Screenshot of headline and cover image of blog post at https://citybeautiful21.com/2022/12/30/carrboros-public-comment-process-at-town-council-is-inequitable-and-must-change/. The headline states “Carrboro’s Public Comment Process at Town Council is Inequitable, and Must Change.” Beneath that is a screenshot of video of a person providing comment at a Carrboro Town Council meeting with text above in red which states “JUST SAY NO to Podium Comments.”

It’s quite clear that the people who provide public comment at local government meetings often do not reflect the beliefs of the majority of the community or represent the community’s diverse views. We now have some amazing data which demonstrates just how unrepresentative public comment can be.

Carrboro resident Patrick McDonough has published an eye-opening analysis of the demographics of people who spoke before Carrboro Council at the last two public hearings on a short segment of the Bolin Creek Greenway (read more about the proposed greenway extension and be sure to join the mailing list for the Carrboro Linear Parks Project) back in 2016.

You’ve really got to click through and read the whole thing. It’s no surprise that the demographics of the people who spoke are wildly dissimilar from the Carrboro’s overall demographics, by any measure—age, race, wealth, residence type (owned vs rental)—but the details are quite stunning. And make sure to read through to the end so you can learn about the former Carrboro greenway opponent who has since moved to California and fights projects in their new backyard!

So, go read it!

Geoff Green

Geoff Green, AICP (@geoff_green) lives in Chapel Hill. In his day job he's a practicing urban planner; in his spare time he rides his electric bike around town and advocates for improved facilities so...