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The Daily Tar Heel

Board of Aldermen discusses town advisory boards, human services

The Board of Aldermen implemented a new method of discussion for their work sessions throughout the fall.

Names of Board of Aldermen members were randomly drawn and assigned to small groups, which then sat down with town staff to discuss different topics related to the advisory board and human services assessment.

The small groups rotated around the room and discussed a different set of questions at each table.

At the end of the discussion, town staff read a summary of each group to the entire room, although many ideas were discussed independently in the different groups.

The small groups first discussed ways to update the advisory board policies and procedures.

Some changes that were suggested were technical changes to the application, such as changing “sex” to “gender identity” and adding a mobile phone number to the application.

Other suggested changes related to more general ideas, such as the reapplication process for advisory board members and voting procedures.

The Board of Aldermen shifted their discussion to the human services next.

They discussed aspects of human services the town needs to prioritize.

They agreed that the funding application process for human services should be completely online.

Catherine Dorando, town clerk of Carrboro, read summary points of one table’s discussion and said that a group discussed the need to allocate more funds to help homeless people.

She also said one of the groups questioned whether different groups requesting grants should fill out the same lengthy application.

According to meeting documents, six human service needs rose to the top of needs assessments conducted by the UNC School of Government in 2012 in Chapel Hill.

These needs include affordable housing, affordable healthcare, education and family resources, jobs and job training, food and transportation.

The assessment also recommended that the town consider opportunities for addressing human service needs beyond allocation of funding.

Members of the Board of Aldermen and town staff will provide direction for future actions at regular meetings in the coming weeks.


The Board of Aldermen’s new format for work sessions is based on how they plan at retreats that members go on together to plan for the year, said Board of Aldermen member Randee Haven-O’Donnell.


“We are still working on (this new method),” Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle said. “It is a work in progress.”

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