Cultural Arts comes off the bench

With the burgeoning list of needs for our town — sidewalks, buses, housing options for people who work in some of the lower-paid jobs in town — spending taxpayer money on art seemed a low priority to me. Then I sat next to Jeffrey York, the town’s public and cultural arts administrator, at the advisory […]

Loafability

How often do we hear the community — the people who live here or have businesses here or otherwise spend money here — tout the virtues of walkability? Some of us on council are pushing for creating a more walkable town by advocating for shorter block size (300 feet, tops) for new developments, more sidewalks […]

Discretionary Zoning

Listen to Raleigh’s city attorney, Tom McCormick: “It is important to remember that when making a zoning decision, the council must consider all potential uses in a proposed district and cannot make a decision based on one specific use.” McCormick said council members have “wide discretion” in deciding whether to rezone a property for a […]

Fireworks at stadium, not council meeting

Viewers expecting fireworks at the last Town Council meeting of the 2015-16 season turned off their TVs and computers disappointed. Though we had reserved time on June 29 for a spillover meeting should we not finish our agenda before the hour grew too late, the June 27 meeting got over comparatively early, thanks in part […]

‘We’re moving too fast’

Every Town Council member should be required to watch a video of one of our council meetings. We’d be mortified by our pettiness. I missed the June 20 meeting because I was part of a church polity updating positions on such issues as the church’s treatment of the LGBTQ community, interventions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict […]

Ask the experts

Lead, follow, or get out of the way. When it comes to working on the problem of not enough affordable housing, town and county elected officials would do well to choose Door #3. At the joint board meeting of county commissioners and Town Council members on June 2, county commissioner Bernadette Pelissier suggested forming a […]

Shedding stereotypes

If the members of the political salon that organized the panel discussion had wanted to set up Sunday afternoon’s event at Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist as a game-show spoof, they had all the elements. First the title: “Straight Talk With Real Muslims.” Then the cast: two hijab-wearing women, one black and one […]

Make time for budget talks

We need to talk — council members with one another and with key staff. By the end of June, we hope to pass a budget for Fiscal Year 2017, which starts July 1, and we still haven’t had those all-important discussions about the best way to spend taxpayers’ financial resources. Guaranteed we won’t agree on […]

Add to pre-vacation to-do list: Vote

Your vote in the June 7 primary for N.C. Supreme Court candidates matters more than you might think. The seven-judge panel at present has four Republicans and three Democrats, and their votes on civil rights and quality-of-life issues have followed party lines. The top-two vote-getters in the June 7 primary will vie for the seat […]

Do-good discount

You get what you incentivize, or so hopes Todd Neal, a Northside landlord. Neal sees the benefit of having more people in the neighborhood who care about the community. To attract those civic-minded tenants, he is offering a rent discount of up to $50 a month to tenants who will volunteer up to 6 hours […]