For my December report, I’ll begin with the holiday-related sanitation collection changes for January, and then discuss some upcoming representation and communication changes taking effect during 2020.
Sanitation collection changes in January: There are two weeks during January when holiday schedules will affect city sanitation collections:
--New Year’s Day week of Dec. 30: Most city offices will be closed on Wednesday, Jan. 1. All sanitation collection services that week will be affected as follows:
Garbage: Tuesday and Wednesday routes will be collected one day early. Thursday and Friday routes will run as usual.
Curbside Recycling: RED WEEK – Monday and Tuesday routes will run their usual schedules. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday routes will be delayed one day.
Yard Waste Carts: Monday and Tuesday routes will run as usual. Wednesday and Thursday routes will be delayed one day.
--Martin Luther King Day week of Jan. 20: Most city offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Most city sanitation collection schedules will not be affected, but yard waste cart route collections will be delayed by one day.
Christmas tree recycling: The City of Winston-Salem will again be recycling Christmas trees from residents and putting them to good use as mulch for parks and roadsides. To be recycled, Christmas trees must have all lights, decorations, stands, and nails removed. (And of course, no artificial trees!) Single-family residents may leave these cleaned of decorations trees on the roadside for brush collection. Keep in mind that brush collection is on its usual cycling pickup schedule, so it may take several weeks for all trees to be collected citywide. In addition, apartment/condo residents and others who wish to have their trees gone sooner can drop them off at any one of ten designated city park collection sites. The nearest park collection sites to the Southwest Ward are Little Creek Park (610 Foxcroft Dr.) and Hanes Park (tennis court parking lot, 625 West End Blvd.). For other locations and options, see the city news alert here: https://www.cityofws.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=159
Transitions in communication and representation for 2020:
Email contact: I am shifting most email communication from my old address of email@example.com to an alternative address of firstname.lastname@example.org. You should still be able to reach me throughout the year by sending to the old address, but most responses and other emails from me will come from email@example.com. You’re welcome to begin using now that address for all emails to me as well. At the end of 2020, I expect to shut down the old website of danbesse.org and discontinue use of that email altogether. It has been my primary contact point as city council member since 2001, but it uses an old Google platform, and Gmail service breakdowns for that legacy platform have become too frequent for reliability.
Leaving the city council next December: As I reported in my last update, earlier this month I filed for election to the NC House in 2020. That means my term of service on the Winston-Salem City Council will conclude at the end of next November. More about that in a moment; first, here’s info on the election for your new city council representative.
Candidates for next Southwest Ward Council Member: Two candidates filed to become the next elected representative for the Southwest Ward on the Winston-Salem City Council. Final voting will take place during the general election voting next fall. However, since both candidates who filed did so as Democrats, no other party representatives will appear on the general election ballot for this seat in the fall. Barring some highly unusual circumstance, therefore, the winner of the Democratic primary for Southwest Ward will become the next elected representative for the ward. Primary early voting will begin February 13, and the primary voting will conclude on election day March 3. Any resident of the Southwest Ward who is registered as a Democrat or unaffiliated voter, or who registers as such before the end of the primary early voting period, will be eligible to vote in this contest. More details on early voting in Forsyth County can be found here: https://www.co.forsyth.nc.us/elections/assets/documents/2020_EV_Schedule_Primary_Election_SB683.pdf
The two candidates who filed for election to represent the Southwest Ward are Scott Andree Bowen and Kevin Mundy. I know both candidates, but I plan to respect my constituents’ independent judgment by refraining from making a public endorsement prior to the primary. I encourage Southwest Ward voters to review both candidates prior to making a voting decision.
Candidate for NC House District 74: I’m running for state legislature to represent the new NC House District 74, which includes a substantial part of the Southwest Ward as well as all of the communities of Clemmons and Lewisville. I hope to apply in the state legislature the lessons I’ve learned in local service, of listening, doing my homework, negotiating in good faith, and getting things done in public service. I plan to work on some matters I’ve attended to on the local level, especially transportation, housing, jobs, equal opportunity, public safety, and clean water and air. I’m also looking to work more intensely on some key issues that have largely been beyond the scope of what we can accomplish on the city level, especially improving our public schools and addressing problems of health care access and costs.
I prepare and send these monthly Southwest Ward Updates using my own private resources and not city resources, to email contact lists which I compile and maintain privately. However, I have always avoided using them to send political campaign messages and materials. Therefore, I will not discuss that campaign further in these updates. If you are interested in receiving more information about my NC House campaign, you can opt-in by signing up online for my campaign news and emails here: https://www.bessefornc.com/newsletter
City Council action items in December: Because I delayed my November report until after the December 3 city council meeting, I reported on most major city council actions in my November Southwest Ward Update. There was no second full council meeting held in December. The November Southwest Ward Update can be found online here: http://danbesse.org/2019News/November2019Highlights.aspx
Business 40 construction progress: Completion of Business 40 reconstruction as Salem Parkway continues to progress as quickly as winter weather allows. The highway through the center of Winston-Salem is expected to re-open early in 2020, but there’s no firm projected date available yet. General information and the latest updates will continue to be available here: www.business40nc.com.
City Council January meeting schedule: The Winston-Salem City Council’s regular meetings in January are scheduled for Monday, January 6, and Tuesday, January 21. (The second meeting is on Tuesday in order to avoid the Martin Luther King Day holiday the day before.) Both meetings will begin at 7 p.m. The four standing committees of the city council will meet the week of January 13. Finance will meet Monday January 13 beginning at 4:30 p.m.; Public Safety will meet Monday January 13 beginning at 6 p.m.; Community Development/Housing/General Government will meet Tuesday January 14 beginning at 4:30 p.m.; and Public Works will meet Tuesday January 14 beginning at 6 p.m. All these meetings will be held at City Hall, 101 N. Main St.
That’s my report for December. You are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!