As I took my seat in the Paul Green Theatre last Saturday for PlayMakers Repertory Company’s production of An Enemy of the People, I had no expectation that the performance would resonate with the kind of local government discourse and behavior I see right here in Chapel Hill. Yet, as the play began and the story unfolded, that is exactly what happened.
With the impending resignation of Chapel Hill Town Council member Matt Czajkowski, the OP Editors thought it might be useful to revisit exactly what happens in the case of a vacancy. The relevent code falls under Chapter 2, Article II of the town code of ordinances.
It’s another busy week for Orange County’s public bodies. The Carrboro Alderfolks will make several appointments and discuss the town’s affordable housing fund, while the Chapel Hill Council will hear about capital priorities. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board will consider designating over- and under-crowded schools for the next school year, the county commissioners will review their legislative agenda and consider approving funds for the Family Success Alliance.
The Hillsborough Town Board and county school board are both in recess this week.
We've already had one precinct meeting and one regional precinct meeting and what a success they have been already! Hogan Farms met on Saturday and will develop an issues based advocacy plan. Last night eight precincts in and around Hillsborough met and formulated ways to move forward and develop a stronger presence in their respective precincts.
It was a surprise to all of us on Town Council, judging from the reactions around the dais, to hear Council Member Matt Czajkowski resign effective March 30. He is moving to Kigali to work on providing clean water and economic development. I know the Council will be very different without him and the elections in November very interesting. Here's wishing the family all kinds of success!!
Though the Carrboro Alderfolks and Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board are both are break this week, it’ll still be a busy week for Orange County’s public bodies. The Chapel Hill Town Council will consider Obey Creek and talk about a number of other development proposals currently on the table, while the county school board will consider approving its strategic plan.
The Hillsborough Town Board will hold a workshop on stormwater and Riverwalk, and host a joint meeting with the county commissioners covering transit, economic development, planning and host of other issues.
This Week in Orange Politics
Yesterday was the last day of Buy Carrboro Week (see adorable flyer at left). This was an initiative of the new group LocalMotive, which is just one of several organizations focusing on economic development and "buying local" in southern Orange County. Others include the Carrboro Merchant's Association's Walk Carrboro, and the Town of Chapel Hill's Downtown Economic Development Initiative and emerging Franklin Street Artists' Co-op. There are also older/more traditional groups such as the Chamber of Commerce (and their We Buy Local effort), the Visitor's Bureau, and the Downtown Partnership (risen from the ashes of the old Downtown Commission). I'm sure I'm forgetting some, and I'm not even touching on the groups covering Hillsborough and the rest of Orange County. Buy Carrboro Week got me to thinking about our evolving understanding of economic development in Orange County. Just like our views on other issues such as growth management, affordable housing, environmental preservation, and school achievement I think we as a community have been continuing to learn and to look ahead, leading to a change in attitudes and goals. I've started to wonder whether a traditional "Chamber of Commerce"-type approach is all that relevant here anymore.
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