Monday, November 23, 2009

A Day in the Life

Folks often ask how I balance my business and family responsibilities with those of a council member. I decided that instead of my usual week in review I would post a day in review instead to give folks a better idea of what an average day is like for me. Hopefully you find it interesting. If not, I’m sure you’ll let me know. ;-) So without further adieu,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Alarm goes off – hit snooze. Repeat. I am so not a morning person. ;-) After coming to terms with my denial and accepting that yes, I do have to get out of bed and go to work, I roll out of bed and sleepwalk to the shower. My day begins.

I arrive at work at 8:00 am to find that Darryl’s got everything under control. Why am I not surprised? He’s awesome. I check the morning paper and internet sites for anything newsworthy. Find nothing. ;-) Check and respond to a couple dozen emails. Some require staff assistance to better address –contact staff for assistance. This will generate more email. Respond to three phone calls missed from the previous evening. One is from a citizen requesting a meeting regarding a neighborhood issue, one from a fellow councilor and one is from a newly elected school board member.

Time to get to work…the kind that pays the bills anyways ;-) I am needed to diagnose a couple of drivability problems. One is a high idle and check engine light on a Ford Focus, the other a hard start on a Honda CRV. I find that the CRV needs a new oxygen sensor and an intake service to remove excessive carbon build up, and the Focus needs a new PCV hose assembly to cure a lean condition. I write it up and give the info to Darryl so he can authorize repairs and order parts so I may participate in a conference call with the North Carolina NFIB Leadership Council of which I serve as a member.

The NFIB conference call lasts almost an hour as we discuss a wide range of topics including the NFIB’s and small business' position on health care, taxes on services, card check legislation and incentives vs. North Carolina's corporate tax rate.

10:30 am: I check email again to find that staff has provided some of the information I had requested earlier – follow up with citizens. I have found that I keep up with email best if I check it numerous times throughout the day. There isn’t much worse than opening your email account to see that you have 120 new emails. Ahhh!!!!

Back to work. I complete the needed repairs on the CRV and Focus – yes I still turn wrenches – and also perform a routine service on a Toyota Highlander. After my work on these three vehicles is complete I handle a number of business related responsibilities for both Frantz Automotive and Rosedown Weddings.

2:00 pm: I leave work and head home to clean up and change clothes before attending the town’s employee appreciation reception. I Hit the BK drive-thru on the way home to grab a quick bite for lunch and call Lisa to see how her day is going. It’s no surprise to hear she’s doing five things at once. Those of you that know Lisa know what I’m talking about. ;-) She’s an amazing woman who works hard not only at home, at work, and in the community, but she also takes up my slack – especially at home – as my council responsibilities keep me away from home more often than not. My wife is a saint. I love you sweetie!

2:50 pm: Arrive at Town’s employee reception at the Herb Young Community Center and speak with a number of guests and town employees prior to the start of the presentation. Our town’s staff is an amazing collection of dedicated professionals who work very hard to help make Cary the great place to live that it is. Attending this reception was the least I could do to show my appreciation for all their efforts.

Afterwards I head back to the shop to tie up a few loose ends. No time to change back into my work clothes so I take a little extra care to make sure my tie doesn’t get caught in a fan belt. ;-)

4:30 pm: Back to town hall for a meeting with the Town Manager, Engineering Director, Councilwoman Robinson and a family who lives on Pamlico Drive to discuss flooding issues they are experiencing and what steps the town can take both short and long term in an attempt to address their issues. I wish I could report that I left this meeting with the confidence we will be able to help. Unfortunately I did not but we will work as hard as we can to do so. Afterwards I race across the hall and into Council Chambers for our Planning and Development Committee meeting – on time with 30 seconds to spare!

5:30 pm: P+D Committee meeting begins – notable topics included consideration of a Comprehensive Transportation Plan Amendment and whether or not to consider an appeal from an applicant regarding a staff decision to require connectivity to their proposed site plan. The committee agreed to hear the appeal. Both of these items will come to the full council for discussion and decision at our next council meeting.

After our P+D Committee meeting I head across town to attend the tail end of a reception for WCPSS Board Member-elect Debra Goldman. It has been a pleasure to get to know Debra better over the last few months and she has become a great friend. I look forward to working with Debra on school related matters both in Cary and Wake County and I am confident she will do a great job as a member of the school board.

I stop the shop to pick up some documents and tie up a few loose ends before getting home around 8:00. Once home I grab a bite to eat (not out of a bag – yay! Thanks sweetie!)- and help Elizabeth with her homework before reading her a story and tucking her into bed. I spend the remainder of the evening responding to email and reviewing staff reports before retiring around midnight.

And there ya have it – an example of what a typical day is like for me as a business owner, family man and member of the council. There is always much to do, but by focusing on what’s most important - and with a little help from my family and employees - we get it done. I am very proud of my work on the council and hope that you are too.

And no matter how busy I might get I try very hard to make sure I make time for family – although there’s never as much time as I would like. I can’t thank my family enough for their love and support and for understanding how important my role as a council member is to both me and Cary. I couldn’t do what I do without you. I love you!