[Chtechcomm] FW: Dissolving the Technology Committee?

Gregg Gerdau gregg at gdgerdau.com
Fri Apr 7 10:46:07 EDT 2006

Dear Technology Committee Members,
As most of you were aware prior to my announcement, I resigned as both Chair
and Member of the Town's Technology Committee effective Tuesday, March 28th.
I did so, recognizing that I could not devote even close to the amount of
time required to align the Town Council, Town Staff and Technology Committee
on the needs and benefits of developing and delivering a long term
technology vision for Chapel Hill.  While I felt personally enthusiastic
about our Town's future after the execution of a strong strategic plan, I
recognize that vision in Chapel Hill is hopelessly myopic at the Council and
Staff level.  Someone else, with far more time and patience than I have, can
attempt to engage and develop all the political relationships required to
achieve worthwhile technology results for the Town and its citizens.  Thank
you for all of your support.  I'm done.
Yesterday's publication of Mayor Foy's petition to dissolve the Technology
Committee is no surprise.  In my email exchange with Mark Kleinschmidt last
Fall (copied below), he confirmed those discussions had apparently been
going on for some time (several months prior to November 23, at least).
Technology Committee members will recall many of the events he refers to.
I'm trying to forget that I ever knew people whose full-time purpose was
eviscerating the spirit of a remarkably talented and professional group of
volunteer citizens who could have brought so much to the future of our Town.
In time, I hope I can eviscerate those memories.
I regret that Mark was unable to attend our regular meetings. We could have
used his guidance, and he might have gained perspective and insight on what
is possible from municipal technology as well.  I also regret that the
Mayor, during our regular meeting of June 21, 2005, said he was unaware of
the Strategic Plan documents that were presented to the Town Council on
March 23, 2005.  Rather than demoralizing the entire Technology Committee by
revealing that he had never read the works that we had labored so many hours
to produce, he could have used their guidance for the benefit of everyone in
Chapel Hill.  Too late now.
I further regret that Cal Horton offered his arcane, 5 year old memo at that
same meeting to effectively stop all regular communications of the
Technology Committee via e-mail.  How's that for progressive?  And,
ultimately, I regret raising everyone's expectations by spending so much
time and energy working with David Lawrence and Evelyn Daniel on the
development of the Electronic Meetings Proposal, only to wait over four
months for a positive decision by the Town Council, and then to have
everyone on the Technology Committee receive a nakedly political letter from
the Town Attorney that effectively blocked our testing of it.  No wonder
we're seeing some "retirements".
The "elephant in the room" is Carolina North.  How can the Town Council
appear to be technology friendly when one of the most important technology
transfer efforts in our country is being continuously blocked and tackled by
Council members who apparently need to show some ability to influence the
University's use of the University's land to expand the University's
technology transfer activities?  I have often wondered if Raleigh gave NC
State such a hard time over Centennial Campus.  I regret not being able to
get an appointment with Dan Reed to meet with his staff and the Downtown
Partnership about partnering with the University to deliver wireless
internet service.  I know he must be very busy too.  But it would have been
a good conversation, I assure you.
Feel free to offer your suggestions on how we might be able to re-organize
ourselves to more effectively "walk the talk" about the adoption of public
technology in Chapel Hill.
With Best Regards,
Gregg Gerdau
-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Kleinschmidt [mailto:mark at CDPL.ORG] 
Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2005 8:25 PM
To: gregg at techcommittee.org
Subject: RE: Dissolving the Technology Committee?

I have heard this suggestion made, and was likely overheard expressing some
thoughts about the idea.  I'd love to talk about it.  What is the state of
inter-personal relationships on the committee?  Any positive feelings I may
have expressed about the possibility were likely sourced in the problems you
have spoken to me about in the past that had become well known in the last
several months.   I spoke to Kevin once about it and we were at a loss as to
how to solve the problems short of dissolution and re-constitution of the
committee.  I have heard that the problems you had been concerned with may
no longer be present.


I'm typing with 1 hand for a few days so this is hard for me 2 do over email


Mark J. Kleinschmidt 

Staff Attorney Center for Death Penalty Litigation

201 W. Main St., Suite 301, Durham 27701 (919) 956-9545 (919) 956-9547 (f)

-----Original Message-----
From: Gregg Gerdau [mailto:gregg at techcommittee.org] 
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 10:26 PM
To: Mark Kleinschmidt
Subject: Dissolving the Technology Committee?




I understand that you and Laurin Easthom have publicly discussed dissolving
the Technology Committee.  Since you have not discussed that possibility
with me, this information comes as an embarrassing surprise.  When can we
spend some time to understand what your objectives are?  As our Town Council
Liaison, I have always been open and honest with you.  I expect the same in


With Best Regards,





Gregg Gerdau


Citizens Technology Committee

Town of Chapel Hill

gregg at gdgerdau.com

mobile   919-593-0037
home    919-932-5202

fax       919-869-2828


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