Wake County school board member Jim Martin told his colleagues that they can learn from the civil unrest following a grand jury’s decision not to indict a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Martin said the situation in Ferguson is a classic example of the disconnect between how officialdom and people in the community view things. He said board members need to remember as they craft school policies that the world looks different sitting around the board table than out in the schools where the policies are implemented.
“We need to be as much of a force for justice as we can be,” said Martin, chairman of the policy committee, at the start of a meeting Tuesday. “There is no policy that’s going to solve every problem. But we cannot make them worse, and we can work toward making them better.”
Irked by incentives
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The Chapel Hill Town Council approved fee rebates this week to encourage water- and energy-efficient construction in the Ephesus-Fordham development district.
John Richardson, the town’s sustainability officer, said the 35 percent rebates could run $600,000 over the first four years, or about a third of the total permit revenue the town expects Ephesus-Fordham redevelopment to generate over that time.
Council member Matt Czajkowski voted for the incentives Monday night, but not without some criticism.
The town gave extra density to future developers in the Ephesus-Fordham district to spur growth, instead of trading it for energy-efficient buildings, he said. Now it is giving up dedicated fee revenues to ensure efficient buildings.
“It comes to the fundamental question that was raised when we did (the rezoning for) Ephesus-Fordham,” Czajkowski said, “which is why didn’t we require levels of environmental efficiency or put in much broader incentives from the outset?”
Durham City Hall rehab
Access to Durham City Hall, including the council chambers and the committee room, will remain open during a nine-month repair and renovation project that gets underway in early December.
The $6.4 million project involves replacing deteriorated gravel-and-concrete exterior panels, brick repairs to stop water leaks and removing a large, unused staircase along Mangum Street. There will also be work done to the plaza outside the City Hall Annex and new air-conditioning equipment installed.
The Mangum Street sidewalk as well as a lane of Liberty Street may be closed at times, but the building will be open for business.
Raleigh unity day
The annual Mayor’s Unity Day Breakfast will take place at 9 a.m. Dec. 6 at City Club Raleigh in the Wells Fargo building on Fayetteville Street. This year’s theme is “Bridge Builders,” reflecting the focus of the event – cultural diversity and community inclusion. The event is free and includes breakfast for the first 120 people who register. The annual celebration aims to bring diverse elements of the community together to share ideas that enhance understanding of different cultures. To register, call the city of Raleigh Community Services Division at 919-996-6100.
Compiled by staff writers T. Keung Hui and Tammy Grubb.
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