SWCAC May 2010: Budget, Community Gardens, and more

At last night’s South West Citizens Advisory Council (SWCAC), we had a great collaborative session on several different topics including building a CAC website, budget requests, and community gardens. Vice-Chair Anthony McLeod and Second Vice Chair Mary Belle Pate help to foster the group conversation and generate ideas.

Officer Upchurch provided the police report for the SWCAC area. She mentioned that GPS units are still hot items. Ms. Nickey Brewster gave an overview of several things happening at Parks & Recreation. Park updates included little hoops for ages 4-5, adult basketball and volleyball, outdoor basketball, sand volleyball, and starlight men’s & women’s basketball.

The floor was then opened to discuss a website for SWCAC. This is the first of many conversations to occur. I set-up the discussion so that we could talk about building something collaboratively. Something that would help promote the CAC and unite the neighborhoods across the area. Some of the topics that came up included how to involve the business community or how to reach out to new neighbors. Someone suggested having a map of the area. This was a good start to our conversation. Anthony and I will discuss next steps on the site. What I can say at this point, is that we won’t go off and build the site ourselves. This is going to be a group effort and we want input from everyone that wants to participate from the CAC.

We added an item to the agenda that wasn’t on the newsletter. We announced that the next city council budget hearing will be the first Tuesday in June. Typically, SWCAC attends the meeting with a list of requests. It was stressed that we can’t get anything from city council unless we ask for it. The group generated a list of budget concerns. I offered that anyone who wanted practice with public speaking was welcome to attend and could present our list to city council. Additionally, we asked for people to come support our request at the city council meeting.

Before we adjourned, we had several updates from around the community. A brief update on the re-alignment and bridge replacement on Tryon Road. The last meeting was held with Representative Deborah Ross, NCDOT representatives, Mary Belle, Anthony, Mo Johnson, and myself. At that meeting, we got an update from NCDOT about the stakeholders involved. Next steps include to get support from Raleigh City Council.

The next update was on the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). A brief summary of what was discussed can be found in this post: Have you ever made a law?

Our final topic was a healthy talk about community gardens. Trish Brenzy from Pleasant Ridge & Ramsgate, provided a detailed update on why we can’t have community gardens at our parks and on our park lands. Community Specialists, Dwayne Patterson, also offered some insight from his involvement in many, many meetings on the topic. Those interested in that latest for community gardens in our parks or on city property, should contact the Office of Sustainability. Additionally, the right definitions and language needs to be included in the UDO update (previously mentioned).

We concluded with community announcements from those in attendance and ideas for future meeting topics.

Future meeting topic ideas: Parks & Rec, Office of Sustainability, economic development

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3 Responses to “SWCAC May 2010: Budget, Community Gardens, and more”

  1. […] this weeks SWCAC, we asked what the neighborhoods need for budget (from the city). We encourage all neighborhoods to attend the budget hearing on the first Tuesday […]

  2. avatar Patricia says:

    Anyone interested in supporting a petition requesting text changes that would support community gardens in Raleigh, please email Laura Aiken TODAY. The petition will be presented to the City on Tuesday on May 18th.
    Her email is below. You may want to copy her subject into your subject line. You need to include your name and address and you may want to put something like “I request that the City of Raleigh make the appropriate text changes to the comprehensive plan and city zoning codes to support community gardening.”
    Thanks, Patricia
    From: LAURA AIKEN [mailto:LAiken@wakemed.org]
    Sent: Monday, May 17, 2010 10:30 AM
    Subject: Petition requesting text changes to support community gardens
    As you may have heard, tomorrow AHA will be presenting a petition to the City of Raleigh requesting text changes that support community gardens. If you have not signed this petition and would like to, all you have to do is respond to this email with your name and address. Please feel free to forward this email to anyone who may be interested.

  3. […] the May 2010 meeting of the South West Citizens Advisory Council (SWCAC), one of our main topics was budget. The context […]