Tag Archives: moses-carey

Trash Talk: Systematic is the New Watchword

The commissioners asked county staff to do a more exhaustive search of sites, citing solid waste management director Gayle Wilson’s statement that the process of looking for a transfer station site hadn’t been as “systematic” as previous searches for landfill space.

From today’s N&O report on last night’s (Mar. 13th) BOCC meeting.

After reviewing the Orange County Solid Waste Advisory Board (SWAB) and Landfill Owner’s Group minutes covering the transfer station site search, I’m more convinced than ever we need a decision matrix that incorporates more dimensions than a straight engineering site selection suggests.

That matrix should assign values to social, environmental, economic, growth, transportation impacts and assess possible sites against that more “full blooded” metric. I’ll be interested in seeing if staff will first create a new process for evaluation or tailor the current criteria to narrow the search.

The lack of a systematic approach didn’t stop BOCC member Moses Carey from pushing forward for an immediate decision:

Chairman Moses Carey had pushed the board to make a decision Tuesday, citing a time crunch. A consultant hired by the county said it will take as long as four years to get a transfer station up and running. The Eubanks Road landfill is expected to be full by late 2010.

Not quite sure why taking the time for a measured approach now will greatly delay a project scheduled for 2010. Given the current status, a delay now to select more appropriate criteria – say criteria suggested by the landfill’s current neighbors – is the most prudent path.

Draft timetable from Mar. 13th’s agenda item:

Election Day 2006: Hogan Farms and Beyond…

Covered Hogan Farms from 6:45am to 9:45am. BOCC candidate Jamie Daniels was handing out material until roughly 9am. Stein supporters covered the precinct from 7ish on. The Democrats staffed a table handing out sample ballots the whole time I was there…

As of 9:35am, 300 confirmed voters with another 10-15 milling about waiting to go. When I called in to report the numbers to O.C. Democratic headquarters, was told the 10am figure was 369.

Hogan Farms has a nice setup – including hot coffee. A welcome bit of hospitality considering the temperature and rain began falling in earnest as I left. Judge Baddour was getting some good support. So to folks voting NO on the districting referendum. A welcome surprise.

2AM Chapel Hill Library – Prepping Signs

[UPDATE: ] Moved the rest of the photos here.

The rain has let up a bit. I’m hoping most of it has swept through by 4:30pm when Elijah and I start working Chapel Hill library (Estes Hills – my home precinct).

Vote No on Orange County Districting Referendum, Another No from Katz

A resounding NO from former Orange County Democratic Party chair Barry Katz in his Oct. 28th LTE to the Chapel Hill News:

I will vote no on the ballot referendum to restructure the Orange County commissioners.

First, there hasn’t been enough public debate on the merits of change, and I oppose change without voters’ understanding its consequences. Second, since the mid-1930s, The Chapel Hill News has reported countywide contests between candidates in favor of funding schools, health clinics, etc., and candidates who oppose raising taxes to fund such services. Most years the pro-funding candidates win and they do it with support from all parts of the county, albeit with greater support in southern Orange. So this is an old story.

Third, my six years on the county Planning Board suggests to me that underlying the push to change how county commissioners are elected are residents who are concerned about “restrictive” land-use planning and the rights of landowners to do what they want with their land. I joined the board as a skeptic regarding land-use planning and left a confirmed proponent of strategic land-use planning. We have only to look at Wake County to see how unregulated growth leads to urban sprawl, a lack of public transportation and too little public open space.

Orange County has been in a decades-long urban-suburbanizing transition that will continue past my lifetime. Agriculture now accounts for about 1 percent of the county’s economy, but the value of agricultural land has skyrocketed in recent decades due to residential housing demand. “Recent residents,” i.e., people whose grandparents weren’t born in Orange County, constitute a strong majority of voters and now determine the outcome of local elections, as is only proper. Not only would new and future Orange residents benefit from planning, but agricultural landowners would enjoy sustained maximum land values if the quality of life stays high in the county, as would occur under a thoughtful land use plan.

I hope landowners recognize the practical truth in this notion. — Barry Katz, Chapel Hill