Sunday, October 26, 2008

Week in Review 10/19/08 - 10/25/08

Wow, you’d think with all the politicians I hung out with this week there would have been enough hot air to keep me warm – I’m freezing! ;-) Just kidding!

Apex town councilman Bryan Gossage, Morrisville town councilman Tom Murry, and yours truly hosted a Regional Issues Forum Monday evening at the Cedar Fork Community Center in Morrisville. The goal of this forum was to provide an opportunity for area residents to speak with local officials regarding opportunities and challenges facing our region, so it was no surprise that transportation, schools, and regional partnerships dominated the discussion. It is our hope to host a number of these “idea raisers” in the future. Government works best when everyone is involved.

On Tuesday I met with representatives from the Cary Farmers Market and the Heart of Cary Association to discuss alternative site locations for the market. The train depot - the Farmers Market’s current location – is experiencing significant increases in ridership largely due to increasing fuel prices, and has plans to expand their services resulting in a greater need of their parking. We identified a number of potential alternative sites downtown that may work and have begun discussions with property owners. Eventually the Farmers Market will be located on Park Street when the downtown park is completed, but unfortunately that is years away.

Afterwards I attended a Republican Party precinct meeting on behalf of House Member Nelson Dollar. This was the first time I had ever served as a campaign surrogate for a candidate. It was an honor to speak on Nelson’s behalf. Nelson is a good man; a man of principle and integrity who fights hard for the little guy. I can’t say this about most politicians these days, but Nelson has earned another term in office.

Let’s get ready to rumble!!!! Bright and early Wednesday morning was the Cary Chamber of Commerce’s Congressional Candidates Forum for districts 4 and 13. David Price vs. BJ Lawson and Brad Miller vs. Hugh Webster. The most impressive candidate award goes to BJ Lawson. BJ was confident, articulate, and demonstrated a clear understanding of the issues facing our state and nation. The most unimpressive candidate award goes to Brad Miller. After 6 years in congress you would think the guy could answer a question regarding transportation, yet when asked one he said, “I wish David could have gotten this question first” before struggling to provide his answer. Throughout the debate it became clear who pulls Congressman Miller’s strings.

The Town of Cary’s School of Government Graduation was Wednesday evening and I wouldn’t have missed this for anything. It was truly an honor to present the graduates their diplomas and I hope all of them apply to serve on one of our town boards or commissions. Increased citizen involvement is very important to council. The more involved our citizens become in our government the more our government works to serve our citizens.

Our Planning and Development Committee meeting was Thursday afternoon. The only topic of discussion was whether or not to issue RFPs for consulting services for the town’s community visioning project. This initiative is an extensive community visioning project to engage our citizens in defining the long term future of Cary. While a worthwhile project, it is my sincere hope that staff’s cost estimate is high, or else we just may have more discussion by the time this comes back to council for final approval.

Afterwards I attended the Western Wake Republican Club's Annual Pre-election Jitters Party at the Bass Lake Retreat House in Holly Springs. This was a huge success with nearly 200 people in attendance. Good food, drink, and candidates making stump speeches – where would you rather be? ;-)

Friday evening we went to the Cary High School / Apex football game at Cooper Field. It was a good game with Apex coming out on top 24-17. Ok…almost a good game. ;-) Saturday afternoon I had two events. The first was another campaign rally in Apex. While I had a good time, I think I can speak for nearly everyone (especially the candidates) when I say I will be so glad when November 4th finally comes and goes.

Later that evening my daughter Elizabeth and I had the honor of attending the Deepavali / Diwali Celebration at Sri Venkateswara Temple in Cary. While I was invited as a member of the town council, I elected to bring Elizabeth along so she – a seven year old – could experience and learn more about Indian culture. As parents it is very important that we teach our children tolerance and respect, and I can’t think of a better way for our children to learn about other cultures and religions than by experiencing them firsthand. We both had a great time, and I can’t thank the folks at Sri Venkateswara enough for having us.

Well, that’s about it for this week. I’m gonna finish watching the Penn State game…they should win this one easy. Hi Brent! ;-) Until next week, thanks for reading!