Musings

As I sit here at my lunch break, I realized that I haven’t been very public about all the various issues that have come before council lately.

So, in the spirit of open communications – here are my thoughts regarding some of these recent issues.

Chickens aka “Backyard Hens”

Photo from Tour D'Coop

I was a late comer in the “chicken” issue.  It was an issue that came up during the municipal election last year, and has been discussed at the council table in prior years. During the election season, I was cautiously supportive, concerned that Backyard Hens would alter the character of Cary.

But after Councilman Frantz brought it forward to council for consideration, I took the opportunity to do some in-depth research. I visited a number of homes on the Raleigh Tour d’Coop,  spoke to Josh Stein (who had a Chicken Coop in his backyard in Raleigh), and met with and talked to the folks at Cary Chickens.  I spoke with folks at the City of Durham and Raleigh – both municipalities that allow it.  What I heard from them, and from our staff, is that the nuisance complaints are few, and backyard hens have become a bit of an economic engine, in fact.

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Cary’s Technology Task Force Begins

I promise, there WILL be a time when I DON’T blog about technology. (Ok, maybe that isn’t a promise I can keep.)

Our very own Cary “Geek Squad” aka the “Technology Task Force” met Wednesday for the first time at Town Hall. I was impressed with the breadth and depth of their experience, their passion for making Cary a better place, and their willingness to take valuable time out of their lives to help in this important endeavor.

First things First

The Technology Task Force is a “special committee” sanctioned by the Town Council to determine how the Town’s use of technology services can better serve its citizens.  As volunteers for the town, these folks were treated to an overview of the Town’s ethics policy, North Carolina Open Meetings Law and Public Records Law by the Deputy Town Clerk and Town Attorney’s office.

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Building Bradford

Some folks say that they can tell when the economy is starting to come back when they see the construction trucks roll in.  I’m not sure that’s the best indicator – but the trucks are starting to roll at the corner of Davis Drive and High House.

I wrote about the Searstone and Bradford developments in March (“Construction in Cary”) – and now the work has recently begun at Bradford.

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Missing Winnie

 

It seems fitting that the title is A Life’s Work. Now that both of my children are in High School, contemplating what THEIR future will be, I find myself wondering what my impact on this world will be.  Certainly, like all mothers out there, I hope that my children are happy, healthy and kind, and contribute to society.  And I imagine that that is part of my contribution.  But I sometimes wonder, what legacy will I have left, after I am gone?

Winnie at Easel (from her website)

I bring that up because after returning home from our family vacation, we learned that our dear friend and teacher, Winnie Ferguson had passed away from complications due to lung cancer.  If you didn’t know Winnie, you missed out.  She was a truly accomplished artist and a phenomenal and patient art teacher, as well.  With a doctorate in art education, she taught high school and later was a university professor of art education and art therapy.  What she loved most, though, was painting.  Painting in oil and acrylics, and sharing that love of art with everyone around her. Read More…

Calling all nerds

So, if you didn’t know it before hand, it’s got to be abundantly clear by now.

I’m a nerd. Or a geek. Maybe the right term is technology obsessed.  Whatever the right term is, you get the picture.

Which is why this is a great and fun week for me!  Not only is the proposal that Councilman Don Frantz and I submitted for the Town of Cary Technology Task Force starting to take shape, but this weekend is CityCamp Raleigh.

Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself. Read More…

On the road again

This last week I spent 3 days traveling with 4 other Cary Town Councilmembers, our Town manager, Town of Cary staff, folks from the Cary Chamber of Commerce and local business leaders to Austin, TX. This Intercity visit was a first for me, and an opportunity to learn, connect and spend some time getting to know other folks that are passionate about our great town. Read More…

Why Your Vote Matters

As an elected official, it probably makes sense that I am passionate about democracy and public service.  (Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have run for office, right?)

Perhaps my early engagement learning about our government at Girl’s State is what sparked my pubic service interest.  But it’s watching the process of  government and seeing how few people vote, that fuels me today.  As folks that know me well can tell you, I been an “active” participant in the electoral process –  reminding my family, neighbors, friends and constituents about the importance of voting.

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What is Public Art?

When it comes to “art” I have to say that I am ill equipped to judge.  Sure, I like playing with graphic art on my computer.  And I love going to art museums; my favorites being MOMA in New York, the Art Institute in Chicago, and the Louvre, in Paris.  I even have a daughter that has tons of artistic skills, loves to paint, and I am forever amazed by her talent.

But, as they say, “art is in the eye of the beholder.”  And THIS beholder is no true critic.  I also know that what you might understand is “art,” I might think of as…well, *not* art.

So, when I heard that we were going to get an update on the Cary Public Art Master Plan, I was inquisitive and a bit nervous.  (“Lord,” I thought, “please don’t let them ask me what I think of any sculptures or paintings.  It’s a test I’m sure to fail.”)

But, as it turned out, I was in for a real lesson in “Public Art.”  First, a definition.

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Green fire station coming soon

I’m sure that I’ll be writing a number of blog posts that comment on my first “this” or my first “that.”  And this is one of those.

My first “ground breaking.”  

Yes, I wore the required construction hat.  Yes, there was dirt.  And yes, it looked like they had already started work.  (Hence, “ground breaking -> “ground broken.” )

Along with Councilmembers Jack Smith, Jennifer Robinson, and Mayor Weinbrecht, we were joined by representatives from Senators’ Richard Burr and Kay Hagan’s office, and Representative David Price’s office, as well as Representative Renee Ellmers.  We were also joined by State Representative Jennifer Weiss and a member of the EPA.

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