Increase Citizen Input

In Chapel Hill we have a representative form of government that works better than any place I've lived. When I first got here I joined a citizen committee on Technology. I was amazed at how directly involved I could be. But the experience of being on that board also opened my eyes to the many flaws in this process. Yet I still yearn for more citizen input in our Town.

The recent citizen outcry against a Council vote on health care is a excellent example of what happens if you don't have enough community input BEFORE a council vote. This bit from The Chapel Hill News describes the problem well,

Hey you, vote Tuesday

Yeah YOU. Did you know that there's an election on Tuesday? That's OK - I forgot too.

A handful of registered Democrats and independents who remember to go to the polls across North Carolina will be selecting the nominee for Commissioner of Labor. But more interestingly (to me, anyway) voters in the newly-created northern district of Orange County will be selecting their first County Commissioner to represent District 2.

Steve Yuhasz and Leo Allison finished the primary with 37% and 27% respectively. Yuhasz' failure to get over 40% qualified Allison to ask for a run-off.

Unfortunately I'm out of town, or I would drive around Hillsborough and parts north this weekend and see what going on. Are people talking about the election? How many people will vote on Tuesday?

The results will come in at: http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/NC/Orange/4609/6585/en/summary.html

BUB is up (not to mention gas prices)

Nearly two years after BUB's inception, Blue Urban Bikes and the ReCYCLEry have received recognition at RTP Headquarter's 2008 luncheon and award ceremony celebrating the achievements of the year's transportation demand management (TDM) programs, including the Durham County Trip Reduction Ordinance and TDM Programs in RTP, Durham, Orange and Wake Counties.

There are 8 BUB Hubs now, from Eastgate to the MLK YMCA and into Carrboro. Discussions are ongoing with Wellspring, 3 campus locations, and hopefully in Meadowmont. Rumor has it that a possible partnership with gotriangle could target bus stops. Thanks to the determination, effort and foresight of just a couple people at the outset, SURGE, and the community at large, the program survives and is looking better than ever.

New Elementary School for Northside

I just read the N&O report that the Chapel Hill Carrboro School Board voted last night to site elementary school number eleven in Northside neighborhood between Caldwell and McMasters streets, and I couldn't be happier.


Is This What We've Come To?

Unless you've been on vacation for the last 10 days or so you should be quite aware of the controversial action of the Chapel Hill Town Council (by a 8-1 vote) granting themselves a health care benefit usually associated with long-term service. I'm sure readers of this site have by now made up their minds as to the appropriateness of this action so I need not concern myself with that. I would hope that readers are also aware that the Council members who voted in favor of this benefit quickly realized that they had erred, if not in substance, at least in process, and quickly reversed their decision. Even before they had voted to reverse their decision they were inundated with voice mails and emails, some apparently quite nasty and distastetful, expressing their displeasure over the Council actions.

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