Sunday, May 2, 2010

Week in Review 4/26/10 - 5/2/10

On Monday afternoon Mayor Weinbrecht and I taped the May episode of Cary Matters – the monthly program designed to help keep you informed about and involved in the issues that we, the members of your town council, are working on as your elected representatives ;-) Taping Cary Matters is always a lot of fun and who knows, maybe the Mayor and I will win another award!

Afterwards I attended the Western Wake Republican Club’s monthly meeting at Ragazzi’s near Cary Town Center.

On Tuesday I met with the developers of a potential project in northwest Cary. While they are in the early planning stages, and most of what they are proposing makes sense, I encouraged them to meet with the area residents to better understand whatever concerns they may or may not have. Things tend to work out for the best when all stakeholders have a voice up front in the process.

Afterwards the council held a worksession to discuss stormwater runoff and flooding. The council has worked hard over the last couple of years to strengthen our stormwater runoff and retention ordinances which are now the strongest in the state. While I am confident they will better protect area residents from any runoff associated with future development, unfortunately these ordinances were not in place 5, 10 or 20 years ago. Some of the older areas of town that didn’t used to have any stormwater issues now do.

The majority of council felt that Cary’s current policies (policies 35 and 146 which enable residents to petition the town for assistance) are working well and that we did not need to make any significant adjustments. While I too believe these policies are working well, I believe we can do better.

What council ultimately directed staff to do was:

· Better incorporate flood control measures into future stream restoration projects
· Reevaluate the 50/50 cost share associated with policy 35
· Perform a FEMA Floodplain study and report back to council

(note – it appears that Cary will be receiving a $750,000 federal grant to perform this comprehensive study. When council approved our Federal Legislative Agenda a few months back I had requested we include a request for federal assistance to address stormwater/flooding issues. It appears that request was successful)

On Wednesday I attended the Civitas Poll Luncheon in Raleigh and the Cary Chamber of Commerce Elected Officials Reception at the Matthews House in downtown Cary. Thanks to everyone at the Chamber and the Matthews House for their hospitality. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time…, well, almost everyone ;-)

Our council meeting was Thursday evening. Notable agenda items included five annexations – all voluntary, two comprehensive transportation plan amendments, one comprehensive plan amendment, a rezoning, the award of contract for C-Tran services, and a partridge in a pear tree.

The discussion regarding the C-Tran contract award took much longer than expected as one council member believed this to be a good time to try and reengineer and expand the current program. While that discussion may or may not have merit, that was not what was on our agenda. The town’s contract with our current service provider is expiring and it was council’s responsibility to review the eligible bids received, and award a new contract. That was all. The council selected MV Transportation as our new service provider, replacing First Transit as MV offered increased services at a lower cost than what we are paying now.

After a healthy discussion, the council voted to deny the Weldon Ridge Planned Development District rezoning. The property in question was previously restricted to a school or church use during a previous rezoning and the applicant was requesting a change to allow age restricted (senior) housing. Council members that were on the council when the original rezoning was approved stated that their basis of support for the original rezoning was the reservation of this site for a school – and that had they anticipated this site being developed as residential they never would have supported the original rezoning in the first place.

On Friday morning I spoke to a group of area businessmen and women about the economic climate in Cary and North Carolina and my work during the last 2 ½ years on the council. I also answered a number of questions from those in attendance regarding business and town policies.

On Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the Historic Landmark Plaque Presentation Ceremonies hosted by Capital Area Preservation and the Wake County Historic Preservation Commission at the Guess-Ogle House in downtown Cary. It was truly an honor to be a part of the event’s festivities recognizing four area historic properties, including the old Carpenter Farm Supply Complex located on Morrisville-Carpenter Road in Cary. Thanks to Carroll and Sheila Ogle for opening up their home for this special event.

Before I wrap it up I want to take a minute and say, “Good Luck” to all the candidates running for office who have a primary election this Tuesday. It has been a pleasure to get to know each and every one of you, and while everyone can’t win, you’re all winners in my book. Anyone with a desire to become involved in their government and the guts to stand before the voters will always have my respect. May the best man or woman win!
That’s it for this week. As always, thanks for reading!