Stancil a good steward
I have never written a letter to the editor but after hearing about the issues raised at a recent Town Council meeting about Town Manager Roger Stancil, I decided that today was the day to start.
I understand that by now Mr. Stancil has responded to the issues raised, and I am pretty sure that he responded in a very professional manner which is how he operates the town. However, I am writing to state from the standpoint of someone who worked with Mr. Stancil in Chapel Hill and from almost 35 years in local government service, that I have never known any city or county manager who was more of a good steward of the public’s money than Roger Stancil.
He is very conscientious in how he works to utilize the resources available to him to meet the goals and expectations of Town Council and the community at large. That he is a professional public servant is one of the best accolades I can give him. He is a person of great integrity and he cares deeply for the Town of Chapel Hill and the people who live there. He instills these values in his department heads and I can tell you from personal experience that he keeps his finger on the pulse of town operations. He is a dynamic leader that Chapel Hill is fortunate to have at the helm.
R.L. “Butch” Kisiah
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
The writer is a former Chapel Hill parks and recreation director.
Not manager’s fault
After reading the article “ Stancil defends fiscal management” (CHN, bit.ly/1rm9VQa) in response to a petition submitted by a group of Chapel Hill residents referred to as The Citizens Group, I am compelled to respond because the allegation in the petition regarding the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard-Estes Drive consultant fee requires clarification.
As a resident member of the Steering Committee for the Central West Focus Area (CWFA), the official name for the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard-Estes Drive Focus Area, I would like to shed some light on why there was a cost overrun by the consultant hired by the town. Since I attended all of the meetings, I believe I have first-hand knowledge of the events that occurred.
The CWFA is adjacent to the future Carolina North Campus, and is a prominent gateway to Chapel Hill from the north. It is also close to surrounding neighborhoods, local institutions, and natural areas. For all of these reasons, it was important for the CWFA Steering Committee to provide a well thought-out Small Area Plan that would provide a high-level vision for the area. The original schedule included four Steering Committee meetings and one Community Workshop. However, a small but vocal neighborhood group and some Steering Committee members (both of which included several of the recent petition signers) insisted that the CWFA process be greatly expanded, which resulted in more than 30 committee meetings and 10 community outreach sessions. Town staff elected to honor this demand to elicit maximum community input, and staff made every attempt to continually comply with requests and demands presented by those in attendance.
At that time, it was clearly understood by all that cost overruns would occur as the timeline and number of meetings increased, but, regardless, the majority in attendance decided to continue with the expanded process. Moreover, the signers, some of whom actually served on the CWFA Steering Committee, were fully aware that these demands were what caused the cost increase, and it is disingenuous for them to now blame this overrun on the town manager. On the contrary, the town manager exhibited his commitment to the process and to the neighborhood residents by increasing the number of meetings as demanded so as to ensure a high-quality plan that would be acceptable to as many residents as possible.
In closing, I believe the tone of the petition in presenting this allegation was hostile and contrary to the open community-based process that the CWFA so diligently attempted to address. The allegation disregards the fact that this was the first Focus Area to be developed, and public input could not be reasonably determined in advance. Therefore, I find the allegation itself to be contrary to the spirit of the open community-based process and the intent of the Chapel Hill 2020 Plan. It does an injustice to all town staff who worked so hard during the CWFA process because it presents a distorted picture of what actually happened. Finally, I want to note it is surprising that the signers of the petition have chosen to present the situation as if it were the town manager’s fault, as many of the petitioners were responsible for these overruns, not the town manager.
Central West Focus Area Steering Committee Resident Member
Editor’s note: We waived the length limit for a fuller response to the article.
Solar ‘farm’ was out of place
The proposal for a solar utility, not a “farm” but an industrial installation of 18,000 solar panels over 20 acres in the Rural Buffer brought focus to several factors mostly omitted in the Sept. 6 article by Tammy Grubb. For one, residents of this 90-plus family neighborhood support solar energy when sited appropriately. Open space like this field is a treasure and as important to Orange County as city streets and commercial areas in surrounding towns are to the region. As technology advances, such an installation would soon become obsolete outlasting many Falls of New Hope residents.
Why didn’t Ms. Grubb speak to even one of the FONH residents throughout the process? She might have gathered valuable information from all parties. For instance, the White Cross solar utility bears the same regulations as the one Sunlight Partners proposed, but that one has degraded into a treeless, rugged, cut over landscape. Would that be what Cascade Drive would look like?
FONH residents hold no animosity and would like to engage in dialogue with the Bishop/Nunn families, yet that has not been an option. We desire a good outcome for them as well as the neighborhood and seek land use meeting the needs of all parties.
She’d have learned that the proposal, in the works since January, 2013, was first announced to FONH residents by registered mail 17 days prior to the hearing, scant time to obtain the legal counsel for the “quasi-judicial hearing,” as advised by the Planning Department.
The rural FONH neighborhood has existed for nearly 50 years and residents today have lived there for 25, 30, even 45 years so no surprise that “more than 100 people” showed up at the hearing to learn more about this surprising development.
Let’s be fair and consider all sides of the picture.
Carol Hubbell Boggs
Help support Miss Teen contestant
Dominique Elliott of Pittsboro was recently selected to participate in the 2014 Miss Teen Greensboro pageant competition that will take place on Saturday. Dominique learned of her acceptance into this year's competition when the pageant announced their selections following interviewing in the local Greensboro area. Dominique submitted an application and took part in an interview session that was conducted by this year's Greensboro Pageant Coordinator.
Dominique will be competing for her share of thousands of dollars in prizes and specialty gifts that will be distributed to contestants. Dominique will be competing in the Miss Teen division, one of four divisions that will have young ladies ages 7 and 19 competing in modeling routines, which include casual wear and formal wear. Most important, shewill display her personality and interviewing skills while interviewing with this year's Greensboro judging panel. Personality is the number one aspect that each contestant is judged on during all phases of competition.
If Dominique were to win the title of Miss Teen Greensboro, she would represent Greensboro and the surrounding communities at the National Competition that will take place in Orlando, Florida. Over $30,000 in prizes and awards will be presented at the National Competition while each winner enjoys this expense paid trip of five nights and six days in Orlando, Fla.
Community businesses, organizations, and private individuals will assist Dominique in participating in this year's competition by becoming an official sponsor to her. Through sponsorship, each contestant receives all the necessary training, rehearsals, and financial support which will allow Dominique: to become a very confident and well-prepared contestant in this year's Greensboro Pageant.
Any business, organization, or private individual who may be interested in becoming a sponsor to Dominique may contact the Miss Teen Greensboro Pageant Coordinator at 1-877-403-6678.