TO:                  Town Council Members


FROM:            Kevin Foy, Mayor


SUBJECT:       Appointment of Special Committee to Consider Renaming of Airport Road; Employment of Facilitator


DATE:             September 13, 2004





In our discussion at the last Council meeting, the Council agreed that it would be useful to consider options for composition of the Special Committee to Consider Renaming of Airport Road.  I offer the following for consideration.


Option One:  Appoint 20 members with the composition originally considered by the Council this past June:


·        The Mayor and two Council Members

·        Four members of the NAACP

·        Four persons who are residents of Airport Road or who operate a business on Airport Road

·        Two persons familiar with the history of the community, the history of Airport Road, the social history of the United States, African American History, the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., or other contextual issues

·        A diverse group of seven citizens at large


Option Two:  Enlarge the group and appoint 25-30 members with the same general composition as recommended in Option One.


Option Three:  Appoint all persons who apply, about 60 people at the time of this writing.


Option Four:  Appoint a 20-person committee with the composition originally recommended; provide all of the materials received by the committee to all of the other persons who applied for appointment, both electronically and in print form; conduct committee meetings in facilities adequate for the committee and attendance by all interested, with print form materials available for all in attendance; post all committee materials on a website; include a time on the agenda for each committee meeting for public comment; and, engage the applicants not appointed to the committee as a focus group for discussion and feedback on key issues, ideas and proposals.  I also recommend that we ask WCHL to broadcast all of the committee’s meetings and that we ask The Peoples Channel to either telecast the meetings live or through tape delay.


I recommend Option Four.  I believe that such an arrangement would allow the committee to conduct its work with good participation and at a reasonable pace while involving a larger number of citizens in the process. 




I believe that it is essential that we employ an experienced facilitation team to help the committee in the organization and conduct of its work.  The charge of the committee is challenging.  The immediate issues and underlying issues that inevitably must be discussed are difficult to discuss in an open, honest, civil and constructive manner.


The costs of facilitation services, including gathering information prior to the first committee meeting, facilitating committee meetings, conducting focus group meetings and assisting the committee in the preparation of a report to the Council will be substantial, in the range of $15,000 to $25,000.  The cost is justified because of the difficulty and time required for the work and the potential long term value of a good work process and product.


I propose that the Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and a Council Member work together to select a consultant and, with assistance of the Manager, negotiate a contract for facilitation services.




Attached for reference is a copy of the motion adopted by the Council to initiate the appointment of the committee.  We and the community need to move forward with this important work.




1.      Motion adopted by Town Council June 14, 2004 (p. 3).





Motion adopted by the Town Council on June 14, 2004.


That the Council appoint a special committee to consider the petition submitted by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the NAACP and to develop recommendations for appropriate memorials to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by appointing a committee composed of:


·        Members of the Council

·        Members of the NAACP

·        Residents of Airport Road

·        Diverse group of citizens at large

·        Persons familiar with the history of the community, the facilities involved, the person(s) being honored, and other contextual issues.


who would meet to arrange and conduct public forums, workshops, and such other meetings as would be useful in developing options and recommendations for the Council's consideration; and that the opportunities for participation by citizens interested in participating in the proposed re-naming and any related matters be widely publicized through multiple media; and that the Committee conduct its business at the deliberate pace necessary for effective civic process.