Snow day

“Work from home,” Gov. Pat McCrory told North Carolinians, in a well-meaning Nancy Oatesentreaty to keep people from traveling on icy roads last week. And the governor and I did work from home, and maybe you did, too.

But what about the people who work at grocery stores or fast-food places or who rely on tips from delivering pizzas? How about the housecleaners, security guards, tradesmen, sales clerks and bank tellers? Teachers will have to make up their days off. Did the postal carriers and local government workers get paid that day, or will they have to take comp time or lose a vacation day?

As someone who spent two hours on the road trying to make what is normally a 15-minute drive home from New Hope Commons, where I’d been trying to finish up errands before the snow hit (in my defense, the storm was not supposed to arrive until 2 p.m. that day), I understand the wisdom of just staying put. But did he have to rub so many noses in the fact that his cozy snow days don’t come with the price that many people pay when they can’t get into work and therefore don’t get paid.

If McCrory had said, “Stay home. Whatever you have to do is not worth risking your life or someone else’s,” it would have shown a compassion and understanding that not everyone among his constituency is a white-collar worker who can afford to go a day without pay. His assumption that surely no one lives that close to the edge explains why he has pressed for some of the policy changes he has, and why he is more concerned with puppy mills than children who don’t have adequate food, health care or educational opportunities.

Those untested assumptions get us in trouble every time. Town Council members might learn from McCrory’s mistake. Assuming that residents want only independently owned businesses and no chain stores, except wherever Roger Perry fancies a Target. Assuming that if there’s no place to park, everyone will take the bus. Assuming that homeowners have endless resources and magnanimity when it comes to property taxes. Assuming that we all share the goal of making Chapel Hill a happening place for students, that we only tolerate families with school-age children because they are willing to pay high prices for our real estate, and that we don’t want any more old people in town than can fit at Carol Woods. Assuming that ignoring citizen input will make it go away.

How accurate are those assumptions? How do they guide our policies and growth?
– Nancy Oates

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  1. JWJ

     /  February 17, 2014

    “But did he have to rub so many noses in the fact that his cozy snow days…”
    “His assumption that surely no one lives that close to the edge explains why he has pressed for some of the policy changes he has, and why he is more concerned with puppy mills than children who don’t have adequate food, health care or educational opportunities.”

    Wow! How do you create such a leftist partisan attack out of the recent snow emergency? Possibly I am being too literal in my reading, so I hope you might agree that your statements above are over-the-top. But even then, how can you come up with statements in the first place that our governor cares more about puppies than starving children? More about puppies than starving children, Really??

    You do realize that about 30% of your Chapel Hill neighbors voted for Gov McCrory, and therefore have conservative and/or libertarian leanings. By extension of this vote, do you think your neighbors that voted for McCrory are such awful, mean people?

    It’s not like I have not heard similar intolerant and disdainful comments such as you wrote above while watching kids sporting events, at the pool, the grocery story, social gatherings, etc.. These comments are just tuned out. I guess it is still a little surprising to see it written down coming from a person who comes across as wanting to at least dialogue on other local topics. How can you want to deal with McCrory voters on local topics if you think such nasty things about them?

    By the way, Gov McCrory also said the following: “Stay smart. Don’t put your stupid hat on at this point in time. Protect yourself. Protect your family. Protect your neighbors,” McCrory said, adding that it was important for the people of North Carolina to charge their cell phones and stock up on batteries in anticipation of losing power thanks to the storm.

  2. Nancy

     /  February 17, 2014

    I believe he cares more about puppies than children because he is pushing to spend taxpayer money to thwart puppy mills at the same time he is cutting welfare-to-work assistance and food aid to low-income families. I wonder how many of my neighbors who voted for McCrory rue their decision now that he has lost his reputation as a moderate (while he was mayor of Charlotte, he earned the nickname “Pat the Democrat”) by signing into law some narrow-minded bills punitive to the working poor.

  3. Steve J

     /  February 17, 2014

    I try to lurk only on these local boards, frankly I think most of the locals here have lost their minds … at least this blog makes *some* feeble attempt at being *slightly* open-minded … but I can’t help myself from commenting this time.

    I am not an immediate neighbor of yours, but, I do live here and have to say I am beyond delighted with the current Governor. And that’s even past the idea he had a spectacularly low bar set by his predecessors.

    And, why are you so vehemently against animal rights? I am frankly shocked that you would take such a strident position against the Governor, who bravely risks significant political capital addressing the horrible, reprehensible practices of this ‘industry.’

  4. Joe

     /  February 18, 2014

    Nancy, since you apparently love chain stores and low taxes so much, I have to wonder why you’re living in Chapel Hill, one of the few towns in the entire state of NC that doesn’t have a lot of chain stores and some of the highest taxes?

    I don’t understand the complaining of people who dislike the odd-ness of Chapelboro, yet continue to live here. There’s absolutely no shortage of strip-mall laden towns with a minimum of town services and public facilities. In fact, in this area, any place that’s *not* Chapel Hill or Carrboro would suit your desires. Please leave the relative few of us that like it here to our own devices, thanks.

  5. many

     /  February 18, 2014

    Often times one piece of legislation is promoted over another because it is easier to get through. It does not necessarily imply a moral choice or priority.

    My main complaint with McCrory is that he seems more like a mayor than a Governor. If he has priorities that differ from the NC Leg, he needs to lead rather than negotiating to the lowest common denominator.

    There have recently been some social experiments in NC mostly driven by the NC Leg, such as the cuts to unemployment and medicare, that I would not want to be on the receiving end of,

    I think that the possibility that a school lunch may be the only good daily meal for some children is a consideration when cancelling or postponing classes, However safety and experiencing what happened in Atlanta during the previous snow storm probably outweighs that possibility.