It has recently become public that the American Legion has decided to sell their property, one of the last, large parcels of undeveloped land in the town.

They have every right to do so.

The Town of Chapel Hill had signed an agreement in 2005 that the town would have the right of first refusal to purchase the land, but we now find that the town manager and outgoing town council held a secret meeting where they decided not to purchase the property, and signed secret legal documents with the developers on November 20th, only 5 working days before the new mayor and town council were sworn in.

This raises serious questions that need to answered publicly. Why was this decision made in secret right before the new mayor and council were to be sworn in?

Why was all this done with no public hearings? I think the people have a right to comment on such major decisions. What was the hurry, if not to ensure yet another massive residential development would be built, even though the people had just voted to slow the pace of this?

All this may (or may not) have been legal, but it was clearly wrong. What other back room, secret agreements were made in the last minutes of the outgoing mayor and council?

Listen to Scott Madry’s commentary

We already have over 5,000 new apartments approved and in the pipeline, and Chapel Hill has now lost the chance to own one of the last large natural tracts of land in the town.

This is a very serious matter and the public deserves a full and open explanation, including the public release of the minutes of this and any other secret decisions made just before they left office.

This type of secretive and ‘behind your back’ dealings are not in the best interest of the town, or the citizens who these people are supposed to represent. I am deeply offended by this, and you should be too.

Who will be held accountable for this?

— Scott Madry