Last November I made a comment here on OP about someone who observed that recent appointees to the Chapel Hill Planning Board had close ties to those on the Council and their campaigns for reelection. You can follow the thread to see the reactions. Today, George C reported that a UNC professor was recently added to the Planning Board. I think that's great!
But what I was talking about was this: after researching Council minutes, the numbers say that from May 05 to Jun 07, there were 67 people who applied to serve on the Planning Board and 9 were selected. A number of the 67 applicants were repeaters, like unsuccessful Mayor candidate Kevin Wolfe. Most important, each of the nine the Council appointed was the person recommended by the Planning Board, and usually the PB recommendation was unanimous. The Council ratified their recommendations in every case. This is nothing illegal or even new. But the original point was that the person who made the original comment was accurate about their concerns. If those who were chosen were only those close to the members of the Planning Board and the Council, how do we achieve what Ruby wrote about here?
My main concern is that instead of incorporating new and varied ideas, plans that sprout from the same minds will share too much of the same principles and process if not the same actual ingredients. It's sort of like the argument for biodiversity - it's more robust and healthy to have a diverse makeup. Similarly, I think we will get the best plans when a wider range of ideas are considered and when we utilize a wide variety of planning techniques. We risk getting in a rut with the same vision and the same voices time after time.So George, I think this "new" diversity on the PB is great. I also think it could use even more diversity!