Compromise or blackmail?

It is difficult for me to understand how the UNC administration can describe as a “compromise” their offer to think about adhering to their own 1998 agreement with the Town on South Columbia Street (see“UNC suggests compromise with town” 8/18/03 and “UNC proposal has slim support” 8/19/03).

To me, it’s more like the first time in years that the University has indicated that it might be trusted to keep its word. Chancellor Moeser describes this gesture (to consider not breaking it’s promise to the Town) as “a major concession.” This does not sound to me like someone who is willing to work with us to find fair solutions that benefit our joint future.

In return for their “compromise,” UNC wants the Town to roll over – again – and grant major changes to the campus Development Plan they “negotiated” with the town two years ago. These changes (parking decks in the middle of campus) would reverse the only thing that the Plan gives the Town: a sense of the overall direction of growth patterns on campus.

With Carolina North now looming on the horizon, I tremble to think of the impact that future University growth may have if our community’s needs are not considered by planners and decision-makers. It’s time for our elected officials to put their collective foot down. No more bullying from UNC and their cronies. I will be looking to Council Members on Monday night, and to their challengers in this fall’s election, to address this critical issue.

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