Sunday, May 4, 2008

Week In Review 4/28/08 - 5/4/08

What a busy week it was!

Monday evening I attended a North Carolina Republican Party fundraiser in Raleigh where the guest speaker was none other than Vice President Dick Cheney. There were numerous local and state officials, business, and community leaders in attendance. Unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot I can say about this event due to security concerns.

I realize some of you reading this may not like the Vice President – heck, I don’t agree with everything he and the President have done during their terms in office either. But I respect him, his service to our country, and the office nonetheless.

Afterwards a bunch of us rushed over to the Western Wake Republican Club’s monthly meeting. Numerous local and state officials and candidates were in attendance including House Minority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam, House member Nelson Dollar, Apex Councilman Bryan Gossage, and School Board Member Ron Margiotta.

Tuesday evening council had another worksession on transportation. The main focus of this meeting was to discuss Council’s vision regarding future road construction, levels of service, and median/roadway widths in town. Council had previously indicated to town staff that we would like all thoroughfares to be no more than 4 lane median divided highways – we have no desire to have any 8 lane Capital Boulevards in Cary. The reality however is that in some areas of town that is wishful thinking. Some roadways in town also already have sections with six lanes, and future growth projections indicate that restricting roadways such as Davis Drive, Highway 54, Tryon Road and other high volume corridors to 4 lanes would result in a level of service “F”. That is unacceptable to me. Please see the staff report for more detailed information.

I also attended a fundraiser for Republican candidate for Governor Pat McCrory. Pat is a proven leader who has succeeded in bringing both sides of the aisle together. I believe North Carolina could use his leadership right about now.

Thursday through Saturday Council members Jennifer Robinson, Julie Robison, and myself – along with Wake County Commissioners Kenn Gardner, Harold Webb, Lindy Brown, and Joe Bryan traveled to the Chicago area with representatives from the Cary Chamber of Commerce to meet with city officials and business leaders from the villages of Naperville and Lombard (suburb communities of the Chicago area that are very similar to Cary) to learn more about their downtown revitalization and economic development efforts. This was a very informative and inspirational visit to say the least. The opportunity to see firsthand what other municipalities are doing/have done to accomplish their vision is invaluable. But maybe even more important is learning about what efforts didn’t pan out as expected – so we don’t make those same mistakes. Special thanks go to Elaine Smith, Sal Cammarata, Joe Milazzo and Jeff Ulma for all their hard work in organizing this event.

We got home today (Sunday) a little before 2:00. After unpacking and spending a little time with the family, I spent the last 4 hours answering and organizing email. No, I’m not kidding. A council member receives a lot of email, and when you can’t check it as often as you’d like it piles up pretty fast. Oh well, off to bed – I’m pooped!