Monday, May 17, 2010

Week in Review 5/9/10 - 5/14/10

Monday was our monthly Parks Recreation and Cultural Resources Advisory Board (PRCR) meeting. I serve as the council liaison to PRCR. The highlight – or maybe lowlight is a better word? – was a brief retirement reception for Cary’s outgoing PRCR Director Mary Henderson. Mary’s passion and dedication to making Cary a better place to live, work and especially play will be sorely missed.

On Thursday I attended the Cary Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Awards Luncheon at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Cary. Council members Jack Smith, Jennifer Robinson and Julie Robison were also in attendance. A good time was had by everyone – especially the folks at S&A Cherokee, the 2010 Cary Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award Winner! Other businesses and community partners receiving awards were:

· Carolina Auto Spa: Award for Innovation
· Avcon Inc.: Community Service Award
· Tri-Clean Inc: Employer of the Year
· Green Hope High School: Entrepreneurial Award in Education
· Triangle Aquatics Center: Charitable Partners Award

Congratulations to all the award winners and thank you for everything you do for our community!

Afterwards was our council meeting. Two notable topics included whether or not to pursue LEED certification for Cary Fire Station #8 (being built soon) and a shared leave policy for Cary Town employees.

The council voted 4-3 to not support pursuing LEED certification due to the additional $41,000 it would cost Cary taxpayers. The council did however agree to pursue a green-build. In a nutshell, the fire station will be built to LEED standards, but without the certification due to cost. These are trying economic times. To fund this initiative would mean we would have to cut somewhere else and our budget has already been scraped to the bone. Make no mistake, the council takes environmental protection seriously. The definition of environmental protection is just that – protecting our environment. By constructing the fire station to LEED standards that’s exactly what we are doing.

The shared leave policy is a program that allows an employee to donate some of his or her vacation time to another employee if that employee or an immediate family member experiences a catastrophic medical event. For example, if a town employee was diagnosed with cancer, and after using up their own sick leave and vacation time, town employees could donate some of their own vacation time to help the individual meet his or her financial obligations while they recover. Since an employee is donating time that they would otherwise be paid for to another employee, it costs the town nothing. The discussion centered on how much time an employee may ever receive. The council approved the town staff recommendation of 160 hours (4 weeks) and directed staff to investigate the effects of expanding that to 480 hours like that of many other area municipalities.

That’s about it for this week. Thanks for reading!