What’s a CAC? It’s a Citizen’s Advisory Council. For those of you in the Lineberry area, you are a member of the SouthWest CAC (SWCAC). SWCAC Chair, Mary Belle Pate, has meetings on the second Monday of each month, at 7:00 PM at the Carolina Pines Park. The monthly meetings include a variety of topics for each meeting, for example, updates from Raleigh Police Department and presentations of rezoning cases. Attendance could be higher, the group averages about 10-20 members a month, mostly the same people. For an area that stretches from South Saunders street then west to Trailwood Drive & Avent Ferry Road, participation in lackluster at best.
The CAC groups around the city have asked for more funding, primarily for awareness issues and campaigns that would inform citizens of the purposes of the CAC groups. The City Council has listened (we think) and has outlined an approach to move forward with improving the CAC’s structure, which will hopefully lead to more citizen interest and participation moving forward.
From the City of Raleigh E-Newsgram:
CITY COUNCIL APPROVES CITIZEN ADVISORY COUNCIL STRUCTURE
The Raleigh City Council has approved a revised structure of the Citizen Advisory Councils (CAC).
The purpose of the 18 CACs is to receive information and make recommendations to the City Council on issues of neighborhood quality, existing or new public facilities, planning and zoning decisions, citizen involvement through neighborhoods, and other matters related to City services or projects.
The structure as established by the City Council includes:
- Each resident of the Capital City is automatically a member of a council. Neighborhood associations, homeowner and tenant groups will be asked to send at least one resident to each meeting. Each CAC will elect its own officers, including a president and may decide to call the group a citizen advisory council or neighborhood council;
- The CAC boundaries will be reviewed by City staff and the Raleigh Citizen Advisory Council (RCAC) which is comprised of the officers of the 18 CACs. The boundaries will be based on neighborhoods and communities of interest. Boundaries are subject to City Council approval;
- Meetings will be held monthly unless otherwise agreed with agendas to be set by the Council president. The meetings should be designed to be informative, interesting and focus on issues of interest to each Council;
- The City of Raleigh shall provide staff support to each CAC in the form of assistance with public notice of meetings by mail and e-mail, to neighborhood and homeowner groups, assisting with website content, inviting speakers and gathering requested information, providing guidance on how to access City services and to provide input on projects, and assistance within the resources budgeted;
- The presidents will meet once a month, unless otherwise agreed, to discuss the reports and recommendations of each Council. The presidents may make recommendations to the City Council from time to time by majority vote. Individual Neighborhood Councils may also report to the City Council;and,
- The City Council will include appropriate funding for the CACs as part of each annual operating budget. The presidents will recommend a budget by mid-May each year. Low-wealth areas should be addressed by customizing resources and programs based on need. Neighborhood council leaders will be encouraged to participate in City leadership programs. The Neighborhood Councils, through a committee, shall make recommendations to the City Council for neighborhood grants each May.