Sunday, March 8, 2009

Week in Review 3/2/09 - 3/7/09

This past week was a little light in regards to scheduled meetings. As a result I was able to spend some quality time with Cary youths.

I had the pleasure of hosting Boy Scouts at our automotive shop on Wednesday evening. I taught them about car repair and maintenance. We changed the oil and filter, rotated the tires, and performed a complete maintenance inspection on my truck. I also emphasized the importance of personal safety and protecting our environment by recycling used fluids. We all had a great time and they earned their automotive maintenance merit badge in the process.

Thursday Morning I participated in West Cary Middle School’s Career Day. This was a lot of fun. I mainly spoke to students about careers in the automotive repair and service industry, but I also answered a few questions regarding my service on the council. I found it a bit amusing that each class I spoke to all wanted to know the same three things – 1) Have I ever worked on a Lamborghini? 2) What is the fastest car I have ever worked on? And 3) Have I ever installed hydraulics on a car? I honestly expected numbers 1 and 2. Number 3 however – asked by numerous students - surprised me. Definitely a hip-hop generation ;-). The students also wanted to know what famous people I have met. I said I know the Mayor real well so they had better behave or else they might end up with a public art easement in their front yard ;-) They didn’t get the joke.

Councilors Gale Adcock and Jennifer Robinson and I met with citizens who have been working with us on a schools initiative this week. While I’m not going to let the cat out of the bag here on my blog, I will say we plan to bring this to council for discussion and hopefully approval at our March 26th council meeting so stay tuned.

This week I asked council for a sponsor to direct our town staff to review our water and sewer and transportation impact fee rate structure as it relates to the redevelopment of existing structures in our downtown area. I believe excessively high fees to be a deterrent to redevelopment efforts in our downtown. It is my goal to find a more equitable way to encourage redevelopment and re-use downtown while ensuring that growth still pays its fair share. I was very pleased that another council member (Robinson) agreed to sponsor this request. Council will discuss this item at this Thursday’s council meeting.

Council received a lot of email this past week from parents regarding traffic concerns at Panther Creek High School; over 30 I believe. I answered every one. Council previously passed an ordinance prohibiting left turns (the traffic movement responsible for accidents at the school) out of Panther Creek between the hours of 6:30 – 8:30 am. We also directed staff to work with WCPSS to provide private traffic control and/or cones to direct traffic west onto McCrimmon. Since that time staff has been monitoring the situation closely to gauge the ordinance’s effectiveness, and we have also learned that WCPSS has refused to provide for private traffic control and/or cones. Parents are requesting a traffic light be installed at both the student parking entrance and parent drop off area. While council did discuss the installation of traffic signals, staff has indicated that DOT would not approve the traffic signal installation. Council will further discuss this issue at this Thursday’s meeting.

Council also received quite a few emails this week both supporting and opposing utilizing instant runoff voting (IRV)in this fall’s elections. Council is holding a public hearing on this item at this week’s council meeting so if you have an opinion on this initiative – which I am sure you do ;-) - please come and speak at the hearing so council can hear your thoughts and better represent your wishes. In case you'd like more information on IRV, here is info both for and against IRV.

Well that’s about all for this week. Thanks for reading!