Friday, May 23, 2008

Week in Review 5/19/08 - 5/23/08

Monday evening I was one of the guest speakers at the Western Wake Republican Club’s monthly meeting at Bentley’s American Grill at Crossroads. I was asked to speak regarding school issues in Cary/Western Wake County. For the most part I focused on school capacity and reassignment issues, as well as what the Cary Town Council was working on in this regard. Some topics such as at-large elections for school board members were received very favorably, while others such as the council’s request to move taxing authority from the county commission to the school board ...well, weren't so popular. It was a good thing nobody brought tomatoes. LOL….

Afterwards I also addressed a number of questions relating to Cary’s FY09 budget, and what our new tax rate may be after revaluation. Oh! I almost forgot – we had a surprise visitor at our meeting. Former Cary Mayor Glen Lang happened to be eating at the restaurant and stepped in for just a minute. He said, “I wanted to see if a liberal would vaporize just by stepping in here”….funny.

On Tuesday I had a couple of meetings. The first was part 2 of council’s budget worksession process. Council finally agreed on 33 cents as our new revenue neutral tax rate (which it is). We also began discussions on proposed capital improvement projects such as roads, the downtown Cary streetscape project, Cary Elementary renovations, aquatics, and the performing arts center. We also discussed previous bond referendums approved by voters in years past, and the coming debt service associated with them. I'll have more to talk about regarding the budget after our next worksession I am sure.

My second meeting was with folks from the Cary YMCA. I was given a tour of their facility off of Cary Parkway, and got a chance to see first hand, and learn more about the Y’s programs for underprivileged and at-risk children. I was very impressed with their efforts to provide classes and programs to these children who otherwise would not have such an opportunity.

On Wednesday I attended a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for Hummingbird Creative Group – a successful small business who has relocated into a new facility near the Maynard and Harrison Ave. intersection. They also happen to be the recipients of the 2007 Cary Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award.

Wednesday evening Council member Gale Adcock and myself met with a group of citizens regarding the schools issue. The council will soon be meeting with elected officials from all Wake County municipalities (or at least those who choose to meet with us) to discuss school related issues. Before these meetings take place however, council wanted to create what we call a “white paper” (ya, I know, we’re creative) ;-) This white paper would consist of facts pertaining to issues of capacity, reassignment, growth, and funding. We wanted factual data prior to our meetings with other municipalities so there would be no emotional "opinion" - just the facts mam. Council members created a list of questions and submitted them to WCPSS (months ago) to answer. Unfortunately WCPSS has been unwilling to provide us with answers to our questions. Realizing hell would freeze over before WCPSS would assist us in this regard, we instead decided to enlist the assistance of citizens who have shown a keen interest in this issue, and have already done much research themselves. It was good meeting, and I look forward to seeing the results of their efforts.

Thursday and Friday were spent working (hey, I have to earn a living ya know) ;-), answering email, and reading through documents in preparation for next week’s meetings. Sunday is the Coca Cola 600 – woo hoo! I gotta date with friends and a margarita…or two. ;-)

Well that's it for now. Thanks for reading!