N&O Editorial (2/26/2017)

Raleigh wisely limits council members from meddling in staff work

BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Staff members of the city of Raleigh need to consider issues such as zoning or the organization of festivals or establishing bike lanes without interference from City Council members. And let’s give credit to the history of councils, most members of which respect the city staff and recognize that political interference is harmful at worst and inappropriate at best.

Council members insist new code of conduct rules prohibiting direct contact from council members with city staff and advisory boards aren’t aimed at one incident or one member, but rather are intended to minimize political influence.

Raleigh’s form of government puts much trust in staff, and on issues large and small that trust has been proven well-placed. This will ensure that staff will be able to operate with the independence that’s needed on sometimes contentious issues.

This is a good rule to install before a problem arises. And it’s not as if council members don’t wield plenty of influence whether they’re talking directly to city staff or not. Council member Bonner Gaylor made a salient point in saying that all bucks stop in one place.

“We have a seat at the table,” he said. “which is where we’re sitting right now.”

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Daisy Street

Sidewalk Petition Projects Approved for Public Hearing:

Daisy Street Sidewalk Petition – A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 4, 2016, to receive public comment, approve the petition, and authorize the project.

This petition was received and signed by a majority (50 percent plus one) of the adjacent property owners as required by the Residential Sidewalk Petition Policy. Daisy Street (west side) from approximately 149 feet north of Hillsborough Street to Clark Avenue for an approximate distance of 825 linear feet. Staff recommends installation of a five-foot-wide sidewalk on a 2.5-foot setback from the curb on the west side of Daisy Street where existing conditions and available right-of-way would allow, otherwise installation of a 6-foot sidewalk on a zero setback from the curb. Additional adjustments to the sidewalk width and setback may be included in the final design to avoid major impacts in certain areas as needed and determined by our engineering staff. The petition received a 67 percent sufficiency percentage with 12 out of 18 property owner signatures in favor of the proposed sidewalk installation.

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Daisy Street Petition Letter, May 26, 2016 [PDF]

 

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“Understanding the UDO”

Understanding the UDO, By | March 29, 2011 | Raleigh Public Record –

[Emphasis added]

Raleigh City Planning Manager Christine Darges has quite a task.  During the past year, she has been responsible for overseeing the team that has been updating, revising and publicizing the new Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). The first draft of the UDO will be released April 6. Her team has been conducting UDO simulations throughout the city at the Citizens Advisory Committee meetings and the Record chatted with Darges to break down the confusing UDO and find out how will it affect Raleigh denizens.

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Public Works Committee Meeting (11/10/2015)

Excerpts from the Public Works Committee Meeting Minutes, November 10, 2015 (emphasis added) –

PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE

The Public Works Committee of the City of Raleigh met in regular session on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, Room 201 of the Raleigh Municipal Building, Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 West Hargett Street, Raleigh, North Carolina with the following present:

Committee
Councilor Eugene Weeks, Chairman
Councilor John Odom
Councilor Wayne Maiorano

Staff
Assistant City Manager Tansy Hayward
Acting Public Works Director Richard Kelly
Deputy City Attorney Ira Botvinick
Engineering Plans Review Manager Kenneth Ritchie
Senior Transportation Engineer Jed Niffenegger

These are summary minutes unless otherwise indicated.

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Item #13-17 – Neighborhood Traffic Management Program – Policy Issues. This item was previously discussed at the Public Works Committee’s October 27, 2015 meeting and held over for further discussion.

Chairman Weeks indicated the Committee received correspondence from 2 Laurel Hills residents and stated and clarified that intent of today’s meeting was to consider changes to the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program to be implemented citywide.

Senior Transportation Engineer Jed Niffenegger summarized the following staff report included in the agenda Committee’s agenda packet:

Background:

For the past several months, we have been internally reviewing the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP). This review consisted of three main components. First, there was an internal review based on lessons learned and problems encountered. Second, a peer review was conducted of the largest US Cities and ones specifically in North Carolina. Lastly, an online survey was done to get feedback from Raleigh residents who are the true “customers” of the program. Continue reading