From the desk of: Commissioner Ed Ridpath
At the halfway point of a four year term of office, I could not be more excited about the future of Fuquay-Varina. We are well positioned to take advantage of our growth and still hold on to our traditional small town appeal. This combination is what keeps folks choosing to live, work, learn, and play in our distinctive town.
New leadership for Fuquay-Varina
A new election cycle has brought new energy and fresh ideas to the Fuquay-Varina Board of Commissioners. The voters filled two open seats with Blake Massengill and Jason Wunsch, who were sworn into office in early December. Both of these young men are off to a great start, digging into the complexity of governing a growing town of over 20,000 citizens. I am proud to be serving with such energetic leaders and honored to share my recent experience with them of being a new member on the Board.
Mayor John Byrne was elected to a 7th term, and with my fellow mid-term Commissioners Charlie Adcock and Bill Harris, we round out a Board that is working hard for everyone in Fuquay-Varina.
Another critical member of our town leadership team is the Town Manager. After an exhaustive search with some extremely qualified candidates, the Board of Commissioners selected Adam Mitchell to serve in this critical position. Adam brings the best combination of experience, knowledge, energy, personality, and team building. Fuquay-Varina is lucky to have Adam at the helm and Adam knows the opportunity our town provides for him and his family. Adam starts in early January.
More information on our Board, our Town Manager, and all our town Departments can be found at our website: fuquay-varina.org
Recent Town Highlights:
Opening Judd Parkway South West - completing this leg brings us to 75% complete of the entire loop around our downtown area. This is critical for Fuquay-Varina since we have 3 major highways that intersect in our town. By providing options to bypass the downtown area, thru-traffic flows better and our downtown becomes more walkable and accessible.
Opening Downtown Dog Park - This park has been an overwhelming success. It is provided free of charge and allows dogs and their owners to socialize “off-leash” in a very natural environment. If you own a dog, you both deserve to pay this park a visit.
Johnson House Renovations - This project to turn the Johnson house into administrative offices will be completed shortly, allowing our town to preserve this historic home on the grounds of the Mineral Springs Park, expand staff, and save on lease costs. The Town’s Administrative Staff, including Town Manager, Town Clerk and others should be moving in early 2014.
Parking Lot Projects - The Johnson House is also getting a new parking lot and a new parking lot is being constructed in the Varina District.
Sidewalk Projects - Miles of sidewalk have been constructed within the last year, and more projects are kicking off.
Pedestrian Plan - Developing a combined sidewalk/greenway plan. This plan will improve the walkability of our town, improve pedestrian safety, and provide for multiple options for getting around Fuquay-Varina.
Acquire land for Public Service Center - The town has acquired about 15 acres on Holland Road and is starting the design for a new Public Service Center. This project will replace many very old and undersized facilities scattered around town with a single consolidated, modern, secure facility. The Public Service Center will provide for vehicle, equipment, parts & supplies storage and maintenance as well as supporting staff facility needs of several Town Departments including Streets, Sanitation, Water, Sewer, Park & Rec Maintenance.
I want to thank our Interim Town Manager, Andy Hedrick, who graciously returned to help keep our town operational these last several months. With his previous service to our town, Andy hit the ground running. Andy set (and met) several goals for his short tenure, executed on the day to day operations and kept projects moving ahead. Andy was also invaluable in assisting our search for a new permanent Town Manager, a process that yielded great results. I was not on the Board for “Andy 1.0”, but I am very grateful for “Andy 2.0” and the positive impact it has meant for our town.
Thank you, Andy!