All posts in category County business

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With the UNC men’s basketball playing the Sweet 16 game of the NCAA tournament at the same time as the Assembly of Governments meeting on March 26, ours may not have been the only household fighting over who would get the TV. If you were disappointed in the outcome of the game, boost your spirits […]

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 […]

Fix schools now, or later?

I stopped by the Orange County Commissioners retreat Friday afternoon to hear how commissioners planned to prioritize and pay for expenses on their wish list. As the discussion about whether to put a $125 million bond referendum on the ballot versus what’s called “pay-as-you-go” unfolded, I realized some commissioners took the “retreat” literally. The county […]

Burned by Burns?

Such generosity we Orange County taxpayers show. Why, just look at the salary and benefits package we are paying County School Superintendent Del Burns — an annual rate of nearly $300,000. Add up his base pay, health coverage, a monthly car allowance of $250 and another $50 a month toward his cell phone, and we […]

Assembled governments

County elected officials spent a million dollars of taxpayers’ money on refurbishing a meeting space. You’d think they could have picked out comfortable chairs. Town and county staff and elected officials gathered around the meeting table, as well as those of us in the audience, squirmed and shifted uncomfortably in our seats, not because of […]

Vote Tuesday, May 6

What are the chances that a lottery ticket you buy might change your life? Not good odds. But here’s something you can do that likely could change your life and everyone’s around you. Go to the polls and vote. Tuesday, May 6, is primary day in Orange County. The candidates we elect will make decisions […]

Hauser’s plan for schools

Bonnie Hauser, my choice for county commissioner-at-large, brings a fresh perspective to many important issues we face. In her words and from her experience working on numerous issues in Orange County for more than a decade, here’s her proposal for the county to reprioritize spending to address school funding needs: In my “previous life,” I […]

Vote for sheriff

We haven’t had to think about what we want in a county sheriff for a long time – 32 years, to be exact, because that’s how long Lindy Pendergrass has held that vaunted role. After eight terms in office, the 80-year-old is ready to retire. Six men are campaigning for the position: Charles Blackwood, David […]

Brass tacks, not bronze plaques

Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed by deadlines, I’ll make a list of all I have to do, then slip in something that’s so easy to do it’s almost a given. “Wash hair,” I might write, or “check email.” I do that first, then I can feel like I’ve accomplished something, and I’ve managed to procrastinate […]

Know the numbers

Orange County’s annual budget for 2014 is around $220 million. Chapel Hill’s is about $95 million. Owasa’s is another $43.5 million. Add those up – $358.5 million, even without Carrboro and Hillsborough – and divide by 365 (the number of days in a year), and you come up with the startling fact that our local […]