Carrboro Alderman Vacancy

Dan Coleman will be missed in Carrboro. I have a couple of sisters who lived in Australia. I've already written to Dan offering what help I can with his transition. But I know that he will enjoy his new adventure in Australia.

Which means. A vacancy will soon be opening on the Carrboro Board of Aldermen. And my mind turns to matters of political ‘establishment,’ the righteousness of challenge in a community, and what makes me itchy.

Now. Let's get clear. There is a political ‘establishment’ in Carrboro. This is not necessarily a bad thing. So, why the itch?

Well, I get itchy at any appearance of an 'establishment' coronation.

I get itchy at any sense that one has to be a part of an homogenous 'establishment' to make progress. That the primary attribute of a candidacy should be that one has worked one's way up the ladder of 'establishment,' allowing its members to get comfortable with one.

I get itchy at the suggestion that a community is, indeed, homogenous. When patently no community is homogenous.

I get itchy when members of an 'establishment' have attributed to them phrases like so-and-so "is a good fit." Like there is only one fit. Like one size fits all in our community. Any community, and especially Carrboro, is made up of many different shapes and sizes.

I get itchy when an 'establishment' gives one the impression that it feels that its role in government should be more that of pressure group than consensus-building mediator for the whole community.

I don't mind so much the idea that an ‘establishment’ within government challenges. We should, all of us, always be challenged to do better. Not least by our government.

But I get itchy when an 'establishment' within government itself is not regularly challenged. And I'm not sure government in Carrboro is challenged. Not outside of certain well-set parameters. And not by anyone outside the 'establishment.' Not in any serious way.

There is not any community, anywhere, which cannot find itself performing better as a consequence of regular, genuine and meaningful challenge.

The problem (and it is a self-defeating and self-perpetuating problem), the problem is that challenge won't be forthcoming from the ranks of the 'establishment.'

And yet, challenge won't make any progress unless it is embraced by that 'establishment,' for no better reason and often with no qualification other than the fact that it is well-meaning and well-articulated challenge.

I wonder if Carrboro has not become more of a playground for imports to engage in social engineering experimentation, rather than an engaged, an engaging and an all-inclusive community.

I wonder if more of Carrboro does not speak out simply because it feels overwhelmed.

I wonder if it is not time for a conversation in our community about whether it is, as a whole, at ease with the direction of the community.

And whether, perhaps, that conversation might not more easily be instigated by an Alderman less wedded to the establishment and to its prevailing social engineering.

What's the worst that can happen? A in-depth conversation takes place. The result is, actually, we're fine with the way things are going. Service rendered by conversation, and by Aldermen. And the community of Carrboro draws closer.

We all win.



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