Sunday, August 17, 2008

Week in Review 8/11/08-8/17/08

This was a very busy week for me. It was also a very emotional week as we learned that our town manager Bill Coleman will be retiring come October. I am very sad to see Bill leave as his leadership, vision, and work ethic are largely responsible for Cary becoming the premier town to live and do business in that it is.

One of the marks of a great leader is their ability to assemble a great team – to put the right people in the right positions. Sure, that sounds easy enough – but as someone who has spent years doing the same thing in my business, without the assistance of a recruiting agency I might add, I can assure you it isn’t. Team members must not only possess the skills needed to do the job correctly, but must also have the right attitude, work ethic and willingness to learn. The incredible team we have at town hall is a direct result of Bill’s leadership and vision. Bill has also been a great ambassador for the town; earning the respect and trust of citizens, business leaders, elected officials, and civic groups across our region and state. Another thing that has always impressed me with Bill is that he has never sought the spotlight. He always gave credit to someone else – even when we knew it was he who deserved it.

Please take the time to call or send Bill an email and say “thanks” for everything he has done to make Cary the great place to live that it is. His email address is

While Bill will be sorely missed, I am very thankful for the professional, responsive, and dedicated town staff he has assembled over the years that will keep things moving right along while Council works diligently to hire a new town manager – and I must confess that I am not looking forward to this process. Why? Let’s just say that I believe some will try and make this process way more complicated than it really needs to be.

On Monday I met with town manager Bill Coleman to discuss neighborhood concerns of crime, property decay, and other nuisance issues in the Wrenn Drive and Wicklow Drive area. Cary PD and our zoning enforcement department will first be creating a detailed report that outlines these issues so we may better craft a comprehensive plan to combat them. Increased police presence alone will not completely solve the problem. I think it is clear however that the majority of concerns are originating from a particular apartment complex. Unless there is willingness from the property owner to cooperate and assist us in addressing these issues, we may be forced to pursue drastic measures.

On Tuesday council toured a couple of affordable housing developments prior to our affordable housing worksession that evening. Staff felt it important that council see first hand a couple of successful projects before we discussed the matter in detail, so that we may have a better understanding of what a current affordable housing project “looks” like. I wish we had also toured a couple of not-so-successful projects in town so council could have also seen what a bad affordable housing project “looks” like…but I wasn’t driving the bus. In our worksession I requested that our next tour include this. I am however glad to see the quality of product being delivered as affordable housing these days – a huge improvement over just a few years ago.

Wednesday evening was the Cary Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Dinner with numerous elected officials from across our region and representatives from the Chamber. The entire Cary Council was in attendance, as were members of the County Commissioners, NC House and Senate, US Congress (it’s an election year), and WCPSS Board of Education. This was a fun evening, and a great opportunity to speak with other elected officials regarding regional issues. It did however get kind of warm in there due to all the hot air…thank goodness for air conditioning! ;-)

Thursday evening was our council meeting. Council agreed to have town staff review our current ordinances regarding home day cares in residential neighborhoods as a result of concerns expressed by citizens. Council also agreed to hold the public hearing open until the next council meeting regarding the Alston Ave. comprehensive plan amendments to give stakeholders in the area the opportunity to meet with staff and better understand the proposed changes. Nothing else terribly exciting unless you consider map error corrections an item of debate….which some did. It’s amazing what folks choose to grandstand over. We also had a closed session after the council meeting.

Friday morning was the NFIB’s press conference announcing their support of Pat McCrory for Governor – see posts below. And on Saturday evening we went to the Collective Soul / Blues Traveler / Live concert at Koka Booth Amphitheater. I swear there isn’t a better facility to see a show at than Koka Booth Amphitheater. If you haven’t been you need to go! I am spending much of today catching up on email. Council receives lots of email.

Well that’s it for now, and as always thanks for reading!