March 2007

Budget time

I'll admit, I don't find finances very captivating. but it's through budgets that our local governments set priorities and dedicate the resources needed to get things done.

Chapel Hill held a budget hearing last night and heard requests from several advisory board including the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board asking for a road map for cyclists, the Chapel Hill Public Library for moderate staff increases, the Historic District Commission to reduce fees to homeowners, and the Public Arts Commission (which is actually independent of the Town) to hire additional staff and give raises to current staff. Also, I happen to know that the Planning Board made a request to hire a consultant to assist in implementing the new Tree ordinance, and for additional planning staff to handle the load of impending development including Carolina North.

Carrboro's recent budget hearing elicited only one public speaker: Robert Dowling to ask for additional money for Orange Community Housing and Land Trust.

Campus Y Reopening Event!

Come check out the newly renovated historic Campus Y Building on UNC's campus on Thursday, March 1 from 4-6 pm!

This center for social justice is looking gorgeous after almost two years of renovation. Stop by the building for a tour (of all FOUR stories of the once-condemned building), some free food and a glimpse of what our seventeen committees and 1700 student members are up to these days.

And, wish the Campus Y a happy 100th birthday!

Do you feel lucky?

Well do ya, punk?

In past there has been some discussion of doing an NCAA pool for OP participants.

Are y'all interested? If so, do you recommend an online service to manage it? Some that I've found include: Yahoo, Facebook (requires registration), ESPN, and a variety of others sites that are more expensive and less well-known.

I wonder if any of these include the women's bracket? That could be a problem for me 'cause I always pick UNC to win.

Local & State Campaign Reform Efforts

At the request of the Chapel Hill Town Council, Sen. Ellie Kinnaird has introduced a bill to allow Chapel Hill to sponsor a public financing program for its local elections, using local resources. The bill is SB 418 "CHAPEL HILL CAMPAIGN FINANCE OPTIONS." Apparently, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen have also asked for such a bill, which she will also be introducing. Needless to say, the Home-Builders-Etc. will fight these bills even though they are local bills. I hope folks will support these local efforts to create proactive solutions to the money in politics dilemma.

In other public financing news, Democracy North Carolina has launched a new website and petition in the wake of the recent Jim Black scandal:

Democracy North Carolina, currently based in Carrboro, but soon to be based in Durham (perhaps we can talk about the issue of affordable space for Orange County non-profits in another post) has been calling for public financing of campaigns or "Voter-Owned Elections" for years.

TTA giving 20 pennies for your thoughts

As printed in the Chapel Hill Herald on Saturday, March 3rd:

Do you use public transportation very often? If not, what would you encourage you to use it more? Wireless Internet? More comfortable buses?

The Triangle Transit Authority is asking those questions in a creative web survey currently available on its site at Folks are given twenty “pennies” to spend on a variety of possible upgrades to buses as the agency makes replacements in its fleet.

Some of the items are pretty cheap. One-penny upgrades include things like expanding the front-of-bus rack to accommodate three bikes rather than the current two or to install 10 bike lockers per year at various stops around the Triangle.

Others are so expensive they will use up almost your entire “budget.”

For instance, putting a rear window on the back of the bus would cost 16 pennies and implementing Sunday service would require all of your money.

I take the bus every day to work in Raleigh at the Sierra Club so I devoted my greatest expenditure of six pennies to fuel the buses using B20 biodiesel.

Why we started a newspaper

Guest post by Robert Dickson & Kirk Ross, The Carrboro Citizen

Hello friends at Orange Politics,

Last October, a group of community journalism students interested in the idea of a Carrboro newspaper interviewed roughly 100 residents of the town. One of the questions asked whether residents would prefer an online only publication or would prefer a print edition as well. Only one person who responded said online only, and everyone else said they wanted a newspaper they could hold in their hands.

Since November, we have been diligently researching and pursuing such a possibility. We got some great advice and a lot of support and can't thank enough everyone who offered counsel. So, having assembled a business plan we can live with and a working office, we're willing to roll the dice and on March 21 The Carrboro Citizen makes its debut.

New Chief announced in Chapel Hill

Below are excepts from the Town's press release announcing the selection of Thomas McCarthy to be Chapel Hill's new Chief of Police starting June 25. The press release is unclear about where the new chief worked immediately before applying for this position, but in his picture he's wearing a uniform from Fayetteville. The Interim Chief in Fayetteville apparently took the helm upon McCarthy's retirement on February 1, 2007. Hmm, any connection to our new manager?

Following a comprehensive search and selection process, Town Manager Roger L. Stancil today (Tuesday, March 6) announced the selection of Thomas McCarthy as the new chief of police for Chapel Hill.

Growth projections

The N & O's Orange Chat blog pointed out that the Durham Chapel Hill Carrboro Metropolitan Planing Organization's Draft 2035 Plan "is projecting that eastern Chatham County's population will be greater than Chapel Hill and Carrboro's combined within three decades."

According to the memo from Chapel Hil's Long Range Planning Coordinator David Bonk:

Carr Mill gives the finger to Weaver Street patrons

My peaceful mid-morning trip to the grocery store today was interrupted by the erection of two huge signs in the middle of the Weaver Street Market lawn. If these were at the entrance to Weaver Street from the sidewalk or the parking lot, it would just be sort of hostile, but the placement is clearly a big middle finger from Carr Mill Mall manager Nathan Millian to the many people who enjoy the Weaver Street lawn.

Last year the managers of Weaver Street Market and Carr Mill came to came to agreement on rules for use of the lawn through negotiations led by Carrboro Alderman Dan Coleman. The rules posted here are SIMILAR to the ones agreed to, but not the same. In addition there was never an agreement to place a 6-foot tall sign in the middle of the area enjoyed my thousands of paying customers every week.

Thanks to Maria Rowan for letting me post this on the spot from her laptop.

Update: See the original negotiated rules and the rules on the new signs.

Art on Weaver

Guest Post by Sammy Slade

While going to get breakfast this morning 9 a.m., I was pleasantly surprised to find this sign pasted on the Good Neighbor Rules sign at Weaver Street Market. The person who was about to take the sign down kindly allowed me to photograph it before she did so. I asked if she worked for Carr Mill Mall. She said no, she works for Weaver Street Market. When I asked why she was taking it down if she was not Carr Mill Mall she explained that she was responsible for P.R. with Weaver Street Market and that they wanted to maintain a good relationship with the mall. When someone complimented the 'political message on the piece of art' the P.R. person agreed and said that she 'just wished people would post it elsewhere'.

(Click above for larger versions.)



Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.