in Parks and Rec, Politics, Raleigh

State, Raleigh agree on Dix Park lease

N.C. Council of State discusses Dix Park lease

What a day it’s been! I had some time this morning to attend this morning’s Council of State session where the lease of the Dix property was on the agenda. It was a hot, crowded room – I was crammed into the very last seat in the corner – but it was so worth it to be there for that historic moment when the Council voted 7-2 with one abstention to approve the lease.

I went back to work after this but tuned into today’s Council session to hear how it would deal with the lease. After about a 30 minute closed session, the council emerged to vote 7-1 to accept the lease. Councilor John Odom was the lone no vote, saying later that he wasn’t against the park but hasn’t had time to review the lease.

I had my monthly Parks board chair/vice-chair meeting today and met with Parks Director Diane Sauer. Needless to say, she was beaming from ear to ear! So were other Parks staff members. It’s been a long journey to get to this point and to have it suddenly a reality is truly surreal.

Since I’ve been vice-chair and chair of Raleigh’s Parks board, I would occasionally slip in a joke hinting that Parks staff needs to start planning for Dix Park. We all knew was kind of a taboo subject, so I had fun watching people squirm when I’d say it. Well, now it’s no longer a joke – it’s real, and it’s happening.

The only bummer for me is that my term as Parks board chair ends in September and I can’t run again. The master plan process certainly won’t be completed by then, in fact we’ll be lucky if it’s even started. I won’t be representing the Parks board by the time the park is dedicated and the odds aren’t good that I’ll be serving at the groundbreaking, either. Regardless, you can bet I’ll be there.

Back when the group was formed, I kept my Dix 306 sign in front of my home until it crumbled from the sun’s rays. It still amazes me how we got from then to now.