December 2018 Highlights

On this last day of the year, I’d like to wish all of our friends, neighbors, and members of our broader community a safe holiday and a happy and healthy new year!  And now, here’s your update from the month of December.

Holiday collection changes this week:     There are changes in the city sanitation collection schedules again this week due to the New Year’s Day holiday. 

Here are the details for sanitation collections this week:

--Garbage:  All collections postponed one day:  Tuesday routes on Wednesday, Wednesday routes on Thursday, etc.

--Recycling:  Monday: Normal schedule, Tuesday - Friday postponed one day.

--Yard-Waste Carts:  Monday: Normal schedule, Tuesday - Thursday postponed one day.

Snow, storms, and collections:     December was supposed to be a light month for regular city business, but the latest attack of severe weather more than made up for those plans.  Added to the untimely visits of two hurricanes earlier in the fall, it all spelled trouble for the city’s brush and leaves collections schedules.  In sum, the two hurricane-related storms produced such heavy brush and limb piles all around the city that collections were not caught up before the loose-leaf collection schedule started.  Then, the heavy snow in early December threw both schedules even further behind.  Since then, city crews have been working to address the backlog as quickly as safely possible.  Both leaf and brush collection crews are currently working in Quadrant 2, which includes the Southwest Ward.  You can check the updated status of each collection service in your area here:  http://www.cityofws.org/Departments/Sanitation/Collections

Electric scooter rules to be discussed:     For those interested in the issue of electric scooters, remember that the city’s Public Works Committee is scheduled to receive a draft of new regulations at our January meeting (Tuesday, January 15, at 6 p.m. at City Hall).  City attorneys, staff, and council members have reviewed the best practices for regulating these devices in other cities, and expect to have a good proposal ready for review at that time.  The goal will be to allow their rental and use in a safe fashion that addresses the problems seen during their original local rollout by the Bird company in early autumn.  The committee discussion January 15 is not set up as a formal public hearing, but time permitting I will invite brief public comments as part of the discussion.

Other December and January calendar notes:    

--On December 21, 32 new men and women graduated from the prestigious Winston-Salem Police Department recruit training academy and were sworn in as new officers.  This is the largest recruit class we’ve had in years, and I take it as a good sign that we have turned the corner on a challenging period in recruiting new officers for our city.  Continued good police-community relations here, a strong commitment to diversity and equal opportunity, and improved pay schedules are paying off.

--On Monday, January 7, the City Council will hold our first meeting of 2019, with a full agenda resulting in part from storm-related meeting cancellations in December.  Among other items, we hold a public hearing on important clarifications to our zoning ordinances, which will make it easier to enforce the prohibition against illegal electronic sweepstakes operations.  I strongly favor taking all legal steps to do this—these businesses are magnets for violent crime because they are typically open all night and deal with large amounts of visible cash.  They create no value for our community, and exist only to suction money out of the pockets of folks who often can’t afford to lose it.

--On Tuesday, January 29, the Planning Department will hold the next meeting of the Peters Creek Growth Corridor planning process.  The public is invited to the meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m. at the Georgia Taylor Recreation Center (1471 W. Clemmonsville Rd.).  See more information about the draft plan here:  http://www.cityofws.org/Departments/Planning/Corridors-and-Interchanges/Peters-Creek-Corridor

That’s my report for December.  Have a safe and happy new year!  As always, you are welcome to contact me with comments or questions at danbesse@danbesse.org.  Thanks!

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