Greetings from Our New Town Manager
Hello! After serving the past couple weeks as Carrboro Town Manager, I’d like to introduce myself. I am grateful and excited to join with the Town Council, town staff, and you to achieve extraordinary outcomes in our community.
Twenty years ago, I served as Assistant to the Town Manager for the Town of Carrboro. Since then, my career path has included serving as the Elon Town Manager, as well as executive management positions with the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County, GA and most recently, the City of Asheville. While I had great experiences in those communities, I am pleased to be back in Carrboro!
Each community has its own distinct character, and Carrboro has long held a special place in my heart. It’s still the progressive, open, welcoming, and culturally diverse community that I remember – but there are more than a few changes. I look forward to visiting my old favorites – coffee at Open Eye, concerts at Cat’s Cradle, and hikes along the Adams Tract – while discovering what’s new at the Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Hillsborough Road and the new Grata Café at Carr Mill Mall, just to name a few.
I know the past 17 months have been challenging, and I want to thank you for showing concern for neighbors and the most vulnerable members of our community as we seek ways to continue to help during the ongoing pandemic. If we continue to work together, then our town will emerge stronger. There is lot of excitement on the horizon - the development of a comprehensive plan, downtown redevelopment, racial equity initiatives, and the 203 Project that will bring a new library and cultural center to the heart of town.
I consider it a privilege and an honor to have been selected by the Town Council to serve as the town manager to lead an organization made up of dedicated professionals who work around the clock to provide an exceptional level of customer service in a professional, responsive, and courteous manner. It will take all of us - elected officials, town staff, and you working together to move our community forward.
As I get started, I will be learning about the organization and reconnecting with the community to better understand the challenges and opportunities that are in front of us. Please contact me with any questions, concerns, or suggestions you may have to help us achieve our goals.
I look forward to seeing you around town.
Richard J. White III
Carrboro Town Manager
New Mural for Carrboro High
Carrboro High School at 201 Rock Haven Road is sporting a new mural, ready for the return to in-person classes that began Aug. 23.
The mural is a gift from the Carrboro High School Class of 2021, students who had not been in school most of their senior year and for about half of their junior year.
Muralist Loren Pease (photographed above), in collaboration with Michael Brown, involved students on the conceptualization and painting of the mural, which depicts a purple jaguar and “Welcome to Carrboro High” message. It's located on the outside wall facing the football stadium and athletic fields. If you look carefully, you also will see bees, a nod to Carrboro’s affiliation as a Bee City USA and the school’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
“They wanted something bright, vibrant, and unlike other school murals that are designed to be intimidating to opposing teams,” said Ms. Pease, who also happens to be a bee enthusiast and beekeeper. “The students chose a Carrboro welcoming vibe.”
Completed in July 2021, the $3,000 mural was supported through fundraising efforts, including a $500 grant from the Town of Carrboro and some in-kind donations from Ms. Pease, whose son is a rising sophomore at Carrboro High.
Carrboro Connects Comprehensive Plan Update
After one year of virtual engagement over computer screens and telephone lines, the Carrboro Connects team was so excited to finally get out into the community for real life, in-person pop-up events around Town! The June pop-ups were an opportunity to reach new people who haven’t yet heard about the comprehensive plan, as well as check-in with “old friends” to get input on ideas that have been percolating in the planning process. The Carrboro Connects Task Force has been critical in moving the process along as chapters of the plan are now being written after extensive outreach and community engagement. Advisory boards will continue to review the elements of the plan and the Task Force members participated in Racial Equity - The Role of Government training in June. Preliminary drafts of a number of the plan elements are under review in early August. A community meeting, Task Force meeting and Town Council presentation on a more refined draft are scheduled for the week of September 20th. We hope you will continue to follow the project and share your ideas at www.carrboroconnects.org where you will find all the draft vision, goals and strategies, as well as ways to share your ideas and offer comments on a map of Carrboro.
Important upcoming dates! Learn more at carrboroconnects.org
- Town Council Update – September 21
- Community Workshop #3 – September 22
- Planned Public Hearing – November 16
Governor Cooper Visits Carrboro
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper stopped by Pizzeria Mercato in Carrboro today (Thursday, Aug. 26) and talked with owner Gabe Barker about his experience during the pandemic and what they’re doing now to keep the community safe. Mercato was one of the first restaurants in the area to require proof of vaccination to dine inside.
At a news conference, Mr. Barker said the rule has been good for business while keeping people safe. "Health and safety are my top priority," he said. Governor Cooper is encouraging other businesses across the state to do the same.
Attending the news conference was Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle, NC Rep. Graig Meyer, NC Rep. Verla Insko, NC Sen. Valerie Foushee, Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger and Carrboro Town Manager Richard J. White III.
Mayor Lavelle remarked that cooperation among leaders in Orange County and the towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough has helped keep COVID-19 rates low in our county. She shared that since the Town of Carrboro required that employees demonstrate proof of vaccination http://townofcarrboro.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1818 status by Sept. 1, about 86% of employees are now vaccinated.
The 203 Project, located at 203 S. Greensboro St., will be the future home of the Orange County Southern Branch Library, the Town’s Recreation and Parks Department, WCOM radio, and much more. The Project will host traditional services as well as new collaborative programming that interconnect learning with arts and leisure. A public hearing at which the site plan and Design Development cost estimate were presented took place on June 15. Construction is expected to begin in spring of 2022 and completion of the project is anticipated in summer of 2023.
For more information, visit townofcarrboro.org/203Project
South Greensboro Street Sidewalk Update
The Town has engaged an engineering firm to prepare construction plans for a sidewalk along the west side of S. Greensboro Street from the north end of Old Pittsboro Road to the NC-54 eastbound off-ramp, and onto the Public Works driveway.
The sidewalk would fill a major gap for pedestrians from along Smith Level Road south of NC-54 bypass to downtown. It will contribute to a safer and more comfortable walking environment for pedestrians traveling north and south on S. Greensboro Street and underneath NC-54 bypass.
Information on the design schedule is available at http://www.townofcarrboro.org/2303/S-Greensboro-Sidewalk Plans are 65% complete and have been submitted to NCDOT and other agencies for review.
HELP US BETTER SERVE OUR COMMUNITY!
As part of the Town of Carrboro’s race and equity initiative, maintaining data is important to ensure we are reaching and serving all members of our community. In order to achieve this goal, we hope to gain a better understanding of who we are currently serving. Therefore, we have added an ethnicity component to our RecTrac/WebTrac registration and reservation system.
How can you help?
We are asking that everyone who currently has an account through our RecTrac/WebTrac system to update their family’s information by providing the ethnicity of each household member. This will help us with reporting and evaluation of participation in recreation programs and activities, which will help guide our strategies to better serve the community.
- If you already have a WebTrac account, please visit http://carrbororec.org and click on the RecConnect registration button:
- From there, log into your account. Next, go to ‘Update Account Details’. From here, you can choose the ethnicity of family members in the drop down menu under each person. If you need assistance with your account, you may call the department at 919.918.7364 or email our Administrative Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- If you do not have a WebTrac account and the ability to update online, please contact our Administrative Assistant at the above phone number or email address and we can assist you with entering this information.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING US BETTER SERVE OUR ENTIRE COMMUNITY!
Walk/Bike to School
International Walk to School Day is Oct. 6! We are currently working with Carrboro Elementary to hold a Walking School Bus as part of Walk to School Day!
Photograph above is from a 2019 Walk to School Day with Mayor Lydia Lavelle and community.
Chapel Hill Transit Update
Emergency Housing Assistance
If you or someone you know needs emergency housing assistance, the Emergency Housing Assistance (EHA) program can help pay for rent, security deposits, or fees. Visit EHA online to see if you qualify or to complete an application. Or contact the Housing Helpline: 919-245-2655 HousingHelp@orangecountync.gov