Carolina North and the Education of Mayor Foy

As I noted in Chafing: Prevention and Treatment, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees has always been a wildcard in the potentially disastrous development of Carolina North.

Yesterday’s meeting unsettled Mayor Foy, at least enough for him to defend the initial delay in Carolina North’s Leadership Advisory Committee’s getting to substantive discussions.

Foy observed:

You can’t put together a couple dozen people, tell them to set their own work process, and then complain when it takes time to set that up

Hey, that sounds familiar!

In fact, it echoes my statement to Council on April 11th – a concern the Mayor breezily dismissed.

That night, except for Council member Easthom, the Council quickly dispensed with our Town’s “couple of dozen” of citizens who were dedicated to fleshing out the principles [pdf] underpinning the Leadership Advisory Council’s current discussions – principles they developed.

Easthom, who deftly defended citizen input, wisely foresaw the long term necessity of keeping a citizen-owned institution around to help Council respond to the next 12 months of UNC’s Carolina North discussions.

In the last Horace-Williams Citizens Committee meeting, I suggested, once again,

We remind the Council of the scope of work proposed by the HWCC in January and suggest that the Council recognize the necessary lead time required to reconstitute a citizen’s group to explore the issues in that proposal.

With the accelerated schedule demanded yesterday by the UNC BOT, the Mayor’s claim “mission accomplished” seems not only quite premature but also quite precipitous.

The good news is it’s not too late to reconstitute a citizen’s group, like the Horace Williams Citizen’s Committee, to help respond to BOT’s challenge.


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