All posts in category Budget

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 […]

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 […]

Making the most of Ephesus-Fordham

Last week, someone using the name Jon Miller wrote to Town Council, concerned that proposed changes to the Ephesus-Fordham form-based code would weaken it. I responded that the modifications would strengthen it — taxpayers have a $10 million loan to repay from increased net tax revenue, and the four projects planned or underway won’t generate […]

Money, money, money

How to spend money wreaks havoc on many a marriage. As Town Council, with its four new members, begins the budgeting process this year, I wonder how our new council relationships will fare. The town’s financial director, Ken Pennoyer, will give a presentation at Monday night’s meeting that involves shifting some unexpected leftover money to […]

Ask, and get real answers

Someone needs to tell the town’s Planning Department staff that Chapel Hill already has an ordinance that governs bed-and-breakfasts. Oh, wait. Someone already has. Several someones, in fact — the former director of planning, the town attorney and multiple people in the community, including Chapel Hill Watch — going back more than 15 years. And […]

Own up to tax hike

Get ready for a tax hike, a one-two punch of county and town both wanting more from taxpayers. Talk of money hung heavy in the air last week, with the county commissioners continuing discussion (kudos to board chair Earl McKee for dissuading his colleagues from rubberstamping approval) of a $125 million bond in 2016, and […]

CHALT makes connections

After my children left home, my husband and I thought of downsizing to Hillsborough, where taxes are a little bit lower. But the historic homes were too big, the small homes in a gentrifying section of town needed too much work, and the new homes in the subdivisions north of town left us uninspired. Knowing […]

Safety or spin?

In early September, eight members of the town’s communications team won national awards for two public relations pieces they produced. The City-County Communications & Marketing Association bestowed Silver Circle Awards for the “Mayors Innovation Project Video” in the category of Promotional Videos and the “CaPA How-To Guides” in the Internal Printed Publications category. The video […]

Housing hypocrisy

I couldn’t help but wince when council members began their remarks at the May 19 Town Council meeting after nearly a dozen community members made impassioned pleas for money to support affordable housing. One organization played a 9-minute video of interviews with people who had benefited from affordable housing programs in Chapel Hill, perhaps assuming […]

See schools run

Recently, I listened to a couple of longtime friends reminisce about their early days as first-graders at Glenwood Elementary School. Both of them entered first grade already knowing how to read. They were put into the Dick and Jane reading group. Average readers were sent to the Spot and Puff group. Those not yet able […]