My fellow citizens,
Thanks to your continued support, I have worked hard to do what I can to make a difference in Morrisville, and to get the job done.
No decision has been easy but I have done my best to listen, and to bring new ideas on how we continue to transform Morrisivlle into a global community of innovation, while at the same time retaining our small town feel.
I am honored to serve you, have had a productive first term in office, am excited to seek a second term on the Council, and filed today, with my father, Dr, PM Rao by my side.
Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook at steverao.com for daily updates on my work on the Council, and also view the video, Moving Morrisvile Forward, a celebration of what I have achieved in less than two years on the Council,
Since I was elected, I have been working on a number of key initiatives, such as creating jobs, increasing investment in infrastructure and parks, advancing open data and cloud computing initiatives and strengthening Morrisville’s connections to other parts of the world.
Let me take a moment to highlight a few of these achievements, which you can also review at the following link on my website, steverao.com.
When I took office, I pledged to make business growth in Morrisville my number one project.
The best way to grow and create jobs is to harness the innovative and global talent of our region. We must consider how to support small businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-up companies, and be certain that they leverage on the well educated workforce in our Town.
Thanks to a partnership with the Morrisville Chamber and Council for Entrepreneurial Development, we have started the Morrisville HOTTVATION or HOTTies program.
Efflux Pharma, Concert Telecom, Finder 411, JWeb Technologies, and ChAPPTER 1 have successfully participated in this six month program, and will graduate in August after receiving free space at Perimeter Park courtesy of Duke Realty, free internet connection courtesy of Time Warner Cable, and access to training, networking and mentoring opportunities provided by CED, Wake Tech, and SCORE.
Graduates of the program will then have greater access to the funding community and we are already seeing these companies, mature, create jobs, and bring more talent and opportunity to Morrisville and the Triangle.
Infrastructure and Parks
For much of this year, our Council was focused on preparing a $20 million bond package for the voters, with a focus on transportation and parks. Both transportation and parks bonds passed on November 8, 2012.
The transportation bond represents a $14.3 million project to extend McCrimmon Parkway at NC 54 to Evans Road and Aviation Parkway. This bond will take effect in the 2013 budget, with a two cent tax increase on your tax bill to begin design costs for this exciting project.
This two lane road project will improve traffic safety, mobility, and reduce congestion on NC 54. It will provide motorists and emergency responders additional connectivity between NC 54 and Aviation Parkway, and reduce congestion delays at Morrisville Carpenter Road and NC 54. Finally, this project will also encourage high-quality mixed-use commercial development on the McCrimmon Corridor, which will become a prime area for the final build out of our Town.
The $5.3 million Parks and Recreation Bonds will invest in new amenities, and improve existing recreational facilities, to meet increased demands for recreational programs and facilities. New amenities and renovations at the Morrisville Aquatics Fitness Center will include 8 new lighted tennis courts, fully enclosed pool, fitness renovations, locker room renovations, Frisbee golf, and a walking trail.
These bonds will most likely result in only a 4 cent tax increase over the next two years, but will yield significant improvements that should reduce traffic congestion, improve property values, and enhance our quality of life.
Morrisville, a Global Hub of Innovation
Today, we see a very different Morrisville, as we are home to a number of different cultures from all over the world. Our diversity makes it possible for us to tell other nations that we want the best and brightest from around the world to bring their families to Morrisville, and to join us in making Morrisville a hub for one of a kind, globally talented workforce, and a great place to start a business in many of our new and emerging technologies.
We can promote our diversity and our culture of innovation to develop and strengthen ties to growing economies in other regions of the world in an effort to increase foreign investment into our Town.
This year, I hosted visits with the Indian Ambassador, Nirupama Rao and Nepalese Ambassador, Shankar Sharma, who were interested in creating sister city programs between their nations and Morrisville.
In addition, I worked with other biotech leaders, Dr, Vipin Garg, and Ramana Kuchibatla to host a biotech delegation from Andrapradesh India to the Research Triangle and Morrisville, and based on this visit, we are discussing strategic partnerships with this region in India for our pharmaceutical sector.
Open Data Initiative- Smarter Cities
Smarter Cities are cities and towns, whom are analyzing data to make better informed decisions, to better invest tax dollars to provide the best customer service to their citizens.
Many Governments are providing data in open, useable formats for citizens, in an effort to fuel more innovation and also enable citizens to analyze data to create unique applications for municipal governments to solve problems, and to provide even greater transparency for our citizens and elected officials.
Cary, Raleigh, and Wake County are taking the lead in this area, and I am now leading efforts in Morrisville for an Open Data Initiative, which will provide identified data sets to the public in key areas, including permitting data , crime data, and other key information from public departments.
In addition, I also recommend the creation of an IT Advisory Task Force, which can bring together our vibrant IT Community in Morrisville to lead these efforts, also bringing best practices and ideas, on how to increase the efficiency of IT operations, including cloud computing, disaster recovery, and other critical areas.
In closing , I am grateful to have your continued support, and do look forward to meeting any citizen during my Council Office Hours on Fridays at noon to address any issues which concern you, and receive your feedback and ideas on how we continue to make Morrisville one of the greatest places to live, work, and raise a family.
Thanks again and I look forward to serving you for four more years, and as always, Getting the Job Done.