Sunday, February 1, 2009

Week in Review 1/25/09 - 1/31/09

So I just got home from roller skating at JellyBeans with Liz. And since it now hurts really bad to do anything but sit perfectly still I figured it was a good time to work on the blog - not that sitting doesn’t hurt also. It does.

Along with a few small meetings, lots of email, and reviewing staff reports in preparation for Thursday’s council meeting; this week’s events included…drum roll please!

The Western Wake Republican Club held their monthly meeting this past Monday. WCPSS Board Member Ron Margiotta was the guest speaker and new club officers were sworn in by Judge Ann Marie Calabria. Congratulations to Eric Weaver who replaces John Harvilla as President. Congratulations also go out to new 1st Vice President Jacin Suskin, 2nd Vice President Ginny Huff, Treasurer David Forvendel, Secretary Brian Lehrschall, and Board Members Apex Councilman Gene Schulze, Holly Springs Councilman Vinnie DeBenedetto, Michelle Muir and Spencer Combos. Thank you to all of the outgoing officers for everything you have done to help grow the club and support conservative values and candidates.

Mayor Weinbrecht, Councilwoman Gale Adcock and I met with Interim Town Manager Ben Shivar and Engineering Director Tim Bailey this week to discuss an item pertaining to the downtown streetscape project. Afterwards I attended a historic preservation program with a focus on land use planning at the Page Walker Arts and History Center. The guest speaker was Peter Sandbeck, Administrator of the NC Historic Preservation Office. Mr. Sandbeck presented an overview of the current state of historic preservation in North Carolina, including regional case studies showing both losses and successes. Raleigh City Councilman Russ Stevenson and former Cary Councilwoman Marla Dorell were also in attendance. Historic preservation is very important to me and a big part of our downtown plans – I wasn’t about to miss this program.

Wednesday morning I attended the Cary Chamber of Commerce’s Eye Opener Breakfast at Prestonwood Country Club to hear Mayor Weinbrecht present the annual State of the Town address. Council member Jack Smith was also in attendance. The Mayor did a good job summarizing the council’s actions over the last year and also spoke to the recession and its impact on Cary.

Thursday evening was our council meeting. Prior to the council meeting council held a closed session meeting to discuss the town manager search progress. That’s all I can say regarding that meeting as it was a closed session and all discussions pertaining to the qualifications or performance of town employees or potential town employees is confidential. Our council meeting was pretty uneventful as Cary continues to feel the effects of the slumping economy. Our last council meeting had not one public hearing. This week’s council meeting had only one public hearing. There simply isn’t much development taking place these days. Now I am sure some folks would consider this great news. Heck, I’m pretty pleased growth has slowed also. But we can’t have no growth. Cary needs a healthy but manageable growth rate to help us maintain our high levels of service and quality of life while keeping taxes low.

Council did pass a resolution supporting the Metropolitan Mayor’s statements and advocacy regarding the proposed federal economic stimulus package. I voted against this resolution as I do not support the economic stimulus package. Thanks to the previous administration’s poor fiscal policy this nation already has a 1.2 trillion dollar budget deficit. The proposed stimulus package would more than double that deficit. Tax cuts combined with a massive increase in government spending is bad policy plain and simple. If you lost your job – which a lot of people have – would you run out and buy a new car? Of course not. But the federal government is; 600 million dollars worth of new cars.

We keep hearing that the stimulus package will pay for much needed infrastructure projects and create jobs. That sounds good, but according to many reports over the past couple of weeks each $40,000 a year job created by the stimulus package will cost the American taxpayers $223,000 to create. In other words, for every million dollars we spend, we create 4 jobs. Wow. Of the only 30 billion set aside in the $819 billion stimulus bill for new highway construction, only 4 billion will be spent within the next 2 years.

We are mortgaging our children's future, our grandchildren's future, and that of our grandchildren's children. This is not a good thing. We cannot borrow and spend our way to prosperity.

Well I hate to end on a down note, but that’s about it for this week in review. Thanks for reading!