Local leaders aspire to be frosty beverages

Thank goodness the Daily Tarheel is even covering the Community Leadership Council. This is a group of mostly self-appointed community "leaders" who are getting more information about critical issues like UNC's development plans than the Town of Chapel Hill gets. I didn't see this meeting reported on in other outlets, but I don't get paid for this so maybe it slipped under my radar.

Unfortunately, either this recent CLC meeting was incoherent, or the DTH is just filtering their reportage in terms they think students will understand: beer. I read the article a few times and I couldn't figure out what hapenned at the meeting, but I didn't fail to note at least five beer analogies in the story.

Forget being like Mike. Chapel Hill leaders want to be like beer.

Tuesday morning, members of the Community Leadership Council pledged that a new, more conversational meeting style will lead to a frothy distillation of ideas on important town issues, such as parking lots 2 and 5 and the University's Arts Common.

Scott Maitland, owner of downtown brewery Top of the Hill and council co-chairman, introduced the analogy and predicted success for the strategy, which will entail more free-form discussion.

“We just got to get out there and ferment, and I know a great recipe when I see one,” he said.

And members of the council — a group of local honchos including UNC Chancellor James Moeser and Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy — focused most of their yeast-like energies on Chapel Hill's cultural draw, the redevelopment of lots 2 and 5 and the Wallace Deck, and the Arts Common.

- The Daily Tar Heel - Leadership council drafts fresh ideas, 11/30/05

So I am left wondering... are they striving for lite beer or a hearty stout? And what's wrong with wine? I think it would go nicely with the Arts Common...



What happened at the meeting is that Co-Chair Scott Maitland in his welcome discussed what he had learned from the fermentation process that makes beer the beverage so many like. He used the process and the behavior of yeast as an anology for what he hoped would come from the discussions at the meetings.

On the agenda was Director Liz Parham discussing the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and Main Street Principles, Town Council member Bill Strom on the downtown parking lot projects, and UNC's Executive Associate Provost Steve Allred on the UNC Arts Common.

Contrary to the info in the link that you posted about last month's meeting, UNC DID NOT announce plans for a community and university steering committee for planning Carolina North. The Chancellor reported that in the near future UNC WOULD ANNOUNCE the plan. I think the distinction is important.

A reporter from the N&O was also present but I didn't see a story this morning.

Read about this earlier. Does local honchos equal Star Chamber?

Hey, Ruby. Sorry the article didn't lay it out more clearly (it's tough to get an hour and a half into 12.5 inches), but the meeting, after the information items Mr. Black posted above, turned to free-form discussion and touched on everything I mentioned in my article.

There wasn't really something that "happened" at the meeting in the sense that the Town Council or Board of Aldermen might pass a resolution or the planning board might make comments on specific aspects of a project: It was just a conversation, very hither-and-yon, but usually in some way related to something on the agenda.

I threw the beer in because it's fun, not because beer was a pressing issue. Over at my blog you can see some of the less article-appropriate beer references, along with some other funnies people made.


Mark, since you're a member of the group, what's your take on its "frothiness" ;-) ?

Which Mark are you referring to, Will? And please remember that reading and replying to OP is not a required activity for anyone. ;-)

Hey, I know OP is an extracurricular activity! Mark is Mark Marcoplos, who Ted quotes saying

Marcoplos: “I don't want my tie getting caught in any Skill saw.”
-on why he showed up to his first council meeting in a work shirt and jeans when everyone else was sporting suits.

While it's vaguely interesting that the Community Leadership Council is comprised some of the usual suspects, like Perry and Foy who sit on the DPC, Nelson, et. al., it was surprising to me that Mark and Bill S. were part of the gang!

It's kind of interesting that the Chamber, to support it's "triple bottom" (!!!), is holding a Community Auction to raise (beer?) monies for both its "mission"

The mission of the Foundation for a Sustainable Community is to promote and advance the triple bottom line of community sustainability: environmental protection, social equity and economic prosperity.

and to support the CLCs activities.

Funds raised by this charitable auction will fund the Foundation's programs and initiatives including the Community Leadership Council....

I thought Mark could give us some insight into what Mary R. called a

'shadow government', 'seance', ‘power-broker powwow'

a short 7 months ago....

Sometimes, saying things just doesn't make it true!

Bill Strom and Steve Allred were there as presenters, not as members of the CLC. Monies being raised will in part help offset the costs associated with a visit to Madison, WI in 2006. That was what Roger Perry's comment was referencing.

Again, labels like 'shadow government', 'seance', ‘power-broker powwow' are just flat wrong. As I travel around, I see plenty of things that we can do to improve our community and why we want to knock some folks who use some of the time in their busy schedules to talk about ways this can be done is truly amazing. Political boundries have less and less to do with the issues facing us, and having people from a variety of interests talking together about issues seems to make good sense.

Is there something that I'm missing about why this is perceived as some sort ofthreat to anybody?

The truth is now out - I'm a community leader in fashion.

The Community Leadership Council has met a few times and this last meeting was my first. Robert Dowling called me a few weeks ago and asked if I would participate. He said there was interest from the group in expanding the membership to include some more diverse voices.

It is a group featuring key leadership - UNC, UNC Hospital, CH, Carrboro, Orange County - plus it is well-stocked with Chamber of Commerce regulars such as Scott Gardner of Duke Power, Jim Heavner, Scott Maitland, Roger Perry, Bopb Greczyn (BCBS), Craig Chancellor (Triangle United Way)etc. But it also has Dolores Bailey (Empowerment), Bernadette Pellissier (Sierra Club), Robert Dowling (Orange Community Housing), and Susan Anderson (Inter-Faith Council).

It's not a "shadow government" or even a body capable of making policy, since there is enough diversity to prevent that. It seems to be what it is billed as - a group of local leaders who can share ideas in the hope that some of the good ones will get consideration in due time. It is also envisioned as a chance for people who might not ordinarily get together, to get to know each other and thus enhance community communication. (I'm not exactly sure how out-of-town people representing Duke Power or the Triangle United Way actually fit into local community issue discussions, but we'll see.) These seem like worthy goals. I'm curious to see how it plays out. I don't really see a downside. Everybody will learn some things at the very least.


What special purpose does the Community Leadership Council (28 members) serve apart from that of the Council on a Sustainable Community (21 members)? It looks like about half of the members are on both.

As background, I think the CSC report is an outstanding piece of work and very much want to see it go forward. But I am having trouble understanding what seems like a rather unsustainable leadership structure.

Fred, Will-- 'shadow government', 'seance', ‘power-broker powwow' -- those were the reporter's words (Matt Dees if I remember correctly)
When I read the article in the paper 7 months ago I was a little amazed that the reporter would throw in such provocative language. His reporting seemed designed to make readers skeptical.

Wait ...

Did somebody mention beer? ;-)

Terri, The Council on a Sustainable Community prepared the report that you reference. There is now a 501(c) non-profit called the FOUNDATION for a Sustainable Community with the mission "to invest the resources of the business community for the betterment of the greater community and to promote and advance the triple bottom line of community sustainability; environmental protection, social equity and economic prosperity. [Note where the resources are coming from.]

This year, the Foundation has done: Workforce Housing Partnership, fund drive to raise $13K for two K-9 officers, built a Habitat house, sponsored the Leadership program, hosted a Green Building and Sustainability workshop, and raised funds for other non-profits, scholarships and school system employee recognition, among other things.

A program of the Foundation is the Community Leadership Council (CLC), the establishment of which was one of the recommendations from the report that the Council on a Sustainable Community under Howard Lee's leadership prepared.

The CLC mission is "to convene business, university, civic and community leaders to discuss and address current cross-cutting community issues and anticipate future needs, trends and challenges." Additionally, the CLC will plan and implement inter-city visits and continue pushing for the triple bottom line through the implementation of the Council's report.

I think that there are five or six members of the Foundation Board who also sit on the 29 member CLC. Given the goals for the CLC, I was honored to accept the invitation to join the group because I thought it was a excellent way to help make a difference.

As for the "unsustainable leadership structure," someone from the Chamber might be a better person to ask about this. The CLC had meetings in April, June, September, October, and November. The internal leadership structure, with co-chairs Dowling and Maitland, seems to work just great in my opinion.

Hope this helps answer your questions.

Thanks Fred. So are you saying that the Council on a Sustainable Community has been disbanded/reformed as the Foundation for a Sustainable Community? Does the foundation accept membership from the community at large? If not, how does the rest of the community get involved with all the wonderful activities you described?

Terri, yes to your Council question, as I understand it. Give Aaron Nelson a call because I just don't know the answer to your other question. I'm sure that he can help you.

Fred, does that mean Aaron is running the show?

Will, I don't know what "show" you are referring to, but Aaron is the executive director of the Chamber and on the board of the Foundation. Therefore, he ought to be able to answer Terri's question or refer her to someone else if necessary.

Fred, did you think I meant "show" as in a comedy, performance, conceit, act, appearance, burlesque, carnival,pageant,spectacle,panoply,flash, grandstand play, pretense, pretext,sham,simulacrum,semblance,guise or illusion?

Or maybe you thought I was asking something as simple as who organized the meetings, put together the agendas, fetched the food, etc. ?

Bill Bunch is the incoming Chairman of the Foundation and seems to be firmly in charge of "the show." Scott Maitland and Robert Dowling co-chair the CLC, which is part of the program of work of the Foundation. Certainly the staff (currently 6 very talented and hard working people) supports these groups by preparing agendas and organizing the meetings, among other things.

It is very exciting to see such great participation by many of our community's leaders and decision makers in this face-to-face dialogue.

Will, you have spoken out long and hard about the need for people to step up and lead on issues that matter to them and to their constituencies, and the Chamber has done just that with the formulation of the CLC and the Foundation in response to what the Chamber's leadership and its members say that they want the Chamber to work on in our community.

Will, if you are asking about the CLC meetings, the co-chairs and the group itself set the agendas for the meetings. Remember my earlier comment about Chancellor Moesser at the October meeting mentioning that UNC would announce a CN committee plan at a later date and how it might fit the January proposed agenda? That was one such discussion.

The Foundation has also hired a very capable and competent UNC student who does a lot of the CLC administrative work.

Also, Lisa Hoppenjans, the other reporter at Tuesday's CLC meeting had a story in today's N&O. She based her story on Steve Allred's presentation on the arts common and a comment he made about the number of tickets sold for the Memorial Hall season thus far.

I would be interested to know why one of the co-chairs of the Community Leadership Council appears not to have voted in the Town Council election-


Check Voting History.

Just because information is available online, doesn't mean it needs to be used. Voting is a right and a privilege, so is the option NOT to vote. Where do we draw the line between open records and invasion of personal privacy?

Why is voting history pubic record in NC? This information is considered private information in Virginia.

Tom, I can think of a whole lot of answers to your question, but if I really was interested, I would ask the person directly. I would also be prepared for the answer that it was none of my business. But I guess asking the person directly delivers none of the punch that asking on OP provides.

Tom, who knows? Maybe he had an emergency out of town on Election Day. Maybe he was really sick? Maybe there was no one he wanted to vote for? Maybe he pulled a double shift at Top of the Hill or argued a case in District Court? Maybe he paired up with someone who would have negated his votes and they agreed to both stay home from the polls (a common tactic in our US Congress)? Maybe he just didn't? Maybe (gasp) the reported data is incorrect for some reason?

There are a zillion reasons why someone might vote or might not, or a zillion ways in which the reported data could be incorrect.

I think a better measure of someone's leadership or commitment to his/her community is the day to day ways in which he spends his time and resources. I'd be wary of extrapolating one day's worth of (how reliable?) data and implying a general conclusion.

I agree with Terri and Mary. Voting is a private matter and I am quite surprised that NC puts this information out in a public database. I don't think it's anyone's business.

Maitland was on Ed Harrison's endorsement list so he must have liked at least one candidate.

In the era of early voting there is no excuse not to make it to the polls one of the 13 days that it's an option. That's why it's called "No Excuse' voting.

I think the very bare minimum for being a 'community leader' is voting, so the head of something that names itself the 'Community Leadership Council' should make it out to the polls.

You're perfectly entitled to your own opinions, but that's mine.

So once again Tom, why don't you just call him at his office (929-8676) and ask him instead of just wondering aloud on OP?

Why is voting a private matter? WHO you vote for is [that's why they have little booths and nobody else can see it] but why is whether or not you actually voted a private matter?

I could stand outside the polls all day and see who voted and who didn't, so why is it unfair for NC to put that online? I personally WANT to know if my leaders care enough to vote, especially with all their "voting is wonderful and you should do it" I want to know if they're practicing what they preach.

There's also a whole lot of "why don't you go ask them?" Why is it on Tom to ask the person first? Why can he not wonder aloud in this virtual coffee shop and if the person has an answer, they can choose to respond or not. If he has good reasons, he can share them. If not, then the silence says something. This is public information and republishing it is certainly not underhanded and doing so in a public forum is much fairer than whispered conversations.

Mary, what's weirder, Virginia restricting voting information on voter history thus

PERSONS WHO MAY OBTAIN - List of Persons Who Voted at any primary, special or general elections held in the three preceding years plus current year.

* candidates for election or political party nomination to further their candidacy,
* political party committees or officials thereof for political purposes only,
* and incumbent officeholders to report to their constituents.

or Virginia's making it a public record of your drinking habits?

Haha, if candidates and public leaders could get my voter history in order to decide whether or not to knock on my door or ask me for money, I sure hope it's OK for me to look them up and hold them accountable!

Terri, Fred and Anita, in the not so distant past of our country, whether milkman or mayor, it was considered shameful if you didn't vote.

I'm heartened somewhat when I see young folk like Tom and Ginny reaffirming the basic worth of a Right bought way too dearly and dispensed with way too casually.

Who's denying how important it is to vote? Unlike others, I don't object to having that information online and available to anyone who wants to use it. But, IMHO, it is a cheap shot to challenge someone's record in a public forum where that individual is not known to participate. To me this is about having access to information and using it responsibly and respectfully.

Where do we draw the line? We don't want the feds looking at what books we read; we don't quiz people on their sex lives; we don't casually ask people how much money they make. There are social standards and then there are legal standards. Technology blurs that distinction by making more and more private information public. It's up to individuals to be use that information judiciously.

As a disclaimer, I just purchased a new computer and was asked "for what purpose are you purchasing this computer? who will be using it? how do you plan to use it? and a few other very invasive questions the sales agent said was required by the Patriot Act. I don't know if that is true, but I feel my privacy ebbing away and I don't like it.

Well I think it's certainly relevant to discuss the voting record of public officials who are involved in the political process.

Tom. last election you worked on campaigns and voter registration, as I remember. Where did you vote, given it wasn't Orange County?


I voted in Ann Arbor, Michigan Fred. I work for the Ann Arbor Public Schools as a consultant so it's important to me to be able to vote for my bosses- i.e. the School Board. I decided to switch my registration for this fall's election because my City Councilman at home did not have major party competition and I was helping to run four Council campaigns here.

We have way too many elections In Michigan but you'll be happy to know that I took the time to vote absentee in every single one since I've been at UNC- August and November 2002, November 2003, February, September, and November 2004, and February and May 2005.

One of the fun things about being from out of state is that I have been able to become very involved in Chapel Hill and North Carolina politics while maintaining a high level of involvement in Michigan and Ann Arbor politics.

And Tom, that's my point, there are explanations.

Will, I don't know how my words imply anything about how I feel about the importance of voting.

Ruby, are you now saying that these "self appointed" leaders are " public officials who are involved in the political process?"

Well if Scott chose to change his registration for this election to somewhere where he lives eight months of the year and was helping to run four Council campaigns then I will apologize to him for questioning his voting record!


What's the difference between having your voting information online and red light cameras in terms of privacy? This is a very serious question, not an attempt to jab and poke at anyone. I'm not looking for a fight or to prove who's right or wrong. I'm asking for a good old fashioned, civil discussion on an issue that affects us all in many, many ways.

Context matters and we ought to be able to distinguish between the general and the particular. People who put themselves forward as leaders are held to a different standard. Citizens in general are not expected to reveal their medical reports or tax reutrns. The president is.

Someone whose "leadership" is one of self-assertion as is the case with Maitland is not less deserving of scrutiny in this regard than are candidates for public office. As a "community leader," his views on voting and other elements of democracy should be of value to us all.

In his case, one might ask if there is a connection between his decision not to vote and his decision to seek a position of asserted rather than elected leadership. Perhaps Maitland is disillusioned with electoral politics and might enlighten us as to why. Perhaps the many hundreds of dollars he contributed to losing candidates (e.g. Bryan, Bachman, McSwain) has led him to conclude "why bother." Or, perhaps he is as committed to electoral participation as ever and had circumstances beyond his control prevent his voting this year.

If he is truly a leader, he will not consider such questions an intrusion but merely an opportunity to elaborate on the model of leadership that he offers to the community.

Dan, can you share with us what you wrote about a winning candidate in 2003 who had not paid his taxes? Were you as vocal about this fact as you are about this not voting thing that the facts are not known?

In the above discussion you seem to believe Maitland sought "a position of asserted rather than elected leadership." What is your basis for this assumption and how do you know that you are correct?

Terri, wrong analogy but I get your sense.

I well understand that the "road to Hell is paved with good intentions". Technology has endangered us ("pandemic only a six hour flight away") at the same time apparently offering us greater security (like the CDC wanting to track folk to an incredible degree "in case of pandemic"). But we know that this security is as false as its eventual abuse is inevitable.

The simple answer to the difference of RLCs and voting records is, unlike the "scamera" system, I can't (currently) be prosecuted for having a particular voting record. That the manipulation of my voting record has no greater repercussions (currently) than putting my public claims at odds with the published electronic record. Embarrassing but something reconcilable by looking at the hard copy voting records.

BTW, I was against RLCs for a whole slew of reasons, due process being the essential, no desire for governmentally sponsored reprehensible scams, privacy and others following closely behind.

This information has been open to the public for some time. It is the ease of aggregation, the simple concentration of voting patterns (like the concentration of data on our health, buying, driving, etc. habits) that is the potential danger. Sure, anyone could look up a person in the voter books, at some inconvenience, to determine what Ginny has done via a website. That "inconvenience" kind of balances out the putative necessity. The same kind of inconvenience and "cost" is implicit in the tracking of my buying habits. Someone could follow me about noting what I purchased at great cost (and possible physical risk ;-) ). Luckily for Big Bro, a computerized, nearly cashless society, eases that burden - something I'm not too happy about.

We know that a system promoting transparency in the electoral process ("I looked on the Internet and saw my dead Uncle Frank voted this year...") could be used to draw an improper inference. Maybe the government or our employers or businesses we deal with, armed with this inference (like the FBI armed with ones library reading habits) could make assertions leading to a lot of unfortunate mischief.

This leads us to ask "What does our voting habits reveal about us?"

For instance, you could infer I was UNAFFILIATED by the pattern of primaries I do or do not vote in. The precinct(s) I voted in would narrow down where I lived. The length of my voting record is indicative of the least amount of time I appeared to live in a particular locale.

And, as others have pointed out, it might be indicative of my commitment to the rights and responsibilities of living in our democracy.

What is the worth, then, of a greater transparency, presenting this data to the greatest number of citizens, when balanced against the risk of a wrong inference? To answer that we need to know what the cost is of a "wrong inference".

What is the extent, do you think Terri, of the risk? Is it a lost job? Jail time? Or is it restricted to public condemnation or humiliation?

Or celebration? Or commendation!

I propose that we install cameras at polling places and take pictures of everyone as they walk in to vote. So that we can be really sure.

I fear the risk is continued encroachment and blurring of lines. We live in a rule based society and if the rule says make it public, then the only regulation comes from individuals choosing to *use* the information ethically and responsibly. Unfortunately, our education system doesn't really teach us to do that. Information is just information. Too often it seems like we put stuff on the web simply because we can. If it hurts someones reputation, oh well. Information is information.

Today it's OK to publish everyone's voting information; tomorrow it may be OK to publish individual library transactions. The county BOE puts candidate address/phone numbers online; the towns do the same for elected officials. Why not their social security numbers so that we can check their credit reports? How about their medical records? Surely we have a right to know that our elected officials are decent financial managers with no horrible diseases. And really, shouldn't we know this information about town employees as well? Who is going to decide how much we need to know about whom?

I agree, Terri, with the sense of your concern and certainly share it as far as Patriot Act style encroachments are concerned. But, with voting history, I don't get the harm. I suppose we could imagine a scenario in which people could be intimidated because of voting or not. But, I think Ginny answered this point pretty well above.

On the other hand, I think there are pretty clear benefits to knowing voting history as well as who is registered. If we value voting as a society then these are basic tools that organizers of various sorts can use to encourage people to register and to vote. They can help parties and advocacy groups gauge the effectiveness of GOTV efforts. And, they can help us hold leaders accountable for their lack of democratic particpation as Ginny does on another thread.

Dan, I can see that there might be reasons for needing to know whether or not someone voted. But I don't think that looking at a single, known-to-be-flawed resource is sufficient for making statements of fact. That's why I asked Ginny to verify her resources. If she used credible resources in addition to the SBOE, then I will not challenge her article.

Under no circumstances do I think it appropriate to make implications about someone's (in)competency for leadership based on a single, known-to-be-flawed resource.

Terri, in a country that swallowed the Patriot Act with nary a grimace, I can understand your (and my) concerns that the potential consequences of political profiling could be fairly dire. "She voted too much. Round her up!" I guess that's possible but I'd like to think there's still a long stretch of kleptocracy before we get there.

Of name,mailing/residential address,age,gender,precinct,party,race, what is an "ethically" acceptable use?

And while the SBOE records might not be correct, there's the local BOE records which should be dead on (if not, we had a flawed election).

Dan's argument that voting is of value to the community sounds good but....what if good dental health had as high a value to our community? Why shouldn't I be required to publish a record of when I visited the dentist (not what I did there - only that I visited)? This would show I'm a good citizen under our dentocracy. Spurious argument?

Oh, Eric, no need to photograph folk. In Terri and I's coming dystopia, the powers that be will simply mark our ballot to their satisfaction and then drop us an email to let us know for whom we voted ;-)!

I've never met Scott Maitland in my life, but regardless of whether or not he voted in the last municipal election, I think he's shown leadership ability based on the following

a) Operates a successful business in downtown Chapel Hill

b) when I've read his op-ed's in the local paper, they are well written, fact-based, and seek to find ways for the town and gown to work together.

I'm glad that he's offering his leadership to Chapel Hill, especially after a town council member tried to suppress his right to free speech in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

The other issue to remember about the CLC is that it makes no claim to being an elected body. These individuals don't represent all residents of the community, they represent their own special interest groups. But as Will notes on the Excuses thread, this is a small community so most individuals, such as Maitland, represent more than one special interest (downtown business owners, bar & restaurant owners, brewers, residents, UNC alumni, etc.). While he may have been elected to serve as co-chair from among the other appointeds, I doubt if he would feel compelled to behave in the same way as someone who is publicly elected.

One last comment on using the public voting record issue. I had a vision last night after turning off the computer. Public embarassment/humiliation was accepted as a common punishment strategy back in the colonial era. I would hate to see public exposure on OP (a town commons type of space) becoming the modern equivalent of stocks.

Terri, I'm afraid embarrassment as a crime fighting tool is alive and well today.

Will, it's interesting that both ofthe examples that you site are about people convicted of something.

PS: Are you going to answer my prior question?



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