Sunday, December 20, 2009

Council Liason Organizations

The following is the list of organizations to which I serve as the City Council Liason 2009-2011 -

Sister Cities

Arts Commission

Upper Neuse Basin Committee

Triangle J Council Of Governments - Water Resources Advisory Committee

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Greystone Recreation Center

We are excited to announce the opening of our new recreation center in the Greystone Shopping Center on Leadmine Rd. This indoor facility offers a spectacular playground, climbing wall, dance/yoga studio, meeting space and classrooms. This space is the first of its kind for Raleigh and the vision for this space is to offer a wide variety of year-round, all-weather recreational programs for the neighboring community.

The center will also work with shopping center neighbors Gymboree and North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theater to provide complimentary and not competing programs. For programs check out Raleigh Parks & Recreation website.

Quality leisure, recreation and cultural opportunities greatly enhance the lives of Raleigh citizens, and this new facility will contribute to the wonderful quality of life we already have in Raleigh. The strength of Raleigh lies in our neighborhoods and this recreation center is something that will benefit not just our current residents but residents for years to come.

Greystone continues to serve as a model in Raleigh of desirable development. The whole Greystone community is a great example of a walkable neighborhood with bike paths and sidewalks, close access to grocery, recreation (pool, tennis, lake), banks, churches and shopping. I’m personally excited to see a facility like this in our district as I know this will provide another asset to our residents within walking distance of their homes.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Council Committees

Among its first actions, the newly installed City Council unanimously elected James West to serve as Mayor Pro Tem. Mr. West has served in this position since 2003. He has represented District C on the City Council since 1999.

Also at the 2009-2011 Council’s initial meeting today, Mayor Charles Meeker announced committee appointments. He will serve as co-chair of the Budget and Economic Committee along with District D’s Thomas Crowder. At-large member Mary-Ann Baldwin and District A representative Nancy McFarlane round-out the committee.

Russ Stephenson, an at-large member, will serve as chair of the Public Works Committee. He will be joined by the council’s two new members, District B’s John Odom and Bonner Gaylord, representing District E.

Mrs. McFarlane is to chair the Comprehensive Planning Committee. The two other members include Mr. Stephenson and Mr. Gaylord.

Mrs. Baldwin will lead the Law and Public Safety Committee. She will be joined by Mr. West and Mr. Odom.

Mayor Meeker announced that the Budget and Economic Development Committee will continue to meet at 11 a.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

Monday, November 30, 2009

2009-2011 Council

Please enjoy this short video of reflections on my first term and goals for the upcoming year!



Tonight, November 30 the new City Council will be sworn in at 7pm in the Cabarrus Street Lobby of the Convention Center. The public is invited to attend. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Convention Center is LEED certified!

The Raleigh Convention Center was planned and built in an environmentally and locally conscious way. From the breakdown of the old building, to the photography exhibit that chronicled the workers, to the construction of the impressive new building, to the local artist who made the Shimmer Wall - the process strove to respect our local landscape.

The ultimate award for green building is LEED certification, and our convention center was recently awarded LEED SILVER!
It is important that Raleigh continue to set high standards for environmental and economic sustainability. Our convention center is a great symbol for continued cultural and economic opportunities in Raleigh as well as the revitalization of downtown.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Upper Neuse Greenway Trail

Today the City Council approved construction of the Upper Neuse River Greenway Trail!

More than $3.6 million of the project’s cost is covered by federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Once complete, the trail will extend nearly eight miles from Falls of Neuse Road to the CASL Soccer Complex on Perry Creek Road.

This new section of the Greenway will consist of 10-feet-wide, asphalt trail, seven greenway bridges, 1480 linear feet of elevated boardwalk, 1410 feet of access road, paved parking, a railroad underpass shelter, landscaping, park furniture, and erosion and sedimentation controls.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Celebrating 25years of Springmoor

On Tuesday October 12th, I joined in the celebration of Springmoor's 25th anniversary! They have been an integral part of the Greystone community where I have lived for 20 years. This wonderfully planned and beautifully maintained assisted living community is a great asset to North Raleigh. They whole Greystone community is a great example of a walkable neighborhood with bike paths and sidewalks, close access to grocery, recreation (pool, tennis, lake), banks, churches and shopping. During my four years as President of the Greystone Homeowners Association I really came to appreciate the benefits of living in such a closely accessible community. Mason Williams and Ammons Pittman Real Estate really did a great job, and I think Greystone continues to serve as a model in Raleigh of desirable development. Springmoor is flawlessly embedded into the surrounding residential neighborhoods, and the residents truly add to this community. My parents love it at Springmoor, and I'm thankful they are able to remain so close to our home.

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Development Code


The City will be holding three identical listening sessions across Raleigh for anyone interested in hearing about the New Development Code 18-24 month process and expected outcomes that support the goals of the city’s new Comprehensive Plan: Planning Raleigh 2030.

The North Raleigh event will be Monday, October 19, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at North Raleigh Church of Christ, 8701 Falls of Neuse Road.

The goal of the New Code is to prepare development regulations that address contemporary development and zoning practices that are easily understood by administrators, the public and the development community.

There will also be a series of stakeholder meetings which will take place at the Raleigh Urban Design Center, 133 Fayetteville Street, Suite 100. The purpose of the stakeholder meetings is to focus on and gather topic-specific information to be used in developing a draft of the New Code. For the specific meeting times, topics and committees please visit the City website.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

2009 Endorsements

In District A, the clear choice is Nancy McFarlane. As an advocate for neighborhoods, parks and green space, she has worked for years to get northwest Raleigh’s out-of-control stormwater problems under better management. She’s helped to protect Raleigh taxpayers by making new growth pay more of its own way so that property taxes don’t have to, and brings a strong business perspective to management of city affairs in a fiscally sound way. McFarlane was instrumental in ensuring that the 2030 Comprehensive Plan protects the city’s infrastructure, growth, economy, and well-being over the next 20 years. - Betsy Kane, newraleigh.com

The Sierra Club
Raleigh Wake Citizens Association
Raleigh Police Protective Association
Raleigh Professional Firefighters Association

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Busy Day

Today exemplified both the great opportunities and time commitment involved in serving as a City Councilor. I love it, and I am very grateful for all the wonderful events I get to attend! Each Councilor has their own unique challenges of balancing their professional and personal lives with public service.

This morning started out in SE Raleigh with a wonderful event organized by the Raleigh Parks and Recreation department, The Home Depot Foundation and KaBOOM! to build a community playground at the corner of Lane Street and Idylwild. KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. They use their community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct new playgrounds, skate parks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America.
The build was funded through a $61,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation along with a $7,500 contribution from the Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department. As a founding partner of KaBOOM!, The Home Depot Foundation provides financial support, materials and numerous volunteers for play space projects across North America. In addition to funding, more than 150 associates from local The Home Depot stores spent their day off helping volunteers from the City build the playground.

Than I returned to North Raleigh for an interview with the Triangle Business Journal. My husband Ron & I own MedPro Rx, Inc - a specicialty pharmacy serving people with chronic neurological conditions and bleeding disorders. MedPro was nominated to the "Fast50" by the TBJ for the second year in a row. Last year we were honored to earn the #1 spot as the fastest growing business in the triangle! Raleigh has truly been an excellent place for starting and operating a buisness, and I believe we need to continue supporting this environment. It is important for the City to offer strong support for local businesses and consider the existing taxpayers when deciding on investments to stimulate our economy.

Later in the evening I attended a celebration with the Capital Area Friends of Transit at the Boylan Brew Pub. This was an awesome gathering of folks who are working for the best possible transit options for our community. The most recent progress came from the NC Legislature with the passing of permission to put the 1/2 cent sales tax to a voter referendum. This would provide Wake [also Durham and Orange] County and Raleigh with the funding to work on increasing bus service and exploring light rail. The Boylan Brew Pub was an appropriate location because it overlooks the trainyard around which downtown Raleigh developed, and is now projected to be the future transit hub.


To close out the evening I attended "Retrospective 25" at the Miriam Block Gallery. Over the past 25 years the City of Raleigh Arts Commission has served our community by supporting local artists and arts programs. During my first term on Council I have served as the liaison to the Arts Commission, and our work together has been productive. This Council approved the "Percent for Arts Ordinance" which establishes a 1/2% tax from capital projects to be diverted into a fund for public art. A newly created Public Art & Design Board will oversee the management of this fund, with approval by the Council for art investments by the City of Raleigh. Studies have shown that for every __ dollars spent on art, ___ dollars are returned.

It is really great to live in a place where community is so rich and there are so many exciting cultural opportunities. Raleigh is a wonderfully diverse and dynamic city whose future is excitingly bright! Of course we've got work to do, but I am confident in the commitment and caliber of people who are working together to back Raleigh a great place to work, live and play!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Notes on the CompPlan

The City Council officially adopted the CompPlan on Tuesday 9/8/09 after almost a year of work through the Planning Commission, public input sessions and public hearings! During our official public Council work sessions we reviewed the Future Land Use Map and made some changes to the plan. Our goal was to make sure that the density plans for the future are sustainable, smart and that the surrounding areas would be able to accommodate.

Some of the changes relevant to District A:

  1. The focus of the public hearing in North Raleigh was the Future Land Use Map regarding "The Chavis Tract" - the land at the corner of Ray Road and Howard Road. The Future Land Use Map shows this at a higher density than the surrounding neighborhoods would like. Currently it is zoned Residential-4 and the proposed change would make it Residential-14. The Council voted to keep this property low density. We felt, among other things, that the existing road structure did not have the capacity to be expanded to serve an increase in density.
  2. We are adding the term “Preserves” to our parks nomenclature. Several of our parks will be reclassified as “PreservesConsistent with Council’s intent to move forward with a countywide nature preserves management program, we have established a "Nature Parks and Preserves" classification on par with others, such as Metro, Community, and Neighborhood Parks. The initial definition would be as follows:

    “Nature Parks and Preserves are intended to be used for environmental education, scientific research, and public enjoyment in ways that do not degrade the natural resources on site. Nature Preserves contain and highlight examples of high-quality plant and animal populations, natural communities, landscapes or ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity and environmental health. Efforts are made to protect and manage significant natural resources in these areas through best practice management and stewardship. Opportunities for passive, natural resource based recreation may be provided that are compatible with the protection and enhancement of the natural area and the nature.
  3. The property at the corner of Lead Mine Road and Millbrook Road will remain low density.
  4. The neighbors in Cameron Village asked us to change some of the density on the Future Land Use Map surrounding their neighborhood from Medium to Moderate. We approved this request.
  5. The land between Old Lead Mine Road and New Lead Mine Road, south of Forum Drive will continue to be low density.
  6. Glenwood Ave West of Crabtree Valley - I have concerns about the proposed density for this corridor. I do not want to see it become another Capital Boulevard.
  7. Intersection of Six Forks and Strickland- We need to take a close look at the proposed build out for this area. Is the future density called for going to be supported by the available and/or future transit plans?
  8. Neuse River Greenway- We need to examine this in the plan and make sure that those corridors are protected. We need to again look at transitions plans for development leading up to Neuse River Greenways and the Neuse Buffers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Early Voting

Early Voting is going on now through Friday October 3rd for all Wake County elections! The only site is at the Board of Elections at 337 Salisbury Street, on weekdays from 8:30-5:00. I f you have any conflicts with Election Day October 6th than this is a great option!

Since the voting trend for municipal elections is usually around 10% (or less), it is very important for you to get out and vote! This low turn out means that every vote counts, so the more you can help spread the word with your friends and family the more impact you can have. Local elections really do have an impact on your quality of life because of the close proximity of city and county governments to our daily lives. The City is responsible for your drinking water, sewer service, road maintenance, zoning and regulating developments, public safety, developing infrastructure and maintaining parks, just to name a few. I believe that getting involved in local politics is one of the best ways to help shape our community for the better.

I appreciate your continued support as I move forward into my second term. It is an honor that no one has chosen to run against me this election, and I look forward to continuing my work on the Raleigh City Council.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Raleigh Council Candidates Square Off

A huge thanks to WakeUp Wake County, Wake County League of Women Voters and the Raleigh Downtowner for hosting this great candidate forum!

READ REVIEWS BY:

NEWRALEIGH.COM

MYNC.COM - video of Nancy available online!

RALEIGH PUBLIC RECORD

Transcript from Raleigh Public Record

Q: (moderator) What measures should the City of Raleigh take to protect the Falls Lake watershed and what measures should be taken to address stormwater regulations?

Nancy McFarlane: “There are many regulations we can improve on. One we’re considering is to increase the stormwater runoff requirements during construction. Silt is the biggest pollutant in Falls Lake, and it causes all kinds of problems. One of the things we are able to control is the amount of silt and stormwater that does wash off the sites. We’re looking at beefing up those, and they should be coming back for a vote before too long. The other thing we need to do is to start thinking about acting regionally. We can work together with municipalities to help beef up regulations.”

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sierra Club Endorsement


The Capital Group of the Sierra Club announced their endorsements for the 2009 Municipal Elections. Locally, the Club has a comprehensive process that identifies candidates whom they think are friends of the environment. Nationally, the Sierra Club is the largest, oldest and most effective environmental organization in the country. They do a great job of educating their members about opportunities to advocate for the environment both with their own time and at various levels of government. Thanks to the Sierra Club for being such great environmental advocates!

I am grateful to have received their endorsement for the second time, and look forward to continuing to earn this honor through my work on City Council! I have worked hard for tougher stormwater standards to protect our local waterways, and also served as the council liason to the Upper Neuse River Basin committee. I believe it is important to always consider the environmental impact of developments and I have consistently proved that during my work as Chair of the Comprehensive Planning Committe .


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nancy wins Community Supporter Award


Nancy McFarlane was recognized as one of the Triangle’s most successful businesswomen by the Triangle Business Journal at the “Women In Business Awards” event on August 6 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Research Triangle Park, N.C. An active member of the Raleigh City Council, McFarlane was honored in the community supporter category. Winners are recognized for being an accomplished leader who has succeeded in her business profession and remained involved in serving the community. “I am honored to be grouped with such prominent leaders at the 2009 Women In Business Awards,” said McFarlane. ”Women play an important role in the local business community and this award reflects our many achievements.”

Nancy McFarlane is a Raleigh City Councilor, a pharmacist and the president of MedPro Rx, Inc., an accredited specialty infusion pharmacy that provides infusion medications and services to clients with chronic illnesses. MedPro Rx has consistently given back to the communities they work closely with by sponsoring many local NC events and giving annual scholarships to students with bleeding disorders all around the country. Passionate about maintaining and improving the quality of life in Raleigh, Nancy is strongly committed to the neighborhoods of District A. As chair of the Council’s Comprehensive Planning Committee and a member of the Budget and Economic Development Committee, she is active in campaigning for responsible development that protects not only the quality of life in Raleigh but also the environment. Nancy was a key player in the development of the Water Conservation Council, a group of community representatives that work to inform the public of the importance of water conservation, and she now serves as the organization’s co-chair.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

District A - CACs

What is a CAC (Citizen Advisory Council)?
They are official advisory b
odies to the City Council. The City encourages residents and neighborhood groups to be active in decisions affecting their communities by participating in their local CAC. They are meant to serve as a link between city government and neighborhoods. In turn, the City Council relies on CACs for advice on community matters, such as neighborhood quality, existing and new facilities and decisions on planning and zoning.

The elected chairpersons of each of the CACs serve on the citywide Raleigh Citizens Advisory Council, which provides a forum for collaboration and information-sharing.
The RCAC meets on the 3rd Wedne
sday of the month at 7:00pm in the Council Chambers.

Find your CAC by viewing the map here or call (919) 966-6100.

The North Citizens Advisory Council will meet at 7:00 PM on the 1st Thursday of each month (September 3rd), at the Millbrook Exchange Park,1905 Spring Forest Rd., 27615.

The Falls Of Neuse Citizens Advisory Council will meet at 7:00 PM on the 2nd Thursday of each month (September 10th) at the Eastgate Park, 4200 Quail Hollow Dr., 27609

The Six Forks CAC meets
Bi-Monthly, Odd Months, 2nd Monday (October 12th) 7:30 PM at Sertoma Art Center, 1400 W. Millbrook Rd.

Check out Upcoming Zoning Cases.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2009 Municipal Election Candidate Forum


Please come hear candidates discuss local public policy issues, including growth,
drinking water supply, transit, housing, infrastructure funding and more.

Raleigh City Council Candidate Forum

Thursday, September 10, 2009
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Doors open at 6:15
Temple Beth Or, 5315 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh

Cosponsored by the League of Women Voters of Wake County

WakeUP Wake County

& Raleigh Downtowner

Light Refreshments
Free and Open to the Public
For more information, contact:
Karen Rindge, WakeUP Wake County, 828-3833, krindge@earthlink.net
Marian Lewin, League of Women Voters, 845-0064, mlewin11@bellsouth.net

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Moore Square Design Competition

The Moore Square Design Competition is now open to all planning, design, preservation, and engineering professionals, and college students who majored in these fields. City, State, and DRA employees and their families are exempt from consideration.

The design competition application and background information are located at www.raleighnc.gov/greatplacesmooresquare.

Entry fees: $100 for professionals and $50 for students

Awards: First place-$6,000; second place-$4,000; third place $2,000.

Schedule:

September 10 Registrations due

September 14 Question and inquiries due

September 29 Submissions due

October 5-6 Jury deliberations

October 24 Winners awarded at Raleigh Wide Open

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Environmental Leadership Event

Thanks to the leadership of Bill, Russ and Nancy, the Raleigh City Council is currently addressing the unsustainable consumption based principles of our public utilities systems and making smart investments in green technologies such as LED street lights, hybrid electric buses and plug-in stations. We have also installed solar thermal water heating systems on fire stations and recently approved the development of 1.3 megawatt solar array. Our new convention center is one of the greenest in the nation and will be officially LEED certified by the end of the year. The City Council is also incentivizing water conservation with new tiered water rates and low-flush toilet rebates. We have seen how rapidly increasingly population and growth are straining our infrastructure and causing increased pollution of our lakes and drinking water. Stormwater controls are an important part of preventing this damage, and just this past week Russ & Nancy recommended stricter standards through the Comprehensive Planning Committee. As Raleigh continues to grow these challenges of balancing environmental protection with development interests will only increase. As consistent voices for environmental leadership we hope you will continue to lend your support.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Muddy Water Watch

One of the major issues I worked on during my four year term as President of the Greystone Homeowners Association was the pollution of the three Greystone Lakes. These lakes consistently had problems resulting from upstream development - a combination of stormwater runoff and silt leaving construction sites. This increased water flow erodes the creek beds causing excess silt to end up in the lake. (The picture on the left is a creek running under Sawmill Rd into Greystone Lake.) This not only makes the lake too shallow to use but reduces the ability of the lake to function for flood control. Our lakes were also suffering from algae blooms caused by increased nitrogen, partially from lawn fertilization but mainly from sediment imbalance of the lake. Not only were the lakes becoming nonfunctional and ugly, but we had an additional responsibility to the greater community because the Greystones Lakes are the flood control for the low-lying part of Leadmine below the dam.

As a collective group of concerned citizens, our HOA worked hard to get support from the City to address our problem. Many of the neighbors who live adjacent to the lake were aggressive in their attention to the lake and consistently contacted the City during major fluctuations in muddy runoff. Then it is the responsibility of the City to take appropriate action of tracking down the source and either fining the developer or enforcing proper stormwater controls. After repeated attempts to hold the developers responsible for the damage caused by their construction we learned that even the nominal fines were not available for our (private) use to correct the problem. So the Greystone HOA had pay close to $150,000 to dredge the lake using our HOA dues. This situation continues to inform my position that the City should have stricter stormwater standards which does not place the responsibility for correcting the damage on citizens, but rather on the perpetrators.

Since excessive silt is also a big problem in Falls Lake, we solicited the help of Dean Naujoks, current Neuse Riverkeeper at the time. He was an excellent resource and huge help as we navigated the challenging process of cleaning up the polluted lakes. Dean was very impressed with our neighborhood collective attention to the health of the rivers and lakes, and saw a potential model for citizen watchdogs over local waterways. His years of experience and work with Greystone led to the development of Muddy Water Watch - a program to train citizens as watchdogs for stormwater pollution damaging their lakes. Thanks to Dean for his ongoing support and advocacy for water protection across NC!

“Long before Nancy McFarlane was a city council member, she was a champion (and President) for her community in North Raleigh. She worked tirelessly against development interests that damaged Greystone property values and cost the Greystone community over $100,000 to dredge sediment from the Greystone Lakes coming from upstream development. I was inspired by her work on sediment pollution, which according to EPA is the single largest source of impairment to our nation’s waters. As a result, I created the Muddy Water Watch Project (a spin off of the Get the Dirt Out) in NC—a citizen training program to monitor construction activity-- which was praised by EPA in their July 2008 national news letter. Muddy Water Watch has since been expanded to Riverkeeper programs throughout the country and Nancy has continued to challenge development interests on this critically important issue which is threatening Wake County’s two primary drinking water supplies—Falls and Jordan Lakes.” - Dean Naujoks, Yadkin Riverkeeper (formerly Neuse Riverkeeper)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Falls of Neuse CAC

The Falls of Neuse CAC will meet this Thursday August 13 at 7:30pm.

This group meets regularly on the 2nd Thursday of each month at the Eastgate Park, 4200 Quail Hollow Dr., Raleigh,
NC 27609

To view the newsletter click here.

To view current relevant rezoning cases, please click on the following link: http://www.raleighnc.gov/rezoning

Monday, August 10, 2009

North Raleigh CompPlan Meeting

The City maintains all current information on the Comprehensive Plan online at www.planningraleigh2030.com

Council has scheduled two more public meetings to continue the discussion with citizens about the details of the CompPlan.
(1) A North Raleigh public meeting will be held on Aug 10th at 6:30pm at the Eastgate Neighborhood Center, 4200 Quail Hollow Drive.
(2) A Southwest Raleigh public meeting is scheduled for Aug 13th at 6:30pm in the council chamber at the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex.

Council will also hold two planning workshops on Aug 24th and Aug 31st at 4pm to review the plan. Both workshops will be held in the council chamber at the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, located at 222 W. Hargett St. All council meetings are open to the public.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Discussing Food at Quail Ridge Books

During the budget hearings a few months ago there was an overwhelming response from Raleigh citizens about the hunger crisis in our community. Many of you wrote me and my fellow Councilors about the importance of the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and maintaining its funding. Through this dialogue I came to learn that thousands of people rely on the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle as a consistent source of meals and fresh produce. While this great organization provides a much needed service, wouldn't it be nice if they weren't needed? In the spirit of continuing the conversation about food in NC I would like to extend this upcoming opportunity at Quail Ridge Books in Ridgewood Shopping Center. This store continues to be a thriving local business with an excellent attention to community. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, August 16
at
3:00pm at Quail Ridge Books

Author reading and book signing by Aaron Newton, co-author of

The book explores the limits and dangers of our globalized and industrialized food system and argues that the food crisis is a direct result of our current food system. It predicts increasing hunger - the starvation of tens of millions in the poor world and more and more hungry Americans desperately trying to keep fed - unless we radically re-envision and relocalize our food system.

Aaron Newton resides and farms in Concord, NC.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

City Council CompPlan Meetings

The City Council will hold several public meetings to fully discuss the Comprehensive Plan. The following meetings have been scheduled and are open to the public:
  • Aug. 3: Council Retreat at Neuse River Facility, 4 p.m
  • Aug. 10: Northeast Public Meeting at Eastgate Park (4200 Quail Hollow Dr), 6:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 13: Southwest Public Meeting, in City Council Chambers 6:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 24: Council Comp Planning Workshop in Council Chambers, 4 p.m.
  • Aug. 31: Council Comp Planning Workshop in Council Chambers, 4 p.m.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Re-Election 2009

I want to thank you for the privilege of serving you on the City Council for the past two years. I have learned a lot and truly worked hard to represent District A and the best of Raleigh. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve you, and am extreamly fortunate by the fact that no one has chosen to run against me this year.

However this does not mean that this election will be a quiet time for me. The Comprehensive Plan is being considered and that requires a vigorous public process. It is also extremely important that we elect a strong council that will continue to move the city forward. The election is a great time to get out and meet with the citizens of Raleigh, and if you would be willing to host a Meet & Greet than I would be grateful for the opportunity to discuss issues of local concern to you and your neighborhood.



We've only got about 2 months to get to work during this off-year election. Early voting opens at the Board of Elections on Sept 17, but election day is October 6. Mark it on your calendercalendar now and please help us get out the vote to assure a progressive and visionary council!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Water Treatment Plant

WATER TREATMENT PLANT ON SCHEDULE, PLANT’S TRANSMISSION MAIN BEING INSTALLED

Construction of the City of Raleigh’s Dempsey E. Benton Treatment Plant remains on schedule, with completion set for February 2010. The $90.5 million plant is being constructed on 55 acres near Lake Benson, off of N.C. 50 (Benson Road) at Buffaloe Road, south of Garner.

Crews are currently installing the plant’s transmission main that will carry up to 20 million gallons of water a day to the City’s service areas. The 48-inch diameter main is being constructed in three phases at a cost of $23 million. When complete, the transmission main will be eight miles long and extend from the Dempsey E. Benton Water Treatment Plant north along Highway 50 ending at Wilmington Street, just south of the Raleigh City Limits. It will connect to an existing 30-inch diameter water transmission main for distribution to City of Raleigh water customers.

Construction of the new water treatment plant’s transmission main is scheduled to be complete in November. The work began last January.

The new plant is named for Dempsey E. Benton, who served as Raleigh’s city manager from 1983-2000. The City broke ground on the facility on April 11, 2007.

The Dempsey E. Benton Water Treatment Plant will allow the City of Raleigh to meet the area’s future water needs by providing additional water system reliability and capacity. The City will continue to operate the E.M. Johnson Water Treatment Plant in north Raleigh after the Dempsey E. Benton plant opens.

The City of Raleigh is the single largest provider of potable water in the Triangle, serving Wake County residents through 175,000 metered connections to 435,000 customers in Raleigh and the towns of Garner, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Wake Commissioners Urge Falls Lake Clean Up


WakeUP Applauds Action of Wake Commissioners and Urges Swift Action by the State to Clean Up Falls Lake

WakeUP Wake County applauds Wake’s Board of Commissioners for passing a resolution urging the clean up of Falls Lake. Wake Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution committing the county to protect Falls Lake and to adopt improved stormwater runoff measures by the currently proposed July, 2010 deadline. However, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the City of Durham are asking N.C. legislators to move the deadline back until 2011. WakeUP Wake County, which is working on behalf of the almost 500,000 citizens who rely upon Falls Lake for drinking water, disagrees.

“The clean up of Falls Lake can’t afford to wait many more years. New development is happening every day around Falls Lake. Our current standards are not working, which is why the lake is so polluted,“ said Karen Rindge, WakeUP Wake County’s Executive Director.

Wake County and other Triangle legislators have been meeting with officials from DENR and local municipal governments (including Raleigh, Durham and Butner) about the deadline for the rulemaking process on Falls. Also, they are exploring possible ways to accelerate the process, given that the stakeholder process for the rules is already underway. The deadline for the rules was supposed to be July 1, 2009. Wake Senator Josh Stein and Wake Representative Jennifer Weiss are taking the lead on these negotiations.

“Falls Lake is vital to a major metropolitan area in the state. Steps need to be taken right now to reduce algae overgrowth and potentially toxic bacteria in the lake. We urge the legislature to act quickly and decisively to support a cleaner drinking water supply,” stated Rindge.

Public Meeting Notice: Senior Centers

The 3rd and final public meeting for Raleigh’s Senior Centers will be held 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009, at 3:00 pm 
at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, located at 2209 Fairview Road.  

For more information call 919-996-4784 or parkplan@ci.raleigh.nc.us

Designs for the Whitaker Mill Center and Millbrook Exchange Center will be presented.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

City Council Agenda 7/21/09

Full text of City Council agenda.

  • Pilot Residential Fats Oils & Grease Collection Program - The City Manager is asking the Council to approve a pilot program similar to Town of Cary's Residential Curbside Grease Collection Program. After a period of public education from Raleigh's Public Affairs Department, a trial program of curbside yellow grease collection will determine the feasibility of officially adopting this program. City's Fats Oils and Grease (FOG) program staff and the Solid Waste Services Department, which will implement this program, have determined the cost to be about $8500. Triangle Biofuels Industries will provide containers for storage and will accept the cooking oil for processing into biofuel. They will reimburse the City $0.25 per galloon, with an estimated maximum of 17000 gallons to be collected from the 100,000+ Raleigh Solid Waste Services accounts. Currently Raleigh spends lots of time and resources dealing with sewer overflows resulting from grease being inappropriately deposited down residential and commercial drains. Even though there is a City ordinance requiring commercial grease traps, there are far more residential opportunities for grease to get into the system. Therefore a curbside grease collection program could help Raleigh save resources which are currently taken up by cleaning up grease in the sewers.
  • Parks & Rec staff will report on the status of the Senior Centers at Whittaker Mill Rd. and Millbrook Exchange park. This project has been a cooperative effort between Wake County government, Resources for Seniors and Meals on Wheels in order to maximize local expertise and service collaboration. The third and final public meetings for input will be this Tuesday July 28 at Hayes Barton Methodist on Fairview Rd. The project is expected to go out for bid in 2010 and construction to be completed by early 2011.

Joint Public Hearing Tonight with the Planning Commission 6:30pm

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Parks & Rec Month

July is Parks & Recreation Month in Raleigh!

The Parks & Rec Department compiled this extensive list of ways to enjoy and explore Raleigh's parks throughout the month of July. Click the image to download a copy.

It is no surprise that our Parks & Rec Department was nominated for a Gold Medal Award from the National Recreation & Parks Association.  Raleigh Parks & Rec is 1 of 4 national finalists for cities with over 250,000 people.  We owe this recognition to our excellent staff, quality facilities, diversity of programs for all ages, natural and green spaces as well as consistent City funding.

Goodnight Raleigh did an excellent job of highlighting some of the great parks, buildings, and recreational resources available in Raleigh. Their unique approach to capturing the city by night is really spectacular!

In North Raleigh we have excellent access to a variety of parks including tennis courts, public pools, senior centers, arts programs and nature preserves.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Serena's Song July 12-14

Serena’s Song, the world’s first wheelchair-accessible hot air balloon, will return to Raleigh on July 12-14 to offer free rides to individuals with disabilities at Spring Forest Road Park, located at 4203 Spring Forest Road, just east of Capital Boulevard. Weather permitting, rides will be given all three days from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

 

Rides will be provided on a first-come first-serve basis, with a priority given to children who use wheelchairs or have mobility impairments.  Each day, the first 15 participants will receive a free Capital Area Transit (CAT) bag. This year, a clown will be on hand to entertain families waiting to ride.

 

CAT is sponsoring the visit by Serena’s Song. CAT’s parent company, Veolia Transportation, has been a Serena’s Song’s national sponsor since 2001. “Veolia Transportation has helped us continue to bring joy everywhere we go,” said Gary Waldman, father of 25-year-old Serena and the balloon’s owner. “I started flying Serena’s Song after taking my daughter on a balloon ride when she was 2 years old.”

 

Up to that point Serena, who had severe brain damage and cerebral palsy from birth, had not uttered a word. She lived virtually without any sign of emotion until she rode in a hot air balloon with her father. “Serena squealed with delight and laughter. That was the first emotion she ever displayed,” Mr. Waldman said. “I knew then that I would devote my life to giving children like Serena a chance to experience that same joy.” 

 

Scott McClellan, Veolia Transportation General Manager of CAT, was the driving force behind bringing Serena’s Song to Raleigh.  “We wanted to bring Serena’s Song to our community after hearing many stories describing the priceless smiles the balloon’s experience has put on children’s faces at other Veolia Transportation-operated transit systems” said Mr. McClellan.


Until Veolia Transportation stepped in as the sponsor for Serena’s Song, financial problems and an aging van and trailer threatened to force Mr. Waldman to discontinue his journey. Veolia Transportation officials provided a new van and trailer and now provide assistance in booking Serena’s Song for events through its many properties located around the country. 

 

With this new breath of life that Veolia Transportation has provided, Mr. Waldman says he plans to keep Serena’s Song flying high. “With every event we go to, we look for our next miracle. If we can find it, nothing else matters,” he said.


Text of this post from City of Raleigh press release. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

City Council Agenda 7/7/2009

Full text of City Council Agenda

  • Review of Lease for 1.3 megawatt Solar Array on 7-10acres at Neuse River Wasterwater Treatment Plant, background info. Read more about other solar projects in Raleigh.
  • The City of Raleigh is requesting $1million from US Department of Health & Human Services from the Strengthening Communities Grant. The City’s goal for this project is "to address broad economic recovery issues in the City of Raleigh through assisting nonprofit organizations to strengthen their capacity to provide social services and create collaborations to better serve those in need."
  • The City has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR), Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance, to implement a curbside recycling incentive campaign. This twelve-week long NCDENR Curbside Recycling Incentive Campaign is designed to increase participation in weekly recycling by randomly selecting households who correctly prepare recyclable items for collection on their designated day. Winners will receive a gift card redeemable at a local merchant.
  • Since November 2006 the City has provided $100,000 to be used as matching funds for a "Circle of Support Rental Subsidy Programs" as part of the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. The organization CASA has administered the reimbursement of rental subsidy payments. In FY 2007-2008 the City budgeted an additional $100,000 for the support of the matching rental subsidy program. Current funding from the originally encumbered $100,000 will be spent within the next three months and the additional City match will be needed to support the program during the 2009- 2010 fiscal year. Funding is budgeted and the City Manager recommends that the Council approve the addendum proposing an extension of the contract through December 31, 2010, with the committal of the second $100,000 in funding budgeted by the City for this activity.
  • Marriott Drive at Glenwood Avenue - It is recommended that the channelization on Marriott Drive be revised. City staff conducted a traffic engineering study to determine the need for a dual left onto Glenwood Avenue from Marriott Drive. The existing channelization at this location is an exclusive left and shared through-right lane except during the hours of 7-9 a.m. At that time the shared through-right becomes a shared left-through-right lane. The study showed that the existing traffic volumes no longer warrant the additional left turn lane.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dog Tethering Ordinance

The City of Raleigh Dog Tethering Ordinance takes effect today, Wednesday July 1. 

 

The ordinance regulates the unattended restraint or tethering of dogs. Under the measure, a dog may not be tethered for more than three hours total in any 24-hour period.  The ordinance defines tethering as a means of tying out or fastening a dog outdoors on a rope, chain or other line for restraining a dog. The term does not mean the restraint of a dog on an attended leash.


The purpose of the ordinance is to prevent the possibility of strangling when a dog becomes entangled in ropes and chains or surrounding objects. The ordinance also seeks to prevent dogs from being left exposed to harsh weather conditions without access to shelter, and being unable to reach a supply of food and water.

 

Any device used to tether a dog must be at least 10-feet long and attached in a manner that prevents strangulation or other injury to the dog, or entanglement with objects, under the ordinance. A cable trolley system may be used to tether a dog for the allowed period as long as the stationary cable is at least 10-feet long and the dog can move perpendicularly at least 10-feet away from the stationary line. The line should be attached to the dog with a buckle-type collar or a body harness. The device used to tether can weigh no more than 10 percent of the animal’s body weight and must allow the dog access to food and water. In addition to being a misdemeanor, a violation of the dog tethering ordinance would be subject to a civil penalty of $100 per day for each day of violation.  


The Coalition to Un-chain Dogs  is a non-profit, volunteer effort dedicated to improving the welfare of dogs living outdoors on chains in and around the Triangle region of North Carolina.  In just over a year and a half, they have freed over 130 dogs.  Please contact them to find out about how to help, sponsor a fence or arrange a fence for a dog in need.