April 2008 Highlights

The April report is coming to you a little late due to the rush of activity around statewide elections this week.
Statewide primary:     As many of you will already know, I was a candidate in the statewide primary election held Tuesday May 6.  In these monthly reports, I have largely avoided reference to that campaign, in order to keep my representation of you on the City Council as separate as possible from my statewide campaign.  At this point, though, I can safely note the election, since I did not win the Democratic nomination for N.C. Lieutenant Governor.  I have mixed feelings—disappointment, of course, since I worked hard on the campaign for nearly two years—but also relief that I can return more of my time to my work for you and our city.  I did my best to continue that representation during the campaign, and am pleased to be able to report that I did not miss a regularly scheduled Council meeting during the campaign, and few committee meetings.  However, over the past two months, I worried that my response to your constituent inquiries was either too rushed or too slow.  
     Even though I trailed in the statewide votes, I am honored to have received strong support from the voters here in the Southwest Ward.  Now, please rest assured that I owe you another year and a half of hard work during my current term as your representative to City Hall—and I mean to provide it.  Thank you for the opportunity!
Stormwater rules:     Detailed discussion on the long-studied and debated stormwater management rules update continued in April.  The ordinance had been scheduled for discussion and vote by the full City Council on April 21, but that vote was postponed in order to permit consideration of additional possible changes.  We are working to reach a consensus on the proposal if possible.  Toward that end, a special Stormwater Ordinance Task Force was created for the final preliminary discussions before reporting back to the Council.  That Task Force's second meeting will be held next Tuesday, May 13, at 2 p.m. in the Public Works Conference Room on the third floor of City Hall.  As usual, this is an open meeting and interested members of the public may attend.  (The Task Force meeting will not include a formal public comment opportunity, however.)
Bonds approved for important public projects:     At our April 21 meeting, the City Council began the approval of bond issuance for about $5 million of important public projects in Winston-Salem.  (After a formal public hearing, the bond sales received final approval at our May 5 meeting.)  Projects approved included maintenance and improvement at city fire stations and replacement of older pumpers and ladder trucks, streets resurfacing, and recreation and parks renovations.  The largest single item was $1 million for sidewalks construction and repairs.  Included in the recreation items were completion of phase one of the Muddy Creek Greenway, and construction of the 14th Street Walking Trail.  (We're working hard to make Winston-Salem a pedestrian-friendly city.)