Monday, November 3, 2008

Being PC about the PC

Todays N&O runs an update on the stalled Planning Commission nomination process.

Expansion of planning panel may end standoff

Bracken reports:

RALEIGH - When the City Council announced a proposal to increase the size of Raleigh's Planning Commission last month, it was a creative solution to a festering problem.

For several months, the eight-person council has been divided over two candidates nominated for one open seat on the 11-member commission. The division has spilled far beyond the council table and into Southeast Raleigh, a predominantly black area of the city that has been represented by council member James West since 1999.

It is about time the composition of the Planning Commission undergoes some public scrutiny. Thirteen members would certainly be better for a city the girth of Raleigh. As an observer of the process for several years now, Fallonia still cannot figure out what qualifications gets one nominated. And, FP must add, her up close and personal observation of the deliberations of the PC left her wondering how a concerned citizen knew more about zoning codes in Raleigh than some of its members.

Looking for the right word here, would the Raleigh PC be a shame or a sham for a city with this amount of talent and expertise? Researching other cities for their solutions to growth problems show either the Planning Commission, the Planning Department, or both, to be very involved in looking at long range consequences of rapid growth. While there is expertise on this PC, there is not always a majority of expertise making the quorum. Are daytime meetings a problem with this concept too.

You can begin your own research here.

From the N&O:


* Members serve two-year terms and no more than three consecutive terms, or six consecutive years.

* The City Council's proposal would increase the size of the Planning Commission from 11 to 13 members.

* Under the proposal, the City Council would appoint 10 city residents, and the Wake County Board of Commissioners would appoint three people who live in Raleigh's extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ. (The council currently appoints eight Raleigh residents to the Planning Commission, and Wake County commissioners appoint three ETJ residents.)

* The proposal will be discussed at a public hearing Nov. 18 at City Hall.

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