All posts in category Taxes

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Think of the possibilities, then plan

How many times have we heard, usually from people who make money by developing or selling real estate, that affordable housing is not possible in Chapel Hill? That we might as well admit defeat and build only luxury apartments in town, thus forcing out the modestly paid and the middle class? Yet towns similar to […]

What, me worry?

I’m at that age where I repeat myself. For more than a year and a half, I’ve been nagging Town Council members to fix the Ephesus-Fordham form-based code so that we can repay the $10 million loan we took out for improvements to the area. Bear in mind, we put up Town Hall as collateral. […]

The Deciders

Recently I asked the town manager for an organizational flow chart of town staff that would show who was in charge of what. I received 18 pages of charts in response, most of which broke out the hierarchy of positions in each department. The collection led off, however, with a master chart of management levels. […]

Discretionary Zoning

Listen to Raleigh’s city attorney, Tom McCormick: “It is important to remember that when making a zoning decision, the council must consider all potential uses in a proposed district and cannot make a decision based on one specific use.” McCormick said council members have “wide discretion” in deciding whether to rezone a property for a […]

Make time for budget talks

We need to talk — council members with one another and with key staff. By the end of June, we hope to pass a budget for Fiscal Year 2017, which starts July 1, and we still haven’t had those all-important discussions about the best way to spend taxpayers’ financial resources. Guaranteed we won’t agree on […]

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 […]