open gov

Chapel Hill has all the fun - at least in 2013 municipal races

In spite of the Orange County Board of Elections best attempts to stop anyone from doing this (see original PDF) I have copied the list of candiates and reformatted it into a vaguely readable list. If possible I will clean this up in a few days.

Most of these candidates will be joining us at our annual Candidate Coming Out Party today at 5:30 pm in downtown Chapel Hill, and I hope you will join us too. See all the details and RSVP on Facebook.

The Chapel Hill Town Council race will be where the party is. There are 10 candiates running for four seats, and only two incumbents.I expect the challengers have some pretty smart and interesting things to say, and some of them even have experience with local issues. For some voters, there are will be hard decisions, for some there will be clear favorites.

It's also very interesting that both our incumbent Hillsborough and Chapel Hill mayors and the unofficially-annointed challenger in Carrboro will all be running unopposed. When Lydia Lavelle takes office in December, I belive that we might be the only county in the nation with two openly-gay mayors! (Can someone fact-check me on that?)

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board, Carrboro Board of Aldermen, and Hillsborough Board of Town Commissioners also mustered more candidates than seats so there will be competitive races there.

An experiment with SeeClickFix

I've noticed that Raleigh and other nearby municipalities are using tools like SeeClickFix.com to help residents connect and use local government. Durham's even using it's own website called http://www.liveworkplaydurham.com/ where folks can post their ideas for improving the community.

As an experiment I threw together this SeeClickFix widget.

Open Data Day

Any thoughts about what we should do?

Date: 

Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 12:00pm

Chapel Hill and Carrboro Should Send Gig.U RFP Back to Drawing Board

The Town of Chapel Hill and the Town of Carrboro should not authorize their managers to continue with the Gig.U (aka North Carolina Next Generation Network [NCNGN]) initiative at this time. Both elected bodies should direct staff to send the request for proposals (RFP) back to the drawing board for repairs.

The primary reason to reject the current RFP is that local governments could not enforce important parts of agreements that could come from a resulting contract. Municipalities all over North Carolina have been stripped of any legal authority to franchise or regulate either cable or broadband systems. This is important because, as the current RFP is structured, this is how the towns would make sure we all have access to a new fast network.

Orange County Steps Boldly Into the Twentieth Century

Someone please help me out if I'm missing some hidden value here, but it seems to me that Orange County has found a way to spend money on technology while serving a few residents as little as possible. According to a press release issued today (below) the county is installing monitors in three county buildings with the time, weather, traffic updates, and emergency alerts when they are available. Because, you know, when there is danger afoot the first thing I do is get in the car and drive to a government administrative building.

"New Chapel Hill website works on transparency" via DTH. Participate Chapel Hill website needs work.

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