The 2014 Council had one of our most productive retreats this year, thanks to the strong leadership of Town Manager, Martha Wheelock, Mayor Stohlman and the preparation of the staff. I thank Margaret Broadwell and Jim Klopovic for attending from the public and to Aliana Ramos who commuted for both days of the retreat.
Day 1 involved an overview of our Council goals, and each of us presented our long term and short term goals.
Councilmember Vicki Scroggins- Johnson, laid out her vision for Destination Morrisville and Mayor Stohlman laid out specific goals of widening Morrisville Carpenter Road, and also for Morrisville to have a standard symbol for the Town, that would welcome visitors to Town. Mayor Pro tem Johnson laid out her goals, which included returning to a discussion of an All At Large system, continuing to look at our options of a Town Center, and a strong focus on the effective Council-staff relations.
I presented on the primary goals for transportation, economic development, information technology. and leveraging our global, innovative talent to create a unique identity for Morrisville. I still see a great opportunity to grow entrepreneurship in Morrisville, continuing to grow the Hotties program, Open Data, and informed Council of the number of successful, growing companies in Morrisville. I would like to see Council fund Phase 2 of the Town DR plan, along with having staff look at moving more IT infrastructure to cloud services, where possible. (my presentation can be viewed on my Council site)
On Day 2, we completed a Budget simulation exercise, and received strategic reports on State Road Projects, Parks Pipeline, and future budgetary needs for road maintenance. Finally, Ben Hitchings laid out plans and challenges for the Town Center plan, laying out another option for executing a Main Street, looking at options on another piece of land at the intersection of Town Hall Drive and Morrisville Carpenter Drive.
Council has an opportunity to leverage our investment in the Town Center by either locating Fitness Center the original Town Center property, and perhaps, moving forward with a vision of a Library and Farmers Market.
Overall, I would say that the number one focus from this Council seems to be a focus on Transportation, looking at where we may be able to receive credit or state matches in funding for dollars, which we spend on state roads, most notably Morrisville Carpenter Road and NC 54.
Another major area of focus is how our Council must work hard to lobby the General Assembly on critical issues, like the elimination of the privilege tax license, transportation dollars (matches to the Mccrimmon Bond) and also lobbying hard for Wake County Commissioners for a library and STEM Charter school in Morrisville.
I encourage us to host a joint meeting with our Wake County Delegation, including Senator Stein and Rep. Murry to start getting serious on how Morrisville is getting the short end of the stick in Wake County.