Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cary Matters

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Ours was great – family, food and football! (not necessarily in that order) But can you believe Boise State lost to Nevada? - and I thought we were in for a BCS shake-up until Auburn came back from 24 down to beat Alabama.

My council responsibilities were light this past week due to the holiday. The highlight of my week was taping the December Cary Matters television show with Mayor Weinbrecht. Maybe I shouldn’t say highlight – I haven’t seen the show yet. It’s supposed to be HERE, but it hasn’t been posted at the time of this blogging. Maybe that says something? ;-)

A lot of you have inquired about the show at one time or another, so I figured this post would be a good opportunity to give you a behind the scenes look at the cinematic masterpiece we like to call, Cary Matters.

Cary Matters was created over two years ago in an effort to keep you, our citizens better informed and involved in the issues that we, the members of your town council, are working on as your elected representatives.

The show’s content focuses on initiatives and activities supported by the council as a whole. The program cannot be used to advocate for a particular individual, minority opinion, idea or position.

The key phrase there is “supported by the council as a whole”. Majority rules. What does or doesn’t get done in our town happens by a vote of council. Not every decision is unanimous, but once a decision is made, the decision is made.

Those decisions often become discussion topics for Cary Matters.

Council members rotate as “guest hosts” with the Mayor on Cary Matters. The show is scripted and is written by the Mayor with input from council and our public information office. Prior to taping the script is sent to participants for review and comment.

Most of the time there are no issues regarding program content – it’s usually the, “I would rather say it this way” kinda stuff. However, once in a while a guest host finds themselves scripted to speak positively about an initiative they did not support. Majority rules remember?

So what do you do if you are that council member? Well, you first lobby for changes to the script and or discussion topic, and if that fails you change the names on the script so the Mayor says that part. ;-)

The show costs about $5000 a year to produce and utilizes existing town resources and outside contractors. It requires four people (excluding hosts) to tape and produce the show. Taping time can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half and yes, we use a teleprompter.

Some totally useless Cary Matters trivia for you: I am the only council member besides the Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem to host Cary Matters. Why? I wrote the script.

There is no make-up or wardrobe department and the beverage in the coffee mugs is water. I promise. ;-)