It has been a month since my comments to the Chapel Hill Newspaper were printed concerning the acreage contiguous to the Chapel Hill Cemetery.
To recap, those six acres for years had been held for cemetery expansion. Instead, the Town of Chapel Hill now has announced plans to develop those acres for low-cost housing. This is particularly calamitous because the town’s plans for low-cost housing have previously been reported as “being in disarray” and to compound the matter further, available cemetery space will soon run out.
By means of this newspaper, I asked that the town explain their plans for future cemetery space. I’m sure the mayor, town manager and council all read this paper and must have seen this request. To date, there has been no response which suggests the town is moving arrogantly forward unwilling to admit its error.
The town’s unresponsiveness to what seems a reasonable request reminds me of an expression my old Uncle Bill used to describe such ineptiveness (if there is such a word) – “TIARTA.” If you are unfamiliar with the expression, TIARTA means: “The Inmates Are Running The Asylum.”
James E. Merkel
I read Terri Buckner's editorial (CHN, July 26) with interest, and I, too, hope community members will vote in this fall’s election. I'll be casting one of my votes for Lee Storrow this November, as I have found him to be a model listener and public servant.
Over the last four years, Lee has held open office hours across town, including joint events with members of our school board and the Board of Aldermen in Carrboro. I attended his town hall focused on issues impacting downtown earlier this year and was impressed with his initiative to put together his own public forums to solicit citizen input to guide his decision-making. Lee also has reached out to me and other residents in our neighborhood on topics that impact our community.
Lee is an engaged and transparent council member, and while I might not agree with all of his decisions, I know he’ll continue to proactively engage with citizens and balance all viewpoints when re-elected.
Voice of reason
Chapel Hillians are always talking about their “values”. Here are several of mine as they pertain to Nancy Oates, candidate for Chapel Hill Town Council.
For the last six years, I have followed Nancy’s career and have read her voice of reason in local publications and on her blog Chapel Hill Watch. She has investigated, informed, called out and defended a number of town issues. I value thoroughness and fairness of opinion.
Transparency, workforce housing, development, business, the changing face of downtown, these are some town issues that matter to me. I have consistently looked to Nancy Oates to call it like she sees it on these issues, and beyond. I value depth of opinion and forthrightness.
Even when expressing how things might be done better or how a vote one way may have done a disservice to the community, at the heart of her opinions, Oates has simultaneously challenged and been respectful. I value kindness on display.
Chapel Hill, take note! We have an exceptional candidate for Chapel Hill Town Council, a candidate with a deep knowledge of town affairs and a written record of opinion. For all these years, Nancy Oates has been advocating for us all.. Let’s make it official and put her in office. Value that!
Jill Hawkins Czajkowski
New leader needed
I am so encouraged that Pam Hemminger has declared her candidacy for mayor of Chapel Hill. We need a new leader willing to listen to the public’s concerns, engage in collaborative decision-making, and be mindful of sensitive environmental issues as we face the challenges of future growth. Pam exemplifies these attributes and has a wealth of local leadership experience. A former Orange County commissioner and CHCCS School Board chair, she also has served on numerous town and civic committees.
This is a critical election year for the future of our town. We can trust Pam Hemminger to ensure a transparent process of responsible development that preserves the character of Chapel Hill. Vote Pam for Mayor in November.
What a guy!
Regarding the article “Superior Court Judge Carl Fox finds opportunity to help others” (N&O, July 19): Carl Fox annually visited my fifth-grade class at Seawell School in Chapel Hill during a study of the judicial system.
Always arriving with a smile, he'd introduce himself and explain the role of a prosecuting attorney. He didn't lecture but instead presented a judicial dilemma for debate. He never talked down to the students, respecting their statements as he praised their thinking, while pointing to problems in their logic and the difficulty in finding fair solutions. It amazed me that in the end Carl knew every student's name.
Year after year he turned my classroom into a perfect learning experience, one where students were engaged in critical thinking while discussing complicated issues. I once suggested that he'd make a perfect teacher.
I remember one visit when Carl came in looking tired. I asked how he felt, and he explained that he'd been working all night on a case but would not miss a session with my kids because he had promised to come. What a guy!
I could never repay him for his generosity of time and spirit, but I'm hoping someone repays him for all his contributions to our community by providing a bone marrow sample.