Monday Memo

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Monday Memo is a regular column from the Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners. You can sign up to receive this and other Orange County news in your inbox.

The current edition is posted below. Archives are available on the right.

Monday Memo: Aug. 2, 2021

THANK YOU! - Paul Laughton - Angela Rockett - Blair Pollock 

Wishing you wonderful years of fun, family and friends as you begin your life of retirement!

Paul spent 22 years in Orange County Finance and Administrative Services, and the last 12 years as Deputy Director. He helped guide the county through three recessions. We will miss him during our budget season! .

Angela worked in several Orange County offices over a span of 25 years, most recently in the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Blair, the king and hero of recycling, devoted 34 years to the people of Orange County. His ultimate position with the county was as Solid Waste Planner.

Heading into Month 17 of the Pandemic

COVID-19 is still with us, so the word of the day, every day, is vaccinate. Hospitalizations are increasing and the Delta variant is spreading. Orange County, therefore, has extended indefinitely our state of emergency declaration related to COVID-19, effective at 5 p.m. July 23.

Health officials and medical professionals across America continue to send messages to their communities that vaccinations are safe, effective and free. Over 66% of Orange County residents have been vaccinated, and we are No. 1 in the state for vaccinations. Yet, children under the age of 12 are unable to be vaccinated, 34% of residents remain unvaccinated and vulnerable, and the Delta variant is infecting people at a very rapid pace.

Some local businesses are requiring masks once again. This virus is serious, it is a killer, so please be cautious, vigilant and sensible. Please see the attached for dates, times and places to be vaccinated and/or tested. If you or a family member or friend are unable to leave your home, the Orange County Mobile Vaccine clinic will come to you.

If you are concerned about the UNC-CH students, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz is asking students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated and to certify their vaccination status online. Students who have neglect to advise the university as to their vaccination status will get tested every week. For more information, visit carolinatogether.unc.edu. As for Orange County Schools and Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools, they are to expected to comply with the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit.

Finally, the moratorium on evictions now has ended. Anyone needing financial assistance to stay in safe and decent housing should contact the OC Department of Housing & Community Development at 919-245-2655. If anyone believes that fair housing laws are being violated, please contact the OC Department of Human Rights & Relations at 919-245-2487.

Voice Your Opinion on Future Transportation

Planning is now underway for the 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), and you can have a say about the future of the highways, bicycle lanes, pedestrian paths, commuter rail and transit projects in our region. The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (DCHC MPO) is inviting public comment on various scenarios for our future transportation system.

Residents and other stakeholders can review the Alternatives Analysis on the DCHC MPO website and provide comments by email no later than Wednesday, Sept. 15. Staff will be presenting to the BOCC in September, and you also may voice your concerns or support at that time regarding our investments in transportation over the next 30 years.

For more information about the 2050 MTP, contact DCHC MPO Principal Planner Andy Henry at (919) 560-4366, ext. 36419 or by email at andrew.henry@durhamnc.gov.