Now that the University and Chapel Hill town-gown relations committee has decided to open its meetings, residents and students will get the openness they deserve.
I'm reluctant to praise the committee members just yet, though.
Of course, no matter what the members' motivation for opening them was, the fact that they will be open is a positive result.
But it's alarming that it took so much media pressure for members to decide the committee's meetings should be open. And now that they've decided they should, their decision seems to be a reluctant one.
Wouldn't elected officials and officials hired to serve the needs of the University community want to be open with the public?
The committee, formed by Mayor Rosemary Waldorf and Chancellor James Moeser, was established to discuss issues that affect the town and the University. Obviously any issue that would fall into that category would affect a lot of people.
Officials intended to close the meeting so they could discuss sensitive issues without the public getting its collective panties in a bunch.
But the issues that are prone to induce panty-bunching are the ones that need to be discussed openly and not relegated behind closed government doors.
Waldorf told The Daily Tar Heel that it was hard to say what effect opening the meetings would have on the committee because Chapel Hill has never had a committee like the town-gown relations committee.