Monday, August 31, 2009

Week in Review 8/24/09 - 8/28/09

This past weekend I attended my 20th High School Reunion in sunny (sort of) Fullerton California. It was great to see all my old friends and classmates again. And seeing the old neighborhood sure brought back a lot of memories. So much had changed, yet so much had stayed the same. I had a great time, but it’s great to be back home in Cary. It took 20 years for me to miss California enough to go back. Once there it took about two days for me to miss Cary. I love this town.

Council had a worksession on Tuesday evening to discuss and vote on our recommended boards and commission appointments. While this sounds simple enough, given the number of highly qualified citizens that applied to serve (82 for 42 vacancies) I must say it was quite a bit of work to get to this point in the process. I personally reviewed each and every application, and determining which candidates to support for which position was no easy task. We are blessed to live in a community with such educated, passionate and creative citizens – the caliber of talent we have here in this town is truly amazing. Unfortunately there simply wasn’t enough vacanies for everyone deserving – and for what its worth I know what that’s like. I applied to serve for three years before finally being appointed to the town’s planning and zoning board. Although politics may have had a little something to do with that. ;-)

While we continually strive to do better, I believe Cary has done a relatively good job engaging its citizens. And I am proud that as a member of this council we have further increased opportunities for citizen involvement through the creation of the Environmental Advisory Board, Issues Advisory Board, and Animal Issues Task Force. We have changed the manner in which mixed use development is approved in order to give citizens a greater voice in the process, and we also created Cary Matters to better inform you, our employer, of the goings on in Cary. The Mayor and I also started blogs to better communicate with citizens – we do work for you after all. But like I said before, we are continually looking to do better. If you have any ideas of how we can further increase citizen involvement in Cary please feel free to let us know.

Council also held a closed session to discuss an ongoing legal issue.

Thursday evening was our council meeting. At our meeting council voted to table the proposed Cameron Pond Revegetation Plan as we just received it the day before and had not had ample time to review it. Council also received the annual reports from our Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Advisory Board, Our Sister Cities Commission, and the Public Art Advisory Board.

The notable discussion item was the rezoning request and annexation petition for roughly 40 acres located at the intersection of O’Kelly Chapel and Pittard Sears Road. The applicant hopes to construct 166 age restricted homes. During the public hearing citizens expressed concerns regarding notification and further stressing of neighborhood amenities. Council members were torn on whether to continue the public hearing or move this forward to the November Planning and Zoning Board Meeting. While all council members expressed concerns regarding the notification process, in the end the majority of council voted to send this one on to P+Z and encouraged the residents to work with the applicant to address their concerns. November is a ways away – much can be accomplished between now and then.

Afterwards council held a closed session to discuss a number of legal issues – none of which I can say anything about. Sorry. ;-)

Thats it for this week in review. Thanks for reading!