All posts in category County business

Funding Our Bubble

Chapel Hill’s bubble has been both boasted about and blasted, depending on the politics of the critic. We have a reputation of being a haven for bleeding-heart liberals, a sanctuary city in sentiment and practice, albeit not codified. But a sneak peek at the proposed Trump administration budget indicates that our bubble is about to […]

Raising children or the flag?

Whether the Confederate flag symbolizes racial oppression or Southern pride may hinge on the difference between desegregation and integration. A group of parents has asked the Orange County Board of Education to ban images of the Confederate flag, calling it a racially inflammatory symbol that disrupts learning. So far, the board has remained as silent […]

DOLRT’s Cost-Plus

If anything could sway me toward taking on the crushing debt of the Durham-Orange County Light Rail it would be the promise of getting some affordable housing in return. And sure enough, in its presentation about planning DOLRT stations, GoTriangle reps dangled that yarn ball before Town Council — including affordable housing in the mix […]

In the Big Muddy

A friend looked over GoTriangle’s newest plan to pay for the ever-escalating cost of the Durham-Orange Light Rail and said Pete Seeger had it right: “We’re waist deep in the Big Muddy, and the big fool says to push on.” Seeger’s ballad tells the story of an Army captain leading his platoon to cross a […]

Who does LRT railroad?

We saw on Nov. 8 the depth of the frustration of white working-class voters. Many feel left out of the nation’s economic recovery and are fed up with subsidizing the lifestyle of the upwardly mobile. What lessons did Orange County commissioners learn from the recent national election? We’ll see perhaps as early as Dec. 5, […]

Putting out

At last week’s Town Council meeting, a council member likened Chapel Hill giving Wegmans an incentive to locate here as “being the first girl to put out.” Many in the community seem to agree. I see it as a risk-free way to show companies that Chapel Hill is serious about being open for business. One […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]