November 2013

Rosemary Imagined Process - Next Steps

The Rosemary Imagined Neighborhood Project Team, which is helping guide the process for the Town of Chapel Hill and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, met again on November 1, 2013 to discuss next steps for the development of a Rosemary Street Concept. We were given a summary of the feedback that has been garnered from the process so far.

Handicapping the CHTC race and your other commentary

I've had to remove several comments on the endorsements thread as they were not in fact endorsements. But I'm certainly interested in what y'all have to say, even the snarky stuff. 

The Chapel Hill Town Council race is an interesting contest this year with two incumbents and four strong challengers running for only four seats. In the past we had a "Pundit of the Year" contest to see who could best predict the results. We'll be a little less formal this year and just throw our educated guesses out there.

For example, I think Sally Greene will come in strong and that Ed Harrison will continue to hold on to his Council seat. I think George Cianciolo will have broad support, and I see a tight race between Maria Palmer and Amy Ryan for the last spot. I'm not sure which one of those will win, it may depend on who campaigns harder, and I don't have a sense of which that would be.

Let us know who you think SHOULD win in the endorsement thread, and who you think WILL (or won't) win right here. 

Election Day Open Thread

Let us know what you're seeing at the polls, chatter about the candidates, where the parties are toight, etc.

Our main question about today is: Low voter turnout, or lowest voter turnout? 

OP Editors Monthly Open Meeting


Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm


Weaver Street Market Carrboro lawn

election is over

I came in 6th in almost all precincts. I came in 2nd in the precinct where Sally Greene and I live. It looks like the write-ins for town council were very minimal. Today I have been busy collecting yard signs and taking them to Cedar Falls Park. While I was there sorting the signs, a woman came by and talked. She did not vote yesterday first because she could not find information about the election and secondly because she thought she could vote on Tuesday at the Senior Center. In terms of signs Maria Palmer and I have the union label on the signs and Sally Greene had the name of a local company on hers. About half of us used plastic and half used paper. (Two candidates had no signs.)At the polling sites George, Maria, James, Ignacio and I had the most signs. Amy and Sally managed to include their Daily Tar Heel endorsement (given early election day morning) on some of their signs. Maria listed her Indy Endorsement and George listed all of his. I had my AFL-CIO and Sierra Club endorsements on my precinct signs. My son Carl told me he had never heard of the AFL-CIO until I mentioned to him my endorsement from them in September.

Making Sense of the 2013 Election Results

With another Election Day behind them, our elected officials in Orange County are now tasked to turn their attention from the challenges of the campaign trail to the challenges of governing. But following a sleepy election cycle in which all mayoral candidates ran unopposed and election results show most races were uncompetitive across the county, what message should our electeds take with them as they prepare to take their seats at the dais for new sessions?

With just 11.72% of eligible voters casting ballots in 2013, it’s unclear what message voters are sending. Was municipal turnout its lowest in over 10 years because voters simply don’t see any local issues directly affecting their lives? If so, does that mean voters are content with the status quo of the towns, which is why they didn’t get to the polls in the first place? Or are voters simply apathetic and nothing more can be discerned from the low turnout figure?

Chapel Hill Advisory Board Reorganization Moves Forward

Up on Monday's Town Council agenda is the next iteration of the advisory board reorganization process. I have generally supported reworking the advisory board structure to ensure that the work of citizen board members is meaningful and provides Council with the type of input they need in order to make decisions. Making advisory boards' role in development review clearer for developers, and citizens, isn't a bad idea either. But the proposal the Town Council is considering Monday night isn't ready for adoption yet. While I think the committee descriptions are reasonably sound in a broad sense, it isn't clear to me that the proposals have been fully vetted by the existing town boards to be sure that all current board responsibilities have been captured and assigned.

Board of Elections needs your input

In the coming months the Orange County BOE will be setting the early voting plan for the 2014 election cycle.  Since there have been issues with the Rams' Head one-stop site, we are looking for alternatives for an early voting location that will serve Chapel Hill, and the campus community in particular.

Keeping in mind that certain factors -- parking, ADA compliance, internet access, the ability to secure the ballot box, etc. -- are mandated by statute, we would appreciate your input about sites that would best serve the students, faculty, staff and residents during the abbreviated 2014 early voting period.

While we all mourn the loss of Morehead Planetarium as a one-stop site, that facility has been repurposed by the University and is no longer available to us, so we need your help in finding somewhere that can be just as successful.

'Luxury' Changes Coming to University Mall

It was just announced this morning that big changes are coming to the University Mall (no more Dillards sadly - where will I buy my ladies underpinnings...) and a 13-screen, $16/movie ticket high-end movie theater instead. More details are here. So, what do you think? Do we need another movie theater when we already have 4 first-run movie theaters within a 15-minute drive? How about a high-end one with dining featuring a $9.75 mini-cheeseburger?

Wake county just isn't crowded enough to support rail transit outside experts say

The panelists said Wake County was not likely to attract the federal funding it would need for a light rail line, and it doesn’t have a dense downtown employment center that would support rush-hour commuter trains.

“It’s a mass mode,” Polzin said. “And you need mass to make it work cost-effectively."

But Chapel Hill is going to bet $30 million (with Durham) that we could use for other transit on getting federal and state funding?  Now that's something worth ranting about!



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