First, kudos to the Downtown Partnership (CHDP) for finally pulling together a decent website (though disabling ‘right clicks’ is cheesy).

There’s a nice calendar widget, some news of the day, list of eats and drinks, services, shops, fun, etc. that are both fairly extensive and accurate.

Way to go Liz and company.

Today the CHDP is presenting their “State of the [Downtown] Union”:

CHAPEL HILL, NC, November 15, 2006: The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership (CHDP) is hosting an Annual Meeting and Public Forum on November 28, 2006 from 4:30pm to 6:45pm at the historic Varsity Theatre, 123 East Franklin Street.

During the meeting, the Downtown Partnership will share the progress made in downtown and by the nonprofit organization over the past year.

“The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership began our work last fall with a series of surveys designed to better understand the needs and concerns of the downtown businesses, property owners and consumers. We’ve spent the past year focusing on four of their top concerns: safety, cleanliness, panhandling, and parking,” explained Downtown Partnership Executive Director, Liz Parham. “We’ve incorporated the methodology of the Main Street Program to build partnerships and bring people together to find new solutions to some old problems. We look forward to reporting on our initiatives.”

After CHDP highlights the progress of the past year, facilitators Andy Sachs and Peter Filene with the Dispute Settlement Center will encourage attendees to express their ideas and concerns that they feel should be addressed. The Downtown Partnership will use this information to develop the 2007 Plan of Work at the CHDP Board of Directors Annual Retreat on December 6th.

Ruby, over on OrangePolitics, notes that the CHDP has sponsored several forums with problematic start times and locations.

Other than catering to the Downtown merchants, who else is supposed to attend what amounts to a public forum put on by a taxpayer funded organization? A 4:30pm start time is tough for a Chapel Hill citizen working in RTP, but, I have to admit, great for me.

The last update forum was well attended, so I hope to see a similar turnout today.

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