Most media coverage of late about what has been going on in Carrboro has been fixated on the property at 201 N. Greensboro Street.  Several weeks back, a group of local anarchists broke into a building on the property (after a few hours of discussion with our mayor and police chief, the persons inside the building vacated the premises).  A few weeks later, our Board of Aldermen learned through various sources that the group planned to disturb the property again.  Thereafter, our Board spent a good bit of time during a meeting hypothesizing with our police chief about what form this event could take, an event about which the town was never given formal notice (but one which was advertised on a flyer as an event whose purpose was to make the point that “all private property is stolen.”)   Days later, staff time was spent monitoring this event, resulting in one arrest.  Afterward, the local media reported that some citizens and aldermen were upset at the police presence at the event.  The police chief expressed her frustration through the press that “it hurts morale … We continue to do the right thing. We focus on our roles and responsibilities as police officers and enforce the laws … despite the lack of support.” 

As a member of the Board of Aldermen, I want to make clear where I stand in my support of the Carrboro police.  I have not heard anything related to the above-stated chain of events to change my opinion that our police department goes above and beyond its responsibility as an office of law enforcement to not only uphold and enforce the law, but to attempt to balance the values of our community while doing so.  In fact, I publicly stated my support of our police department at our board meeting on March 20, 2012. 

We have lots of work to do in Carrboro, and precious few resources available to get that work done.  During my campaign last fall, citizens were constantly asking me about our tax rate, and how we might increase our commercial presence and sales in Carrboro so that we could relieve the property tax burden on our citizens who own property in the town.  Working on this goal has been a major initiative of our Board.  We have a new Town Manager who is getting up to speed with all of our issues, and who is in the process of preparing a proposed budget for our upcoming fiscal year, a tremendous challenge.  We are constantly working to upgrade our bicycle and pedestrian network, and we are advocating for an expanded transit network via a transit tax that the Board of County Commissioners will likely put on the ballot this fall.   We continue to have important discussions with OWASA, our local water and sewer provider, as we work to make certain we will have a safe, adequate, plentiful water supply in the years to come.  And we are speaking out against the harms of proposed Amendment One, which is on the ballot on May 8, and making certain that people know there are Town employees that will lose their domestic partner benefits if this proposed amendment to our North Carolina Constitution passes.  

As you can see, plenty is happening in Carrboro, and there is lots of work to do.  Let’s turn our attention (and the media’s) toward tackling these other issues.