The big news for tonight’s Town Council business meeting could be the town’s financial/economic update, presented by town manager Roger Stancil. It holds the No. 1 spot on the agenda, with no accompanying documentation to give us a clue as to what the presentation will reveal. Our prediction? The address will be short, as in, “We’re all good. Nothing to see here. Move along, everyone, move along.”
One of the oddities in the consent agenda is the town’s plan for traffic calming devices: Gimghoul Road, a dead-end street of stately, old-money homes, will get two speed cushions, at a cost of $9,000. I can see the need for two speed cushions on Sedgefield Drive: East Chapel Hill High students who oversleep use the winding cut-through as their own personal closed speedway, parked cars, dog walkers and sanitation workers be damned. But Gimghoul Road? Even if every resident along that wide straightaway has a lead foot, you wouldn’t think there would be enough cars to constitute a hazard. Maybe Jim Heavner, whose mansion caps the end of the street, has an army of assistants always under the gun. You’d think the problem could be solved through the neighborhood Listserv, without involving taxpayer dollars.
Also on the consent agenda, the town wants to officially designate 200 pieces of public art it has paid for over the years as a Permanent Collection. It’s a step toward transparency, so we must applaud it.
Council will also have a chance to approve a modified special use permit application in what must surely be a record 5 weeks. Town planners told Altridge Group that its application for a modified SUP for the long-vacant sorority house at 420 Hillsborough Street would take a year and a half. We’ll check out the reserved parking spaces before the meeting to see whether any government officials are driving brand-new fancy cars.
– Nancy Oates