Kirk Ross's blog

OP Candidate Forums

It's been a while since I posted on OP, but I'm a regular reader and am delighted to serve as moderator of the upcoming OP online candidate forums. Details here.

As I spelled out in a column this week in The Citizen, elections aren't just about deciding who gets a term in office. They're an important part of the community dialogue, a time when we can restate our values and tell our elected leaders — whether they are running or not this year — what's on our minds.

Ready for a county income tax?

I've been writing about local government funding and the relationship of the state to the locals for a couple of decades now. Given that we saw a serious 'no' vote on the real estate transfer tax and are in the midst of another discussion over property taxes, I thought I'd get another revenue source that's not talked about all that much on the table.

Revaluation in Orange County

From this week's issue of The Carrboro Citizen — Reporters Margot Lester and Rich Fowler offer a detailed look at the revaluation issue.
• Main Story: Revaluations squeeze home, business owners
How revaluations are calculated
How to appeal your revaluation
Neighborhoods with the highest and lowest increase in revaluations

Help us build your newspaper

This may come as a bit of a shock to those of you who've heard nothing but doom and gloom about newspapers.
Over the past couple of months, publisher Robert Dickson and I have been talking about how we can expand The Carrboro Citizen.
With a healthy, growing local ad base, incredible encouragement from readers and a pickup rate that now leaves us with very few returns and a lot of empty boxes at the end of the week, we sense that we can grow and should.
As regular readers may have noticed, we've started to cover more news out of Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Chatham County. We've also expanded distribution into these areas.
Following are a couple of things we're looking at to make our decisions. We've decided to share them in the interest of gathering feedback and suggestions.

Energy week

(cross posted from Exile and BlueNC)
This week the Emerging Issues forum is taking a long, intense look at energy and the future of North Carolina with respect to climate change, greater energy efficiency and self-sufficiency and so on.
While there is a lot of emphasis on green and alternatives, there's also going to be a heavy focus on the corporate sector including a panel with both Bill Johnson of Progress Energy and Jim Rodgers of Duke Energy and another panel on "converting Green to Green" with Jeff Immelt, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, General Electric Corporation.
The whole things starts off with Thomas Friedman who will dutifully remind policy makers that only the free market can save us.
People who are honestly trying to change our energy structure know that getting corporate buy-in to new laws and regulations has to happen to get the bills passed and policy shifts started. But this is like riding a tiger. Eventually, the tiger gets hungry.

Here's the agenda for the event:

2008 Annual Emerging Issues Forum


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