Category: Civil Society

  • Transparent doesn’t mean invisible

    It seems like all public officials celebrate transparency, until it applies to them. Case in point: Gov. Roy Cooper, who (years ago as attorney general) wrote the introduction to the North Carolina Guide to Open Government and Public Records for the N.C. Press Association. “The spirit with which public…

  • A teachable moment missed with the national school walkout

    On Tuesday, I received a call from school officials informing parents of activities for a “national school walkout,” planned in response to the recent deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Wednesday morning, I did what I expect many other parents did. I had a conversation with my children about gun…

  • N.C. Senate leader serves up delicious distraction

    Props to N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger for guiding the conversation in our state back toward things that matter. Things about which we can happily disagree. Courts, pipelines, solar farms, elections? Nah. Let’s talk barbecue, he says. Better yet, let’s talk barbecue while…

  • UNC president reflects on her first two years

    CHAPEL HILL — Two years after taking her seat as president of the University of North Carolina, Margaret Spellings is “pleased, but not satisfied” with her work so far. It’s been a busy and chaotic climb. During her first year in office, Spellings, along with the…

  • Meeting our needs without taking on more government debt 

    I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about local government debt. It all started when I was preparing for a presentation and took a look at the Wake County budget for this year.  I nearly fell out of my chair.  This year alone, Wake County’s budget includes just more than $273 million in debt…

  • Protecting our investments in North Carolina 

    Protecting our investments means taking care of what we own.  As state taxpayers, we own a lot of stuff — office, school and university buildings, state agencies and department offices, courthouses, prisons, libraries, books … and lots of land. North Carolina owns 42 parks, a symphony orchestra, a zoo, and seven history and two art museums.   …