I am pretty skeptical about the university's motivations here.
First, why was the Chamber's Community Leadership Council told this before the Town Council? I think it's a real slap in the face not to make the members of Council the first to know. The Chamber may be easier for UNC to work with but it doesn't need the Chamber's approval of its plans, it needs the Town Council's.
Second, why is the university creating a new committee when it still has yet to respond to the report of the Horace Williams Citizens Committee? This group made a lot of very meaningful recommendations, and several Council candidates and progressive groups have formally asked the university to make a response- we have been met with nothing but silence.
Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy said the university formed a committee during the development of its master plan that drew in residents, town leaders and university representatives. He said that although members learned a lot, he didn't think they had much influence.
"It's a good way to disseminate information," Foy said. "I don't really think that it's a really good way to affect the end product."
- News & Observer, 10/28/05
I share the Mayor's skepticism but I hope that we are proved wrong.