Safety through community engagement

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EXCERPT: The city of Winston-Salem experienced 25 homicides in 2017, a statistic that residents shouldn’t accept, Police Chief Catrina Thompson says.
 
“We should never tolerate violence in our community,” Thompson said. “To combat this problem as a community, we can take time to invest in our youth.” END EXCERPT
 
There are many ways to combat violence and investing in our youth is just one of them. The Village of Clemmons has been working on engaging our youth and providing fun, safe and family-friendly activities in our community (thank you, Shannon Ford).
 
As children get older they look for more activities to keep them busy. As a former YMCA employee in youth sports I know that as children age the activities that once engaged them often cease to. I hope that Clemmons can begin to look at ways to engage our youth with safe activities that don’t take adult oversight to participate in.  For instance, Clemmons has no public parks, basketball courts or tennis courts. We lack sidewalks and greenways that older youth could use to get to Tangelwood Park, the YMCA or to their friends’ homes.
 
EXCERPT: …“it is not uncommon for neighborhoods to become less of a ‘community’ and more of a heterogeneity place where people live around each other but do not have consistently safe interactions.
 
“This increases the likelihood of being victimized by someone they know and also not having a ‘neighborhood watch’ to protect from victimization,” she said. END EXCERPT
 
 In 2018, I hope that we can find ways to provide safe outlets to our youth and increase our feelings of friendship and community by better connecting with one another through these same opportunities. Get to know your neighbor. Talk to people at the grocery store.  The more we can make our houses feel like homes and our neighbors feel like our friends the safer we will make our beautiful Village of Clemmons.
 
Have a safe, happy and healthy new year!
Read full article here.

December 11th, 2017

I apologize for the delay on this blog post. There was a true meeting held on Monday and I do plan to do a follow up post on each village meeting as time allows.  The boys and I were sick this week so it’s been a rough one.  Please remember there are meeting minutes on the village website – these are my own take on the meetings so they will offer my unique perspective and opinions.

The previous council really handled most of their old business the meeting prior so their portion of the meeting (that prior to the swearing in) was more about recognition and thanks for the service. For the new council, which consists of Chris Wrights, Mike Combest, John Wait (mayor), P.J. Lofland, Scott Binkley and myself there were some appointments made.

John Wait – Transportation Advisory Committee (unanimous)

Mike Combest – Transportation Advisory Committee Alternate (4-1, Barson opposed)

Michelle Barson – Piedmont Triad Regional Council Representative (unanimous)

Scott Binkley – Stormwater Advisory Board (unanimous)

I’m very happy with the appointments – I think each person will serve well in their roles. I like the continuity that Combest offers the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) but was concerned about his maintaining the role of the alternate because he appears dead set on a median.  A median that, clearly, not all of Clemmons agrees on.  I

John Wait has assured me that TAC meetings are far too important to miss for any reason, which means the alternate role won’t have much influence for the next two years (length of Waits’ term).  I trust John Wait to push the Department of Transportation to provide multiple solutions and not just a median.  Medians help with the traffic flow – that’s the truth. That’s why they’re on freeways.  There are other options out there for a mixed use road like Lewisville-Clemmons – some solutions that we can put in place sooner than later and others that would take a longer planning and construction period.  I’m excited to hear what information John brings back to the council so that we can help find Clemmons the traffic solution those who live here and travel here need so badly.

 

Dec. 14, 2017: Newcomers installed on village council

“The seating arrangement at the long table up front in Village Hall took on a different look Monday night as John Wait was sworn in as the mayor of Clemmons along with three new council members – Michelle Barson, Scott Binkley and P.J. Lofland.” – Jim Buice.  To read more, you can purchase a Clemmons Courier at their offices on Clemmons Road.

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It’s official!

As of Monday, December 11th of 2017, I officially became a Council Woman and the Mayor Pro Tempore for the Village of Clemmons.  I’m so honored and excited to start this new chapter both for myself and for the people of Clemmons.

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Judge Lawrence “Larry” Fine, of Clemmons, swore me in as a Council Woman and as Mayor Pro Tempore.

I truly believe that Clemmons is experiencing a time of major change that will prove to be it’s turning point when we look back at. We can’t really call ourselves a farming community anymore (even though my boys and I love to see the goats on 158 and the cows off of Harper Road) so we have to look at what we are today and learn what our identity is and then we decide if that’s the identity we want moving forward.

When I chose Clemmons to be my home four years ago I chose it because it offered:

I love Clemmons, but I think we can do better. We can be more proactive and thoughtful when making decisions for the future and more inclusive on input. Clemmons cannot follow the vision of just one person or even a small group.  Those outside of Clemmons will best be able to tell us what our identity is because it is them who determines it, but it is us, the residents of Clemmons, who get to help shape it.

As we move forward into the new year with a new mayor and three new council members let’s work together to make Clemmons the very best it can be. Let’s make wise investments that improve our quality of life and home values. Let’s be thoughtful about how decisions TODAY impact our community TOMORROW. And, more important, let’s do this all together!

Please join me at our first meeting of the new year on January 8th at 7pm at Village Hall. Village meetings are always the 2nd and 4th Monday’s of the month so please, join us as you can and bring your energy, ideas and enthusiasm for our wonderful Village!

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A view from the seats as the new Mayor, John Wait, and council members closed out the final meeting of 2017.

 

Nov. 29, 2017

This is the post excerpt.

Jim Buice, Political Reporter for the Clemmons Courier, wrote a post-election article and interviewed the candidates (incumbents and those challenging them) and some of it can be read below in the photos. Dwight Sparks, Editor, provided a summary of election day and the results that can be found here.

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Often a single issue dominates a campaign – at any level. Ours was just a little more concrete (pun intended).

This campaign had a single issue that dominated it – median or no median – as a solution to the traffic issues we face on Lewisville-Clemmons Road.  The incumbents refused to recognize it as a political issue yet it was an issue that the incumbents were going to make a decision on and didn’t seem that interested in listening to the small business owners of the strip or the residents of Clemmons. Read more about the hearing that was demanded by the people of Clemmons in 2016 here.

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Excerpt of article where I was quoted. Each candidate was interviewed about the results.

It was frustrating to be called a “single-issue candidate” because while this issue was important and provided a clear distinction between the incumbents and those challenging them it was NOT the only issue that each of us cared about.  I’m passionate about clear, regular communication that will provide transparency to the public and better opportunities for community engagement.  In addition to that, I plan to focus on how we manage projects as a Village, both internally and externally, so that the ball isn’t dropped on big opportunities and that everyone knows exactly where the Village is on any project – large or small.

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My friend promised me that every Election Day is cold and rainy.  She was right! She surprised me with a custom sweatshirt.