[UPDATE:] Not 15 minutes went by before I got the chance to congratulate Chief Curran in person. He was making his rounds through the Northside neighborhood (I noticed him rolling around Town before – he doesn’t seem to be much of a desk jockey).
I’ve had an opportunity to meet Brian in a few different venues these last few months and my initial impression that he was a talented officer capable of leading our department through transitional times has only been strengthened.
When he was initially appointed to take Chief Jarvies position I did a little research and was impressed by the commitment he has shown our Town.
When Town Manager Roger Stancil cast a wide net seeking a new Chief, I was hoping that our own law enforcement folks would be considered fully. With the failure to secure Roger’s first choice (due to the candidate’s failure to pass a health exam), I was looking forward to a re-evaluation of our home team bench.
Today Roger announced the permanent appointment of Brian to Chief.
Concurrently, Roger set some specific goals that will keep Brian busy over the next couple years.
To: Mayor and Town Council
From: Roger L. Stancil, Town Manager
CC: Senior Management Team
Date: September 24, 2007
Subject: Appointment of Brian Curran as Police Chief
I am proud to appoint Brian Curran as the Chief of Police of the Town of Chapel Hill. This appointment is effective immediately.
Since April 1, 2006, when Chief Gregg Jarvies retired, Brian Curran has served as our Interim Chief. During that time, he has exhibited the qualities that our community said they wanted in a chief during a series of community focus groups. As I made my decision, I reviewed the notes of those focus groups carefully. The words they used describe the behaviors and characteristics I have seen in Brian: Fair, honest, well-rounded law enforcement experience, understanding Chapel Hill, experience with University relations, understanding of neighborhood needs and concerns, leads by example, decisive, team player, experience with managing large gatherings of people, ability to relate to everyone in the community, good manager, approachable.
Having seen those behaviors, I have decided Brian is the best person to lead our Police Department and become a part of the Town’s Senior Management Team as we work collaboratively to make Chapel Hill an even better place to live.
Brian has worked for the Town of Chapel Hill since 1982. He began work in the Parks and Recreation department. He then served as a non-sworn communications specialist with the Police Department before becoming a Public Safety Officer in 1987. He has served in various roles in the department that give him a broad view and an understanding of the department and the community. I have attached his resume for your information.
As stated above, I carefully reviewed the characteristics of a chief of police as stated by the various community, employee, management team and Town Council focus groups earlier this year. I also reviewed the matrix of leadership characteristics that evolved from those focus groups. I reviewed the remaining finalists in the original round of applications as well as the applications received since we readvertised the position in July. I assessed the behavior of Chief Curran since he became interim chief in April. I asked the interview panel from our assessment center, supplemented by other assessors, to interview him and provide feedback. Based on the behavior I observed in his interim role and the feedback from the interview panel, I determined that Brian has demonstrated the characteristics sought by our community and is the best person to lead our police department.
I have charged Brian with the following goals:
Assess the department, involving our employees and the community to tell us what we are doing well and where we have opportunities for improvement.
Create a leadership development program for our officers and our non-sworn employees to develop our future leaders internally.
Take positive steps to create a diverse command and supervisory structure that represents the various cultural faces of Chapel Hill.
Expand the community policing efforts of the department so that community policing becomes a belief system within our department.
Take the lead in innovation and teamwork to find solutions to community issues.
I look forward to working with Chief Curran.
As so do I, Roger. I especially like the goals Roger has set our new chief. Community policing needs to be a reflexive ethic of our department. Developing AND RETAINING our young turks will serve the Town well over the next few decades. And working to encompass the diversity of our community should make our law enforcement officers task smoother.
I said early on in my campaign, win or lose, my signs would not linger throughout our Town.
If there’s one discriminator the electorate takes away from this election, I hope they recall that I said it, then I did it.
I said it and then I did it. If you look at my activism on behalf of our community, you’ll see a clear track record of “walking my own talk”.
In 2006 I managed to pick-up over 2,000 signs (and several bags of adjacent litter – unfortunately, I’ve already filled two this year!).
Every year I offer to pickup any candidate’s sign and, once again extend that offer to everyone – my colleagues in the Town Council race – Carrboro races – the school board (contact signs AT citizenwill.org ).
It’s a fun way to do my part to keep our community attractive.
A common question I get is “Who designed your sign?”
I actually did, using a variety of free software tools – including GImp (Gnu Image Program) and OpenOffice. These are the kind of tools I’ve been asking our Town to adopt for the last six years. Using OpenOffice, for instance, would save hundreds of thousands in Microsoft licensing fees, something our Council is well aware of, something our Town continues to drag its feet doing.
Kirk Ross posted Neloa Jone’s request for governmental redress (“the setting right of what is wrong”) over on the Carrboro Citizen’s ‘blog:
The Rogers-Eubanks “Coalition to End Environmental Racism” (CEER)
For nearly one hundred and fifty years, African-American families have lived in what is now known as the Rogers-Eubanks Community. In the late 1800s, Rogers Road was a wagon-track through black-owned family farmland and sawmills that stretched from Homestead to Eubanks and Millhouse Roads. There was once a school on Eubanks Road, Morris Grove, founded by a former slave, for black children not allowed to attend school elsewhere. As decades passed, this land was passed down to children, to grandchildren, to great-grandchildren, and in some cases, to great-great grandchildren. Some land was lost to debt, some simply sold. However, African Americans continued migrating to this community; they purchased land and established homes. Today, this community is a predominantly low-income neighborhood, but it remains socially cohesive and culturally rich in spite of the solid waste facilities that have worked to destroy it.
In 1972, when the Town of Chapel Hill decided to use 120 acres of land on Eubanks Road for the first landfill—this was a thriving community, and it was strongly opposed to having a landfill near them. However, Mayor Howard Lee convinced this community to accept the landfill for ten years, promising that afterwards no other landfills would be opened near them and a park and other basic amenities would be provided when the landfill closed.
That was 35 years ago.
And inspite of the fact that Orange County prides itself on being aggressively opposed to social and environmental injustice, it has refused to honor decades of broken promises made to the Rogers-Eubanks Community. Local governments continue to expand solid waste facilities in this area: since 1972, two municipal solid waste landfills have been opened; two industrial waste landfills have been opened. We have yard and hazardous waste collection sites, recycling and garbage drop-off centers, a Materials Recovery landfill (MRF), and let’s not forget about that toxic, smelly leachate pond (1/3 of an acre) right next to Mrs. Gertrude Nunn’s property. The newest proposed addition to these ever-expanding solid waste facilities is the transfer station. And even though some people believe that closing the landfill and building a transfer station will improve conditions in the community, WE contend that it will not. Along with the transfer station, garbage collection trucks, and 18-wheelers we will still have the vermin, the stench, more air pollutants, and more noise. We will also have increased traffic that poses increased danger to our children and other citizens.
So our question tonight is this: why are low-income communities and communities where people of color live always the most vulnerable to solid waste facilities?
The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council has concluded that “WTS are sited disproportionately in areas adjacent to poor communities and communities of color.” The New York Times recently reported that “low-income communities . . . shelter most of America’s polluting facilities”; African Americans are “79 percent more likely than whites to live in areas where air-pollution levels pose health risks.” Professor Robert Bullard of Clark Atlanta University contends that “the people who live closest” to waste facilities are those “who have the fewest resources,” but that “doesn’t mean [they] should be dumped on.”
On March 3, 2006, the Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB) passed a resolution recommending that the transfer station be located on Eubanks Road. Why? Because Eubanks Road is convenient, because the County can put the transfer station here cheaply, because the County will be saved the hassle of having to search for another site, AND because there was a GOOD chance that THIS community that has been dumped on for 35 years would not object TOO LOUDLY. On March 27, 2007, the Orange County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to accept this recommendation from SWAB to locate the transfer station on Eubanks Road.
What we are asking for tonight?
This community wants Orange County to stop dumping garbage and toxic waste in their backyard.
The Rogers-Eubanks “Coalition to End Environmental Racism” (CEER) supports this community in its demands for environmental justice. And these are our demands:
• We want you to eliminate immediately the Rogers-Eubanks Road Community as a site for the proposed solid waste transfer station.
• We want you to halt all solid waste activities in this community no later than November 2009.
• We want you to honor the promises made to this community over the past 35 years for having endured the negative impacts of having garbage dumped in our backyard.
• We want you to address quality of life issues immediately by providing this community with municipal water and sewer services and other community enhancements to ensure the health and safety of the residents.
All of us here tonight have a lot of work to do, and we are certain that having heard us tonight, you will do what’s right and bring environmental justice to the Rogers-Eubanks Community. Thank you.
Prostate cancer will kill 27,000 men in the U.S. this year who might have survived with early treatment.
So UNC urologists will be giving free prostate screenings today as part of Prostate Cancer Awareness Week. The screenings will be from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at UNC Hospitals’ Urology Clinic on the second floor of N.C. Memorial Hospital, [MAP] and no appointment is needed.
“The hardest thing is getting people a setting where they can get checked,” said Eric Wallen, a urologist at UNC Hospitals, which has sponsored free screening events for 14 years. “We want to make it convenient for patients to get checked.”
Because prostate cancer is a slow-spreading disease, if it’s caught at an early stage, there is almost a 100 percent chance that it will be cured in five years.
Like a lot of men, I don’t really relish the old prostate exam, but considering the good prognosis if caught early, it’s something well worth doing.
I’m 45 and have younger friends that have dealt with prostate cancer. One of my dear neighbors is dealing with prostate cancer caught further into the progression. Modern tests can help catch this disease well before it becomes untreatable.
African-American men from eastern North Carolina have the highest rate of prostate cancer incidence in the country, Wallen said.
“The main importance of the week is to get men screened,” said Heather Eichhorn, director of Prostate Cancer Awareness Week.
Although an N.C. law requires insurance companies to provide coverage for prostate screenings, Wallen said free exams are important because uninsured men often are deterred by the costs and hassle of finding a doctor for the test.
Without insurance, the tests cost between $50 and $150, he said.
Last year 460 men received free prostate exams during UNC’s awareness week, and 56 tested abnormal for the prostate-specific antigen blood test. Elevated PSA levels can indicate a problem in the prostate that isn’t necessarily cancer.
The digital rectal exam is a way to verify that a patient has cancer, and of those 56 men, two also tested abnormal for the DRE.
If you’re in the target age group, have been avoiding the old “bend over for me”, please, please, please avail yourself of this free service.
The local Orange-Chatham Sierra Club participates in the local election process two ways: endorsing candidates and sponsoring a forum.
Last Sunday, Chairman Bernadette Pelissier, Political Chair Loren Hintz and member Matthew Scheer interviewed me on behalf of the Sierra Club to determine if I qualified for an endorsement.
Questions spanned local zoning policy, a discussion of good and bad infill, personal commitment to environmental protection and Carolina North.
Folks that read CitizenWill already have a good idea about where I stand on many of these issues.
Surprisingly some issues, like local waste management, the trash transfer station and Rogers Road community’s complaints, our storm water utility policy or in-town open space preservation didn’t make the list. Of course, you can only fit so much into a 45 minute interview.
I appreciate these members taking the time to review my thoughts on Carolina North, zoning policy, pragmatic carbon reduction strategies, transit, etc. (I tried to cram way too much into my answers and digressions).
The Chapel Hill forum takes place next Tuesday, September 25th, 7-9pm at the Chapel Hill Town Hall. The event will be broadcast on our local public access channel.
In 2005 I did secure the local club’s enthusiastic endorsement. Here’s what they said two years ago:
Will Raymond has been one of the most outspoken and effective citizen activists in Chapel Hill in recent years. We look forward to him using his talents to advocate for the environment as a member of Town Council. In particular we are excited about his initiatives to promote energy efficiency in town buildings. He will also work to protect lesser known creeks in the Chapel Hill area and to minimize the number of single occupancy vehicles causing air pollution and traffic congestion at Carolina North.
We strongly encourage Sierra Club members and any residents of Chapel Hill who care about the environment to support these four candidates in the November 8th election. They are the best hope for a Town Council that will always make reducing environmental impact a top priority as Chapel Hill grows bigger.
We’ll know by mid-October if the work I’ve done since – on Carolina North, as a member of the Horace-William’s Citizen Committee sub-committee on environment, tracking and publicizing the landfill/transfer site problems on Rogers Road – will secure an endorsement in 2007.
The questions are broad, open to interpretation and, on occasion, leading. How would you answer the Chamber’s questions?
In case the Director omits my business background, as he did in 2005, I worked for Northern Telecom for many years, winning a couple President’s Awards and a Chairman’s Award for Innovation (the first IT person to do so). I have been a CIO/CTO of a couple successful startups, including Reged.com which sold to FiServ for millions. As an entrepreneur I was part of the crew that guided those companies to multi-million dollar revenues. I currently work for Tibco, an enterprise application integration company, specializing in XML technology and distributed Java application architectures.
Here is the questionnaire and my extended answers. You’ll note I wasn’t unsure at all:
4. Is increasing the commercial tax base in Chapel Hill an important priority for you?
Even before my run for office in 2005 I was agitating for a Economic Development Officer to help develop strategic and tactical approaches to increasing our commercial tax base. Council finally hired an officer, now we need leadership with business acumen to make the best use of his services.
The Rogers-Eubanks Coalition to End Environmental Racism, a coalition of the
Chapel Hill -Carrboro Branch of the NAACP
Environmental Justice Network
West End Revitalization Association
Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom
Orange County Progressive Democrats
and members of UNC-CH Faculty, Students, and Staff
are calling for folks to turn out at the Thursday, Sept. 20th Joint Assembly of Governments Meeting, 7:30pm at the Southern Human Services Center [MAP]
Support the Residents of the Landfill Neighborhoods*
at the Joint Assembly of Governments Meeting (Orange Co., Hillsborough, Carrboro and Chapel Hill)
• No to the proposed transfer station
• Shut down the stinking landfills
• Safe water hookups
• Safe and cheap sewer services
Improve the quality of life for Landfill Neighborhoods.*
Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.
Southern Human Services Center
2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill
*The predominantly Black neighborhoods along Rogers Road and parts of Eubanks Road were seen as politically impotent to stop the placement of stinking landfills and other waste products of the more powerful white residents in the recent past. This is called Environmental Racism.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
What issues does the Rogers Road community want addressed?
Here’s a quick overview from some of my posts covering our neighbors continuing plight:
Coming on the heels of last month’s $65,000 NRC fine, Progress Energy continues to promote two more reactors at their Shearon-Harris site.
There are several unresolved issues involving Shearon-Harris that makes siting further reactors more than problematic. Until waste disposal, security, adequate fire protection, safe storage and a slew of other issues are dealt with, furthering a development proposal for Shearon-Harris makes no sense.
The NRC, the industry’s partners in the nuclear mess, is holding an initial public hearing Sept. 18th in Apex.
In preparation for the Progress Energy license application for Harris, the NRC has scheduled a public information meeting on Tuesday, September 18, at the New Horizons Fellowship at 820 E. Williams Street in Apex, NC. An open house will be held from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a NRC presentation at 7:00 p.m., after which the public will have an opportunity to ask questions. (A copy of the meeting notice is attached.)
As long time readers know, I’ve been trying to get our Town to adopt free/open source software products for the last 6 years.
There’s been some success but not enough.
FOSS (free/open source software) is a low cost alternative to the Microsoft Monopoly (the Town could’ve saved between $500-700K by now if it had adopted some of the recommendations of the now defunct Technology Advisory Board). Beyond driving cost out of the process, many of these products use (heck, celebrate) open standards which will preserve our information assets over the long haul and prevent costly proprietary lock-in.
11am Amit Bhutani from DELL. Amit is a Sr. Linux Software Engineer
12, noon – Pam Sessoms, University Library
Pam will be giving a talk on how her team customized the Pidgin chat client for use by librarians at UNC-CH. Multiple librarians can seamlessly answer questions using the ‘davisrefdesk’ IM nickname, and evening questions can be routed to librarians at Duke and NCSU as part of the Night Owl chat feature. Such customization would not have been possible if Pidgin had not been released under an Open license.
12:45pm Mark Finkle of Mozilla.
Mark is a Platform Evangelist at Mozilla Corporation. His primary job is to make it easy for people to develop extensions for Firefox. He also provides support for developers building applications on XULRunner and embedding Gecko in native applications.
1:45 Joseph Mack of AustinTek
Joseph will be discussing the Linux Virtual Server for people who are unfamiliar with the project and for those who would like to get started but want some background.
I’ll be banging the drum, once again, this year for wider adoption of these technologies by the Town to improve service delivery, preserve our information assets, promote greater transparency in the governance process and DRIVE COST out of the system.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged four more former Nortel Networks Corp. executives with accounting fraud, alleging they manipulated reserves to change Nortel’s earnings statements on the orders of more senior officers of the Canadian networking equipment maker.
The U.S. stocks regulator said Wednesday it had filed civil fraud charges against Douglas Hamilton, Craig Johnson, James Kinney and Kenneth Taylor, the former vice presidents of finance for Toronto-based Nortel’s optical, wireline, wireless and enterprise business units.
In March, the SEC filed civil fraud charges against ex-CEO Frank Dunn and other executives — including former Chief Financial Officer Douglas Beatty and former controller Michael Gollogly — alleging they directed a so-called earnings management fraud to manipulate the company’s financial reports.
My Triangle career started at Northern (now Nortel) in the late ’80′s. Back then I worked for TEAM10, the DMS-10 switching side of the business. Over the next 6 years I managed to move around to various units, working on everything from manufacturing process automation to revamping the switch engineering process to writing software that managed the core central office switching equipment.
I won several Presidents Awards and was the first IT staff to get a Chairman’s Award for Innovation.
Northern Telecom (it’ll always be Northern to me) had a good energy back when I started – a vibrancy that made it fun to work there. Towards the end of my tenure, Northern was a different place. Wave after wave of layoffs. Many folks climbing the management ladder based on gamesmanship over merit.
The fun was over. The waste of talent, the incredible dissipation of the “can do” spirit was sad to see.
I kept in contact with those folks that decided to ride out the storm, looking for Northern to regain its footing, waiting for the old Northern to emerge as a technical leader once again. Unfortunately, the rot that was apparent in the mid-90′s wasn’t rooted out. It appears to have spread, as today, another 4 company officers face SEC charges.
I learned quite a bit at Northern. Great lessons in managing folks and projects. Terrible lessons on how to drive the joy out of a joyful working place.
An interesting program, though it’s not clear from the schedule when or how the “conversation” will occur. We’ve had some great local success using an unconference format to stimulate, educate and inform the public on technical issues.
Maybe the evening program could be reserved for a “conversation” built around and directed by the attendees?
Was looking for some information on October 4th’s National Conversation on Climate Action when I stumbled upon what appears to be the Mayor’s own, new website: www.chapelhillmayorsoffice.com.
A quick Google of “www.chapelhillmayorsoffice.com” only turned up the site itself and this reference from today’s Herald-Sun:
CHAPEL HILL — The town will be part of the National Conversation on Climate Action, and will host an event at the Chapel Hill Public Library on Oct. 4 to discuss the science of climate change and what can be done locally to deal with global warming.
Chapel Hill joins local government leaders from across the country in hosting an event, which will be part education and part interactive community-wide discussion.
For more information on the National Conversation on Climate Action, including a current list of participating cities, go to www.climateconversation.org. For more information about the Chapel Hill event, go to www.chapelhillmayorsoffice.com/climatechange.html.
“I’m glad we have this opportunity to talk about climate change, and I hope this event helps citizens learn about local efforts to address global warming. The Town Council wants people in our community to think and work together on this issue, which is important both nationally and locally,” said Mayor Kevin Foy.
The network registration record indicates the domain was secured 2007-08-10 10:38:58 and registered as a DOT.COM. The first content appeared Aug. 29th, 2007.
I’m dropping an email to the Town Manager to see if this site is owned and maintained by our Town and, if not, does he know who does?
‘Blogs and websites are de rigeur of current campaigns, if this part of a Mayor Foy’s campaign or associated with the local Chamber of Commerce it might explain the .COM.
Hopefully this is the beginning of a more interactive conversation between our Mayor, whomever that is, and the public – an event to celebrate.
As reported on the Chapel Hill News ‘blog OrangeChat, a new candidate, Carrboro Alderman John Herrera, has joined the field to replace State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird (whom hasn’t announced she isn’t running yet…).
Herrera joins former Carrboro Mayor/current Orange County Commissioner Mike Nelson and OC Commissioner Moses Carey in the race. The race essentially will be decided in May by the Democratic Primary (unless it gets moved sooner) which might explain the head start they’re all making.
Each candidate will be bringing their own unique baggage to the party so it should be interesting to see how the political jockeying will play out.