To: Board of Delegates
From: Lee Worsley, Executive Director
Date: January 27, 2016
Re: Executive Director’s Report
I hope that you enjoyed the presentation on Smart Cities this evening. Our staff is discussing appropriate ways for Triangle J COG to participate in this conversation. Recently, we have been included in a consortium of private/non-profit and public entities that have begun discussing how we can leverage the “Smart Cities” concept for the benefit of public safety agencies. Triangle J adds value to this conversation since we have an established relationship with public safety providers across the region and through our Emergency Response Security Planning Committee. A group of public safety providers and a few private sector representatives are meeting on Friday, January 28 to discuss the concept further.
Member Government Stakeholder Committees
Emergency Response and Security Planning Committee
Our Emergency Response and Security Planning Committee (member government public safety officials) met on January 6 and accomplished a lot . The committee named a new chair and vice chair. Durham Deputy Fire Chief Chris Iannuzzi is the group’s Chair, and Wake County Emergency Management Director Josh Creighton is the Vice Chair.
The group heard a great presentation from the Town of Hillsborough about their police drivers training program. Hillsborough’s approach is extremely innovative and effective, and the group was very impressed.
The group also developed a rough draft of items that they would like to work on during the next year. These items will be refined after conversations with the Chair and the Vice Chair of the Committee, but the group prioritized these items:
- Common concept of operations for major incidents
- Communications – How do we talk with each other – radios, VIPER (statewide Highway Patrol radio network)
- Protest management
Regional Chief Information Officers Group
An item on the COG’s work plan has been the establishment of a Regional Chief Information Officer/IT Directors group. I am happy to report that the group has been formed, and 15 CIOs and IT Directors from across the region met on January 20, 2016 for an organizational meeting.
Cary CIO Nicole Raimundo will serve as Chair, and Apex IT Director Erika Sacco will be Vice Chair. This group also has identified a rough draft of items that they would like to address over the next year.
- Common IT related challenges – Big Data, data storage, cyber security, data standards, hiring and retaining staff, body cameras, social media
- Broadband connectivity – citizens (bridging the digital divide and economic development) and municipal/county connectivity
- Multi agency disaster recovery, collaborative training, software opportunities
Economic Development District (EDD) and 501C3
At our last Board of Delegates meeting, I informed the Board that staff was beginning the work necessary to establish a 501C3 for TJCOG and to have our region designated as an Economic Development District (EDD) by the Federal Economic Development Agency (EDA). As a refresher, TJCOG is one of only a few COGs that does not operate an EDD. The establishment of this district will be helpful to assist member governments in competing for EDA funds, especially our member governments and communities that are more economically distressed. During our strategic conversations a few months ago, economic development strongly emerged as an area of focus and this work is in direct response to that desire from the Board.
As I continue to assess the organization, one item that has been identified is our lack of representation by legal counsel. The COG has had representation in the past, but that individual is retiring. I am beginning the process of talking to attorneys to make sure that TJCOG has appropriate legal representation. We do not need legal advice very often, but it is important that we have an attorney available when needed.
Affordable Housing/Workforce Housing
Our staff members are having conversations with several member governments and other agencies about affordable housing/workforce housing. The issue of housing seems to be coming up in the media and in many different venues and meetings that I attend. There is the possibility that some technical assistance work for our staff might develop as a result of these conversations. I will keep the Board informed as the conversation progresses.
Member Government Visits
I am happy to be spending some time with the Cary Town Council tomorrow (January 28) to discuss regional issues as part of their retreat.
I will be visiting with the Rolesville Town Council on February 19 to discuss regional issues as part of their retreat.
I visited the following member governments to say thank you for participating in Triangle J COG since our last Board of Delegates meeting:
- Johnston County Board of Commissioners on December 7
- Clayton Town Council on January 4
- Wendell Town Commissioners on January 25
Please contact me if your community has not been scheduled yet, and I will be happy to come (April at the earliest at this point).
Long Term Care Disaster Planning
We have formed a task force that consists of TJCOG Long Term Care Ombudsman, county emergency management officials, officials from the 3 regional trauma councils, long term care facility administrators, and our Community Advisory Committees to discuss strategies to assist long term care facilities with disaster planning. The group has met twice and is beginning to do some specific work in a few areas. I will keep you updated about the progress of this work as it continues.
Part of my focus with staff is to provide them with useful information and training opportunities during our monthly staff meetings. Several of our member governments have been helpful and I just wanted to thank them. Several months ago Durham County EMS came to our staff meeting and trained our staff on hands only CPR. They also instructed staff on how to use our new Automated External Defibrillator, which is located in the lobby of our office. In January, staff from the Town of Garner came by and did an excellent presentation on Garner and all of the great things going on in the community. On February 1, the Durham Sheriff’s Office is scheduled to be with us to provide active shooter training for our staff. In April, the Town of Wake Forest will be coming by to talk about their community. I am very appreciative of the willingness of our member governments to engage with our staff and it gives our staff members great opportunities to learn about the work that goes on everyday in our region.
Foreign Trade Zone – GSK
GSK has informed us that they no longer intend to participate in the Foreign Trade Zone program. Their withdrawal will mean approximately $7,500 less for the FTZ program next year.
cc: TJCOG Staff
Executive Director Member Community Visits
Robbins Board of Commissioners - Visited August 11
Siler City Board of Commissioners – Visited August 17
Durham City Council – Visited November 19
Johnston County Board of Commissioners – Visited December 7
Clayton Town Council - Visited January 4
Wendell Board of Commissioners – Visited January 25
Cary Town Council Retreat – January 28
Archer Lodge Town Council – February 8
Chatham County Board of Commissioners – February 15
Rolesville Town Council Retreat – February 19
Wake Forest Board of Commissioners – March 1
Carrboro Board of Alderman – March 8
Knightdale Town Council – March 16
Fuquay-Varina Board of Commissioners - March 22
Working with Managers on dates for Apex, Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Garner and Morrisville