Real-world fiscal solutions
During my 15 years in Chapel Hill I have seen old-time residents repeatedly instigate excessive additional committee and public-information meetings which cost the town more money for consultants’ and staff time.
Paradoxically, several frequent callers for “more study,” “more public input needed” are among the 10 who signed the petition questioning town expenses.
Town Manager Roger Stancil has responded correctly regarding Chapel Hill’s fiscal management (CHN, bit.ly/1oYisDd). Our AAA bond rating, awards for annual financial reports and town communications document that projections have proved accurate. Business Management Director Ken Pennoyer presents serious, clear ways to balance our budget. Economic Development Officer Dwight Bassett continues to bring new businesses to Chapel Hill, which supports Stancil’s expectation of development fees from Ephesus-Fordham projects.
Consolidation of tens of town advisory boards with clearer tasks and inclusion of members with experience in those tasks should streamline procedures and expenses further.
As a resident of Ephesus-Fordham reinvestment area, I look forward to added goods and services with refreshed appearances. Longer U.S. lifespans and burgeoning global population require taller buildings to retain our rural buffer.
Manager Stancil’s budget reflects real expenses that deal with real-world fiscal solutions. Let’s keep these improvements going forward.
Ad nauseum adds up
Regarding “Chapel Hill town manager defends fiscal management” (CHN, bit.ly/1oYisDd )
"Consultants were hired to help with four Central West (MLK-Estes area) steering committee meetings and one community workshop at an estimated cost of $93,000, Stancil said.
But the steering committee – of residents, property owners and others – ended up holding three community workshops and more than 30 committee meetings and 10 community meetings, he said. "
What did they think was going to happen when citizens want to discuss these subjects ad nauseam: it ends up costing taxpayers a lot of money.
On a recent balmy evening, Community Home Trust welcomed its guests to the eighth floor of 140 West Franklin – the new mixed-use development located in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill.
Elected officials, partners, homeowners and friends gathered together for the fourth annual Opening Doors reception. More than 120 were present to celebrate the strides that this organization has made in making affordable homeownership in Chapel Hill and Carrboro possible. In just the past year, Community Home Trust sold 40 homes – 18 of which were in the very building where the celebration was taking place.
Community Home Trust would be unable to carry out its mission of strengthening our community with permanently affordable homeownership opportunities without the support of the local governments and the local community. Thank you , thank you to all of our supporters, especially our Community Builders: East West Partners, K. Hovnanian Homes, Blue Heron Asset Management and UNC Health Care.
Is there not an irony here? The new Village Plaza Apartments proposal will have all of its 266 units available at market rates (CHN, bit.ly/1uGgsUS) – no affordable units for families with incomes of about $42,000 a year. On the other hand, the town is said to have made affordable housing a priority. What happened to the requirement that new housing projects set aside affordable units or provide payment in lieu?
If this project is approved and sets the precedent for future housing, Chapel Hill will deal a blow to many potential working people, whether students, semi-professionals, young families, retirees, immigrants. The diversity of our town would flatten, not to say, from my point of view, become less socially responsible.
How odd that I saw no voice raised so far in the press or on the editor’s Facebook page about this. Let the voices for diverse housing opportunity be raised in the time and venues remaining to speak out.
In two succesive Sunday editions of The Chapel Hill News last month a columnist used the word “chemical” in a bogeyman sense as if the reader should automatically be frightened by it. I’m not an expert in chemistry but let’s go over a few things that you don’t have to be an expert to know.
First, everything is made of chemicals, including your body and everything you put into it. Second, whether a chemical occurs in nature or instead is synthesized in a laboratory tells us nothing about whether the chemical is harmful. Third, a chemical that is harmful in one context can be harmless or even helpful in another context. And finally, any chemical in a large enough dose is toxic and any chemical in a small enough dose is safe.
Wrong done to Hennis
Regarding “Assistant principal at Chapel Hill High removed” (CHN, bit.ly/1r03pfq )
A 16-year-old attending summer school at Chapel Hill High school passes out and the assistant principal arranges for a trip to the hospital. Sounds pretty reasonable and responsible to me. Short of riding in the ambulance (not allowed), I fail to see how Julie Hennis failed in any way to be less than a caring adult faced with a difficult situation.
Enter the NAACP (wonder how it got involved?) and the plot thickens. According to the interlopers, it seems that since the young man is black and Hennis is white, a grave wrong must have taken place.
Michelle Laws, a former Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP president, can smell a case of prejudicial behavior from anywhere! By yelling and screaming foul, the interlopers succeeded in having Hennis removed from her post as assistant principal. The only wrong here has been done to Hennis. It gets tiresome when the tail wags the dog.
The recent coal ash issue in North Carolina should be evidence of the outcome of corporate stewardship of our natural resources. Water is a fundamental resource that we should be protecting as though our lives depend on it. To allow profiteers unlimited access is foolish, and if it happens it could very well be irreversible.