All posts in category Politics

To our health

At the Feb. 24 Town Council meeting, a community member asked council members to pass a resolution urging Gov. Pat McCrory and the General Assembly to accept the opportunity to expand Medicaid, an option made available by the Affordable Care Act. The cost would be paid for by federal taxpayers, 100% for the first three […]

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 […]

Who’s the boss?

A while back, someone I know made a disparaging comment to a Town Council member about town manager Roger Stancil. The council member responded sharply, “Don’t talk about my boss that way.” Pause while you think about what’s wrong with that statement. Not long ago, I gossiped to another council member about the other council […]

We did what this year?

What a ride 2013 turned out to be. Yet despite the ups and downs, we moved forward. We began the year with Town Council members choosing Sally Greene over 10 other well-qualified and diverse candidates to fill the seat Penny Rich vacated a couple months before. In the November election this year, Greene was elected […]

Limits on listening

I never thought I’d say this, but I miss those all-nighter council meetings. Town Council had a rich agenda for its Oct. 21 public hearing – a discussion of whether to add large swaths of land north of Chapel Hill, which included the Historic Rogers Road neighborhood, to the ETJ; Central West’s controversial proposal; and […]


Tell me I’m not the only person to have donated something to the PTA Thrift Shop, then a month later bought it back. Town Council members know the feeling. They are asked to give away affordable housing as they vote to approve redevelopment projects, then scrounge for town resources to buy affordable housing somewhere else […]

Seeing red

About 200 taxpayers turned out for the open house last Tuesday night that showed off the four plans for Central West Focus Area that we got for the nearly quarter of a million dollars we paid to Rhodeside & Harwell. Or as Jim Ward framed it in an email on the Central West listserv: a […]

Elected or selected?

Bill Strom started it, then Penny Rich took advantage, too; then Lydia Lavelle and now Ellie Kinnaird. All left office between elections, leaving a small group of politicians to select their successors. And if Valerie Foushee is appointed to Kinnaird’s seat, a small group of politicians will decide who takes her seat as District 50 […]

Who reads this?

Blame it on the way I was raised – clamming up when accused of a wrong didn’t absolve me of the punishment. My parents’ strategy to raise responsible, contributing members of society didn’t include Miranda’s right to remain silent. They heard out my side, if I was willing to talk, then judged, ruled and implemented. […]

A roster with ballast

“Fling … ends” read the headline in a local newspaper over a story about candidates running for office. And as I read through the profiles of the final candidates to file for Town Council – Loren Hintz, Jonathan Riehl, Amy Ryan and D.C. Swinton – and the school board – Andrew Davidson and Ignacio Tzoumas […]