Bob Mulder, former Chair Raleigh Planning Commission, recently wrote to the City Council and local media outlets about Community Engagement:
Recently the Raleigh City Council voted to spend $350,000 on a community engagement bus that is supposed to replace the 27 or so community centers that used to host Citizens’ Advisory Council meetings.
Well over two years ago the Council decided under the cover of darkness to kill off the CACs. Over that time period there has been no significant community involvement like we had with the CACs.
How will this bus be used? Will it visit 27 different neighborhoods a month? What if 50 people show up? Will they all fit in the bus?
What a huge waste of money. The Council could have decided to use an existing city bus, but any money spent there would also be wasted.
Nothing will replace the CACs that were hosted in Raleigh’s Community Centers.
This Council simply did not like the unpredictability of the former CACs, and the fact that some of the CAC members were as good as if not better than the lawyers representing development interests.
This is why the Council has decided to appoint members to a community engagement board and control the entire process. Appointed members are less likely to buck the system. What a travesty.
Note – Livable Raleigh commissioned a poll from Raleigh’s own nationally recognized polling firm, Public Policy Polling. Among the results, 69% of likely voters said City Council’s elimination of Citizen Advisory Councils, CACs, was a bad decision.
See the full polling results here: Voters Call for Change
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