by Roger Stancil, Chapel Hill Town Manager
I want to provide an initial response to the comments made during the petition session in the Council meeting on the 26th of March.
My goal is to be clear about where we are and to minimize misunderstanding and confusion. Thousands of people have been touched in the 2020 process and many of them have participated and given many hours of time to make this a community wide statement for the future. It is important to be clear about how that participation will guide the Town’s actions on the future and the hard work of the coming year to develop the decision-making infrastructure that will transform the Vision into reality. We will have a work session with the Planning Board and the Sustainability Committee on the status of 2020 on April 10th. The second draft of the 2020 Plan will be circulated for comment on the 5th of April (this week). We will have a work session with the Council on May 7.
1. We agree with the goal of providing the Council with community goals and objectives by June. The Theme groups are focused on refining their goals and will have two more opportunities to do so. We will also have an information advisory board meeting and a Council work session before June.
2. The co-chairs meetings are open to the public and any theme group member who wishes to attend can do so. The purpose of those meetings is for the co-chairs, as neutral facilitators, to identify areas of overlap that merit further discussion by theme groups, advisory boards or Council. The co-chairs will be asked to consider whether their theme group would have an interest in attending these meetings and if so, who might serve to share information in a collaborative manner.
3. We all agree that the Future Focus maps will NOT be included in the goals and objectives. While they represent valuable input, their main purpose at this point is to help the community identify areas where more conversation, analysis and study are of interest. The second draft (due out April 5th) will begin to describe what we thought we heard in terms of each area for community input and refinement. It will also identify some of those “next steps” where analysis is necessary to moving forward.
4. Staff will continue to work with the participants in the S15-501 group to identify broad brush recommendations, similar in scope to those in Draft 2 for the other areas, in a constructive, positive dialogue. It was our charge to that group that their conversation be a model for civil discourse and we will continue to develop that model with the input we received from the S15-501 participants.
I hope these clarifications are helpful. If you have questions, please let me know.