CHAPEL HILL – Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt says a big part of Chapel Hill’s future relies on the youth of the town, and he says he’s excited to see the Chapel Hill Youth Initiative set in motion.

“We’re going to not only set priorities in our town’s budget for meeting the needs of youth in our community, but I believe we’ve also inspired some change and new approaches to meeting the needs of young people by non-government organizations in our community,” Mayor Kleinschmidt says.

The Chapel Hill Youth Initiative comes from the town’s Design 2020 and is called Chapel Hill 4 Youth.

The Chapel Hill Town Council and its advisory boards were deep in the Chapel Hill 2020 process throughout 2013. And some portions of the planning discussions were a bit contentious.

“We saw a few projects slowly—particularly the Central West project, through a long process of community meetings, a lot of hard work by extraordinary volunteers, and we now have a vision that ultimately received—and I don’t think anyone would have guessed it even a month ago that it would receive a unanimous vote on the council,” Mayor Kleinschmidt says.

There are still projects that will go before the Council like Obey Creek, Ephesus-Fordham, and Glen Lennox that are currently in the advisory board phase. Mayor Kleinschmidt says he can see using the members of the first project to help others move along smoothly.

“I think that that’s a sign that, folks who worked on that project…I think it’s a sign of how valuable their work was and will continue to be as we use them to help us with other projects, other areas of town that have received some very intense study,” Mayor Kleinschmidt says.

Design 2020 is the implementation process of the Chapel Hill 2020 comprehensive plan that will shape future development in the town.

To read more of Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt’s thoughts on what the town accomplished in 2013 and what he’s looking forward to in 2014, click here.