Friday, December 19, 2008

December 15th Council Meeting Briefs

Formal Presentation of Roanoke City’s Citizen of the Year: Estelle McCadden, 82, was formally presented and proclaimed Citizen of the Year for 2008. McCadden smiled as her long list of accomplishments were read by the City Clerk. McCadden is a neighborhood activist and well known by all the neighborhood organizations. Bob Clement, Neighborhood Services Coordinator, was front and center with a big smile as McCadden made it clear she still had neighborhood projects up her sleeve and would be knocking on the City Manager’s door in the coming days. McCadden’s motto is “May the work I do speak for me then my living will not have been in vain.”

Tribute to the 2008 William Fleming Varsity Football Team: The 2008 William Fleming High School varsity football team was honored for winning the 2008 Western Valley District Championship, and completing the season with a 9-2 overall record. Vice-Mayor Sherman Lea did the honors singling out the head football coach, Rob Senseney. Coach Senseney, from Gretna, overcame the disadvantage of not even having a practice home field. Lea said “he had a lot of opportunity to complain …he did this all while making the transition to a higher level, AAA.” Senseney is the 2008 Western District Valley Coach of the Year. Coach Senseney was clearly moved when he spoke and heaped all the credit on his team.

Technology Department Recognized: This was the sixth year since 2001 that the Roanoke City Technology Department has been awarded first place as a digital city. The department has distinguished itself by implementing wireless technology with wireless access points for police, wifi on the Smartway bus, and the Starcam on Mill Mountain.
Celebration and Presentation by Roanoke Library Advisory Board: The Roanoke Library Advisory Board, Roanoke Library Foundation, Roanoke School Board, Roanoke Friends of the Library recognized the work and dedication of Councils past and present in support of the Library Master Plan.
Recognized was the award winning Valley View e-branch and Garden City e-branch that was opened and had more than 25,000 visitors in the past year. The Jackson Park branch and Gainsboro branch with new community and study rooms, books, and a Teen Centers to be complete in early 2009 was applauded. They thanked Council for the tremendous improvements, their faithfulness to the recommendations of the 2005 Comprehensive Library Study and responsive to the local needs. They encourage Council to continue implementation of the Library Master Plan which calls for a new “Superbranch” and a “Storefront” branch, both state-of-the-art model facilities for outstanding library customer service.
Roanoke City Has Second Highest Pregnancy Rate: Brooks Michael, the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coordinator with Carilion Clinic spoke on just released data that shows Roanoke City has 71.1 teen pregnancies per 1000 females. In 2007 there were 386 teen pregnancies. “If the trend continues over the course of the next 5 years Roanoke City will have almost 2000 teen pregnancies which is about the size of one of our high schools,” said Michael. The cost to Virginia taxpayers in 2004 was $177 million. Roanoke City continues to have the second highest teen pregnancy rate out of approximately 130 cities and counties in the state of Virginia. The City with the highest rate is Petersburg. Michael named the four programs that combat teen pregnancy in Roanoke and said that for the first time in years not only Roanoke City but the entire nation has experienced an increase in the teen pregnancy rate. Teens who take one of their programs have a 95% success rate in avoiding teen pregnancy. Michael asked that funding for these programs that included two positions already targeted for elimination be included in the City’s legislative package. She said, “the future does not look good for the programs here in Roanoke City.”

Swap of City-Owned Land at Countryside Golf Club with Roanoke Airport: A public hearing was held for the swap of approximately 17 acres of City-owned property that is part of Countryside Golf Course for 15 acres of Airport property. The equally appraised property ($214,000) was part of a deal to widen the runway 6 protection zone. It also comes with a deal that allows the city to lease the entire RPZ for continued use as a golf course. Burcham said the Airport Commission will be responsible for maintaining tree height on the leased property.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Roanoke City Politics



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