Forum Open Thread: County Commissioners

Welcome to the open thread for tonight's Orange County Board of Commissioners candidate forum for the Democratic primary election. There are three candidates for two seats in District 1, two candidates for one seat in District 2, and one candidate unopposed for an at-large seat.

You can observe the forum at

We hope you'll use this open thread to post your thoughts and reactions. Also, if you want to propose additional discussion topics, you can reach the editors during the forum via Twitter, Facebook, and the contact page. The forum moderator will have final say in question selection.




Participants in tonight's forum are the 6 candidates in the Democratic primary election for Orange County Board of Commissioners.

At Large (1 seat)

District 1 (2 seats)

District 2 (1 seat)


Good evening. I’m really looking forward to this. Hope you are.Tonight we have several candidates for commissioner with us.If you’re not a candidate or a political junkie this election is kind of complicated.There are two candidates for one seat in District 2 and three candidates for two seats in District 1. And there’s one candidate for one at-large seat. Got all that? Groovy.Let’s get going.

Kirk just asked the candidates whether they support the transit tax. The results: Supporters are Dorosin, Hemminger, Pelissier, and Rich. Yuhasz opposes. Price is unclear.


I was pretty surprised to see the incumbent Commissioners whole-hearted support for Frank Clifton. I think it's quite revealing that this is the way they think a county should be managed. If they're not willing to hold their staff accountable, I think we the voters should hold them accountable.

After all the public criticism of the CH town manager for his management of the Yates Bldg (and prior to that the Sanitation II), and now the obvious disgruntlement with the county manager, I think we would all be served by a more detailed discussion of the role of staff vs elected officials. At the Carrboro forum, Penny Rich said being a council member is a full time job; Mark and Pam said it shouldn't be more than a part time job. To my way of thinking governmental decision making breaks down into technical and political. On the surface it's easy to say staff handles the technical and electeds deal with the  political, but they aren't always easy to separate. 


I just reread the online forum & saw that Pam Hemminger says that the landfill is near capacity. How could anyone be on the BOCC (or remotely following the solid waste issue) and not know that one of the key aspedcts of the situation is that there remains at least a couple of years of capacity?

of the landfill's lifetime (30+ years), a couple of years is near capacity. 2/30 = 1/15 of the space remaining and it will take well over 2 years to come to a new, viable solution (I don't consider going to Durham to be viable).

If I live to be 80, and someone says they can guarantee me five more years, I'm taking it. I don't care if it is only 1/16 of my life.  Furtehrmore Pam said, "the landfill is AT capacity and must close soon. Going to the Durham transfer station is only a short term solution." She didn't say "near" capacity. That just reveals a sloppy understanding of the whole issue. It's become a very complex issue. All the actual facts matter.Two years (probably means more based on the history of the landfill) is a very significant amout of time.   

"Spin" is such a manipulative word. I never know whether the person using it is reflecting his own approach to advocacy or accusing the target of being manipulative. 


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