Steve Rao

October 8 Council Meeting

The evening began with an Invocation by Council member Schlink and the Pledge of Allegiance.

It was a bitter sweet moment to celebrate the retirement of Master Officer Jon Macbride, who has served on our Police Department for over 25 years.    While I had attended the reception a few hours earlier, it was an emotional moment to see his weapon returned.

Jon, thanks for all that you did for our Department and citizens. I will miss the ride alongs.

Stormwater Quarterly Report 

Rich Coppolla briefed us on the stormwater update and as always, the program is growing well under his leadership.

Economic Development Quarterly Report 

Carlotta updated us on a number of economic development projects, most notably the recent opportunity before us to bringing a major medical device manufacturer to Morrisville.

Highlights included 20 percent growth in start up activity, with one company, locating in Morrisville.    Five companies graduated last month, with one receiving funding and the plans are to build out the next phase of the center at the Morrisville Chamber.

Phase A Projects look promising and I commend Carlotta and the Chamber for a job well done and I see the progress based on our funding increase last year.    Economic Development Report will be on my Council site if you would like to review.

Previously Briefed Items 

Right of Way/Gazebo:    Staff did provide us a briefing on some language, added to the text amendment.    I like the language and am ready to support the approval of this text amendment although we have a public hearing next week.   I am not seeing the reasons against this amendment as a way to vote this amendment down as we should not be policing

Firearms Ordinance Amendment:    Mayor Holcombe, Steve Diehl, Margaret Broadwell, have asked if staff can at least look at any possibility of providing options for restricting the times for guns on the playgrounds when children are present.    It does not look good that we will be able to change this amendment and I am leaning towards approving the ordinance amendment with reluctance but we do need to comply with state law.

Unified Development Ordinance:    Courtney Tanner briefed us on the UDO, and we were able to ask a number of process questions.   I look forward to the upcoming work sessions and do look forward to voting on this in December.   Courtney, staff and the consultants have done a very good job on the UDO, and this is a great step for Morrisville, moving forward to streamline our process, bring in new development.

Council Comments 

The evening ended with Council Comments, and I thanked the Council for allowing me to speak and represent the Town at the ChinaCenter groundbreaking.    I did announce that we will be working with the developer to house an innovation center in the renovated facility, and we can graduate start ups and grow jobs in Morrisville in the Innovation Center, similar to a Raleigh Hub or Durham underground.

Thanked Jon Macbride for his service and to the Police Department for hosting a very fun 5K to raise money for Special Olympics.

As always, a great meeting and this provided for productive discussion.










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