All posts in category Spending

Fitting in our dreams

Chapel Hillians tend to go big or go home, and that proved true in feedback we got after Town Council authorized buying the American Legion property. When we asked residents how to use the 36-acre parcel (only about 23 acres of which are developable, due to topography, stream buffers and resource conservation regulations), we received […]

Paying our bills, and extras

You can craft a budget by starting with the money you expect to have in the coming year and determining how to spend it. Or you can envision the lifestyle you want and figure out how to afford it. Chapel Hill’s budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which starts July 1 of this year, does a […]

Trumped in Orange County

The Trump Era has pierced Chapel Hill’s bubble. Last week five of the seven Orange County Commissioners voted for taxpayers to take responsibility for 18% of the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit costs not covered by federal and state governments, plus 18.5% of the debt service, on top of 20% of the regular maintenance costs of […]

If we build it, they will park

We walked to our downtown E. Franklin Street church Easter morning to avoid a lengthy search for parking. The Morehead lot fills up quickly, as does Lot 2 on the corner of E. Rosemary and Columbia streets on a typical Sunday morning. Sometimes the Wallace Deck has no room, either. Bub O’Malley’s gravel lot used […]

Chapel Hill’s Central Park?

Dream first; set your sights; then figure out what you have to do to get there. That philosophy has worked for me over the years, and town staff used it, too, last Saturday by hosting a charrette to find out what value taxpayers believe the 36-acre parcel we bought from the American Legion could add […]

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 […]

Giving back

When it comes to charitable giving, I wish “deep pockets” meant “bottomless resources.” But in reality, people and organizations have a finite amount of money they make available to donate to nonprofits. Competition for those dollars is fierce, as you may have guessed by the number of solicitations you have received in the past several […]

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 […]