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This week in civic life: November 1-4 – Town council preview, The Local Reporter update, and a nighttime bike ride

Hello! What a week – there’s trick-or-treating, of course, but there’s also a full slate of civic meetings and activities to delight and inspire us all once again. Let ‘s dig in.

Tuesday November 1

BOCC meeting

We kick off the week with an Orange County Board of Commissioners Business Meeting

7:00 PM, Richard Whitted Meeting Facility

Agenda and more information

The agenda includes a public hearing on the Orange County Transit Plan Interlocal Agreement, which will define new roles/responsibilities for the BOCC, the DCHC MPO, and Go Triangle.

Also on the agenda is a staff presentation asking the BOCC to open the public hearing for the Orange County Transit Plan Update (page 70). This is the first step in Orange County’s adoption process. The public hearing will be closed, and the plan considered for adoption, at the Board’s 11/15/2022 meeting. If you support transit in Orange County, especially the inclusion of an additional $15 million for N-S BRT, please consider making a public comment at the meeting or sending the BOCC a letter of support.

Carrboro Town Council meeting

Carrboro Town Council meets at Town Hall

7pm

Agenda

The Town Council will be reviewing the first quarter budget and considering adopting a resolution supporting the adoption of the 2022 Draft Orange County Transit plan. Planned improvements are noted for the CW, HS, and NS lines (yay!); an additional $15 million for N-S BRT, and a long-term regional transit vision.

long-term regional transit map

Wednesday November 2 

Lighten Up Bike Ride (led by Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils)

Wednesday, Nov. 2

4 – 6 p.m.

Ride begins at 5 p.m. at Carrboro Town Hall

More info

Chapel Hill Town Council Meeting

7 p.m., Chapel Hill Town Hall

Agenda

Town Council is back in session after last week’s bye week, when many council members were in Asheville for an inter-city visit. This is the first town council in recent memory that does not include development review, which means that we’ll not hear council members weigh in on setbacks, stormwater requirements,and other minutiae. In other words, the council this week is acting like a council (not a planning commission) and focusing on the big picture.

The first major item is a discussion of how to spend money awarded to the town as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was one of the first major pieces of legislation signed by President Biden. Chapel Hill’s share is $10.7 million, and the council is considering allocating it as follows:

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While some of the money has already been allocated, the council will discuss how to spend unallocated funds, including $500K on design of four important greenway extensions:

  • An extension of the Bolin Creek Greenway to Estes
  • A side path on Raleigh Road
  • A multiuse path connecting Bolin Creek to Booker Creek, and
  • Our favorite, a Campus to Campus connector that would connect Carrboro to Northside.

The town is also poised to considering allocating $500K on community projects, using participatory-based budgeting, which has proved successful in Durham. We’re really happy to see this included in the ARPA spending allocation, and look forward to being part of the process.

In addition the town council will receive the complete community draft plans and guidelines for selecting a pilot project. 41 people were interviewed as part of this process, including a few TBB writers. There are several pilot projects listed, some of which would be transformative and some of which would…not.

pilot-projects

Other items of note:

Melody Kramer attended The Local Reporter’s fourth birthday party at Flyleaf. The current editor of the non-profit publication was not there because she lives in St. Augustine, Florida. Attendees included members of the paper’s writing staff and several members of CHALT.

Rudy Juliano, the assistant treasurer of the CHALT PAC until this past January and a member of the Board of Directors at the paper, noted that the paper “made it our policy to be unbiased in our news coverage,” citing that the paper has published letters to the editor on both sides of issues.

We note that publishing letters to the editor on both sides is a low bar that has nothing to do with editorial discretion on stories — and does not address the paper’s lack of a masthead for two years, not telling our community that a former elected official served as editor for four months, having many sources that have not been identified as having connections to the board of directors, or the number of stories they’ve published on issues that CHALT has taken a stance on. We will continue to monitor the paper and its operations.