Tim Niles is a founding member of Livable Raleigh and has been a resident of Raleigh for over 30 years.

At the October 18, 2022 City Council meeting he delivered these public comments:

Last month the City reported there were 146 “neighborhood” zoning meetings in 2022 compared to 66 in 2019, presenting this as a dramatic increase.

The data is missing context.

They didn’t report how many cases there were each year and failed to include CAC meetings and cases that didn’t require a second neighborhood meeting.

Apples and oranges.

The report was misleading in order to give a positive result which was not deserved.

When I was given the complete data, the results showed…

There were 100 cases and 173 meetings in 2022, which is 1.7 meetings per case.

In 2019 there were 53 cases and 138 meetings, including CACs, which is 2.6 meetings per case.

When you compare apples to apples, it’s clear the rosy picture of dramatic improvement is not true.

Meetings have actually been reduced by 35% from 2.6 meetings per case to 1.7. A dramatic DECREASE in engagement oppotunities.

Jonathan Melton never fails to tell us “neighborhood” meetings are now legally required. This is true but it’s not the “whole truth.” In the past, most cases had one neighborhood meeting and two CAC meetings.

While CAC meetings were not codified in law, they were codified in practice.

City Council defunded CACs based on the assertion they were low attendance and most attendees were wealthy, white, older homeowners.

I asked for metrics from the neighborhood meetings to see if those “anecdotal” statistics have improved. If that was the reason for the change, the City should be measuring the results. Unfortunately, they are NOT!

We don’t know if Melton’s other often cited achievement of notifying renters of meetings has accomplished anything. We do know that attendance at neighborhood meetings has not improved over attendance at CAC meetings.

The data from cases resolved during this Council’s term in office through June of this year shows average attendance at CAC meetings prior to defunding of 27 and at neighborhood meetings since defunding of 15.

So, the numbers that led this Council to defund CACs have only been made worse by this Council. Fewer meetings and lower attendance.

I’m disappointed that while the numbers show engagement has decreased significantly, it’s being reported in a way to make the public think improvements have been made when they have not,

All of this during the City Council election as a way to fool the voters.

You can’t correct the lack of trust Mickey Fearn found in this Council with this type of deception.

As you head out to vote starting this week, please consider the misinformation being given to you by these councilors in your decision making.

To the previous speaker, you should consider renaming the CACs as “Municipal Advisory Boards” resulting in the acronym of MABs and then this council would likely approve them.

Thank you.