Chapel Hill can't find a public housing representative for Central West Committee

I just sent the following to the Chapel Hill Town Council:

I see that on your agenda tonight is a recommendation to expand the Central West committee by one member and to appoint a specific person to that committee. I haven't seen anyone make the case that the original formulation of the committee was faulty. The number and type of constituents as well as the specific individuals that you already appointed have been publicly discussed and agreed upon.

I believe the Town should either work hard to find someone from the public housing community, or leave the seat vacant until you do. I see no reason to make this change other than to oil a very squeaky wheel. I hope you have a higher standards for policy changes than this.

Thanks for your consideration.

The recommendation in question is this:

Learn more about the Central West Focus Area at


I agree with you that public housing should be represented on the Central West Focus Area Steering Committee.  Public housing community members are equally important to the community as it grows and evolves, and this is what the council had originally planned for the committee.   However, public housing representation in town planning is an issue that should be addressed town-wide and not something this committee should take on itself.  The town has already had 3 months to fill the public housing seat for the committee and was unsuccessful in doing so.  Why should the committee be penalized for the inability of the town to find a public housing resident for this seat?  This area is one of the major corridors in the town of Chapel Hill, and the committee has been given a deadline to produce a recommendation for the council.  Furthermore, the town already had a plan in place to fill this seat with any other resident from the impact area if a public housing representative was not found.

Yes, I would love to see the Town address the difficulty of civic engagement for low-income and working people on a larger scale. But easy outs like this plan allow them to just make a token effort so they can say they tried with there being any penalty for doing a lousy job, and I don't see how having that one one seat open would be limiting the committee in any way.


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