Earl McKee

Orange County Unveils New Portal for Economic Information

A six-month process to compile more timely information about Orange County finances is now complete. A new portal is now online that will make information about Orange County’s budget publicly available. The Financial Transparency Portal was unveiled on Tuesday night by Chief Financial Officer Gary Donaldson. “The purpose of it is to provide an alternate means to assess the county’s financial operations,” said Donaldson. Residents can go to the page and find updated information about total expenditures from various departments, including education, general government, public safety, school debt services and OPC mental health. “It just offers another view,” said...

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Chancellor Carol Folt and Local Government Leadership Discuss Impact of HB2

As legislators travelled to Raleigh for the beginning of the legislative session on Monday, groups gathered both opposing and supporting House Bill 2. Many local governments, including all entities in Orange County, have passed resolutions calling for the repeal of the law that bars transgender individuals from using the bathroom of their gender identity and nullifies local nondiscrimination ordinances, among other things. Speaking at the WCHL Community Forum on Tuesday, Earl McKee – chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners – said HB2 flies in the face of Orange County values. “Orange County has been in the forefront of inclusiveness and the forefront of ensuring that everyone is treated equally and treated fairly,” McKee said. “And HB2 just tramples all over that whole ideal.” Mayor Pam Hemminger said that the desire for everyone to feel welcome in Chapel Hill is one of the things that she loves most about the community. “We care,” Hemminger said. “We want everyone to be treated equitably. We cannot believe the state passed this horrific bill. It makes no sense to us because we care, because we want to be inclusive.” UNC Chancellor Carol Folt reiterated her opposition to the bill while adding the university is still working to understand what it will ultimately have to do to comply with the law. “The faculty, actually several weeks ago, passed a resolution similar to...

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2016 WCHL Community Forum

Listen to the 2016 WCHL Community Forum. Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger and Orange County Commissioner Earl McKee Orange County Commissioner Earl McKee Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle and UNC Chancellor Carol Folt Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle The Town & Gown Forum UNC Chancellor Carol Folt Blake Hodge The Higher Education Forum Dr. Bruce Cairns of UNC and Mitch Kokai of the John Locke Foundation The Higher Education Panel Bill Ingram of Durham Tech and Hayley Fowler of the Daily Tar Heel Dr. Bruce Cairns of UNC and Mitch Kokai of...

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Rogers Road Sewer Project Moving Forward

Another hurdle has been cleared in the Rogers Road sewer project. Orange County Commissioners voted unanimously at the board meeting last Tuesday to move forward with acquiring easements to extend sewer lines to the Rogers Road community. The Orange County landfill was located in the historically-black community for more than 40 years before closing in 2013 under pressure from environmental justice advocates. Planning to bring in new sewer service has been in the works for more than two years. The proposed sewer line is approximately 18,500 linear feet. Commissioners heard from county deputy manager Travis Myren about acquiring land...

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North Carolina Considering New Biking Regulations

The Department of Transportation has made recommendations in an attempt to improve bike safety in the state. Back in June of 2015 the General Assembly passed a bill charging the DOT to look at bike laws and to make recommendations on how to improve safety for bicyclist and motorists. Thinking of ways to make bicyclist safer is an important conversation said Earl McKee, chair of the Board of County Commissioners. “We are looking at ways to try to increase the safety of the biking public and those in cars, so it’s going to be an interesting conversation, it may...

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Orange County Commissioners Move Forward with $125 Million Bond

The Orange County Board of Commissioners took another step toward issuing the largest bond in county history Tuesday night. The board unanimously approved a motion to move forward with a bond that would be worth $125 million. The commissioners decided that $120 million of the bond will go toward repairing school buildings in the county and $5 million will go to affordable housing. When the bond was originally discussed, all of the money was expected to go to the schools. But, due to public outcry for funding for affordable housing, some commissioners changed their mind, including Chair Earl McKee....

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