All posts in category Council Members

Bargaining Power

People love to feel special. Sales agents make a living by understanding the power of “just for you”: “I don’t usually do this, but just for you, I’ll …” It closes the deal and mitigates buyer’s remorse. But “just for you” would lose its value if there were no standards or rules to push back […]

Dry reading worth wading into

Have you read the Lower Booker Creek Subwatershed Study Report? The tome is the type of reading you do only when the roads are iced over and you can’t leave your house for three days. But it contains critically important information that could save our town from washing away downstream. Stormwater management experts give this […]

I have a dream; do you?

Chapel Hill’s town manager Roger Stancil nailed it in his remarks at the close of the town employees’ celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The event took place at Hargraves Center just before lunch last Friday. The program included a dramatic re-enactment of Rosa Park’s story, starring Myra Evans of Parking Services; a musical […]

How we can win

Heaven help us, we have elected a hatemonger as our next president. The day before the election, I accompanied some foreign journalists, many of them from the Asia Pacific, to a Donald Trump rally in Raleigh. It felt like we were on a movie set for a gladiator film. With lies and innuendo, Trump kept […]

The modestly paid are people, too

Swiss novelist Max Frisch’s quip, “We asked for workers; we got people instead,” applies as much to affordable housing as it does to the immigration issue he addressed in his day. At a council work session on Oct. 19, town staff presented the findings of David Paul Rosen & Associates, a consulting firm that we […]

Playing it safe

It was a dark and stormy night for affordable housing last Monday. At the Oct. 10 Town Council meeting, we had two opportunities to take meaningful steps to increase the supply of affordable housing, and a majority on council squandered them both. Early on in the meeting, a council member put forth a resolution urging […]

A bond without a plan

When it comes to taking on the challenge of increasing the amount of affordable housing, Orange County commissioners would do well to heed the wise counsel of Yogi Berra: “When you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.” County commissioners proposed two bond referenda for the November election: $120 million to repair […]

Lessons from Boulder

If the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce aimed to scare travelers on its 2016 Inter-City Visit into thinking that height restrictions and no-build buffers would make real estate prices skyrocket, someone forgot to clue in the Boulder speakers. The chamber organized a trip for about 80 of us from Orange County – elected officials, business […]

Chapel Hill’s Arab Spring?

More than five years ago, a few weeks after the Tunisian Revolution that launched the Arab Spring, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad told The Wall Street Journal: “When there is divergence between your policy and the people’s beliefs and interests, you will have this vacuum that creates disturbance.” I hope we won’t someday look back on […]

How much is that rent, really?

Trying to find an apartment in Chapel Hill affordable to your typical Chapel Hill worker takes diligence and a roommate. An apartment complex may advertise rent at one price, but by the time the management adds up all the additional mandatory fees — valet garbage pick-up, package delivery acceptance, weight room access, and Internet and […]