity and food entered the conversation. In responding to questions, many offered optimistic end goals or, when critical, articulated problems (with the lack of affordability, inclusionary policy, student participation and sustainability). I wanted to hear solutions. I wanted to hear candidates offer tangible and realistic ways of getting students involved outside of "office hours" (where students have to come to candidates) and or a single student seat on the town's transportation board. I wanted to see broad thinking and big ideas about how to incorporate students while they work and live in the town. It simply seems to be an injustice to tout the achievements of UNC-Chapel HIll and cite it as a reason for regional growth without making the student voice a real, effective priority.     Burton F. Peebles
UNC-Chapel Hill
Class of 2012

A student forum sounds like a good start.  Hopefully this leads to ongoing communications, increased student participation at council meetings and on boards, and increased council member knowledge, understanding, and representation of students' concerns.  This could be a good place for students to start:Current Vacancieshttp://www.ci.chapel-hill.nc.us/index.aspx?page=117 

"Terms of advisory boards and commissions are for three years, with the exception of the Library Board of Trustees which is four years." 

Although those terms might be too long for a student to feel reasonably capable of adequately participating, and an online submission form would go along ways towards helping there too.  Changing term lengths is probably a more detailed process, but how hard would it be to create an online submission form to request a board appointment?  Who would be in charge of that?At least council meetings and public hearings are fairly easy to attend.  And I'm happy to see some council candidates running who seem like they're making special efforts to reach out to students which I imagine would continue even after election day.Whether candidate or voter, but especially for voters, its important to remember than civic participation and talking to elected officials can't end on election day.

Jake,There is an online application form - and there has been for several years now I believe. http://www.ci.chapel-hill.nc.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2623 Regarding the term limits, when I was on the Transportation Board we had several students serve.  I don't think any served the full three years but they should expect to serve at least two since the first 6 months - 1 year are usually a learning curve.  I served on a Council-appointed committee several years ago (it was chaired, I believe, by Mark Kleinschmidt and Jim Ward) which looked into expanding opportunities for students on Town advisory boards.  It didn't help that two students who came to one of our meetings stated that their primary interest in serving was to bolster their resume for applying to graduate school.  At least they were honest...

Maybe I'm reading it wrong or maybe I don't have the right software, but I can't edit that document.  It looks like something you have to download, print out, fill out, scan, and e-mail in.  Or download, print out, fill out, and fax or mail in.  I know when I was in undergrad I didn't have much access to scanners & fax machines, and sometimes even printers were difficult to access depending on what labs were open and if I had enough print quota.You can apply for a job with Chapel Hill entirely online:http://www.ci.chapel-hill.nc.us/index.aspx?page=218You can request a meeting with the Mayor of Chapel Hill entirely online:http://www.townofchapelhill.org/index.aspx?recordid=53&page=19I think you should be able to join request to join a board entirely online too.  I think there should even be an app for that... but one step at a time.

the Raleigh Transit Authority that I serve on has two year terms. I think ALL Raleigh boards and commissions are two year terms. The longer the term the harder to get people to serve

That makes a lot of sense.  3 or 4 year terms is basically an entire college career.  Rarely is someone new to college going to be comfortable trying to predict what their senior year schedule will look like so many semesters in advance.  And then you throw in part time jobs, and changing jobs, and considering grad school etc, it's hard to predict that many years of your schedule until you are in a more settled down place.Perhaps keeping the longer terms, but adding a 1 &/or 2 year option  for people to sign up for at the start would be helpful without causing any changes for those who like the longer terms.

I'm not sure it's such a big deal. On my board (bike/ped), we've had a number of members who are students in the two-year masters program in city & regional planning, and it's obvious they might leave early because they want to or have to take a job in some other part of the country. It hasn't dissuaded anyone from applying, I don't think. As for scheduling problems, well that's true for everyeone. You do your best, and if your schedule changes in two years such that you can't make meetings any more, then you just need to resign. No big deal.  As for the form, I don't remember but I think I filled it out using the standard PDF app "Preview" on my Mac. The essay part was a bit challening though, IIRC, and I needed to do something fancy to get that to render properly on the page. 

when i was looking at boards & asking myself if i should seroiusly consider joining one, perhaps the oc animal services, but once i saw the terms were so long decided against exploring the idea any further.  it feels like there is push back against discussing an online form and more accessible term limits being discussed, and im not sure why that is.

Jake,I emailed Jennifer Phillips, the Volunteer Coordinator for Chapel Hill, and asked her to look into the possibility of being able to complete the applications online (which you correctly pointed out can't be done right now).  Knowing Jennifer, if it can be done she will arrange it.  She has been a dynamo for our CH2020 team, helping to get things done quickly across a variety of fronts.

it seems like an easy change to make and a small step in the right direction. =)

and it doesn't look like a purely online application has happened yet.  Did Jennifer ever give you a reply to said e-mail?  Maybe another nudge is in order?

Jennifer Phillips told me several days ago that this is at the top of her list to do. It's apparently not that straightforward to accomplish.  Ed Harrison

Thanks for the update =)

Any word yet?

n/t

You can apply for jobs online, you can request a meeting with the mayor online, but you can't apply for a board membership online.

I think applying to volunteer for a board position shouldn't be more difficult than applying to get a paying job.

You can apply online for Orange County boards. Why has Chapel Hill fallen behind?

http://www.co.orange.nc.us/boards/application.asp

You could probably re-use a lot of their html and only change a few things to make them Chapel Hill specific.

<h1>Volunteer Application</h1> <p>If you are an Orange County resident, at least 18 years old, and willing to volunteer your time and expertise to your community, please complete and submit this form. <br />

Items indicated by * are required.</p>

<form action="AppSubmit.asp" method="post" name="frmFields" id="frmFields" onsubmit="return validateform();">

<p>Name:</p>

<p>

<label for="txtTitle">* Title:</label>

<input type="text" size="8" name="txtTitle" id="txtTitle" />

(Title = Dr., Mr., Ms., etc.)

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtFirstName">* First Name:</label>

<input type="text" size="15" name="txtFirstName" id="txtFirstName" />

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtLastName">* Last Name:</label>

<input type="text" size="15" name="txtLastName" id="txtLastName" />

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtSuffix">Suffix:</label>

<input type="text" size="5" name="txtSuffix" id="txtSuffix" />

(Suffix = Jr., Sr., IV, etc.)

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtAddress">* Street Address: (no P.O. Boxes please)</label>

<input type="text" size="60" name="txtAddress" id="txtAddress" />

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtCity">* City:</label>

<input type="text" size="20" name="txtCity" id="txtCity" />

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtState">* State:</label>

<input type="text" name="txtState" id="txtState" value="NC" maxlength="2" size="2" />

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtZipCode">* Zip Code:</label>

<input type="text" size="10" name="txtZipCode" id="txtZipCode" maxlength="10" />

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtPhoneDay">* Daytime Phone:</label>

<input type="text" size="13" maxlength="13" name="txtPhoneDay" id="txtPhoneDay" />

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtPhoneNight">Evening Phone:</label>

<input type="text" size="13" maxlength="13" name="txtPhoneNight" id="txtPhoneNight" />

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtFax">FAX:</label>

<input type="text" size="13" maxlength="13" name="txtFax" id="txtFax" />

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtEmail">EMail Address:</label>

<input type="text" size="50" name="txtEmail" id="txtEmail" />

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtEmployer">Place of Employment:</label>

<input type="text" size="50" name="txtEmployer" id="txtEmployer" />

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtJobTitle">Job Title:</label>

<input type="text" size="50" name="txtJobTitle" id="txtJobTitle" />

</p>

<p>What year did you become a resident of Orange County?</p>

<p><input type="text" size="5" name="txtYearResident" id="txtYearResident" />

</p>

<p>

In order to assure countywide representation, please indicate your township of residence:.</p>

<p>

<select name="selTownship" size="1">

<option> - </option>

<option> Bingham </option>

<option> Cedar Grove </option>

<option> Chapel Hill </option>

<option> Cheeks </option>

<option> Eno </option>

<option> Hillsborough </option>

<option> Little River </option>

</select>

</p>

<p>In addition, please indicate if you live in one of the following areas:

</p>

<p>

<select name="selZone" size="1">

<option selected="selected">-</option>

<option> JPA (Joint Planning Area) </option>

<option> EA (Extraterritorial Area) </option>

<option> TA (Transition Area) </option>

<option>Does not apply</option>

</select>

</p>

<p>We ask your help in assuring diversity of membership by age, gender, and

race by answering the following questions:</p>

<p>

<label for="selSex">Sex:</label>

<select name="selSex" size="1" id="selSex">

<option value="Undesignated"> - </option>

<option> Female </option>

<option> Male </option>

</select>

</p>

<p>

<label for="selRace">Ethnic Background:</label>

<select name="selRace" size="1">

<option value="Undesignated"> - </option>

<option> African American </option>

<option> Asian American </option>

<option> Caucasian </option>

<option> Hispanic </option>

<option> Native American </option>

<option> Other </option>

</select>

</p>

<!-- 05/08/2012 - commented out date of birth at request of County Attorney and County Clerk -->

<!-- <p> <label for="txtBirthdate">Date of Birth: (mm/dd/yyyy)</label> <input type="text" size="10" maxlength="10" name="txtBirthdate" id="txtBirthdate" /> </p> -->

<p>

<label for="txtBirthdate">Date of Birth: (mm/dd/yyyy)</label>

<input type="text" size="10" maxlength="10" name="txtBirthdate" id="txtBirthdate" />

</p>

-->

<p>Please list (in order of preference) the Boards/Commissions on which you

would be willing to serve.</p>

<p>

<label for="selBoard1">* 1. </label>

<select name="selBoard1" id="selBoard1">

<option value="0"> --- </option>

<option>`Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee</option>

<option>Advisory Board on Aging</option>

<option>Affordable Housing Advisory Board</option>

<option>Agricultural Preservation Board</option>

<option>Alcoholic Beverage Control Board</option>

<option>Animal Services Advisory Board</option>

<option>Arts Commission</option>

<option>Board of Health</option>

<option>Board of Social Services</option>

<option>Carrboro Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Carrboro Northern Transition Area Advisory Committee</option>

<option>Carrboro Planning Board</option>

<option>Carrboro Recreation and Parks Commission</option>

<option>Chapel Hill Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Chapel Hill Library Board of Trustees</option>

<option>Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Commission</option>

<option>Chapel Hill Planning Board</option>

<option>Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau</option>

<option>Climate Control Board</option>

<option>Commission for the Environment</option>

<option>Durham Technical Community College Board of Directors</option>

<option>Economic Development Advisory Board</option>

<option>Efland-Mebane SAP Implementation Focus Group</option>

<option>Equalization and Review Board</option>

<option>Hillsborough Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Hillsborough Planning Board</option>

<option>Historic Preservation Commission</option>

<option>Historic Rogers Road Task Force (CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS)</option>

<option>Hollow Rock Park Planning Committee</option>

<option>Homestead & H.S. Roads Safety Task Force</option>

<option>Human Relations Commission</option>

<option>Hyconeechee Regional Library (Currently not accepting applications)</option>

<option>Interlocal Agreement Committee for the Hillsborough Area-Orange County Strategic Growth Plan Phase II</option>

<option>IP (Intergovernmental Parks) Work Group</option>

<option>Joint Orange Chatham Community Action Agency</option>

<option>Jury Commission</option>

<option>Mebane Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Mebane Planning Board</option>

<option>Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee</option>

<option>Orange County Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Orange County Emergency Services Work Group (CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS)</option>

<option>Orange County Housing Authority</option>

<option>Orange County Parks and Recreation Council</option>

<option>Orange County Planning Board</option>

<option>Orange Unified Transportation Board</option>

<option>Orange Water & Sewer Authority Board of Directors</option>

<option>Orange-Chatham Justice Leadership Council</option>

<option>Orange-Person-Chatham Area Programs Board</option>

<option>Personnel Hearing Board</option>

<option>Piedmont Food & Agricultural Processing Center Steering Committee</option>

<option>Solid Waste Advisory Board</option>

<option>Ten (10) Year Plan to End Homelessness Executive Team</option>

<option>Workforce Development Board - Regional Partnership</option>

</select>

</p>

<p>

<label for="selBoard2">2.</label>

<select name="selBoard2" id="selBoard2">

<option value="0"> --- </option>

<option>`Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee</option>

<option>Advisory Board on Aging</option>

<option>Affordable Housing Advisory Board</option>

<option>Agricultural Preservation Board</option>

<option>Alcoholic Beverage Control Board</option>

<option>Animal Services Advisory Board</option>

<option>Arts Commission</option>

<option>Board of Health</option>

<option>Board of Social Services</option>

<option>Carrboro Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Carrboro Northern Transition Area Advisory Committee</option>

<option>Carrboro Planning Board</option>

<option>Carrboro Recreation and Parks Commission</option>

<option>Chapel Hill Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Chapel Hill Library Board of Trustees</option>

<option>Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Commission</option>

<option>Chapel Hill Planning Board</option>

<option>Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau</option>

<option>Climate Control Board</option>

<option>Commission for the Environment</option>

<option>Durham Technical Community College Board of Directors</option>

<option>Economic Development Advisory Board</option>

<option>Efland-Mebane SAP Implementation Focus Group</option>

<option>Equalization and Review Board</option>

<option>Hillsborough Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Hillsborough Planning Board</option>

<option>Historic Preservation Commission</option>

<option>Historic Rogers Road Task Force (CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS)</option>

<option>Hollow Rock Park Planning Committee</option>

<option>Homestead & H.S. Roads Safety Task Force</option>

<option>Human Relations Commission</option>

<option>Hyconeechee Regional Library (Currently not accepting applications)</option>

<option>Interlocal Agreement Committee for the Hillsborough Area-Orange County Strategic Growth Plan Phase II</option>

<option>IP (Intergovernmental Parks) Work Group</option>

<option>Joint Orange Chatham Community Action Agency</option>

<option>Jury Commission</option>

<option>Mebane Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Mebane Planning Board</option>

<option>Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee</option>

<option>Orange County Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Orange County Emergency Services Work Group (CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS)</option>

<option>Orange County Housing Authority</option>

<option>Orange County Parks and Recreation Council</option>

<option>Orange County Planning Board</option>

<option>Orange Unified Transportation Board</option>

<option>Orange Water & Sewer Authority Board of Directors</option>

<option>Orange-Chatham Justice Leadership Council</option>

<option>Orange-Person-Chatham Area Programs Board</option>

<option>Personnel Hearing Board</option>

<option>Piedmont Food & Agricultural Processing Center Steering Committee</option>

<option>Solid Waste Advisory Board</option>

<option>Ten (10) Year Plan to End Homelessness Executive Team</option>

<option>Workforce Development Board - Regional Partnership</option>

</select>

</p>

<p>

<label for="selBoard3">3.</label>

<select name="selBoard3" id="selBoard3">

<option value="0"> --- </option>

<option>`Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee</option>

<option>Advisory Board on Aging</option>

<option>Affordable Housing Advisory Board</option>

<option>Agricultural Preservation Board</option>

<option>Alcoholic Beverage Control Board</option>

<option>Animal Services Advisory Board</option>

<option>Arts Commission</option>

<option>Board of Health</option>

<option>Board of Social Services</option>

<option>Carrboro Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Carrboro Northern Transition Area Advisory Committee</option>

<option>Carrboro Planning Board</option>

<option>Carrboro Recreation and Parks Commission</option>

<option>Chapel Hill Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Chapel Hill Library Board of Trustees</option>

<option>Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Commission</option>

<option>Chapel Hill Planning Board</option>

<option>Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau</option>

<option>Climate Control Board</option>

<option>Commission for the Environment</option>

<option>Durham Technical Community College Board of Directors</option>

<option>Economic Development Advisory Board</option>

<option>Efland-Mebane SAP Implementation Focus Group</option>

<option>Equalization and Review Board</option>

<option>Hillsborough Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Hillsborough Planning Board</option>

<option>Historic Preservation Commission</option>

<option>Historic Rogers Road Task Force (CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS)</option>

<option>Hollow Rock Park Planning Committee</option>

<option>Homestead & H.S. Roads Safety Task Force</option>

<option>Human Relations Commission</option>

<option>Hyconeechee Regional Library (Currently not accepting applications)</option>

<option>Interlocal Agreement Committee for the Hillsborough Area-Orange County Strategic Growth Plan Phase II</option>

<option>IP (Intergovernmental Parks) Work Group</option>

<option>Joint Orange Chatham Community Action Agency</option>

<option>Jury Commission</option>

<option>Mebane Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Mebane Planning Board</option>

<option>Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee</option>

<option>Orange County Board of Adjustment</option>

<option>Orange County Emergency Services Work Group (CURRENTLY NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS)</option>

<option>Orange County Housing Authority</option>

<option>Orange County Parks and Recreation Council</option>

<option>Orange County Planning Board</option>

<option>Orange Unified Transportation Board</option>

<option>Orange Water & Sewer Authority Board of Directors</option>

<option>Orange-Chatham Justice Leadership Council</option>

<option>Orange-Person-Chatham Area Programs Board</option>

<option>Personnel Hearing Board</option>

<option>Piedmont Food & Agricultural Processing Center Steering Committee</option>

<option>Solid Waste Advisory Board</option>

<option>Ten (10) Year Plan to End Homelessness Executive Team</option>

<option>Workforce Development Board - Regional Partnership</option>

</select>

</p>

<p>Please list work, volunteer and educational experience.<br />

Also provide a brief statement outlining why you wish to serve on the Advisory Boards, Commissions, or Committees you have indicated. </p>

<p>

<label for="txtWorkExp">Work Experience:</label><br />

<textarea name="txtWorkExp" id="txtWorkExp" rows="5" cols="60">

</textarea>

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtVolExp">Volunteer Experience:</label><br /><br />

<textarea name="txtVolExp" id="txtVolExp" rows="5" cols="60">

</textarea>

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtEducation">Education:</label><br />

<textarea name="txtEducation" id="txtEducation" rows="5" cols="60">

</textarea>

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtComments">Other Comments:</label><br />

<textarea name="txtComments" id="txtComments" rows="5" cols="60">

</textarea>

</p>

<p>How did you become aware of Orange County volunteer opportunities?</p>

<p>

<select name="selMadeAware" id="selMadeAware" size="1">

<option> - </option>

<option> County Web Site </option>

<option> Current Orange County Volunteer </option>

<option> Newspaper </option>

<option> Radio </option>

<option> TV </option>

<option> Other </option>

</select>

</p>

<p>

<label for="txtOtherAware">If Other, how?</label>

<input type="text" size="32" name="txtOtherAware" id="txtOtherAware" />

</p>

<h2>ETHICS GUIDELINES FOR COUNTY ADVISORY BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS</h2>

<p>By submitting this electronic application,

I pledge that, if appointed, I will comply with the following ethics guidelines

for advisory boards and commissions as adopted by the Orange County Board

of Commissioners.</p>

<ul>

<li>Members of advisory boards and commissions

shall not discuss, advocate, or vote on any matter in which they have

a conflict or potential conflict of interest or an interest which reasonably

might appear to be in conflict with the concept of fairness in dealing

with public business. A conflict of interest or a potential conflict occurs

if a member has a separate, private, or monetary interest, either direct

or indirect, in any issue or transaction under consideration. Any member

who violates this provision may be subject to removal from the board or

commission.<br />

<br />

</li>

<li>If an advisory board or commission member

believes he/she has a conflict or potential conflict of interest on a

particular issue, then that member should state this belief to the other

members of his/her respective advisory board or commission during the

board or commission&#146;s public meeting. The member should state the

nature of the conflict, detailing that he/she has a separate, private,

or monetary interest, either direct or indirect, in the issue or transaction

under consideration. The member should then excuse himself/herself from

considering and voting on the matter. In cases where an advisory board

or commission member declares a conflict or potential conflict of interest,

the member shall excuse himself/herself from the board table/voting area

until all discussion, consideration, and voting is completed on the matter

in question.<br />

<br />

</li>

<li>Any advisory board or commission member

having questions or needing assistance regarding the interpretation of

these ethics guidelines or other conflict of interest matters should contact

the administrative staff for the respective board or commission. Staff

will assist the member with questions and interpretations and may provide

a recommendation on whether or not the advisory board or commission member

should excuse himself/herself from voting. The member may request that

the staff respond in writing. Staff may contact the County Manager for

any additional assistance.<br />

<br />

</li>

<li>N.C. Public Records Law requires that any information that you provide on this application for volunteer service be available for public inspection. <br />

</li>

</ul>

<p>Applications will be purged after two years from date of application.&nbsp; You may reapply if still interested in serving on a board and have not yet been appointed. </p>

<p>&nbsp;</p>

<p style="margin-bottom: 0">

<input type="submit" value="Submit Form" />

&nbsp;

<input type="reset" value="Clear Form" />

</p

</form


It doesn't show the html text perfectly here, but it wouldn't be hard for anyone to go to the link, right click, and view source to see it in full.

It's been a year tomorrow.  The idea to make local government more accessible to students by shortening term lengths to something realistic for a student I didn't expect to actually happen, but I thought the online application would be here by now.If it is still in the works, with all this time, I hope it comes out being something that is mobile device accessible.

Jake, I'm sure you must realize that the problem is not one of technology. It's a question of policy. I'll be the first to say that our local governments are lacking both vision and energy for both technical innovation and open government. But it's hardly a problem of just no-one could find a the right HTML to submit a form to e-mail. Addressing problem in that way will only lead to more (and possibly worse) issues of access and fairness.What I would like to see is for the Town to resurrect it's old Technology Advisory Board, but reinvisioned to focus on improving public services and access to government data and decision-making through all kinds of innovation, not just digital media.

I would hope that those doing the appointing could strive for fairness regardless of how forms were sent in, even if it's made more accessible for students.  Has taking job applications online led to worsening accessibility there?Right now you can e-mail them in if you own a printer and a scanner, why not remove the need to buy those, and make it a format more students are comfortable with? 

Thank you all for the insightful comments. I just wanted to say that, as an undergraduate student, I would have been very disuaded from participation on a four-year town board. That is a serious committment for a student whose life is extremely transient. I do not believe we should assume that because a student cannot commit to a four-year term as a first-year student they are incapable of doing a good job. They are a particular segment of our population whose participation is structurally limited because of 4-year term limits.   Burton F. Peebles
UNC-Chapel Hill
Class of 2012

I served on the Transportation Board for 2 terms and part of that time was  chair. Four years is a long time but I think most of the UNC students who served on the T-board with me resigned before even two years had passed. I am now on the County Commision for the Environment and the terms are for 3 years. There definitely is a long learning curve for many committees, but maybe we would get more participation if some slots on committees were two years and others were 3 or 4.  Hopefully members who learned the ropes would request to be reappointed, and could serve longer. Loren

 

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