Board of County Commissioners
200 South Cameron St.
P.O. Box 8181
North Carolina 27278
(919) 245-2130
Fax: (919) 644-0246

Contact: Donna Baker
Clerk to the Board
(919) 245-2130
Fax: (919) 644-0246

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News Releases

March/April 2004

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April 29, 2004

Contact: Donna Baker
Clerk to the Orange County Commissioners




Tuesday, May 4, 2004

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will meet for a Special Meeting on Tuesday, May 4, 2004 at 11:30 a.m. in the meeting room of the Government Services Center in Hillsborough for the purpose to “discuss the County’s position and to instruct the County Manager and County Attorney on the negotiating position regarding the terms of a contract to purchase real property, “ §143-318.11 (a) (5).

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April 21, 2004

Contact: David Hunt
Orange County Commissioners' Office

 Nick Waters, Orange County Emergency Management Director Dies

Colonel Nick Waters, Orange County Emergency Management Director died today, April 21, 2004 following a brief illness.

As Emergency Management Director for the past 15 years, Waters led the fire and emergency medical services for Orange County as well as the 911 Emergency Communications Center.  Through ice storms, snowstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes, including Fran, Waters guided the County’s emergency response.  His leadership was visible at the emergency operations center, on site in areas of destruction and caring for victims at emergency shelters.

“It has been a privilege to have worked with Nick Waters for the last 15 years.  The citizens of Orange County have greatly benefited from Nick’s experience and leadership in managing our emergency services while protecting and saving thousands of lives in the process.  Nick has always been the calming, steadfast force as the county responded to crisis, whether tornado, hurricane, ice storm, chemical spill, fire or traffic accident.  Nick’s high standards of performance permeated throughout emergency management and his legacy of professionalism and excellence will be sustained by all of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Nick,” said John Link, Orange County Manager. 

Waters received statewide recognition in 1999 for implementing an innovative emergency medical service delivery model for Orange County using Initial Response Vehicles staffed with paramedics, which significantly improved patient outcomes. 

“Orange County, and all of us as individuals, lost a loyal, dedicated and caring friend with the death of Nick Waters,” Commissioner Barry Jacobs said.  “Nick worked hard to make this community a safer and better place.  He was a creative and cooperative thinker and leader.  Most important, he devoted his time and energies to the betterment of others, making sure that in the time of crisis or in the normal course of events, a helping hand was ready and able to provide assistance,” Jacobs added. 

“The heartfelt sympathy of Orange County employees goes out to Nick’s family for their loss,” John Link said. 

Rod Visser, Assistant County Manager is serving as acting Emergency Director in the interim.

Service arrangements are pending. 

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April 21, 2004

Contact: Donna Baker
Clerk to the Orange County Board of Commissioners

 BOCC May 2004 Meeting Change

Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute, the Board of County Commissioners provide notice of the following changes in the 2004 meeting schedule.   

The May 6, 2004 BOCC Budget Work Session has been rescheduled to May 5, 2004 starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill. 

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April 19, 2004

Contact: David Hunt
Orange County Commissioners' Office

 Whitted Open House

Orange County will host an open house at the Richard E. Whitted Human Services Center on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

After months of major renovations to extend the life of existing facilities, the building complex, which was built in 1922 as the Hillsboro Township School, will be open to the public. 

Upgrades focused on heating and air conditioning, lighting, flooring and painting.  The complex at 300 West Tryon St. in Hillsborough is home to multiple Orange County agencies including; Department of Social Services, Health Department, Housing and Community Development, Library and Recreation and Parks. 

Activities include; live music, demonstrations, Neat-tie the Clown, educational displays and fun activities for the younger ones.

County officials and staff will be on hand to tour and answer questions. 

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Human Rights


April 13, 2004

Contact: Milan Pham
Orange County Human Rights and Relations

 April is Fair Housing Month

April 2004 marks the 36th anniversary of the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the 21st anniversary of the North Carolina Fair Housing Act, which provide for equal opportunity in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.  

The Department of Human Rights and Relations in collaboration with seven other Fair Housing Agencies will participate in the Statewide Fair Housing Media Advocacy Campaign by airing locally produced shows; “Nuestro Barrio” and “The Other Side” throughout the month of April on our local cable access channel and on the People’s Channel.  Airdates and viewing times for “The Other Side” are Thursdays April 8, 15, 22 and 29th at 10:30p.m.  Airdates and viewing times for “Nuestro Barrio” are Sundays April 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th at 6:00p.m. 

In addition, the Department will conduct fair housing training April 14th and 20th at El Centro Latino in Carrboro from 1:00p.m. to 2:30p.m. and April 22nd and 27th at the Orange County Library in Hillsborough from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30p.m.  All trainings are free and open to the public.  These trainings will be the beginning of the Department’s larger effort to inform Orange County residents of their civil rights through education and outreach.

“People have asked why we have chosen to have small community based trainings rather than a momentous event to celebrate Fair Housing Month,” states Interim Director, Milan Pham, “My response is that the work of civil and human rights does not occur in a glamorous event, the true work of civil and human rights occurs one person at a time, one community at a time, every day and that is how we chose to celebrate Fair Housing Month.” 

If you would like to receive Fair Housing Training for your group or organization please call the Orange County Department of Human Rights and Relations at 919-245-2250. 

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Solid Waste Management


April 1, 2004

Contact: Muriel Williman
Orange County Solid Waste Management

 Outdoor Compost Bin Sale - One Day Only 

Orange County Solid Waste Management presents the annual Compost Bin Sale on Saturday, April 24, 2004 from 9:00am-3:00pm, or while supplies last.  The sale will be held at the Park & Ride Lot on Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill.

Back by popular demand, the sale will feature “Home Composters” for $39 each (tax included).  Sale-goers will also have the opportunity to purchase compost turning tools for $8.00 each and counter top collectors for $5.00.  All are being sold for considerable savings compared to on-line or catalog sources.  There will be experienced composters and master gardeners on hand to dish the dirt on composting.

“Home Composters” are round units about two feet in diameter and three feet tall.  They come in two halves for easy loading in just about any vehicle and easy assembly.  The two halves are clipped together on the vertical axis to form a cylinder with a lid that snap-locks shut to complete the tidy looking bin.  The unit is open at the bottom so that worms and other decomposing organisms can come up through the soil to help accelerate the composting process and to allow drainage of liquid from the composting material.  These bins can be used to compost both yard waste and vegetable or fruit scraps from the kitchen.

Composting at home can divert close to 20% of waste being needlessly landfilled. Compost creates a rich, all natural soil amendment that landscapes, gardens, and houseplants love.  Compost improves nutrient content of the soil, enhances soils’ ability to retain moisture, and can reduce reliance on chemical fertilizers.  Make every day Earthday, compost!

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Animal Control


March 30, 2004

Contact: John Sauls
Orange County Animal Control
(919) 24

 Rabid Fox Attacks Boy 

Hillsborough--Orange County Animal Control today confirmed that a fox that attacked and bit small boy on Sunday, March 28, has tested positive for rabies.

The incident began Sunday morning in a residential area northeast of Hillsborough. A two and one-half year old boy was playing in a natural area in the backyard near a very small creek when he began to yell. The father ran around the corner of his house to see his son backing away from a fox. The fox then lunged at the boy and appeared to grab him by the hand. The boy was then knocked to the ground. The father got there within 2 or 3 seconds and kicked the fox into the air and then jumped on him several times with both feet, killing him. The little boys mother had come out and picked up her son. There was blood on the boy and his father and on the ground. They then cleaned their son's wounds and called Animal Control. The Animal Control Officer arrived shortly, took the report, conferred with his supervisor, and later prepared the fox for shipment to the state lab. The family meanwhile took their son to the Duke Hospital Emergency Department where he underwent a thorough cleaning of the wounds and began post exposure rabies treatment.

Another ACO transported the fox to the state public health lab in Raleigh Monday morning. The positive test was confirmed about one pm and the family was promptly notified. The mother and father, having picked up and held their son and then cleaned his wounds, are considering whether or not they may have been exposed to the fox' saliva and whether they too should receive post exposure treatment. They have conferred with the Health Department's communicable disease nurse and a physician.

Animal Control Director John Sauls said that Animal Control's experience seems to indicate that fox are very likely to experience the "furious" state of rabies, causing them to seek out and attack other animals and humans, even to the point of entering barns and houses to do so. Anyone out and about who sees a fox during the daytime should consider this and try to get themselves and their animals away as fast as possible. And they should be certain at all times that their own dogs and cats are currently vaccinated against rabies.

Animal Control will sponsor a reduced cost rabies clinic date with two locations on Thursday, April 15, from 6 pm until 7 pm at the Caldwell Community Center on Hwy.157 N, and at the courthouse parking lot in Hillsborough. The Animal Protection Society will sponsor another clinic at the Animal Shelter on Saturday, April 17, from 2 until 4 in the afternoon.

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Human Relations


March 30, 2004

Contact: James Spivey
Orange County Human Relations
(919) 245-2251

 One Book, One Community

Countywide Discussion Session 

The Orange County Human Relations Commission is proud to announce the “Official Countywide Discussion Session” for the One-Book One-Community project.  The book selected for the One-Book One-Community project was Summer Snow by Trudier Harris.  All Orange County residents were encouraged to read the same book at the same time to create a countywide book club.


Ø      On April 18, 2004 at 2 PM a discussion session will take place at the Carrboro Library at McDougle Middle School in Carrboro.  Jake Lehrer will facilitate this discussion.

Ø      On April 18, 2004 at 3 PM a discussion session will take place at the Chapel Hill Public Library in Chapel Hill.  Pam Kilby will facilitate this discussion.

Ø      On April 18, 2004 at 4 PM a discussion session will take place at the Orange County Public Library in Hillsborough.  Roberta Lloyd will facilitate this discussion.

In Summer Snow, the author explores her experiences as a black southerner and how they have shaped her into the writer and intellectual she has become. Dr. Harris grew up in the racist environment of Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the 1950s and 60s. She is currently the J. Carlyle Professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

For more information, please call (919) 245-2251.

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Economic Development


March 23, 2004

Contact: Dianne Reid
Orange County Economic Development
(919) 245-

 Rene Campbell Appointed Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitor Bureau Director 

Dianne Reid, Economic Development Director for Orange County announced today that Rene Campbell has been appointed as Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.  Campbell will begin work Monday, May 17, 2004.

As Director, Campbell will oversee the operation of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.  She will implement plans to promote and enhance visitor services in Orange County.  Among other things, she will manage a comprehensive communications program for visitors which includes visitor services publications and directories of activities, facilities and services.

Campbell, a native of Lexington, North Carolina, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech and Theatre from Wake Forest University and a Master’s and Doctoral Degree in Theatre History and Film from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Campbell has 25 years work experience.  For the past 10 years she has served as Executive Director for the Columbus Area Visitors Center in Columbus, Indiana that operates as a Visitors Center and a Convention and Visitor Bureau. 

Campbell started her career as Director of Marketing for the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival in High Point and has held other positions including Director of Marketing for Old Salem in Winston-Salem, Marketing Consultant for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Executive Director for the Appalachian Tourism Research and Development Center.

County Manager John Link named an Assessment Panel to assist in the selection process.  The Panel was made up of Orange County Commissioner Moses Carey who also is a member of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, Mark Sherburne, member of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Board, Creston Wood, Past President of the Visitor Bureau Board of Directors and Dianne Reid, Orange County Economic Development Director.  The search process included national recruitment.  It yielded 65 candidates.

Link said:  “Rene’s combination of education and experience have prepared her very well to assume the responsibilities of Visitors Bureau Director for Orange County.  I welcome Rene to the Orange County team and look forward to her becoming part of our community. ”

Commissioner Carey said:  “We’re excited to have a new Director coming on Board with the qualifications that Rene brings to the organization.  We look forward to many new exciting opportunities being explored under her leadership.”

Sherburne said:  With the travel industry seeing signs of improved strength, it is a great time to welcome the new spirit and talents of Renee Campbell to Chapel Hill and Orange County. Rene has a broad background of valuable experience and will quickly become a great asset to this community. I look forward to her leadership in the promotion of the many unique services, attractions and hotels that make our area a unique destination.

Reid said:  Rene has experience in cultural tourism as well as heritage tourism.  That experience will serve her well in positioning Chapel Hill and Orange County as an appealing destination for visitors.”

Campbell said:  “I am honored to be selected as the new Director.  As I prepared for my interview, I was impressed by the organization and accomplishments to date.  I’m excited about the opportunity to build on the services and programs of the Orange County Visitors Bureau and look forward to working with the staff to promote tourism in Orange County.”

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Animal Control


March 19, 2004

Contact: John Sauls
Orange County Animal Control
(919) 245-2

 First Confirmed Case of Wildlife Rabies for Calendar Year 2004 

Orange County Animal Control today reported that a raccoon it had sent to the state public health lab has tested positive for rabies.

On Wednesday, March 17, at about 6 pm, a woman who lives near Bradshaw Quarry Road in south west Orange County, saw a raccoon chasing one of her dogs in her backyard. She grabbed her rifle and went outside to see her larger dog fighting with the raccoon.  The raccoon then ran up a tree and the woman shot it several times. When it fell from the tree, it was still twitching and hissing and her rat terrier jumped on it, grabbing it by the neck and shaking it. She put the rifle butt on the ‘coon to hold it still and picked up the terrier with one arm and shot the raccoon again to kill it. She put the terrier in a dog pen and bagged the raccoon.

Both dogs had current valid rabies vaccinations and were promptly boostered.

In that the woman picked up her terrier without gloves after it had been fighting with the raccoon, and there is a likelihood that the raccoon’s saliva was on the dog, she might have been exposed to the virus herself. She has initiated post exposure rabies treatment.

Animal Control Director John Sauls said that while the dog owner was during her best to protect her animals, it would have been better had she penned her terrier before shooting the raccoon. Had she done so, she most likely could have avoided her own possible exposure to the virus.

Animal Control will sponsor a reduced-cost rabies clinic on Thursday, April 15, from 6 until 7 pm at the Hillsborough Courthouse parking lot and at the Caldwell Community Center on Hwy 157 N. The following Saturday, April 17, the Animal Protection Society will sponsor a reduced cost rabies clinic from 2 until 4 in the afternoon. Sauls asked every dog and cat owner to be certain that their pets’ rabies vaccinations are up-to-date or to take advantage of one of these   rabies clinic dates.

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Volunteer Board


March 10, 2004

Contact: Donna Baker
Clerk to Orange County Board of Commissioners
(919) 245-21

 Volunteer needed to Serve on Hillsborough Planning Board 

HILLSBOROUGH PLANNING BOARD – One vacancy – ETJ resident -   The Orange County Board of Commissioners is recruiting for volunteers for one upcoming vacancy on the  Hillsborough Planning Board. The Planning Board is a 10-member volunteer board appointed by the Town Board to review planning issues in the Town’s zoning jurisdiction.  Three of the members are appointed by the Orange County Commissioners to represent residents of the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction  (ETJ).  The ETJ is an area just outside the city limits established by a joint agreement of the two elected boards where the Town has zoning jurisdiction because of their proximity to Town.  It is often believed that the ETJ areas will be annexed into Town, although there is no specific plan or time schedule to annex these areas.   Residents of the ETJ do not pay town taxes and do not receive town services (police & garbage). The Planning Board meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM.  Members review and make recommendations to the Town Board on rezonings, subdivision, and ordinance amendments.

For an application, or for more information, contact the office of the Clerk to the Board at 245-2125 or We’ll send an application immediately. If you would like to complete an application online, or download one in Adobe®.pdf format, please visit the county's web site, and click on the “Volunteer Boards” icon. 

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Emergency Response


March 8, 2004

Contact: David Hunt
Orange County Information Specialist
(919) 245-2126

 Emergency Personnel Respond as March Winds Roar through Orange County 

HILLSBOROUGH - Sunday evening is normally a slow time for the Orange County 911 Center, but not this past weekend. 

As a cold front roared through, eight fire departments in Orange County responded to 15 different fire calls between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on March 7.  Most of those calls were brush fires.  With the warm spring weather, many residents took the opportunity to clean up winter debris and leaves but were caught off-guard by the sudden strong winds. 

Mike Tapp, Orange County Fire Marshal, said it has been at least a couple of years since a majority of the county fire departments were concurrently out on separate brush and woods fires and that was under similar weather conditions, a warm sunny day followed by a fast moving cold front.      

As the winds started up between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., 73 calls came into the 911 Center.  Between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., 311 calls were received, many of those for fallen trees and downed power lines.  Those same trees and power lines hindered reaction time for some of the first responders and emergency vehicles.  Calls to the center continued into the night, although the number of storm related calls faded after 11:00 p.m. 

Support personnel responding included telecommunicators, fire fighters, paramedics, EMTs and law enforcement officers.   Emergency training and response coordination in a crisis helped to save lives and property in Orange County on Sunday evening. 

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Animal Shelter


March 5, 2004

Contact: Gwen Harvey
Assistant Orange County Manager
(919) 245-2307

Animal Shelter Management Structure "Listening Session" 

The Orange County Animal Shelter Operations Task Force will hold a public listening session to collect citizen input on the future management structure of animal shelter services. 

Organizational models include, continued contracting with APS, creating an “Animal Services Bureau”, or creating a new county department. 

The session, open to the public, will be on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. at the Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Rd., Chapel Hill. 

Additional details are available on the Orange County website,

Comments can also be submitted to

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March 5, 2004

Contact: Donna Baker
Clerk to the Orange County Board of Commissioners
(919) 245-2130

Orange County Board of Commissioners Meeting Changes 

Persuant to North Carolina General Statute, the Board of County Commissioners provide notice of the following changes in the 2004 meeting schedule.   

- The location of the Joint Meeting with the Town of Hillsborough scheduled for Monday, March 22, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. has been changed from the Government Services Center to the Town Barn, 101 East Orange Street, Hillsborough.  

- The previously announced Legislative Breakfast, on Monday, March 29, 2004 at 8:00 a.m. (location was TBA) will be held at The James Pharmacy, 111 North Churton Street, Hillsborough. 


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March 5, 2004

Contact: Renee Kemske, MPH, RD,LDN
Orange County Health Department
(919) 968-2022, ext. 309

What to do if your child is overweight - National Nutrition Month 

Chapel Hill---Jane's Story:

Jane is an average 12-year old girl with the exception of being overweight. Within the last few years, Jane has continued to gain weight without growing taller in height. She is no longer able to play soccer and basketball on her school's team because she doesn't meet the weight requirements. Jane has asthma-like symptoms from being overweight, which limits her energy to physically play sports. Her parents were really concerned about their daughter's health, so they scheduled an appointment with Orange County Health Department's Registered Dietitian.

The Registered Dietitian worked with both Jane and her family to develop achievable goals to help her learn about healthy eating and ways to manage her weight. All members of her family worked together to make this successful. Jane helped her mother plan healthy meals and snacks by learning about what foods give her 'energy' to make her strong and what foods actually made her 'tired'. Jane's Registered Dietitian discussed serving size, food label reading, healthy choices when eating out, and planned menu options that included her favorite foods with a lighter touch.

The family planned regular physical activity sessions together that they all could enjoy while not making Jane feel punished for being overweight. Within a few months, Jane's weight started leveling off and her energy levels increased. She learned what it took to make lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy weight. Most importantly, Jane and her family made her healthy eating and physical activity plan enjoyable and engaged the entire family.

Consult an expert

Making healthy nutritional choices is difficult in a world of fad diets, food gurus, and unregulated products. Seeing a Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist will ensure that you will receive accurate nutritional information from a professional with five or more years of formal education. The Registered Dietitian will develop a reliable plan that meets your needs and lifestyle. Don't risk your health on chance or fad diets. By working closely with your medical provider and a Registered Dietitian, you can be on your way to better health.

Orange County Health Initiatives:

Conquering weight problems, physical inactivity and improved nutrition are just a few of the health initiatives being addressed by the health department and its partners. Families are encouraged to take advantage of community events, educational resources and clinical services.

Look for:

- Winner's Circle program: local restaurants, schools, and organizations work with a Health Educator and Registered Dietitian to have healthy items analyzed for nutritional value and marked with the Star & Fork logo.

- Orange on the Move: A coalition hosted by Cooperative Extension that addresses overweight in children.

- Healthy Carolinians: A coalition hosted by the Health Department that involves agencies and citizens in developing action plans for healthy lifestyles.

- Teen BodyWorks: A nutrition and fitness program for teens hosted by the Health Department and is being piloted at Stanback Middle School.

- Health Promotion Community Kits & Web pages: A project hosted by the Health Department to increase access to health information and educational resources through a loan system and Internet. See

March is National Nutrition Month ®: invest in your health. For more information and to answer your specific nutrition questions contact Orange County Registered Dietitian,

Renée Kemske, MPH, RD, LDN: 919-968-2022 x309,

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March 5, 2004

Contact: Donna Baker
Clerk to the Board of Commissioners
(919) 245-2130


The Orange County Board of Commissioners is recruiting for volunteers for 25 Advisory Boards and Commissions.  For an application, or for more information, contact the office of the Clerk to the Board at 919-245-2125 or  

A complete listing of open positions along with a description of the board can be found on the Orange County website. 



ADVISORY BOARD ON AGING -  Two vacancies – Chapel Hill residents


BOARD OF HEALTH One vacancy – At-Large

CABLE TV ADVISORY COMMITTEE – Four vacancies – At-Large

CARRBORO PLANNING BOARD- One vacancy – Carrboro Transition Area Resident


CHAPEL HILL BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT - One vacancy – Resident of the Chapel Hill Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ)



COMMISSION FOR WOMEN – Seven vacancies: One, Chapel Hill Township; One, non-Chapel Hill – Hillsborough Townships; Five, At-Large


EQUALIZATION AND REVIEW BOARDNine vacancies – Three, Regular; Six, Alternates

HILLSBOROUGH BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT - One vacancy – County alternate – ETJ resident

HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION – One – At-Large (Volunteer must reside in the unincorporated portions of Orange County, and must be a professional or have a demonstrated interest in architecture, history, architectural history, planning, archaeology, restoration, or other related disciplines.)

HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION – Five vacancies –   At-Large



MEBANE BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT – One vacancy - Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) resident

MEBANE PLANNING BOARD – One vacancy – Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) resident


ORANGE COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT – One vacancy – At-Large, Alternate

ORANGE COUNTY PLANNING BOARD  - Two vacancies; One, At-Large; One, Eno Township



If you would like to complete an application online, or download one in Adobe®.pdf format, please visit the county's web site, and click on the “Volunteer Boards” icon.


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