March 12, 2015
Welcome everyone and thank you for coming to PAC5’s Coffee with Council. My name is Michelle Irvine and along with Ms. Alice Cheek, we are the co-facilitators for PAC5.
First of all I would like to thank the City Council for its thoughtful and detailed responses to the questions and issues presented by PAC5. I think we all understand and are sensitive to the fact that the bottom line for almost every issue is money. We have a lot of worthy people and projects all competing for that finite amount of money and prioritizing what and who gets funding and when is a daunting task.
That being said, the PAC really wishes to stress how strongly we feel about the issues raised. I am relatively new to Durham but many in the PAC have been battling these issues for many years. We appreciate that the City has taken notice of our concerns, but we need action.
To summarize what the six pages of questions and answers presented really boil down to is three simple things: CLEAN - ACCESSIBLE - SAFE.
CLEAN – Trash is a huge problem. As we grow it’s only going to get worse. It appears we all agree compactors are the best solution. So, we need to fund this project: somehow, some way, whatever it takes. We need to do this.
ACCESSIBLE – We need to ensure downtown is accessible to new business, both large and small. We need to ensure that we have ample and efficiently managed parking that meets the needs of both our Downtown residents as well as our visitors. We need well-placed and well managed public transportation which will help relieve the pressure on our already strained lots and structures.
SAFE – We need to ensure that the Police Department has the resources they need – emphasis on “Human” resources - so that there is sufficient funding for a sufficient number of officers to handle the increasing population and activities Downtown.
In closing, on behalf of all of us in PAC5, I wish to thank Captain Reitz, Lt. Yount, and all the officers and staff at our District 5 substation for their tireless efforts to keep us informed and keep Durham safe. It’s been a tough year for law enforcement everywhere but we want you to know we appreciate you!