Starting next week, I'll be hosting a series of four Town Hall events that each focus on a different issue in our community: downtown Chapel Hill, social and environmental justice, economic development and working together in Orange County.
I want these events to be an opportunity for residents to engage and take an active role in shaping the future of our town. All you need to bring is an open mind and ideas for how we can build a more vibrant, livable community. Here's the schedule:
This morning I attended the Orange County Board of Elections meeting where they determined the early voting plan for the Fall 2014 elections. I have been attending BOE meetings in Orange County for several years, and this was by far the largest turnout (over 50 people by my count) I have ever seen.
Tomorrow the Orange County Board of Elections will adopt a plan for early voting for the fall election. The Board will consider both the locations and hours for early voting. When it comes to locations, the board should keep the same voting locations used during the spring primary to maintain consistency. After considering a number of options, the plan adopted for the primary included five early voting sites, including a location in rural Orange County at Master’s Garden Preschool, and a location adjacent to UNC’s campus at North Carolina Hillel.
Did you know that visitor spending in Chapel Hill and Orange County accounts for over $160 million in economic impact ever year? Tourism is a clean business that creates jobs and tax revenue that helps keep our county the amazing place it is. I was appointed to represent the Town Council on the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitor's Bureau at the start of this year, and am committed to increasing the economic impact from tourism over this year.
Campus and community leaders will gather at North Carolina Hillel this Thursday, April 24th, at 3:30pm, to celebrate the first day of early voting in this year's May primary election. UNC Chancellor Carol Folt, NC Hillel Executive Director Ari Gauss, Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, and UNC Student Body President Andrew Powell will make brief remarks before casting their ballots.
On Monday night, the Chapel Hill Town Council will discuss
complying with new state laws passed by the General Assembly in 2013 that
specify that cites and towns cannot bar concealed handguns in parks and
greenways (House Bill 937, now
Session Law 2013-369). We’ve
received many e-mails from community members who are concerned about this new
law, but unfortunately we have limited ability as a Town Council to react to
As many OP readers know, the Historic Rogers Road Task Force has been meeting for the last year to discuss strategies to bring sewer service and a community center to the Rogers Road neighborhood. At the last Assembly of Governments meeting, there was a discussion about whether the task force should continue to meet next year. Michelle Johnson, Molly DeMarco, and I have drafted the following letter to deliver to the county commissioners prior to their January 24th meeting asking them to continue the task force.
Today 70 Orange County residents traveled to Bloomington, Indiana for a Inter-City Visit to learn how their community deals with challenges related to public policy, student housing, economic development, and other questions. These trips are only as valuable as the information we bring back to Orange County, and I hope that through my tweets, posts on Orange Politics, and work when I return to Chapel Hill, I can provide insights into our trip and improve our community.
Most of the first day was travel from Chapel Hill to Bloomington. I started the morning by boarding a shuttle bus from University Mall at 7:00 AM, and didn’t arrive in Bloomington until 2:30 PM. That being said, I already have ideas and thoughts about how we can improve Chapel Hill based on experiences in Bloomington.