Human Relations Council presents goals to Salisbury City Council

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Mark Wineka
The Salisbury-Rowan Human Relations Council says its goals for 2009-2010 will require $16,350 in funding.
Members of the Human Relations Council also want to meet with Salisbury city officials to determine how the council could better fulfill its mission.
The Human Relations Council is best known for organizing and/or supporting the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Breakfast, La Fiesta de Rowan, the Elizabeth Duncan Koontz Awards Banquet, Let’s Get Connected Day and the bi-annual Mayor’s Spirit Luncheons.
The council also provides multi-cultural training and is involved in fair housing and youth initiatives. In 2008, the organization updated, published and distributed a bilingual Community Services Information Guide.
“You get good bang for your buck,” Chairman-elect Whayne Hougland told Salisbury City Council Tuesday.
In the current budget year, the city provided $3,500 in funding. The Human Relations Council relied on grants and other contributions to cover many of its initiatives.
The council’s general goals for 2009 are threefold:
– Improve community relations in the Salisbury-Rowan community.
– Enhance community harmony and promote awareness of Salisbury-Rowan’s growing multiculturalism and diversity.
– Improve the internal and external operations and communications of the council.
Salisbury Mayor Susan Kluttz said Tuesday the city believes strongly in the council’s work and is grateful for it. She said Salisbury City Council will seriously consider the Human Relations Council’s request to have the resources to do more for the community.
Kluttz strongly endorsed the suggestion that representatives of the Human Relations Council meet with City Manager David Treme and Human Resources Director Zack Kyle about the organization’s future direction.
City Council has taken recent meetings to hear highlights and goals from the city’s various boards, committees and commissions. The information comes in advance of the council’s own goal-setting retreat next Thursday and Friday.
The Salisbury Greenway Committee’s goals for 2009 include Phase 2 construction that would extend the greenway from Hogan’s Valley Way in The Crescent subdivision to Forestdale Drive in Meadowbrook.
That phase will cover about seven-tenths of a mile.
The Greenway Committee also will rely on GIS mapping to help install official Greenway markers on the existing trail. The markers will be placed every 10th of a mile.
The Salisbury Planning Board lists its 2009-2010 goals as completion of a Comprehensive Bicycle Plan and its presentation to City Council, completion of a Faith Road Area Plan, development of a Western Gateway Area Plan (in the U.S. 70/Statesville Boulevard corridor), continued monitoring of the Land Development Ordinance and conducting at least three board training sessions.
Councilman Bill Burgin said the exciting thing about implementation of the new Land Development Ordinance is that many items which used to require going through the Planning Board and City Council can now be handled administratively.
“Our Planning Board now can actually plan,” Burgin said.