Local governments across the state and country are struggling to meet basic needs in this era of tax breaks for the wealthy and austerity for the rest of us.
Here in Orange County, we have a variety of pressing needs from overdue school maintenance to the burgeoning senior population to general poverty and housing affordability. In response, the County Commissioners decided to put a bond referendum on the ballot in 2016.
In case you missed it (in the event that all of your Facebook friends didn't post it), the New York Times posted a "36 Hours in Chapel Hill-Carrboro" video and piece last week. The video features several local restaurants and bars, including Al's Burger Shack, ONE Restaurant, the Baxter Bar & Arcade, Neal's Deli, among others, and local attractions like the NC Botanical Gardens, Ackland Art Museum, and the Carolina Basketball Museum.
Budgets will be the focus for the both the county commissioners, Chapel Hill Town Council and Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board this week. The Carrboro Alderfolks will talk about the rezoning of the Triem/South Green Lot, while the county commissioners will discuss the Eubanks Road Solid Waste Convenience Center and Southern Government Services Center in addition to their already-mentioned work on the budget. GoTriangle will present the environmental impact studies done of the Durham-Orange light rail corridor.
Though it’s a short week because of the Memorial Day holiday, Orange County’s public bodies will be busy. The Carrboro Alderfolks will get public comment on opening East Weaver Street to pedestrians, while the county commissioners will ask for feedback on the budget for the upcoming year and several zoning amendments and permits.
The Chapel Hill Town Council will discuss a potential 2015 general obligation bond referendum and the Community Home Trust interlocal agreement, while the Hillsborough Town Board talks budget and the county school board reviews an IT overhaul effort.
The county commissioners, Chapel Hill Town Council and Carrboro alderfolks will all tackle their budgets for the upcoming fiscal year this week, and the later two groups will both be talking about the Durham-Orange light rail project as well.
Elsewhere in the county, the Hillsborough town commissioners will discuss parking and food trucks, while the county school board gets an update on the family success alliance and continues discussions on its facilities assesment.
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board is off this week.
Here’s the whole rundown:
The week in county politics starts tonight when the Chapel Hill Town Council will consider what to do with its vacant seat and continue Tuesday when the county commissioners review solar power development and Carrboro Alderfolks get an overview of the town’s budget for the upcoming year. Later in the week, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board will consider approving several policy changes.
Both the county school board and Hillsborough Town Board will be on break this week.
Here’s the whole rundown:
CARRBORO BOARD OF ALDERPERSONS
This Week in Orange Politics
The Independent Weekly has a new reporter on the Orange County beat, Billy Ball. He has some enormous shoes to fill since Chapel Hill native Joe Schwartz left the paper and the country. Ball is doing pretty well so far and asking good questions. I can't help but notice a few gaps in his knowledge of local issues, but that can be rectified with time.
In this week's article "City or Town?" Ball takes a look at Chapel Hill 2020 in advance of the draft comprehensive plan coming before the Town Council for inevitable approval on Monday. Although he doesn't ask the questions I'm most interested in now, such as how will the Town answer the many outstanding questions and gaps in the plan, I do appreciate him pointing out that "Some of its harshest criticism has come from within the committees that molded Chapel Hill 2020."
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