Heather Monackey is senior public relations specialist.
Yesterday evening I had the distinct pleasure of attending the East Community Advisory Council (CAC) meeting at Lions Park Community Center off Dennis Drive in Raleigh. At WakeMed, we are more committed than ever to being involved with the communities we serve and want to understand community issues from citizens’ perspectives so we can be even better neighbors. This commitment led me to the East CAC meeting to represent our WakeMed Raleigh Campus, which is located in the district.
The meeting was run by East CAC Chair Mark Turner. The agenda was packed with:
- Kenny Smith, Terry Jones, and Dudley Winslow from the City Inspections Department, Housing Environmental Division. They provided updates on progress made on derelict houses, and were informative, well aware of the issues with each property, and were generally one step ahead of citizen concerns.
- Raleigh Police Department Southeast District Commander Captain Andy Lull introduced himself to the community and seemed approachable and genuinely interested in addressing any citizen concerns. Officer James Kryskowiak, a regular presenter at East CAC, provided detailed reports on average speeds on each street where speeding concerns were raised at previous meetings. He also shared a detailed map of crimes in the past month and encouraged citizens to call anytime with concerns.
- Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department Lions Park Community Center Director Christie Jones discussed events and activities in the community and the city. Every offering was current and most of all relevant to everyone in the room.
- Public Works Department’s Stormwater Management Division Danny Bowden and John Brubaker talked about Longview Lake dam and stream improvements, including the impact this construction will have on street closings.
- Raleigh City Mayor Charles Meeker informed the crowd about changes that are being discussed for Capital Blvd. and eventually New Bern Ave. He was obviously excited about progress the city is making as it transforms its major thoroughfares. He answered every question asked in an honest, respectful way – whether it was about road transformation, the school system, or access to healthy foods and farmers markets.
I went into the meeting not knowing what to expect, and I left thoroughly impressed with our city leadership and staff. The meeting was well-organized, well-attended and every single city representative that presented was extremely knowledgeable and seemed eager to respond to citizen concerns.
This meeting was an excellent example of our tax dollars at work for us – or better yet with us. I will soon be attending my own CAC meetings for my neighborhood and encourage you to do the same. It is clearer than ever to me that involved citizens build strong communities.