All posts in category Politics

Horsetrading at the Council Corral

Two weeks ago, Chapel Hill hired a new planning director, Ben Hitchings, who came to the April 11 Town Council meeting. Much to my surprise, he did not resign immediately; in fact, he participated in our work session two days later. That says he’s a man undaunted by challenges. In a nutshell — we embarrassed […]

#WeAreNotThisEither

Years ago, Chapel Hill adopted a campaign contribution policy to encourage voter-owned elections and make it harder for donors to “buy” elections. Individual campaign donations were limited to $336, a sharp contrast to the $5,100 limit for county commissioner, U.S. president and other partisan elections. Given the recent news about campaign finances of council member […]

HB-2 & You & Me & Us & Them

I wish our state lawmakers would do something useful like pass legislation to quell the sex life of trees. My allergies tell me pollen season has started with a vengeance. Instead, the N.C. General Assembly that wants to see a driver’s license before you vote, now wants to see a birth certificate before you use […]

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 […]

Council retreat

I suppose I’d be opening up fresh wounds if I proposed that before people weigh in on the icy sidewalk problem they first go see The Martian. The movie captures one of my core philosophies of life: the notion of chipping away. In the face of futility, continue to live your life. Stay true to […]

We have to talk

Jim Ward set the bar high during the Dec. 2 organizational meeting when it came to thanking his family for their support during the 16 years he served on Town Council. It was pointed out to me, archly, that I did not single out any family members in my generic thanks. So, here’s what I […]

Council leads whole community

Usually it’s the victors who write the histories, but in Chapel Hill politics lately the losers are busy scribbling and publishing and mischaracterizing the outcome of the most recent election, as does a column in The Chapel Hill News Nov. 29, “New council must lead divided community.” Molly De Marco and Travis Crayton wrote that […]

The Council Show

At the election night party I attended last week, the wife of a supporter mentioned that she’d gotten so caught up in the excitement of the campaign that she might even tune into what she called “The Council Show.” Certainly campaign and post-election coverage in the popular press loads expectation that episodes of The Council […]

The big money at stake

This election boils down to economic theory. One theory, held by the incumbents and a challenger who as an advisory board member voted in lockstep with them, aims to add enough luxury housing filled with high-wealth individuals that national chain stores will open branches in town. This group is banking on sales tax revenue and […]

A not-as-long goodbye

On 60 Minutes last night, President Obama talked about how he felt coming to the end of his legally allotted two terms and whether he wished he could serve a third. He said, as all incumbents do, that he was proud of what he had accomplished so far in office and that there was more […]