Monday, September 28, 2009

Week in Review 9/21/09 - 9/26/09

This past Tuesday council held a worksession to receive and update and discuss the town’s wayfinding project. The town’s wayfinding project is a comprehensive signage system that will help direct visitors to destinations in our downtown area, and other town venues such as Koka Booth Amphitheater, USA Baseball and many of our town parks and greenways. Council reviewed options and recommendations from our citizen wayfinding committee, consultants and staff prior to endorsing the project and directing staff to continue with only a few minor recommended changes.

I am very pleased to see this project taking shape as this is an initiative that the Heart of Cary Association and I have been working on for years. I can’t tell you how many phone calls and comments I have received over the years from both Cary citizens and visitors who have expressed concerns with not being able to find their destination due to lack of adequate directional signage. It is also my hope that better directional signage will help to alleviate traffic (less folks getting lost/making u-turns etc..) and reduce harmful vehicle emissions by reducing vehicle run time.

On Wednesday town staff, council member Robinson and I met with residents in the Pamlico Drive/Maynard Road area to discuss stormwater issues they are experiencing in their community, and current projects underway and/or in the design process to potentially alleviate this problem. We also requested a meeting with town staff and residents be held at Swift Creek to further analyze and discuss issues the residents are experiencing.

Later that afternoon Mayor Weinbrecht and I taped the October edition of Cary Matters. Topics for the show included explaining the differences between open and closed sessions, upcoming meetings, worksessions and events. I got to have a little fun at the end of the show so be sure and check it out! Afterwards I attended WakeUp Wake County’s Cary Council Candidate forum held at the Kirk of Kildaire Church. Highlights of the forum can be seen on NBC17.

Thursday evening was our council meeting. Discussion items included a rezoning request for the Russell Hills neighborhood in the town center area, consideration of options for roadway improvements for the proposed expansion of St. Michael’s Church, and appointments to the town’s Information Services Advisory Board. Council also held a closed session afterwards to discuss property acquisition through purchase.

Council supported the request of Russell Hills’ residents to create a new zoning district for their neighborhood that mirrors that of the pre-existing Russell Hill covenants and called for this change to be included in round 13 of amendments to the town’s LDO - a public hearing will be held on October 13, 2009. Council also recommended accepting St. Michael’s offer of a payment in lieu instead of requiring them to install a turn lane at the intersection of High House and Cary Parkway as the town is currently studying this intersection and, at this time is not entirely sure what improvements will be needed or recommended. That last thing we want to do is require an improvement that we later discover is not necessary – or worse even, not recommended. St. Michaels will also be required to install a traffic signal in front of their property across from Bond Park.

While council ultimately agreed to councilmember Robison’s recommended slate of appointments to the Information Services Advisory Board, I was very disappointed that this information was late in coming to council (about 3 weeks late) and that there was no time to review the recommended slate’s applications. In fact, I was handed a piece of paper with names on it only 30 minutes prior to this discussion. I found this very unprofessional, embarrassing and unfair to those applicant’s who had applied to serve on the ISAB.

Friday morning town staff, council member Robinson and I met with residents in the Pamlico Drive/Maynard Road area to follow up on our Tuesday meeting, and see first hand the progress – or lack thereof – of the stream restoration project. Unfortunately, after our meeting I think we now have more questions than answers. While the stream restoration project was necessary to further protect the environment and to provide for greater water quality - and a requirement of the state resulting from the Maynard Road widening project I might add. I believe a more comprehensive project that not only addressed environmental protection and greater water quality, but also stormwater runoff that is causing problems for folks in the area would have been wise. We are continuing to work with staff and the residents to come up with the best solution(s) available.

Afterwards Mayor Weinbrecht, Councilman Jack Smith and I attended the Cary High School IMP Club Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon at Carraba’s Restaurant. This was a lot of fun and it was great to see so many long time friends. With five of our six children attending and participating in athletics at Cary High School it goes without saying that our family has been a part of the Cary High School family for years – five down, one more to go! We presented a proclamation and medal to this years Hall of Fame inductees.

Saturday went from being a great day to one of the most terrifying moments of my life in the blink of an eye. Our son Jordan, who play’s linebacker for UCF was back home in North Carolina to play ECU this weekend. We trekked to Greenville early with many family members and friends to tailgate before the game and had a great time. During the game it was clear this was going to be Jordan’s best game of the season thus far as he had racked up 6 tackles and a forced fumble by halftime. At the beginning of the fourth quarter Jordan broke through the defense once again to tackle another Pirate. Only this time he didn’t jump up and celebrate. He wasn’t moving at all. Medical personnel from both sidelines rushed the field and began tending to Jordan. Shortly thereafter they called for a back board and spent what seemed like an eternity moving him onto the board securing his neck and body. As Lisa and I waited near the end zone I kept looking for the thumbs up from Jordan to signal that he was ok. He never did. Only when they began to transport Jordan to the ambulance did we learn he was awake – and angrier and about being removed from the game more so than anything else. A UCF athletic trainer said Jordan was unconscious on the field for nearly 4 minutes. After numerous tests and observation Jordan was later discharged from the hospital and on a plane headed back to Florida.

Lisa and I want to thank all the medical staff and the athletic department at ECU for all their help and support. This was a very stressful and emotional time for our family and they treated us like part of the Pirate family. We are forever grateful.

That’s it for this week in review. As always, thanks for reading!