Forum Open Thread: Carrboro Board of Aldermen

Happy Monday evening, everyone. This is the open thread for conversation about the live Carrboro Board of Aldermen candidate forum. Post your thoughts and reactions here. You can also reach the editors during the forum via Twitter, Facebook, or the contact page.



Join us in virtual Carrboro in about an hour for tonight's live online forum. If Kirk Ross's style from last week's forum is any guide, we're in for a good discussion.

OP has chosen to make this a Forum for Aldermen candidates only - because I am running unopposed, but I'll be here on the Open Thread tonight to add to the discussion.

Folks are always worried about taxes, but what I have been hearing a lot about are CVS and the possible Lloyd property development opposite Carrboro Plaza.

I thought only the Alder candidates could post on the Forum thread, but it let me comment just a moment ago.

maybe it requires editor approval?

Looks like someone cleaned up that mess.


We are also manually moving candidate replies when they are in the wrong place. Got to keep the forums tidy!

All candidates for office have the "candidate" role on the site and can technically post in any of the forums. But we sure hope you won't crash each other's parties. I'm sorry we don't have one for you (or the Chapel Hill Mayoral canadidates).

Glad to have you here. You might want to post the text of the question with your answers.

I think that is what our capital improvements plan is for.  It's a planning tool used to make sure that we don't get hit with a whole lot of infrastructure costs in one whallop.  We've been saving up for this Weaver Street project for the better part of the last decade.

The big infrastructure challenge that lies ahead is extending sewer lines to Rogers Road.  I think it is time that the three local governments get this project happening - or else admit that it's not going to be done by local government.  I prefer the former.

Since this is the open thread is it OK to ask a question? If it's not OK, just ignore this one.Infrastructure includes sidewalks and wifi. Does the town budget in advance for required future maintenace when new infrastructure is originally put in place? 

You can ask, but as always on OP no-one is compelled to reply. (And it appears Mark has stepped away from the computer.)


Yes, Terri, this came up just last week when we were considering MLK Jr Park needs. We can't consider the cost of improvements without understanding the ongoing maintenance and operational implications.

I may drop out for a few minutes while I escort my children home from Tae Kwon Do lessons!


I can't comment on a pending development application b/c it's like a judicial proceeding, but the associated rezoning is legislative and we can discuss that.  I think whatever rezonings happen in the area need to take into account views from neighboring properties, building heights, aesthetics etc., but I also think that that block is an appropriate place for commercial re-development.

I can understand the question, but actually we have a pretty good working relationship with the Board of County Commissioners - at least as of last week.  We had a really productive meeting with the BOCC last Thursday and I think both boards had a good opportunity to share their perspectives.  I think the main thing we would like to see is better co-operation at the staff level.

How do you differentiate the town's revolving loan from the incentive programs? (Note: I fully support the revolving loan.)

The key difference is that with Loan Fund we get the money back directly through loan payments, as opposed to incentives which only payoff indirectly through tax base growth.  I view incentives with suspicion.

Carrboro was ahead of CH in implementing online registration for Rec and Parks activities, but that lead has evaporated.  Mayor Chilton was also ahead with his Google group Carrboro Media, but now CH has caught up in that as well --

Chapel Hill uses a packaged website, making it difficult to change vendors. Carrboro's site while it may not have as many bells and whistles is pure Carrboro. Last time I checked the entire tech dept for Carrboro consisted of 2 people. Two people to handle all the desktop support, the down-town wifi, the website, the GIS, and the town network. That's pretty amazing if you ask me. On top of that, I've always been able to find what I need/want on their website. I don't understand the complaint.


I especially appreciate that Carrboro lets the school system use their GIS to host the school assignment zone maps --   What a great example of re-using local resources to accomplish multiple missions.

does not work well with Macs like Kirk's.  :(

And how does it look on a smartphone, smarty?I am in strong agreement with Kirk's lousy assessment of Carrboro's web site. While it's true that Chapel Hill's site sucks less, it also has drawbacks, one of which was pointed out by Terri above. 

I know on OP we're all about our Macs and smartphones (disclosure: I have neither) but I'm interested in the town making better use of traditional media as well: newspapers, radio, etc. A lot of people will never visit the town website no matter how user friendly it is. They may still read The Citizen or listen to WCHL.G'night folks.

Local TV like the People's Channel and thoughtful use of social media could also help people better engage.And the mayor needs a call in show on WCOM. Well, maybe.  

I have a Windows laptop but my phone is an iphone and I don't have any problems finding what I want on it. The CH site however defaults to the mobile version, and I have never been able to find the bus schedule (the only thing I really want when I'm using my phone). Bottom line: we all have different expectations of a website. I stand by my feeling that for such a small shop, the Carrboro tech group does a fantastic job. In fact, I have always been impressed with the quality of the Carrboro staff in general. They are grossly overworked, and yet they maintain their professionalism and their (generally) helpful demeanors. 

speaking of bus schedules:"You’re invited to join us as the GoTriangle regional public transportation partnership introduces “GoLive,” a free automated system with real time arrival predictions for Capital Area Transit, Chapel Hill Transit, Durham Area Transit Authority, Triangle Transit, and the NC State Wolfline. With the “GoLive” web interface, mobile app, and text messaging system, it will make travel easier for people to get to work or school, while delivering better service to transit customers.“GoLive” is the United States’ first regional, real-time transit project that completely integrates travel information across transit agencies and multiple bus tracking vendors to help give current and first-time riders the information they need to plan their trips. When: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 9 a.m. Where: Durham Station, 515 W. Pettigrew Street, Durham Who: David King, General Manager of Triangle Transit, Josh Whiton, CEO of TransLōc, William V. (Bill) Bell, Mayor of Durham, and Durham County Commissioner Ellen Reckhow"I understand this will be available for iPhone/Android/Blackberry. Indicates also a text function and works on PCs. Guess more details tomorrow.also see

Building permit fees should be payable remotely, either via the web-site or by phone. This saves time and driving. Orange County has not implemented it. Chapel Hill did not as of last year or so. As for Carrboro, I haven't done a job in Carrboro lately - maybe they've got the capability now.  


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