Sunday, July 13, 2008

Week in Review 7/7/08 - 7/13/08

This was a busy but very productive week.

Tuesday evening consisted of two meetings. The first was with a citizen regarding ambulance services in Cary, and possible changes that could be implemented to potentially improve response times and increase efficiency. I’ll be meeting with the town manager regarding these recommendations in the near future.

Afterwards I sat in on the animal issues task force meeting at town hall, and I am glad I did. It not only gave me the opportunity to catch up on what the group has accomplished thus far, but it was also a great opportunity to observe the group's membership and better understand where each individual is coming from. This is a very important issue and I wanted to learn more about the group’s work than what I will read in a final report. I was asked a couple of questions during the meeting for clarification, but I really didn't want to say too much as to not influence the group’s direction. A tip of the hat goes to Chairman David Forvendel. I was very impressed with his ability to keep the group on task while still allowing everyone ample opportunity to make their points.

Wednesday I was interviewed by UNC TV regarding instant runoff voting. It never ceases to amaze me how often it happens that when I’m up to my elbows in grease and sweat under the hood of a car, the TV media wants an interview. But what the heck – if they don’t care that I need a bath why should I? ;-)

After speaking with our town manager and staff earlier in the week I also received confirmation that the town will be developing a procedure to better alert guests at Koka Booth Amphitheater when a storm may be approaching so both guests and event staff may be better prepared in case we get another storm like we saw at our July 4th celebration.

I was also interviewed by the News and Observer regarding the press release by the US Census Bureau naming Cary the 5th fastest growing city in the Nation. I spoke to the reporter for about ten minutes – they used one quote. Go figure….

I also spent a good amount of time on an opinion piece for the Cary News regarding the downtown streetscape project. There was a letter to the editor from a citizen in last week's paper that was not only critical of the project, but my support of the project in particular. But considering the citizen who wrote the letter also happens to be the father-in-law and campaign treasurer of my predecessor and former opponent Mr. Nels Roseland, I'm not surprised. I thought it best to not stoop to their level, but I did find it important to explain to folks exactly what the project is, and why it is needed.

Thursday morning I attended the United Space Alliance’s (USA) award presentation to Net Direct Systems. Net Direct Systems is a local provider to USA’s space program, who through their hard work and attention to detail were one of a handful of companies honored by USA this year. USA is NASA’s primary industry partner in human space relations, the space shuttle, and the international space station. USA also gave a very informative presentation on the shuttle program, space station, and the Ares program. The Ares will ultimately replace the current space shuttle in the future. Dick Covey, four time shuttle astronaut and CEO of USA was the featured speaker and spoke to his experiences as an astronaut and test pilot over the years. He actually flew on the shuttle mission that launched the Hubble Telescope, and the follow up mission which repaired it. I had never met an astronaut before so this was a real treat.

On Friday I met with town staff regarding the installation of a stormwater control device in a citizen’s yard due to the Maynard Road widening project. Staff will be investigating alternative best management practices that could possibly be utilized instead of the grassy swale (fancy word for a ditch). While appearance and loss of the use of the citizen’s yard is definitely a concern, I also worry about the public’s safety. This ditch is only a few feet from the sidewalk and drops about ten feet down.

Afterwards I met with the developer and representative of the proposed office development at Kilmayne and Maynard Road. I had met with concerned citizens the previous week and today I presented those concerns to the developer. The developer has promised to make the two office buildings that will be visible from Maynard residential in appearance, and has also agreed to make this a condition of the rezoning.

Well that's about it for this week. Thanks for reading!