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: July 19, 2021

Summer fun and learning

Wednesday, July 14th was Law Enforcement Day at Empower Excellence Through Exploration, or E3 Camp, at Glenwood Elementary School in Chapel Hill. Anissa McLendon and her staff taught students about the technology behind drones and the uses of drones, particularly in search and rescue cases. Sheriff Charles Blackwood also spoke to campers about other applications of this technology. 

Going outside, campers got to see a live demonstration. They watched the drone take off from a spot on the playground, soar so high most people could no longer find it in the sky, and return back on autopilot, landing inches from the take-off spot.

The mission of the E3 program is to "provide middle school students of color with activities, field trips, and skills in the Arts and S.T.E.M. fields, necessary to be productive citizens in the 21st century workforce." Many thanks to our students for participating in E3 Camp, to staff for supporting our youth, and to law enforcement for engaging with our young people. 

Orange County Recreation also is offering in-person and virtual summer camp and enrichment programs for children and teens through August 20. Visit for information.

E3 Camp participants

Drone Demo-7815

5:01 p.m. and the applications are in

Four women have applied to be considered for appointment to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to fill the vacancy that will occur on July 31, when Commissioner Mark Dorosin officially leaves our team to assume new responsibilities in Florida. They are: 

  • Rani Dasi
  • Marilyn Carter
  • Anna Richards
  • Penny Rich

The applications are being forwarded to the OC Democratic Party for review, as well as to the Board of elections for verification of eligibility. In addition, all applications, which include a series of questions and answers, will be posted on the county website, very shortly. At our Sept. 2 business meeting, when we return from summer break, the BOCC will vote by ballot to appoint a new commissioner and colleague.

NACo Annual Conference

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure to represent Orange County at the National Association of Counties (NACo) during the Annual Conference. The event was a hybrid of in-person in Prince George's County, Maryland, and virtual. Being able to share the same space with old friends and while meeting new friends was a fantastic experience as we worked on legislative initiatives to support local governments and communities across the United States, particularly as we endeavor to recover from the pandemic and proceed to build toward the future.

Of note, I, along with Guilford County Commissioner Kay Cashion, sponsored a resolution encouraging Congress to fund the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Incentive Grants at OJJDP. The adopted policy reads: "The National Association of Counties (NACo) urges Congress to provide $61.5 million funding to the Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) for the purposes of including arts-based juvenile justice programs among its strategies and expanding existing programming for justice-involved youth in all counties, parishes and boroughs."

Our new NACo President Larry Johnson has appointed me to serve as Chair of the Arts & Culture Commission, once again, for the 2021-22 program year. In addition, I will continue to serve as a subcommittee vice-chair on the Justice and Public Safety Policy Steering Committee.