Training for advisory board members

This morning I attending a training session for members of town boards. (I was appointed to the Board of Adjustment last summer.) About 40 people were there. I thought it was a good session. We were reminded that local governments are limited by the state legislature; the rules about open meeting and public access to information; the new flow for development projects and the general purpose of the boards. Just a bit of trivia of about the attendees: most were white, I don't think any Asian-Americans or Latinos attended with perhaps three African Americans participating; about 10 had gray hair (only my beard is graying so I didn't count myself); even male: female ratio and about 1/3 wear glasses.

 A couple perhaps new points: Since the repair/remodeling of the town hall there is now a one stop area for permits/inspections paperwork which should make it easier to get things done. The general ethics rule is board members should not vote (if recused) only if there is a specific monetary conflict. Staff Liaisons are to facilitate and not participate. (Some board members were concerned about this.) Chapel Hill does not allow electronic voting for board members. (Orange county allows this in some circumstances.)  Advisory Boards (and all other town boards) do fall under the Open Meetings Law. This mean the meetings have to be announced and business can not be conducted informally out side of the meetings. Also relevant communications including emails are subject to public records request.  Details and power points should be posted on the town web site within a week.  


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