Human Relations Commission's Black History Month Showcase of Song
Old Salem Visitor Center James A. Gray, Jr. Auditorium
Downtown W-S Partnership Annual Meeting
Polo Rd. Sidewalk Groundbreaking
Sunshine House, 600 Polo Rd.
North Ward Park Meeting
Bethabara Park Visitor Ctr.
CWSU - Stormwater/DOT/ Sanitation & Recycling
3/5/16 - 3/9/16
2016 NLC Congressional City Conference
CWSU - Community & Business Development/ Human Relations
Employee Training 32nd St.
W-S Band Spring Concert
South Fork Com. Center
Welcome back to the Northwest Ward Newsletter. From the feedback
have gotten I know that folks appreciate the links to
tats and Neighborhood Watch Info. I have also heard from people who want information about city-wide issues (economic development being one in particular), and I want to make sure that I include items that are of concern to you. Please let me know at
if you have suggestions for future articles.
will be posting late-breaking items, such as meetings, road closures, etc. on my
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Winston-Salem: What You Need to Know
Re-Zoning Follow Up
Earlier in February, the City Council approved changing the zoning classification of 59 properties in the Holly Avenue Historic District from L-O (Limited Office) to RS-Q (Residential Quadraplex). This change was particularly important to me as my wife, Susan, and I were some of the original "urban pioneers" who fought for protection of the residential character of this gem of a neighborhood. In the 1970s, '80s and '90s this area was given up on as a place where people would choose to live. Several of us recognized the architectural charm, history of the area and proximity to downtown, which was essentially dormant at the time, and decided we would put forth the effort to preserve its character. Several newcomers joined with longtime residents (the Seipples, Heges and Enochs, to name a few) who had hung on through the worst times and challenged inappropriate building and land uses. We won some of those fights and lost some. The ones we lost stand out as visual reminders of bad development
Over a 30-year period, Susan and I restored nine single-family houses and a five-unit apartment building in a one-block area at the core of the neighborhood and in doing so attracted preservation efforts from Jack Atkins and others. It is a joy to drive through the Holly Avenue Historic District now and see the results.
"Conventional wisdom" said that because of its proximity to the central business district the area would surely convert to office use since "no one wanted to live downtown anymore." The real estate market, however, never did respond to this idea and gradually people in Winston-Salem, and nationally, rediscovered the positive aspects in living close to the city center.
The Holly Avenue neighborhood continues to be one of the most diverse and vibrant neighborhoods in Winston-Salem. The next time you are downtown take a troll through it.
Police and Fire Fighters Pay Increase
In an effort to retain our well-trained officers and firefighters, City Council approved a plan in January to increase salaries to be in line with other municipalities. Before I was elected, I knew, and spoke about, the fact that we were losing employees to other communities who were willing to pay them more than we were.
I also knew that we conduct some of the best training in the state and continually strive to improve it. This puts us at a cost disadvantage to other localities that don't make the investment in training and can therefore pay higher salaries. I recognized that there is a real financial impact, as well as a human impact, to replacing seasoned public safety officers. It takes time for an officer to learn his/her beat. It takes time for a firefighter to blend in with his/her team. This learning curve can be costly. The City Manager and our Human Resources team put together a pay increase plan that pays our employees the salary they deserve. It will have budget impacts down the road but it was already negatively impacting the budget (through replacement costs) and was bound to get worse in the future.
Here is a link to the actual agenda item.
Keeping Neighborhoods Informed
Snow Removal and Trash Issues
Our most recent snowstorm resulted in far more calls and emails than usual from residents who were not satisfied with the level of service they received. What I have discovered from speaking with the head of our Transportation Department, Toneq' McCullough, Assistant City Manager Greg Turner, Sanitation Department Head Johnnie Taylor and City Manager Lee Garrity is this: We have enough equipment and staff to adequately deal with the average snow event. When we have a storm that drops an unusual mix of precipitation we can have trouble responding as quickly as we would like to all of our citizens. Prior to this particular storm, our crews "brined" (spread a mixture of salt and water) the roads prior to the frozen stuff coming down. This should keep ice and snow from sticking to the road surface so that it can be more easily pushed aside by our plows. Once snow/ice starts to fall, we follow a protocol that plows the biggest, most traveled roads first and then moves down the line to the least traveled roads (like mine). Streets in subdivisions fall under the "least traveled" category because the actual number of cars that use them is fairly low.
Because of the mix of frozen precipitation that we saw and the order in which it came down (ice/snow/ice/snow), the brine was not as effective as it typically is. This made the plows less effective which made them take more time to accomplish the same amount of work. This cascaded down to the neighborhood level because by the time the plows were done with larger roads they had to go back and re-plow some of them. This left smaller roads unplowed until very late in the storm. Couple this with the fact that our large plows are unable to get into many cul-de-sacs because of their size, and many residents felt like they were ignored and critical hospital personnel had a hard time making it to work. This all pushes back trash pickup. I believe we are caught up by now, but if you are still having problems please let me know. For the most part, our employees in Streets and Sanitation are hardworking and conscientious.
- One thing we can do right away is to have E.R. employees contact us (me) so that we can make sure they can make it in to work.
- Other solutions require additional expenditure of tax dollars. We are exploring the cost of equipping smaller vehicles with plows so that we can work in neighborhoods without risking damage to parked vehicles and/or curb and gutter. This would also involve an increase in money spent on salaries, diesel and vehicle maintenance. I rode with one of the plow operators and it is amazing how much punishment both the vehicle and the road take during the process! Once the costs are estimated we can make a decision about implementing that idea.
Please bear in mind that many local roads are under the care of the state. Reynolda Road and Silas Creek are just two of many that NCDOT plows.
Winston-Salem Walk of Fame
In 1997, after 71 years of operation, Bailey Power Plant ended its lifetime as one of the main energy suppliers to downtown Winston-Salem. Since then, its smokestacks still make up part of Winston-Salem's iconic skyline and the cavernous building has sat empty in the middle of the Innovation Quarter -- a constant reminder of both the history of our area and the potential for its future.
Today, Wexford Science + Technology is in negotiation with the current owners of the building, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, which was generously gifted the building by R.J. Reynolds in 2010, to purchase and develop the power plant. Once developed (and time to reach agreement to do so is of the essence because of the expiration of historic tax credit incentives), Bailey Power Plant is likely to create upwards of around 75 new jobs and provide numerous technology, retail and food services to the community, in addition to the creation of a further business accelerator focused on supporting minorities. The city and the county have agreed to enter into economic assistance agreements with Wexford Science + Technology to enable the building's development. Both the city and the county will receive positive cash flow from the project after redevelopment in the form of new property taxes.
Boards, Commissions and Community Organizations
Many of you have asked me for a list of Boards and Commissions that operate within the city and county.
Here is a link
to descriptions and instructions on how to apply for them.
Bulky Item Collection Returning
The city's annual bulky item pick-up will begin February 29th and continue t
2. Crews will go through the city street by street, collecting bulky items that garbage crews cannot accept. Furniture, mattresses, appliances, grills, carpet, old toys, and lawn furniture can
all be set out.
The city cannot collect televisions, computer equip-ment, building materials, hazardous waste, tires, cement, cars and car parts, stumps, tanks and oil drums, fire wood or yard waste. Do not mix bulky items with yard waste, recyclables or brush.
Bulky item collection is for single family residences, not businesses or apartments. The Sanitation Division will mail post cards in advance to let home owners know when bulky item collection will be held in their neighborhood. Crews will go through each neighborhood only once. To ensure collection, items must be at the curb by 6:00am the Monday of your collection week.
To find out your collection week, go to
and click on the link for online address lookup. Residents without computer access can call CityLink at 311 or 727-8000 and a CityLink agent will look up the collection date.