Fri 13 Jul 2007
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“The communication between the two governments within the same community has been spasmodic and not effective.”
— Orange County Commissioner Barry Jacobs after Chapel Hill Town Council member Bill Strom criticized the county this week for not working more closely with the town on finding new locations for a children’s museum, men’s homeless shelter and District Court.
Via the Chapel Hill News.
Bill kind of rattled on, as you can see [Granicus WMV], about the lack of coordination between the Town and the County – notably, in this case, working to re-site the Men’s Homeless Shelter.
What could’ve Bill done over his last eight years to make sure we don’t “spin our wheels” with the Orange County Board of Commissioners when the Town needs their help? Or that Council doesn’t end up with the BOCC using their “75 years” of collective political experience to “bury us 25 feet under in process and procedure” when we call for assistance?
His complaints about “burying” folks under “25 years of procedural manipulation” is ironic given Mayor Pro Tem Strom’s shelving of a request for real accountability on the Lot $$$5 development project.
Given the sad state of communications and cooperation between this Council and our current Board of Commissioners, Bill is right to call upon the Town and our Town Manager to create a Plan B for the Men’s Shelter’s relocation.
Eight, maybe ten years into the discussion, the BOCC continues to reject Homestead Road’s Southern Human Services Center as a viable location and we still don’t know where to site this necessary shelter. Yes, maybe we can wedge in a facility at the Town’s new Operation Center but, at least to me, that begins to verge on “warehousing” these folks out-of-sight in lieu of attacking the underlying problem head on.
By the way, Bill might have been a little testy because it was late and I had just reminded him that his grand obsession with the white elephant that is the Downtown Development Initiative’s Lot $$$5 project was going to hurt our community in order to bolster RAM Development’s bottom-line.
Whatever the reason, he’s had eight years to improve the lines of communications. I’ll be interested to hear how he proposes to improve the situation if he’s given another 4 years on Council.