dbell4ch's blog

Doing it the Hard Way

Blogger Nancy Oates recently raised some questions about my fundraising. I wrote her this open letter in response.

Why I am a Voter-Owned Candidate

During my campaign to be elected to the Chapel Hill Town Council this Fall, I have decided to be a Voter-Owned or VOE candidate.  Voter owned programs are sometimes called public funded or clean elections.  The basic premise is that in return for a commitment to limit spending on electoral campaigns, the public provides funds to the candidate for campaign costs.  I decided to be a VOE candidate because I believe the program supports basic tenets of democracy, fairness and accessibility.

Caring for Northside's past and future

Mary Norwood Jones, along with three others, will soon be remembered with a dedication at Chapel Hill’s Peace and Justice Plaza for her civil rights work in Chapel Hill.  I knew her as the person who took care of Northside.  When I first moved to Northside in 2002, I would often see Mrs. Jones out picking up cans, paper and other debris that littered the street our homes shared.  I find myself following her example picking up trash as I walk through the neighborhood with my daughter.  Mrs. Jones also had a beautiful yard with huge hydrangea bushes and a tidy lawn.  It was again following her example that had me up on Saturday mornings pushing my lawn mower when I would rather be sleeping in and experimenting with what plants my brown thumb could keep alive in my front flower beds.  While my yard still has far to go, I keep at it, thinking about the approving words she would give me if she found me kneeling in the dirt trying to beat back crabgrass to make room for some newly planted perennials.  Along with planting tips, Mrs. Jones talked about the importance taking care of the young people and keeping the neighborhood looking nice.

Chapel Hill and Carrboro...not the same?

No they are not. That is what one developer is learning as a plan for a 164 unit apartment complex is planned on property which lies in the jurisdiction of both municipalities. This development (Merrit Mill Apartments) not only raises the issue of properties lying in two jurisdictions but also larger issues of how interconnected development between the city and the town is. Issues like how will traffic get in and out of the development? How important is it that we created connectivity for the Lloyd Street neighborhood? While they are two separate entities, the development of Chapel Hill and Carrboro is closely joined by more than just proximity. While trying to create more connected and denser communities how should Chapel Hill and Carrboro work together over that thin line which is called the town line?


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