All posts tagged development

Bargaining Power

People love to feel special. Sales agents make a living by understanding the power of “just for you”: “I don’t usually do this, but just for you, I’ll …” It closes the deal and mitigates buyer’s remorse. But “just for you” would lose its value if there were no standards or rules to push back […]

The Gift of Rezoning

Town Council gave the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools a gift last week. But school board members, perhaps dismayed that they didn’t get what they came for, may not have noticed what they got instead. The school board has proposed expanding the existing building at Lincoln Center to centralize preschool classes now spread out across the […]

To a Healthy New Year

My husband and I gave each other matching colds for Christmas this year, not the gifts we had intended, but a result of getting out and into the community more than I have in years past. When it comes to germs, especially in the holiday season, I’ve tried not to give back. And that means […]

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 […]

What we do best

Decades ago, a running coach told me, “The only way to run faster is to run faster.” Pre-empting Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan by nearly a generation, the coach’s advice has proved useful in all sorts of situations in my life. Now it appears I can apply it to Town Council work. The town has […]

Winding down or unraveling?

I’ve heard tales of people, upon receiving an eviction notice, vandalizing the very place they call home. At the Nov. 16 meeting, we saw a bit of that behavior by some council members wrapping up their terms and others anxious about the change that newly elected officials might bring. The meeting opened with a developer […]

Season opener

Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. public television will air the season opener of The Town Council Show. As season premieres go, this one may lack a little of the dramatic tension that keeps an audience riveted. But perhaps, given that the election season has also begun, a low-key start may be welcome. Here’s a […]

Not just a numbers game

For all the talk about the rigorous approval process in Chapel Hill quashing development, the town sure has grown prodigiously in the past 20 years. Drawing on U.S. Census Bureau figures from 1990 and 2010, public policy strategist John Quinterno pointed out that the town’s population has increased by almost 50% and the number of […]

New faces in town races

Last week I put my money where my mouth is — $5, to be exact. I filed to run for a seat on Town Council. For the six years I’ve been writing Chapel Hill Watch, I’ve tuned in every Monday night during Town Council season and sat on my couch cheering on various council and […]

Getting to No*

Town Council doesn’t have the option of remaining silent in uncomfortable situations. Sometimes saying “no” can be extraordinarily difficult, far harder than not saying “yes.” Saying “no” can be more difficult still when you have a relationship or connection with the other party. What are the expectations? The personal responsibility? The implied agreement? What are […]