The Town of Chapel Hill's parking lots are transitioning to a pre-paid system.

Pucker up and pay up front: Chapel Hill is changing downtown parking payments

Goodbye time tickets, hello prepay: the Town of Chapel Hill's Lots to Love campaign is gearing up to try and transform parking downtown and your attitude toward it.

“The switch is more than just moving from the old system to these new meters. It’s all one big initiative to create positive interactions with parking,” said Ran Northam, community safety communications specialist for the town.

Lots of Love launched in late April, marking the switch in how you pay for parking and introducing the Park on the Hill Kissing Contest on Instagram.


Chapel Hill Town Council

Chapel Hill’s Town Council is responsible for guiding Chapel Hill and making policy decisions. The town has a council/manager form of government, which means council members are responsible for the town’s legislative responsibilities. There are nine members on the council, which is headed by the mayor. The current mayor of Chapel Hill is Mark Kleinschmidt. The mayor is elected every two years.

Council members are non-partisan and are not given a designated district to represent. They are elected to four-year terms. Elections take place in November of odd-numbered years. The council is advised by the town manager, who carries out the policies and directives of the council.

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Many Chapel Hill officials, such as Town Council member Karen Stegman, work other jobs in addition to their town roles.

Mayors, council members often hold additional full or part-time jobs

Many members of Chapel Hill Town Council and the Carrboro Board of Aldermen — as well as both the Chapel Hill and Carrboro Mayors — hold full or part-time jobs on top of their duties as elected officials. Although their duties often slow down during the summer months and towards the end of December, municipal election season tends to be a very busy time, Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said. She said she wants to improve the community by removing barriers to full participation in the council and opening opportunity for greater representation.


Long-time Orange County Commissioner Barry Jacobs pulls out of race

 “I had a gut reaction that it was time to do it,” Barry Jacobs said. “I’m usually a person that operates based on careful thought, so when I had a strong emotional reaction, I was fascinated. I thought maybe I should listen. I enjoy the work, but I want to do some other things while I’m still on as opposed to under the planet.”  


GoTriangle has designed mock-ups for a light rail between Durham and Chapel Hill paralleling 15-501. Graphic courtesy of GoTriangle.

Light rail funding continues to stay on track

The light rail project in Orange County took a big step forward in late January when Wake County officials helped clear the way for the project to gain state funding. Now, the goal to have reliable, sustainable transportation between Durham and Orange counties seems to be striding closer to reality.