• Sunday, March 18th, 2018

With a couple of cancellations this week wasn’t as busy as I anticipated.

I started Monday with a visit to Carpenter Elementary to participate in Read Across America. I read the book “The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires. The students were very attentive and comprehended the story well giving several lessons learned from the book. Then I spent about fifteen minutes answering questions. Before I left they presented me with a gift bag of goodies from Carpenter Elementary. Then I did a selfie with those students whose parents had approved of allowing pictures. It was a great time and I hope they invite me back in the future.

Monday evening I attended meeting of the TJCOG (Triangle J Council of Governments) along with several Morrisville officials. The purpose of the meeting was to remind everyone the benefits TJCOG provides to municipalities and to give information about TJCOG. We spent time discussing how TJCOG can help in the future. For example, while municipalities include regional planning in their municipal planning, the focus is on municipal planning. It would be nice to have a government entity that focuses on the region’s planning and its challenges related to growth especially transit and transportation.

After the TJCOG meeting there was a joint meeting of Morrisville and Cary councils. The purpose of this meeting was to spend time with each other and develop relationships. Relationships are extremely important in working on problems together. We are lucky that both the Cary and Morrisville councils know each other and have strong relationships. We work together on many projects and issues and I look forward to working with them in the future.

Tuesday I attended a meeting of the Economic Development Committee. One of the consultant finalists for Cary’s branding initiative made a presentation to the committee that lasted a little over an hour. Their four representatives did a great job in their presentation and were very informed on Cary’s past and our future based on the Imagine Cary plan.

Later Tuesday I joined the entire council, chamber members, and others in a reception with the consultants. This was our opportunity to spend one-on-one time with the consultants to hear their thoughts and ideas. We will repeat this process with the other consultant finalist Tuesday.

Wednesday I was scheduled to meet with the Consul General of Mexico, Remedios Gomez-Arnau who wanted to introduce herself and discuss issues that could be interest. She had to cancel that meeting so we will reschedule it for a later date.

Thursday I was scheduled to give the State of Cary address to the Fonville Morrisey realty team. They had to cancel and we have rescheduled it for May 1st.

Saturday I attended the Arbor Day celebration held at our downtown park. There were about 100 people at the event along with several vendors. This was the 35th consecutive year Cary has been awarded the Tree City USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation. To commemorate the day the town will plant a tree at Firestation #1 in honor of Ralph and Daphne Ashworth. At this event we presented a small plaque to the Ashworth family that will be placed at the base of the tree.

Sunday I had the honor of giving welcoming remarks at the Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon. After giving remarks I joined the runners and ran my first official half marathon ever. I ran it at about a 9 minute mile pace and finished at 1:58:54. It was a great day for me!


The town manager’s report for the town council this week included:

Annual Legislative Dinner & Upcoming Quarterly Meetings

On April 19 we will be hosting our Annual Legislative Dinner at Maximillians in downtown Cary. April 19 is already reserved on your calendar (there are no QJ cases for April). The 2018 Legislative Agenda will be coming to you at the April 5 regular meeting for your consideration.

In addition, we wanted to update you on the locations for the next two quarterly meetings. For the Q3 meeting in May we will be at The Matthews House, and for the Q4 meeting in August, WakeMed Cary Hospital has offered to host. We’re very excited about spending time in our community in conjunction with our quarterly planning meetings. We will continue to update you with more specific information as the dates get closer.

Update on Amberly C-Store

The Amberly C-Store development plan is moving forward in the approval process. It’s important to note the zoning history, plan review update, and staffs engagement with the citizen group.

The property is located at 355 Stonecroft Lane and has been zoned for several uses (including a gas station) for over 15 years. The Office & Institutional/PDD zoning for Hortons Creek Elementary School was approved in 2015.

A development plan for a convenience store (4,800 square feet), gas sales, and a car wash (1,000 square feet) was submitted in March 2017. After seven rounds of development plan review, the final signature plan set is due to be approved this week. This is the final step in the development plan review process. (Before construction, the applicant will need to apply for building permits.)

Staff has met with and maintained regular contact with the Concerned Citizens of Northwest Cary since October 2017. Caren Howley is the citizen group leader and Meredith Gruber is the staff liaison. The citizen group has raised safety and traffic concerns in their neighborhoods. A traffic calming meeting is scheduled with the group on April 13.

“The Cove” Innovation Space

Staff in Transportation and Facilities have decided to turn Lori Cove’s office into an innovation meeting room. The space will have plenty of technology, including USB and plug-ins for laptops. An HD Smart TV/monitor with web cam capabilities, on-screen writing/note, and Skype availability will complement new carpet and a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Best of all, this space will be referred to as “The Cove” and will be a place where all employees can come together and create the local government that doesn’t exist.

Big Ideas from BigFish

I’m glad each of you was able to meet the branding consultants from BigFish on Tuesday. I enjoyed their presentation to the EDC and think they offer a very strong design aesthetic. Thanks to all staff from throughout the organization who worked so well together to make the day a success.

Louis Stephens Drive Extension

NCDOT plans to extend Louis Stephens Drive from O’Kelly Chapel Road in RTP to Poplar Pike Lane in Morrisville. The project includes building half of the future 4-lane median divided road (the 2 northbound lanes) to be utilized as the interim 2-lane roadway. Staff submitted comments to NCDOT in December 2017 and February 2018, primarily focused on bike/ped facilities. Comments were coordinated with the Town of Morrisville staff to ensure consistency between jurisdictions. Since the December 2017 public meeting, the plans have been revised to include a 10-foot wide street-side trail on the east side of the road and pedestrian signals and crosswalks at the Louis Stephens Dr / O’Kelly Chapel Rd intersection have been requested. The Town of Morrisville has asked Cary to consider contributing to the Louis Stephens 10-foot street-side trail. When we receive the cost estimate from NCDOT we will discuss with Council for their consideration. A Town of Cary 12-inch waterline will also be coordinated as part of the project, eliminating the need for a separate construction project.

Additionally, RTP, Cary and Morrisville staff are meeting in early April to discuss the missing pedestrian link on O’Kelly Chapel Rd between Parkside Town Commons and Louis Stephens Dr. The missing link is located in RTP.

In total, the Louis Stephens Drive extension is estimated to cost $3 million. Right of way acquisition will begin the spring and construction is expected to begin in spring of 2019.

Sensory Screenings at The Cary

On Tuesday, The Cary Theater hosted 60 students from the Mariposa School for a sensory film screening. The students, parents and teachers watched two special screenings of Alvin & the Chipmunks. The screenings are part of a pilot that will present films in a sensory-friendly way for children and adults with disabilities. Thanks to Judy Newsome, Laura Morton, Joy Ennis and The Cary staff for making this happen!

WakeMed Soccer Partners

On Wednesday, NC Futbol Club (NCFC) and NC Courage recognized the Town for support at WakeMed Soccer Park at their annual Community Shield Luncheon presented by Summit Hospitality. Media, sponsors and VIP’s were in attendance for the event which recognized the players from NCFC and NC Courage that are making a difference in the community.

Windbrooke Residents Receive Neighborhood Improvement Grant

Residents of Windbrooke recently applied and received a Town improvement grant to plant an entry garden and retaining wall in their community. Over two weekends, 24 neighbors united to plant 80 camellias, azaleas and junipers behind the new retaining wall. In addition to the physical and aesthetic improvements, an added benefit of the project was the new and rekindled neighborhood connections.

The Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program awards up to $5,000 in matching funds for projects that bring neighbors together through shared “sweat equity” to work on physical and/or organizational improvements to their community. The communities can use their volunteer labor, funds, or in-kind donations toward their part of the match. Over the past decade, the program has awarded more than $200,000 in matching funds, resulting in more than $600,000 in total improvements around Cary.

Hearts for Page-Walker

In February the National Trust for Historic Preservation sponsored a special “hearts” initiative and the Friends of the Page-Walker along with other interested citizens participated. We are happy to report that the Page-Walker was selected as the only historic site in North Carolina to be featured on the NTHP webpage (look for #17) and delighted our citizens “heart” us so much!


Thanks to our remarkable Chiefs (Police & Fire) for getting out and about and representing Cary. This week Chief Cain presented at the Professional Credentialing Ceremony at the Excellence Conference for the Center for Public Safety Excellence in Orlando. And Chief Godwin represented the Town closer to home, at the School of Government, talking about our efforts with the Building Bridges initiative.

Additionally, Nicole Raimundo was participating in Women in Technology panel at the CIOSynergy conference in Charlotte on Thursday. The panel discussed the lack of women in technology and not only how to support that effort but also and open and honest discussion around working and promoting women in the workplace.


Emails from citizens this week included:

  • A request for information on the future redevelopment of the old/current library.
  • Thanks from the Windbrooke neighborhood on the improvement grant.
  • Complaints about proposed hotels on Harrison Avenue next to the Arboretum.
  • A complaint about the proposed gas station at Kildaire and Penny Roads.
  • A complaint about a tree in a common area that threatens a house.
  • Complaints about the proposed gas station near Horton’s Creek Elementary (it was approved 15 years ago).
  • A concern that a future pedestrian bridge will destroy the American Tobacco Trail.

Next week will be a busy one for me. Activities include a CAMPO preparation meeting, staff meetings, a meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association, a meeting of the 2nd branding consultant finalist, a meeting of CAMPO, the Erv Portman kickoff event, and the last regularly scheduled council meeting of the month.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, March 25th.  Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

Category: Uncategorized  
• Sunday, March 11th, 2018

This was a slower than average week for me.

Monday started with my weekly town manager one-on-one meeting. We talked about a variety of topics including having an additional neighborhood meeting to hear concerns from the residents near the Penny Road Kildaire Farm Road gas station proposal. We also talked about an issue with some faulty town’s water meters in town. The cost and replacement of those meters will be covered by the manufacturer. The Green Level Church Road widening was also discussed. NCDOT would like to do the entire set of improvements rather than the ones they have planned. So we will probably enter this as a LAPP (locally administered project program) project. Other topics included the upcoming Cary/Morrisville joint meeting, an update Fenton development agreement process, the Glenaire rezoning proposal, and the approved gas station near Weldon Ridge School sites which is upsetting citizens.

Later I attended the Real Health Experience: Make Fit Happen seminar held at the Cary Arts Center by Dr. Livingood. He and I briefly talked about fitness in the community before the audience.

Tuesday I met with representatives of concerned citizens potentially impacted by the potential connection of Crabtree Crossing in Morrisville. Their first concern was the extension of the Triangle Parkway (highway 147) as part of the connection to Crabtree Crossing. Currently the preferred route is to tee Crabtree Crossing into Davis Drive but they are afraid the preferred route might change. The second and biggest concern was the connection of Morrisville’s Town Hall Drive to Crabtree Crossing. This would create a parallel route to highway 54 and have a significant negative impact on those living along and adjacent to Crabtree Crossing. Arguments for the connection seem to be championed by developers who have said that Morrisville’s ability to create a downtown would be ruined without the connection. In addition, some council members have stated that they are concerned about 911 response times and the connection would help that issue. It is likely the Morrisville council will vote whether or not to put a connection on their transportation plan in the next few months. The good news for those that oppose is that this connection would not score well for state and federal funds and would likely have to be funded by Morrisville. That would include bridging over a sensitive wetland area. So unless there are drastic changes I don’t see the connection in my lifetime. However, that doesn’t mean people won’t suffer if it remains on the plan. We will see how this continues to play out in the coming months. It may turn out to be a campaign issue in the Morrisville municipal elections next year as opposition gets more organized.

Wednesday I participated in a meeting of the Economic Development Committee. Our agenda had two topics. The first topic was about our branding initiative. The final two branding consultants have been invited to Cary to give a presentation to the Economic Development Committee and to talk with town council members. Their presentation will be about their thoughts of Cary as a city or a town. And they are not allowed to talk with Cary residents. This is an exercise that could go in a thousand different directions. It will be interesting to see what they come up with. These presentations will be on Tuesday the 13th and 20th to the Economic Development Committee followed by a reception with council members and staff. A decision on the consultant will be made later this spring.

Our second topic was the first quarterly update presented by the new Vice President of Economic Development, Evan Stone. First he spent time talking to us about his background and his strategy in his new role. This includes visiting current businesses to see if they are happy and if they would be willing to help in our recruitment of other businesses. In his update he mentioned that 78% of companies in our area will be adding jobs in the next three years. He believes this equates to about 35,000 jobs. He spent time talking about the talent pool and the problems some employers are having with millennials not having the necessary soft skills. As a result some companies will be looking at mentoring programs. Our meeting concluded in less than an hour.

Sunday I attend the Basant Bahar celebrations at the Cary Arts Center. It is a celebration of the advent of spring and is one of the signature events that Hum Sub brings to the Triangle. Basant Bahar showcases the best of Indian culture with music and dance that has stood the test of time, holding its own against the buffeting winds of change. We were all treated to extraordinary performances from all age groups.

This week it was announced that Cary was among the five national award winners for the 2018 Readiness Challenge Grants for Smart Cities.  “The five winners had three important things in common,” explained Smart Cities Council Chairman Jesse Berst, “including a focus on uncovering synergies and cost-efficiencies between departments. They also fostered coordinated collaboration between internal departments, external stakeholders and nearby regions. Finally, they exhibited a determination to include underserved and vulnerable populations.” The judges were impressed by Cary’s efforts on smart parking, mobility and street lighting, as well as the city’s efforts to create “Destination Centers” in underserved neighborhoods to encourage jobs and housing. Cary will use the Council’s Readiness Workshop to further advance several of its projects, including “One Cary.” This initiative seeks to gain a 360-degree view of the city by creating a single core platform to promote data sharing between departments and with citizens. Congratulations to all those involved in helping Cary get this grant.

The town manager’s report for this week included:

Bloomberg Facilitator On-Site for Idea Workshop

Mark Jones, a Bloomberg Philanthropy project facilitator, conducted a workshop on Monday and Tuesday of this week with the core project team and Mayor Pro Tem Bush to help focus and strengthen our project concepts and assumptions associated with measuring opioids in small, geo-localized areas. Much of the discussion centered around the processes necessary to ensure the creation of a repeatable and reliable testing protocol and then the development of sharable, actionable and useful dataset for our public health partners. Another workshop will take place in New York City with the other 34 Champion Cities to begin a small scale six-month testing phase to improve our idea. Final proposals for the grand prizes are due in August with an announcement scheduled for October 2018.

Branding Finalists Visit March 13

This coming Tuesday marks another exciting milestone in our Community Branding Initiative as we host Bigfish Creative Group for their presentation to your Economic Development Committee at 3:30 p.m. The presentation will be followed at 5 p.m. by a reception for the firm at the Mayton for the full Council, the EDC, and members of your Information Services Advisory Board. Our second finalist, North Star Destination Strategies, will be here on March 20th with the same itinerary. Both groups’ RFQ responses are available on the project webpage.

Kite Festival Draws Record Crowd

The annual kite festival was a huge success with the largest attendance ever. An estimated 5,000 people attended the event, up from the expected 1,200. Prizes were awarded in a variety of categories including best crash, smallest kite, highest flying and more. Thanks to the Cary Police, Public Works Special Events Crew and PRCR staff for all their help in making this year’s event a success!

Cary Awarded Readiness Grant

The Smart Cities Council has announced that Cary is a recipient of the 2018 Readiness Challenge Grant and will now receive mentoring for a year as well as tailored products and services to accelerate our smart city initiatives. Cary’s grant focuses on smart parking, mobility and street lighting. Congratulations to the team!

Economic Development Update

Evan Stone, Vice President of Economic Development with the Cary Chamber was introduced to the EDC members at its meeting on Wednesday. Evan presented his economic development philosophy:

  • Focus on existing business: these companies are our best ambassadors and we and we want to make sure they have what they need to continue growing in our community.
  • Recruit new business and industry, including developing relationships with site selection consultants.
  • Product development (and redevelopment)

Since his arrival, Evan has scheduled ongoing meetings with town staff, met with several large companies (and scheduled more) and had discussions with the Sports Alliance.

Utility Development Fee Study

In 2017 new requirements for utility development fees were established by the NC General Assembly in HB 436. Under this new law, to maintain our authority to levy development fees the Town was required to hire a consultant to conduct a new fee study. The new study is in final draft form. The law requires that the study be posted on the Town’s website to solicit comments for at least 45 days. The consultant must consider the public comments for possible adjustments to the calculated fees. Once the study is finalized after the initial public comment period, Council must hold a public hearing before considering adoption of the analysis. Council cannot adopt a fee that is higher than the fee calculated in the study. Staff plans to post the study on the Town’s website on March 19 so that Council may hold the public hearing and consider the study results in concert with the FY19 budget process. This process must be repeated at least every five years.

Cary Speaks Around Town

Emily Barrett spoke at the UNC Clean Tech Summit on March 1st in the Smart and Healthy Cities track. She spoke on a panel on electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and policy providing a municipal perspective on EV infrastructure including the benefits of partnering to install charging stations in public locations through grants and public investment.

Additionally, Terry Yates and Reid Serozi presented at NC Open Pass 2018 at NC State University. Topics covered were Cary’s Open Data and Smart City Efforts.

Town’s Request for County Hospitality Funding

Deputy Town Manager, Russ Overton, along with staff from PRCR and T&F presented to Wake County’s evaluation team regarding the Town’s request for funding to upgrade the stadium lights at WakeMed Soccer Park as well as the lighting and sound system at Koka Booth Amphitheatre. The grant request was for the County’s Hospitality Tax Small Projects Grant. With only $3.5 million available, the County received a total of 10 proposals totaling over $11 million.

Follow-Up With Wessex Area Citizens

At last month’s Council meeting, some citizens from Wessex area expressed concerns about their water pressure. Staff observed the pressures and found that the system is operating as expected, with pressure over 100 psi throughout the day and during peak demands. Staff followed up with the property owners and in each case found that the low pressures experienced at the residences were attributed to a pressure reducing valve at the meter.

Wake Tech Community News

The newly christened Martha Mann Smith School of Nursing in Raleigh was announced Wednesday at Wake Tech Ignite. Wake Tech Foundation Executive Director Matt Smith and Wake President Dr. Stephen Scott introduced folks who shared personal stories about the incredible programs at Wake Tech Community College. Danna Widmar attended the lunch, which included moving personal accounts of success despite adversity, as well as accounts from businesses and organizations that depend on the many excellent programs including nursing, culinary arts, information technology and fire service.


We’d like to recognize the efforts of Judy Newsome and Laura Morton for leading ADA training sessions for GoCary drivers and call center staff. A variety of topics were discussed, including effective communication, passenger safety, and accommodations for persons with particular disabilities. This training will better serve our passengers with special needs. Thank you Judy and Laura!


Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Complaints about the proposed gas station at Kildaire and Penny.
  • Request to rescind a building permit for the gas station in Amberly (no authority to rescind permits)
  • Request to pass legislation on gun violence (no authority)
  • Concern about traffic for the Harrison Avenue hotels proposal

Next week’s activities will include a visit to Carpenter Elementary, a joint meeting with the Morrisville council, a meeting with the branding consultant, a meeting with the Consul General of Mexico, a State of the Town address, the town’s Arbor Day event, and my attempt to run my first half marathon.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, March 18th.  Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

Category: Uncategorized  
• Sunday, March 04th, 2018

This week was a slower week than normal with mostly ceremonial duties.

Monday’s one-on-one meeting with the town manager was cancelled since we really didn’t have much to share.

Tuesday I had the honor and privilege to be one of the speakers at the dedication of the Kay Struffolino Park in downtown. There were about a 100 people in attendance including former Mayor Booth, former Mayor Pro-Tem Adcock who is now a North Carolina legislator, former council member Portman who is now a Wake County commissioner, and the entire Cary town council. An excerpt from my remarks included:

“…This beautiful park has been renamed to honor a beautiful person Ms. Kay Struffolino, a Cary citizen who has shed a positive light on our Town for the past 40 years. Through her passion and drive, she has impacted a variety of Cary’s programs, festivals, and signature events.

Kay demonstrates hospitality to others by volunteering at many events as a greeter, ticket taker, hostess and information resource for the Marvelous Music Series, Sertoma Series, Applause!, senior events, and Guest Services at Koka Booth Amphitheatre events.

She actively seeks out citizen input and has represented them as a Board member of the PRCR Advisory Board, the Cultural Arts Committee, the Friends of Page Walker, the Koka Booth Advisory Committee and the Cary Festivals Committee. 

Kay has received numerous accolades over the years including being named the 2001 Herb Young Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Volunteer of the Year, the 2006 Town of Cary Cultural Arts Volunteer of the Year, the, 2008 Rayburn “Rip” Jackson North Carolina Citizen of the Year and the 2010 Hometown Spirit Award Winner for the Town of Cary.

Kay, you are the ultimate example of someone who selflessly gives back to their community every single day. I always hear people say, “we need more Kay’s in this town.” I couldn’t agree more!

Kay, for all you do, for who you are, Cary is grateful for your endless contributions to this community. …”

Also speaking were council members Frantz and Yerha. After the speeches we gathered around the covered sign, counted down from five, and unveiled it. This was followed by lots of pictures and we all were treated to complimentary ice cream from Goodberry’s. What a great event for a great person.

Wednesday I joined council member Don Frantz in a taping of Cary Matters. In this episode we talked about the council-staff retreat held in early February. In the taping we stated that during the retreat “we talked about everything from Imagine Cary Growing Pains to stormwater. All the topics and discussion during the two days were tied back to an overall theme – what makes us different than other communities, how that is important, and how we prepare and adapt for challenges that lie ahead. The first day was mostly reflection and high level discussions. The second day was more about specific current issues.” I messed up a couple of times so we had to do two takes. Still we were finished within half an hour.

Thursday morning I spoke to over 40 high school students from various schools in Cary as part of the Cary Chamber Youth Leadership Program. I talked about a council-manager form of government and how it was set up like a corporation. That is, the council is like a board and sets policy while the management and staff handle the operations of the town. I explained that most of our decisions were on land use. I talked about how it was important that all decisions be respected and how that this council does that. I stated what I have said many times: “it is only through mutual understanding and respect that we can reach our potential as a community.” I talked about my role as mayor and then answered about a dozen questions.

Thursday evening I attended the 20 year celebration of the Cary Skin Center. This outpatient center handles all kinds of outpatient skin operations such as Mohs surgeries. Over the last two decades they have treated over 40,000 patients. I talked with all the doctors including the founder Dr. Clark. We are so blessed to have them in our community providing such a valuable and lifesaving service.

Friday I talked with the applicant and applicant’s representative for the gas station proposal on Kildaire Farm at Penny Road. The proposal has been in the works for over a year and the applicant noted there have been major concessions. One of the biggest is a condition to install a storm water control device to handle a 100 year storm event. This should really help with the flooding. I talked with him about the opposition to his proposal. He believes most of this started since the Planning and Zoning Board’s recommendation for approval. Before that there had been several meetings with very little attendance. I asked if he would be willing to hold another meeting if residents were interested and he said yes. It will be interesting to see what happens with this as it moves forward.

The town manager’s report for this week included:

Kay Struffolino Park

On Tuesday evening, approximately 150 fans of Kay Struffolino gathered in the space that now has been named in her honor. Through Kay’s passion and dedication, she has impacted a variety of Cary’s programs, festivals, and signature events. Cary is a better place because of Kay. Congratulations to one of Cary’s greatest citizens and volunteers!

2018 Retreat Report Summary

In the last few weeks, we have summarized and documented our experience together at the 2018 Council/Staff retreat. We hope the summary captures the important takeaways and will serve as a reminder of our shared experiences.

Pink Acres Area Receives Town Utilities

Water and sewer lines have been extended to Pink Acres Street area, the last Town- initiated annexation area that petitioned for our utilities. With the successful completion of this project, these citizens can now enjoy the full range of benefits of having safe and reliable water and sewer services. We received a kudos received from a resident: “I want to thank everyone involved.  This has gone very well and the Moffet crew couldn’t have been more accommodating, considerate, and nice.  All concerns were addressed and questions answered. Always available to the residents.  They always cleaned up for the evenings and weekends and their work ethic showed each day.  Working outside is challenging; my father provided for us as a road construction foreman. Thanks again to all. A job well done!”

Articles For Your Reading List

We received an email this week from Dr. Nalbandian sharing a recent article that he has co-authored, alongside ICMA president Robert O’Neill. He shared the article because he thought it would be particularly relevant to Cary staff and Council as it captures the spirit of what he presented at the retreat as well as syncs nicely with the adaptive/approach and culture we are developing.

Another article was published that highlights Cary’s innovative approach to using new technologies. Thanks to Council Member Robinson, Jamie Revels and Dan Ault for contributing to the article and sharing our successes!

Cary Chamber Youth Leadership

On Thursday, a group of 43 high school juniors (from Athens Drive, Cary, Crossroads Flex, Green Hope, Middle Creek and Panther Creek) participated in the Chamber’s Youth Leadership course, which includes an opportunity for students to get an in-depth look at Cary government. The Mayor was on-hand to deliver welcoming remarks and then the group learned about different government functions, such as planning, traffic management, parks and recreation, and emergency response.

U.S. Men’s Soccer Team Comes to Cary

Mayor Pro Tem Bush welcomed U.S. Soccer Men’s National Team coach David Sarachan to Cary. As they overlooked Sahlen’s Stadium, they discussed the 10,000 fans that will pack the stadium on March 27 cheering on the Men’s Team as they take on Paraguay. Sarachan held a press conference during his visit to Cary and talked about how much he enjoys being in the area. He first came to WakeMed Soccer Park in 2002 with the National Team and again for the three years the LA Galaxy played in Cary against the RailHawks.

Connected Vehicles Project

The Connected Vehicles Project, known as the SPaT Challenge, has completed an important stage. All vendor equipment has been installed in the field and is ready for testing. Over the past few months, Town staff has worked with NCDOT and their consultant, Aegis, Inc., to bring in six equipment manufacturers that are working along NC-55 and High House Road corridors to install radio and cellular equipment in an effort to share important signal timing and safety information with drivers to improve safety and efficiency at signalized intersections.

Over the coming weeks, the equipment will be tested to determine effectiveness and readiness for deployment. Town staff will be following the testing closely.

Read Across America Day

As part of National Read Across America Day, Mayor Pro Tem Bush was joined by Cary staff as a guest reader at Reedy Creek Elementary Friday morning. In addition to reading books, the fifth graders were quizzed on the types of services provided by local government.


More than 40 employees from across departments gathered for a follow-up discussion to last week’s screenings of “Resilience.” Using the Advocates for Health in Action’s “results framework” the group looked at current policies, practices, and programs building resiliency in our community and identified gaps. It was a great start to thinking about how Cary can build resilience in ourselves and the citizens we serve. Many thanks to Rachel Baranski and Sam Trogdon for their work organizing these events and for shining a light on this important topic.


Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Concerns about the gas station proposal at Kildaire and Penny.
  • A concern about junk vehicles.
  • A concern about panhandlers.
  • A concern about unleashed dogs at Bond Park.
  • A question about Sunday alcohol laws.
  • A concern about the approved gas station in Amberly.

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, citizen meetings, giving remarks at an event, and an economic development meeting.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, March 11th.  Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

Category: Uncategorized  
• Monday, February 26th, 2018

This was a busy week for me.

I started the week Monday morning by giving welcoming remarks to about 150 North Carolina Zoning Code Officials who were in Cary for their mid-winter workshop. Here is an excerpt from my remarks:

… Here in Cary we strive to keep our community at the peak of its performance and maintain the high quality of life that keeps Cary a great place to live, work, and play.  This wouldn’t be possible without our Zoning Officials and I know that your town and city wouldn’t be the same without you. Every day you work to hold the community to the set vision. Thank you for your commitment to your municipality and your citizens. …

These people that enforce zoning conditions which can be a tough job but is essential in protecting our vision and quality of life.

Next I called all council members to hear of questions or concerns they might have had about the agenda for Thursday’s council meeting. There were questions about a couple of the annexations and a question about the recreation programs proposal for Amberly. I met later in the day with Mayor Pro-Tem Bush and key staff members to go over the agenda items. Staff took in the information and adjusted their presentations at Thursday’s council meeting.

Monday afternoon I talked with the Executive Director of CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) to go over the CAMPO agenda for Wednesday. This was my first meeting as chairman and it is my duty to understand the agenda prior to the meeting to facilitate as efficiently as possible. Luckily for me, this agenda was straight forward.

Monday evening I met with the town manager for my weekly one-on-one. We were joined by Mayor Pro-Tem Bush and talked about various issues in town including the controversial gas station proposal at Kildaire Farm and Penny. IMHO, it is necessary for the applicant to work with the citizens and hear their questions and concerns. They might not always agree but they should understand each other before we make a decision. Based on the feedback I have been getting from the citizens in that area, many are confused and misinformed. It will be interesting to see how this proposal plays out. I am guessing it will be a close vote. My one-on-one meeting with the manager lasted a little over half an hour.

Monday night I attended a meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association. There were only six out of twelve of us in attendance which is rare. Joining me were Mayor Burns of Fuquay-Varina, Mayor Sears of Holly Springs, Mayor Matheny of Zebulon, Mayor Robertson of Knightdale, and Mayor Cawley of Morrisville. We provided updates about our respective municipalities. One discussion centered around the tragedy in Florida. Some residents are pressuring elected officials to make public statements, resolutions, etc. I have found that while this might make people feel good it is really not productive in making a change and sometimes can be counterproductive. I believe the best way to influence change is to personally contact the decision makers. Our meeting concluded after about two hours.

Wednesday I chaired my first meeting of CAMPO. On the agenda were 5 Public Hearings and 2 discussion items. The board unanimously approved all 7 items. Those items included the Unified Planning Work Plan, an Amendment to the Transportation Improvement Program, LAPP (locally administered project program – included important Cary projects), Safety Performance Measures and Targets, the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, staffing requests for the Wake Transit Plan, and bus plan project prioritization of the Wake Transit Plan. The meeting concluded after about 45 minutes.

Thursday the council held its last regularly scheduled meeting of February. On the agenda were 11 consent agenda items, 6 public hearings, and 2 discussion items. The public hearing that drew the most speakers was the North Harrison Hotels which are proposed behind the Arboretum. 19 speakers talked over an hour mostly stating concerns. The main concern expressed was traffic and how people would enter and exit the proposed development. The applicant has agreed to have another public hearing to meet with the nearby residents and others with concerns.

Under discussion the council unanimously approved spending $120,900 of general fund balance for up-fit construction of program space in western Cary. Of that amount, $93,300 will ultimately be reimbursed to the Town through the lease. As a result we will now have recreational programming in Amberly.

The council also approved an amendment of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Cary Regional library and downtown parking project. The parking deck will now increase from 350 spaces to 600 spaces. In addition, development will be around the parking deck removing the need for art work facing the park. This will save $1.2 million which was appropriated for that purpose. That money will be used toward the $7 million needed for the project. Construction should begin this spring with a goal of completion by the end of next year.

After a long closed session the council meeting ended after about three hours.

Saturday started with a private meeting in the morning. In the afternoon I joined council members Yerha and George at the “Future of Black History” event. The brochure for the event states that this event “explores contributions of black heroes and sheroes of the past and how those individuals have influenced our present day thought leaders of all races and cultures.” The keynote speaker was Baltimore Police Chief Melvin Russell who is also a pastor. He presented a powerful message on the need for Black History now and in the future. The event also included performances and a panel discussion.

Saturday night I attended campaign celebration dinner for Ed Yerha. I have had the pleasure to know Ed for many years and we have participated in each other’s campaigns. He is a great public servant with a passion for historic preservation. I am honored to serve with him.

Sunday I attended a retirement party for a friend that I met in 1997. The significance of this person to this journal is that he was the co-founder, along with me, of Citizens for Balanced Growth. That was really my introduction into Cary’s government.

Sunday evening I attended Realty Appreciation party at the Mayton Inn. I was able to meet and talk with about 100 in attendance about current Cary projects and future projects. Many of these were new residents and business owners from China. I gave a short speech along with Representative Adcock and took pictures with dozens of people.

The town manager’s report for this week included:

Cary Finalist City for Bloomberg Mayors Challenge

We are thrilled to have Cary selected as one of 35 Champion Cities that will continue our work with Bloomberg Philanthropies during the next phase in competing for the $5 million grand prize. During this next phase, the Town will receive $100,000 in funding to begin a six month testing phase to build prototypes of our idea. Cary is trying to tackle the opioid crisis by generating opioid consumption data by measuring concentrations of opioid metabolites in sewage. The Town will work and contract with Biobot Analytics, a company that provides opioid testing and data analytics services. The goal for Cary, is that we will be able to use the data, in aggregate, to better inform public health officials and educators so that effective programs can be deployed to those at risk. Congratulations to Mike Bajorek and the entire team for leading this initiative!


Rap Session Focuses on Personal Connections

How do we cope? When the world is full of so much negativity, how do we not lose hope?  That was the topic of conversation for the second in our series of Town of Cary rap sessions with Tru Pettigrew and Chief Godwin. Many of the attendees talked about how important it is to establish meaningful, empathetic and personal connections to helping people cope with tragedy.


2018 Citizen Survey Begins Next Weekend

Dr. Kevin Baker and his team will begin calling Cary citizens on Saturday, March 3 for our biennial satisfaction survey. Data collection will occur throughout March, with the Survey Report expected in May. A copy of the questionnaire is available for your reference at http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=22655462&msgid=116002&act=1EHX&c=1655857&destination=https%3A%2F%2Ftownofcary.box.com%2Fs%2Fsteefdaeto3hko8pmkz31espjegind3c.


Citizen Friendly Public Hearing Notices

As part of our continual effort to rethink how we do business, an interdepartmental group has looked at how we can better communicate our public hearing notice letters. The group recommends sending postcards as a more citizen-friendly approach that still provides our citizens with the information they need to know in a timely manner. If this approach goes well, we will look at revisiting our other notices such as QJ public hearings. If you have any questions, please contact Russ Overton.


Cary Awarded LAPP Grants

On Wednesday, CAMPO’s Executive Board approved the FY19 LAPP grants awarding $6.3 million to Cary for four transportation projects. Those projects are:

  • Connected Vehicle Technology
  • Reedy Creek Phase 2
  • Higgins Greenway Phase 3
  • Downtown Cary Multi-Modal Facility

This is great news as we continue to make progress in these project areas!


NCDOT Projects in Cary

Ten Ten Road Widening:

NCDOT plans to widen Ten Ten Rd. from the Apex Peakway to Kildaire Farm Rd., to address delay and congestion along the corridor. Ten Ten Rd. will be widened from 2-lanes to 4-lanes with a landscaped median and will include 5′ striped bike lanes, 10′ wide street-side trail and sidewalk. The project will also replace the existing Ten Ten Rd. bridge over US-1. The Town’s planned intersection improvements at Ten Ten/Kildaire Farm will be folded into NCDOT’s project to help minimize construction impacts and leverage Cary funds. A public meeting is scheduled on March 1 from 4-7 p.m. at The Summit Church in Apex. Additional information can be found on the NCDOT project webpage.

US-64 Improvements Project:

NCDOT is exploring design options for alleviating and reducing accidents on US-64 from Laura Duncan Rd. in Apex to US-1 in Cary. Between 2012 and 2016, 800 crashes occurred within the project area. That is nearly double the state average for similar highways. The project will include interchanges at Laura Duncan Rd. and Lake Pine Drive. and a proposed pedestrian bridge adjacent to Apex High School. Meetings with project stakeholders are underway with a local officials meeting tentatively scheduled for May 2018 and a public meeting to follow. Additional information can be found on the NCDOT project webpage.

Lead at Swift Creek Elementary

While the drinking water we’re supplying to Swift Creek Elementary is safe and high quality, Wake County has detected elevated lead levels and deemed the water unsafe. The problem could be linked to the facility’s plumbing. The county is notifying parents, and we have supporting information on our website as a courtesy. We are continuing to monitor the situation, and the State is also involved.

Wake Transit Public Input

We wanted to provide another reminder that the FY19 Draft Wake Transit Work Plan is available for comment until March 12. The Town submitted several projects last October, all of which are included in the draft work plan. Input during this public comment period will inform recommendations moving forward as TPAC sub-committees consider Work Plan revisions.

The Proposed FY19 Wake Transit Work Plan will be presented to the TPAC on April 11, 2018. TPAC is expected to forward a Recommended FY19 Wake Transit Work Plan to the CAMPO Executive Board and GoTriangle Board of Directors for approval by June 30, 2018. Council will be asked to consider all proposed GoCary projects through the Town’s budget process.

Town of Cary requested projects, totaling approximately $14M, which include improvements such as new bus service on Weston Parkway, Cary’s regional operations and maintenance facility, and free fares for riders under 18.

For more details on the draft work plan and to provide comments, please visit the Wake Transit website.

Working with CSX to Address Crossing Repairs

CSX has recently completed upgrades to their tracks in Cary including adjustments to the railroad crossings at:

  • Academy Street
  • Harrison Avenue
  • Dixon Avenue
  • Old Apex Road
  • High House Road
  • Maynard Road
  • Laura Duncan Road

Staff worked to coordinate work with CSX including construction observations, providing timely traffic updates and communicating the importance of high quality work each crossing. After reviewing the work performed, staff is requesting that CSX come back to address areas of poor workmanship.

Staff will continue to monitor conditions at each crossing and work to address any additional repairs needed.  

Water Valve Replacement at Cary Parkway & High House Rd.

From 7 p.m. tonight through 4 a.m. on Saturday, February 24, Town staff will be replacing a water valve in the intersection of Cary Parkway and High House Rd. This is being done in advance of the intersection improvement starting in early spring. There will be lane closures with detours posted, but emergency vehicles will be able to get through any direction needed. This information will be pushed to Waze for our citizens.

Downtown Mural at Trader Joe’s

Our very own Trader Joe’s is showing some love for Downtown Cary! The recently updated murals now include drawings of the Cary Arts Center, The Cary Theater and Page-Walker History Center. Check out the cool depiction of the carrot fountain.


We’d like to recognize the efforts of Judy Newsome and her team for another successful Share & Care event hosted last Friday at Herb Young. The event welcome approximately 200 people and represented 50 different agenecies/organizations around our community.

Ernie Ray, an employee in T&F, acted quickly when he was at Dick’s Sporting Goods and saw a man suddenly slump to the ground unconscious. Ernie acted immediately directly others to call 911 while he checked for heart rate and began chest compressions and continued until EMS arrived. Our EMS contact on site tells us that the man is doing well now and Ernie was likely the main reason for that outcome. Way to go Ernie!


Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Complaints about a gas station proposal at Kildaire and Penny.
  • Complaints about a gas station under site plan review on O’Kelly Chapel Road (this was approved long ago and is under staff site plan review)
  • A complaint about a traffic stop.
  • Concerns about proposed hotels on North Harrison

Next week will be a little slower than this week. Activities include staff meetings, the Kay Struffolino Park dedication, a Cary Matters taping, and a Chamber Youth Leadership program.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, March 4th.  Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

Category: Uncategorized  
• Sunday, February 18th, 2018

This week was very rare in that I had very little scheduled.

Thursday I attended a public meeting about an upcoming water pressure zone shift held at the senior center. The modification is expected to occur the week of April 10th. There is a web page that answers most questions at http://www.townofcary.org/services-publications/water-sewer-stormwater/water/water-pressure/pressure-zone-modification. The project is necessary to provide greater operational flexibility and efficiency as well as to bring into service the water tank on Good Hope Church Road. Some residents with lower water pressure might need to have a pressure reducing value installed.

Friday the public information office released a short version of my State of Cary address which I gave to the Chamber of Commerce in January. The video with text can be found at http://www.townofcary.org/mayor-council/town-council/state-of-cary. This version is about twelve minutes as opposed to the full version which is about 25 minutes.

The town manager’s report for this week included:

 2018 Retreat Reflections

Now that the Council/Staff retreat is behind us, I hope we were all able to reflect on our time together, as a team, and everything we accomplished over the past year. It was yet another reminder that Cary is truly a special place with special people. We will be returning to Council shortly with a retreat report summarizing our discussions and next steps.

Plumtree Water Tank Painting

The Plumtree water tank located behind Fire Station #6 on Ten-Ted Road has seen substantial progress over the last few weeks. The painting contractor is complete with the interior and exterior power washing and preparations for painting. The water tank was taken offline and drained in November and approximately three-quarters of the interior tank bowl is sand blasted and primed for painting. A cloth tank containment curtain is being used to prevent power washing and painting activities from impact neighbors or the community.

Painting is expected to be completed within the next 4-6 weeks. The tank color will match the Town’s other blue elevated water tanks.

Nuclear Plant False Alarm

Several of you have received calls and communication from citizens regarding our response to the false alarm from the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant on January 19. This was a very quick moving and constantly evolving situation that started and ended in only 38 minutes. We certainly understand the concern our citizens felt as they looked for reliable information from credible sources as to the danger that they and their loved ones might be in. While Wake County Emergency Management is designated by federal regulatory agencies with the responsibility of notification regarding emergency situations at the plant, we know in stressful times our citizens will look to the Town for guidance and information. I am very confident in our staff’s ability to get information out in the event of an actual emergency, but there is always opportunity to improve. We are currently evaluating our response to this incident and are scheduled to discuss this and other emergency communication capabilities with the ISAB at their next meeting on March 5. In the meantime, if you have specific questions about this incident, please contact me or Chief Godwin.

Weldon Ridge Rezoning

We wanted to let Council know that we are aware and have seen the emails being sent from citizens over the past several days about the Weldon Ridge rezoning case. Please know that we will be reaching out to citizens next week letting them know where the case is in the rezoning process.

HYCC Selected for Early Voting

The Wake County Board of Elections decided on Thursday to use Herb Young Community Center as an early voting site (April 26-May 5). The primary election day is May 8.

Jordan Lake Elevations Return to Normal

Our recent trend of rain has benefited our water supply! Jordan Lake’s water level reached its full pool elevation of 216 feet last week for the first time since July 2017. The lake has risen more than six feet since mid-January to its current elevation of 217.8 feet.

Connecting to Opportunity Summit

Last week, Transit and Planning staff attending the Connecting to Opportunity Summit at the Durham Performing Arts Center. The regional summit highlights major investment in transit and station area neighborhoods that will serve as a catalyst for job creation, economic growth, sustainability, and equity.

Council Member and GoTriangle Board Trustee Chair, Jennifer Robinson, presented opportunities associated with the regional significance of these projects as part of a transit network spanning Wake, Durham and Orange counties. She encouraged those attending to think differently about the way we move around in the region and to pivot together to make a change.

Cary Participates in Career Day

Last week, staff from Finance, Transportation & Facilities, and Public Works participated in St. Michael Middle School’s career day. The group participated in the “Speed Mentoring” sessions and hosted a panel discussion on the wide variety of careers available within the Town. Over 30 students attended the panel discussion. All the students were blown away by how big a traffic signal really is, where our water comes from, and the size of the Town’s budget.

Cary Hosts Regional NC Next Generation Network

On Wednesday, Cary hosted a regional NC Next Generation Network (NCNGN) meeting at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center.  Representatives from Cary, Winston-Salem, Wilson, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, NC State and Duke University attended. Presentations were given around unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and how agencies can collaborate on developing statewide standards and policies around this new technology. Terry Yates provided information about Cary’s Smart City efforts and a tour of the Town Hall Campus Simulated Smart City.

Reclaimed Water Holiday Underway

The 2018 Reclaimed Water Holiday, which is the annual off-season reclaimed water system shut down for maintenance, is progressing very well. The northern, southern and western service areas began the annual system shutdown on Monday, February 12 as planned. All of the planned operations and maintenance jobs are nearing completion. Some of this work included replacing a 12-inch valve at the North Cary Water Reclamation Facility, along with pipeline flushing operations and cleaning the storage tanks at both North Cary Water Reclamation Facility and South Cary Water Reclamation Facility. All reclaimed water distribution systems are planned to be fully restored and operational by February 22.


Congratulations are in order for Nicole Raimundo for being selected as a finalist for the 2018 Women in IT Award! Winners will be announced next week in New York City.

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Complaints about a proposed gas station at Kildaire and Penny.
  • A question about the closing of a running trail.
  • A complaint about a pothole on Evans Road.
  • A complaint about a proposed rezoning involving a Charter School.
  • A complaint about a Town of Cary employee smoking in a vehicle (not allowed).
  • A complaint about a chlorine odor in the water.
  • A complaint about the process used to select a citizen committee.
  • A request to oppose legislation to split the Wake County School System.
  • A request for contact information for residential developments in downtown.

Next week will by busy for me. My activities include speaking at the Zoning Code Officials meeting, staff meetings, the Mayors Association meeting, my first meeting as chairman of CAMPO, a council meeting, the future of Black History event, the Ed Yerha campaign celebration event, and the Realty Client Appreciation event.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, February 25th.  Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

Category: Uncategorized  
• Sunday, February 11th, 2018

This week the focus was on the council/staff working retreat. Other than that there wasn’t much going on.

Monday I met with the manager for our weekly one-on-one. We went over the agenda for the retreat. I was also given the Quarter 2 summary.

Tuesday I had dinner with a couple of council members to discuss a variety of items.

Thursday the council headed to the coast for the annual council/staff working retreat. We arrived around 6 PM and gathered for dinner. Since the dinner included a majority of council it was a public meeting and the public was notified earlier in the week. Even though this was a public meeting the council was not allowed to talk about any town business and as always that rule was strictly followed.

Friday before beginning work a group of us did a run on the beach at 7 AM which had about half a dozen participants out of 30 attendees. The working part of the retreat began Friday morning at 9 AM. Our conference room was big enough to have plenty of seating, access to audio-video, and plenty of snacks. As it is with every retreat there is a table setting with your personal favorite snacks at your seat. Mine included everything from a tomato to snickers. Our first day was spent looking at things from a high level or the “balcony” as we called it.

The morning session, “bridging the gap between politics and the profession”, was presented by Dr. Nalbandian from Kansas University who holds a doctorate in philosophy. He is an expert in human resources management and specializes in politics and administration in local government. In addition to his academic work, he served eight years on the Lawrence, Kansas, City Council including two terms as mayor. From this experience he has a perspective from both the council and staff sides of local government. In his presentation he affirmed many of the things Cary is already doing. That is the council addresses difficult policy problems, builds capacity to work effectively together, and has a productive relationship with staff. He stated that the role of governing body is community building and talked about political values:

“Political values influence public policy development as opposed to the lives of the individuals who make policy. The primary political value in our culture is responsiveness of government officials to public wants and needs. The value of responsiveness is reflected in demands for representation, efficiency, individual rights, and social equity.”

The session included case studies which allowed council members to understand how staff is involved in an issue and allowed staff to understand how council is involved in an issue. The result of this understanding and collaboration is a more efficient and productive team. Dr. Nalbandian did say Cary was unique in many ways including how the council works together and how council works with staff.

The afternoon session was spent reflecting on the past year of change including challenges and successes. It started with a 20 minute video made up of retreat participants answering several questions including:

  • What are some of the things that surprised you last year?
  • Have you seen a change in organizational communication or collaboration?
  • What have you learned about yourself?
  • Talk about a situation where you or your group struggled with change.

The video was created and taped several weeks before the retreat. It created a lot of dialog and conversation which lasted a couple of hours. Interjected in the discussion were points made by Dr. Nalbandian earlier in the day.

The second day was spent on more specific topics. It started with second quarter results. Some notable items from the second quarter included:

  • Refinancing will save about $10 million in utility interest savings.
  • Capital project spending included 56% for streets, 14% for parks, 10% for water, 9% for sewer, 6% for general government, 4% for fire, and about 1% for downtown.
  • Several transportation, park, and greenway projects are underway.

Council approved a financial housekeeping motion which included:

  • Recognizing general obligation bond proceeds for the general fund and utility fund.
  • Recognizing revenue bond proceeds
  • And authorizing these new proceeds for the repayment of existing dept in the same respective funds and amounts.

Council also approved a motion regarding transit which included:

  • Reducing expenditures in the Transit Fund in the amount of $49,000.
  • Increasing authorized expenditures for the same amount in the General Fund operations functions
  • Authorizing the related necessary interfund transfers.

The next session was on growing pains related to Imagine Cary and the Planning and Zoning Board. Council asked staff to look into the pros and cons of making several adjustments which included:

  • Currently changes, by a developer, after a public triggers a second public hearing at the Planning and Zoning Board. Consider having the second public hearing at council instead.
  • Consider several options to help the Planning and Zoning Board recommend a citizen’s perspective to council. This may include eliminating their vote on the recommendation and instead having their recommendation provided.
  • Consider whether or not the ETJ member should be involved in actions within corporate limits and instead only have them involved in ETJ matters.

The growing pains session also included feedback on staff reports with the Cary Community Plan as part of the recommendation.

Our last major topic at the retreat was stormwater. Stormwater issues are growing exponentially across the country. In Cary it is estimated that 5% of our residents experience flooding due to storms. In addition, Cary has many people experiencing flooding due to the fact that their home is in a flood plain. Fixing stormwater issues usually causes millions of dollars and lots of times those fixes are temporary. As a result we have decided to take a strategic approach. We started by creating a group of experts and stakeholders including expert Dr. Hunt from NC State and several floodplain residents. The group has met several times and it was decided that a pilot program to model impacts on stormwater should be studied in the Walnut Creek basin. Once the model is calibrated it can be used in basins all over Cary. It is our hope that this approach will allow us to create the best stormwater program in the country. We also want to include citizens in the process. We believe this approach will be successful. In fact Dr. Hunt stated that removing just an inch from stormwater would make us famous.

In the meantime, while this pilot program is ongoing, the council took action to add to the maintenance of stormwater pipes. Staff reported that although it had four jet-vac trucks with cameras for sewer issues (costing over $600,000 apiece) that it had none for stormwater. So council approved the purchase of an additional jet-vac truck with cameras just for stormwater to help keep pipes clean. I believe this is a good first step. BTW, staff showed a picture of one clog. When cleared the clog included 3 basketballs, 2 footballs, a baseball bat, and a tree trunk. Wow!

Our retreat ended Saturday afternoon after final comments were made by the manager, Dr. Nalbandian, and council members.

Emails this week included the following:

  • Complaints about the gas station proposal at Kildaire and Penny Roads.
  • A complaint about junk vehicles.
  • A request for more bus service.
  • A complaint about the alarm going off at Shearon Harris nuclear plant (I believe this is the responsibility of the NRC – Nuclear Regulatory Commission)

Next week’s activities include staff meetings and a public meeting on a water pressure shift.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, February 18th.  Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

Category: Uncategorized  
• Sunday, February 04th, 2018

This was a busy week through Thursday.

Monday started with my town manager one-on-one meeting. We went over the council/staff retreat tentative agenda. Our retreat will be on Friday, February 9th and Saturday, February 10th. Friday will be from 8 AM until 5 PM and Saturday will be from 8:30 AM until 3 PM. Some of the topics include Quarter 2 updates, the rolling budget, downtown, community resilience, and stormwater.

Later Monday I attended the Lazy Daze grants reception at the Cary Theater. This year the committee handed out $40,000 from the proceeds of Lazy Daze. Since the program’s inception approximately $680,000 has been returned to the community. Lazy Daze is the largest and longest running cultural arts festival the Town produces each year, and one of the largest in the southeast. Thanks to each of the cultural groups that received grants for their service to our citizens.

Tuesday I attended the public meeting at Crosspointe Church on Carpenter Fire Station Road. The purpose of the meeting was to provide input on the design of two future neighborhood parks in western Cary. The two 20-acre sites are located at the southwest corner of Carpenter Fire Station Road and Highcroft Drive and the southeast corner of Green Level Church Road and McCrimmon Parkway. Staff and consultants were on hand to talk with and gather input from Cary citizens. Now they will take the input they gathered, create a committee of citizens, staff, and consultants to help design concepts for the parks.

Wednesday started with a taping of an abbreviated version of the State of Cary address. The original version presented live to the Cary Chamber of Commerce on January 24th was about 30 minutes. This should be about 10 to 15 minutes long. The taping was divided into 3 segments and it took about half an hour to tape. Afterwards I taped an updated version of our winter weather message that plays on Cary TV when we have a winter storm.

Wednesday evening I joined several council members and invited guests at the reopening of the McDonalds on Harrison. The owner, which has two LEED certified McDonalds in other parts of Cary, refurbished the restaurant but was not able to make this one LEED certified. He did, however, make it more technologically advanced. That is, you can continue to order the way you always did or order from a menu board in the restaurant, or order outside using your phone, or order with Uber Eats. One big surprise of the evening was the Pilot program of one of their sandwiches using fresh instead of frozen meat. And it was really tasty.

Thursday the council held its monthly quasi-judicial meeting which included three cases. Council member Frantz was not present since he was representing Cary at an event.

The first case was to add a Starbucks to the Millpond Village shopping center. This was a quasi-judicial hearing because it had a drive through. The hearing lasted about 15 minutes, had very few questions, and was approved unanimously by council.

The second case was for a Shelbourne Senior Living on a 13-acre tract in Regency across from Symphony Lake and the Booth Amphitheater. This was a quasi-judicial hearing because it had over 100 units. I raised concerns about the 95 decibel level coming from the amphitheater. Other concerns included storm runoff retention which may impact communities, across from the Lochmere Golf Club, which has houses built in the floodplain. A condition, approved by council, was added to include noise decibel levels in lease agreements.

Our last case was for Channing Park which is a proposed development plan for 189 attached single-family dwelling units (townhomes) and 17 detached single family dwelling units near the intersection of Highcroft Drive and McCrimmon Drive. Council expressed concerns about the private streets and safety risks associated with the location of the development across from Panther Creek High School. After much discussion the council approved the development by a 4-2 vote.

The town manager’s report this week included:

Two Cary Companies Earn SPACE Awards

Each year the Triangle Business Journal recognizes the Triangle’s top commercial real estate deals and developers through their SPACE Awards. The SPACE Awards were presented on Thursday at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. Council Member Don Frantz, joined Ted Boyd and myself attended the event as two Cary companies were recognized at the 2018 SPACE Awards. Trilliant at One Harrison Parkway received the Top Economic Development Award and Northwoods Associates was awarded Best Redevelopment Project for their Mid-Town Square redevelopment in Downtown Cary.

Sharing Rap Session Conversations with TOC Family

On Wednesday, a group of approximately 50 staff gathered for the first monthly Town of Cary Rap Session. As you may recall, our Police Department has been conducting Rap Sessions at barbershops over the past several years to encourage an open and honest dialogue between the black community and Cary Police. This partnership was formed through Jeremy Bergin in our Police Department and Tru Pettigrew, a Cary citizen. The goal of the session was to get to know each other closer to make us stronger. It was an enlightening and revealing two hours, in which we were reminded that real change happens in the heart. Thank you to Chief Godwin for bringing this special partnership to your colleagues!

Town Selected as Finalist for Smart Cities Readiness Challenge

The Town was selected as a finalist out of 125 applications from across the U.S. The competition going forward will be fierce to ultimately select five winning applications. The final announcement is expected in March. Our application focused on the efforts underway with the Garage for Innovation group, as well as the Innovation Analytics Lab and the Simulated Smart City Project.

Public Input Meeting for Neighborhood Parks Planning

Approximately 150 citizens attended the public meeting at Crosspointe Church on Tuesday to hear more about the projects currently under design for western Cary. A team of about 30 staff members, in conjunction with 10 consultants and two artists, shared information and led attendees through several exercises to gain public input into the two neighborhood parks currently being planned. Thank you to Mayor Weinbrecht and the other council members who joined.

I-40/Airport Blvd Interchange Improvements

On Tuesday, NCDOT held a public meeting for the I-40/Airport Blvd Interchange Improvements project, which presented two alternative designs to relieve traffic congestion. One design option is a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) and the other is a Partial Clover Interchange, which is a modification of the existing interchange. NCDOT is receiving comments until February 14. Staff has already submitted initial comments including a request for a pedestrian plan, which illustrates any provided pedestrian facilities throughout the project limits.

Cary Participates in Regional Water Quality Collaborations

The Town’s commitment to delivering high-quality, reliable water to our growing community includes contributing to regional efforts to protect Jordan Lake. Upcoming events highlight two of these regional initiatives: the Jordan Lake One Water Association and the NC Policy Collaboratory’s Jordan Lake Nutrient Management Study.

The Jordan Lake One Water Association, a collaborative group representing local governments, utilities, conservation groups and industry stakeholders, holds its next meeting on February 15. Council Member Lori Bush is the Town’s liaison to the group.

The NC Policy Collaboratory was created by the Legislature in 2016 to perform research into environmental science and policy issues. The Collaboratory is currently engaged in a study into Jordan Lake nutrient management issues and solutions. An interim report was published in December. On March 22, Town staff will participate in a Collaboratory stakeholder meeting to provide input on project goals and hear from UNC/NC State researchers on their initial findings. The study will be completed in 2022.

Exploring Bikeshares in Cary

Bikeshare programs are continuing to grow nationwide. There are two primary types of systems, the dock-based system and the dockless system. The traditional, dock-based system requires users to pick up and drop off bikes at existing stations located in pre-determined locations. The dockless system differs in that the bikes typically have a rear-wheel locking system which enables riders to bike up and park the bikes anywhere within a geographic region.

As the bikeshare industry continues to grow and as our neighbors are adopting bikeshare programs, staff is exploring the potential of bikeshares in Cary. We will examine their policies, usage, compliance, accessibility to determine best practices and gain insights that may be beneficial to Cary.

Previewing Next Week

I am incredibly excited about the Council/Staff retreat next week. It’s truly remarkable that the Council is able to set aside the time to focus on strategic, big picture issues facing the community. We will have the agenda and supporting materials available for you on Monday. As we’ll be together, we will not be sending a Weekly Report next week.


This week the 2017 Lazy Daze grants were presented at a ceremony and reception at The Cary. Thirty-one Cary based non-profits were awarded a total of $40,000. Also, Cary High School senior Bevin Neill’s artwork, “Dandy Daze” was unveiled. This is the third year a Cary area high school student was selected to produce the artwork for the Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival.


Emails from citizens this week included:

  • An email campaign to vote against a gas station rezoning proposal at Kildaire and Penny Road (While I LOVE feedback filling up my email box with the same message over and over just makes it difficult to address concerns)
  • An email campaign to vote against a rezoning proposal at Weldon Ridge.
  • A request to address zoning violations (an operational issue which staff is handling)
  • A complaint about not being allowed to give an opinion at a quasi-judicial hearing (these requirements are created by the state and US Consitutions)


Next week is the council/staff working retreat and other than a few minor meetings that is all that is on my calendar.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, February 11th.  Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

Category: Uncategorized  
• Sunday, January 28th, 2018

This was a busy and eventful week.

It started by contacting all council members to hear of questions or concerns they may have had with Thursday’s agenda. The only questions were about the rezoning conditions in the Columbia Development proposal. Later in the day I met with staff to go over the agenda items. We believed the meeting would not have that many speakers and in turn would not be a long meeting.

Afterwards I met with the manager for my weekly one-on-one. We were joined by the Deputy Manager, attorney, and Mayor Pro-Tem. We mostly discussed the Columbia Development proposal and that process.

Tuesday I attended the visitation of Daphne Ashworth along with hundreds of other people from Cary. Daphne and her husband and Ralph founded Ashworth Drugs in 1957 and Lynn’s Hallmark Shops in 1969. She stayed active in local organizations all of her life and was a member of the Cary Woman’s Club, the Cary Jaycettes, a founding member of the Cary Library, a docent at the NC Museum of Art, a founding member of the Heart of Cary Association, Hallmark Cards National Advisory Board, Wake Med Foundation Board, Cary Chamber of Commerce Board, NC Pharmacy Ladies Auxiliary Board president, a founding patron of the Cary Debutante Ball, Cary Visual Arts Board, the Page-Walker committee, and long-time supporter of the Dorcas Shop and the YMCA of the Triangle. Daphne and her husband Ralph have been honored many times by several organizations, including Cary Citizens of the Year, Cary Chamber of Commerce Business People of the Year, and Cary Hometown Spirit Award. She and her beautiful smile will be sorely missed. Rest in Peace Daphne!

Wednesday was a big day for me. It started with my annual State of Cary address as part of the Cary Chamber’s Breakfast which was held at the Prestonwood County Club. This was my 11th address and I believe my biggest crowd ever. Last I heard over 260 were in attendance. My topics (in order) included population and growth rate, accolades, finances, championships returning to our sports venues, jobs, rebranding, downtown, stormwater, the Eastern Gateway, development west of highway 55, transportation projects, parks, fiber installation, the opioid crisis, and resisting divisiveness that is crippling our state and nation. Questions afterwards included how the town could help businesses, what is being done about growth, and the current status of our water. My talk including questions lasted a little over 30 minutes which was a bit longer than I planned. The presentation was well received and I was humbled by the standing ovation.

Wednesday afternoon I attended a meeting of the CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) representing 30 governing bodies. The meeting started with a public hearing on an amendment to the Transportation Improvement Plan. Next I was honored to be elected chairman and took control of running the meeting. The regular portion of the meeting included nine items. All of those items were for information only except two. The board approved the fiscal year 2nd Quarter project amendment list and also approved a compromise recommendation of SPOT (Strategic Transportation Prioritization) projects. This compromise removed some of the CAMPO BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) projects to allow DCHC (Durham Carrboro Chapel Hill Metropolitan Planning Organization) to have less competition and increase their chances of being fully funded for their light rail. The removed BRT projects will be funded by other means. The DCHC Chair and Vice Chair were on hand to make comments and thank the board for helping their efforts. Our meeting concluded after a little over an hour and a half.

Thursday the council held its last regularly scheduled meeting of January. The agenda included 12 consent items, 2 public hearings, and 3 discussion items. There were no speakers at the Public Speaks Out portion of the meeting which is rare. In addition, the only speakers in the Public Hearings were the applicants. Again, that is rare.

The council made several comments about the Gordon Street and Maynard Rezoning proposal. Most believe the proposal should coordinate with the adjacent shopping center which is starting to redevelop. Other comments included the need for more conditions to ensure this rezoning would protect the neighbors. This rezoning will come back to council for a vote after review and recommendation by the Planning and Zoning Board. 

Under the discussion items council unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2018 Street Improvements Project list and the Wake County Hospitality Tax Funding Application without very much discussion. The last item on the agenda was the Fenton mixed use development. Council spent their time praising staff and developers for bringing this rezoning proposal with one hundred zoning conditions. When this is built it will be the largest development in the history of Cary. Over the next several weeks the developer and staff will work out the details of a Developer Agreement which is a condition of the rezoning. This agreement will help ensure that both parties work together to create the vision approved for this area. The meeting concluded after less than two hours.

Saturday I joined council member Smith at Cary Fire Station #9 for the retiree’s breakfast. Firefighters from as far back as 1967 and as recently as hired last month, joined us, along with members of the Parks and Recreation and Cultural Resource’s administration, the Town, and other Firefighter companies. This was put on by Bradford’s Ordinary Fire Company which is a 501C3 created by Cary Firefighters with a focus on serving those people in our community suffering from hardship whether emergent or chronic. This year, their fundraising efforts included the Town of Cary Fire House Marathon, the Bradford’s and Bond Brothers Beer and BBQ Ball, the Bradford’s Ordinary Golf Classic, and countless other events. This year grants went to three organizations. The first was for $2,500 to an annual scholarship fund for Town of Cary PRCR Camp Experience for underprivileged kids. The second was $6,500 to the Miracle League Baseball of the Triangle. This money goes to uniforms, pictures, and material support to bring the joys of baseball to those cognitively- challenged kids of the Cary area. The final recipient was Project Lifesaver. This is a program that uses radio frequency technology, tactical search and rescue training, Police, Fire, and community partnerships to reduce the search times for at-risk populations from hours to minutes- thereby reducing the chance for injury or worse in this special community. This grant will be used to place radio receivers on four different fire apparatus, give training to a large swath of the fire and police department, start a scholarship program for users, and create a tighter relationship between the caregivers of this population. I am so grateful that the Bradford’s Ordinary Fire Company and all they do to serve our community now and as we move forward in to 2018.

The town manager’s report for this week included:

Mayor Delivers State of Cary

On Wednesday morning, Mayor Weinbrecht delivered his annual State of Cary address to the Cary Chamber of Commerce at Prestonwood Country Club. The Mayor highlighted many of Cary’s successes over the past year, including the diversity of accolades that collectively make Cary an amazing place to live work and play, the excitement happening in Cary’s downtown, and the upcoming opportunities in the Eastern Cary Gateway. He also took a moment to remind everyone the importance of working together and finding common ground, regardless of political persuasion, for the betterment of the community.

Chatter 101 Workshops

The Garage group returned to host the last Chatter 101 workshop for all employees. The Garage group is a community of staff interested in challenging convention, exploring new technologies, and aren’t afraid of failure. Over 200 employees attended the series of workshops, which taught users the basics of the Chatter platform. The workshop was also live-streamed so Fire staff could participate from their district locations. Kudos to presenters Jennifer Warner, Reid Serozi, Cailen Waddell, Cara Conner and Lenny Lloyd as well as several others who worked behind the scenes to help make these workshops come to life!

CAMPO Executive Update

Congratulations to Mayor Weinbrecht for being elected Chair of the CAMPO Executive Board at the meeting on Wednesday. The board is comprised of approximately 30 elected officials and stakeholders representing 5 counties and 18 municipal jurisdictions. Other meeting highlights included presenting the FY19 draft Wake Transit work plan, which includes new bus service on Weston Parkway, Cary’s regional operations and maintenance facility, and free fares for riders under 18. The work plan’s public comment period extends through March 12 and can be found here. The FY19 recommended LAPP grants were also presented to the board. The vote to approve the recommendations will occur in February. Four Cary transportation projects are recommended to receive $6.3 million in LAPP grants:

  • Connected Vehicle Technology ($1.6 million)
  • Reedy Creek Rd. Phase 2 ($632,029, which represents partial funding)
  • Higgins Greenway Phase 3 ($2,030,000)
  • Downtown Cary Multimodal Facility ($2 million)

Imagine Cary Turns One!

On Wednesday, Town staff gathered to celebrate the one year milestone of the Imagine Cary Community Plan. Reaching the visions outlined in Imagine Cary will continue to be a journey. To do so will take the continued efforts of the PIT Crew team to prioritize our implementation strategies, aligning our LDO with ACT chapter refinements, and of course, continuing to work as a team to keep Cary great. Thank you to Council for setting us on the course to achieving the vision!

Cary Showcases Regional IoT Efforts at Conference

Terry Yates presented a session titled “Smart Cities of the South” at the IoT Evolution Conference in Orlando, FL. The presentation focused on the Triangle’s smart city change agents, regional smart city initiatives, and showcased a variety of Cary’s efforts. Special thanks goes to Emily Barrett and Sarah Braman for helping with the content of the presentation.


We’d like to congratulate Len Lloyd (Public Works- Facilities) for being elected Vice President of the American Public Works Association’s North Carolina Chapter’s Facilities and Ground Division. Thank you Len for representing the Town of Cary with your great work and contribution to our organization!


Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Compliments for the snow removal.
  • A complaint about the Crabtree Crossing connection proposal (This is a Morrisville decision not a Cary decision).
  • Concerns about downtown stormwater issues.
  • Interest in helping battle the Opioid crisis.
  • Questions about the downtown library

Next week will continue to be busy. It includes Lazy Daze grant awards, several meetings, western Cary public meeting on park planning, State of Cary taping, Harrison Avenue McDonald’s opening kickoff, Cary/Morrisville council joint meeting, and a quasi-judicial meeting with three cases.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, February 4th.  Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

Category: Uncategorized  
• Sunday, January 21st, 2018

This week was abbreviated by the winter storm.

Monday I attended the Wake County Mayors Association meeting. Eleven of the twelve mayors were in attendance with Mayor Byrne of Fuquay being the only one absent. At the meeting we welcomed newly elected Mayor Cawley of Morrisville, elected Mayor Roberson of Knightdale as the new President, elected Mayor Matheny as the new Vice President and Treasurer, thanked President Mayor Sears and Mayor Olive for serving last year, and tentatively agreed that next year’s Christmas Party would be held in Wake Forest at their new Renaissance Centre. One topic discussed was how much impact CAMPO’s (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) BRT (Bus Rapid Transit)  regional transit projects impacted Durham-Orange’s ability to secure funding for their light rail project. We will continue this discussion at our next CAMPO meeting. We also spent time going around the table and hearing what issues each municipality is dealing with.

Tuesday I joined council member Jack Smith in taping an episode of Cary Matters. Our topic was the latest quarterly report. We did it in two takes. While the first take was good I had a frog in my throat for part of it. So we did the second take.

Later Tuesday I joined council member Yerha, the town manager, and the owner of the TAC (Triangle Aquatic Center) in a meeting to discuss the future of TAC. Their future plans include three phases with the second phase to add outdoor swimming.

Wednesday it started snowing at my house around 10 AM and didn’t stop until that night. In the end I had a little over 7 inches of snow. Other parts of Cary and the region had snow earlier and some reported amounts of close to a foot. Having lived here most of my life I can tell you that in the past this kind of storm would have crippled the region for days. But Cary’s A Team had the roads clear, including secondary roads, within a day and before it got above freezing. That means they plowed 766 linear miles of streets 557 which are in subdivisions. What an amazing job! No other municipality came close to matching our service. To accomplish this task Cary used 77 pieces of equipment including 58 plows of which 23 were incorporate spreaders. They used 650 tons of salt and 990 tons of salt/sand mix. A HUGE thanks to all those men and women who worked around the clock to get the streets clear.

Due to the snow the rest of my meetings and activities for the week were cancelled.

This week’s notifications included one from McDonalds. They announced that by 2025, 100% of their packaging will come from renewable, recycled or certified sources with a preference for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. In addition they announced that by 2025, their goal is to have recycle packaging in 100% of their restaurants. Thanks to McDonalds for their continued commitment to protecting our environment.

Other notifications this week included Cary Chamber’s announcement that Evan Stone was hired as Vice President of Cary Economic Development. Stone will coordinate and oversee all economic development efforts for Cary. This includes continued focus on retaining and growing existing industry as well as utilizing his business recruitment experience to grow Cary’s brand on a national level. Additionally, Stone will manage key partnerships with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina as well as other strategic Chamber of Commerce partners. Stone has 12 years of experience in local government and economic development organizations of all levels, most recently working at the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) as a Business Recruitment Manager. During his time at EDPNC, Stone brought over 3,400 jobs and $1.33 billion in capital expenditure to North Carolina and worked extensively with corporate site location on the state’s behalf. Prior to EDPNC, Stone was a Project Manager in the Mississippi Development Authority’s Global Business Division managing economic development projects of national and international companies on behalf of the State of Mississippi. In addition to orchestrating corporate recruiting events for the state, Stone also worked closely with local economic developers throughout Mississippi on issues including infrastructure strategy and site readiness. Welcome aboard Evan! We look forward to working with you to bring many high paying jobs to Cary.

The town manager’s report for this week included the following:

Snapshots of Cary in Snow

The snowfall on Wednesday provided a wonderful opportunity to photograph how beautiful Cary looks in white!  At the same time, Cary’s A-Team hit the streets to help keep all of us safe during the cold temperatures and inches of snow. The A-Team was equipped with 77 pieces of equipment along with 650 tons of salt and 990 tons of salt/sand mix. Thank you all the Public Works crews and our public safety officers for everything they do for our community when winter weather strikes.

Amazon Announces List of 20 Candidates for HQ2

After reviewing 238 applications from cities across North America, Amazon has narrowed its choices to 20 metropolitan areas, including Raleigh. This is great affirmation about the quality of life and availability of talent in our area. We look forward to demonstrating that this area – including Cary – will meet and exceed Amazon’s requirements.

Cary Again Earns Partnership for Safe Water Director’s Award

For the 14th consecutive year, the Cary/Apex Water Treatment Facility earned the AWWA Partnership for Safe Water Director’s Award. The Partnership is a voluntary effort between six drinking water agencies and over 200 utilities nationwide. The Town is a charter member. The Partnership promotes treatment process optimization and recognizes facilities which have consistently exceeded regulatory requirements to achieve a certain standard of water treatment excellence. The Director’s Award is issued to facilities which have completed an annual assessment report and successfully met performance criteria.

Cary is one of only four facilities in North Carolina that have maintained the Director’s Award for more than a decade.

Seeing & Learning in Kansas City

This week, a delegation of Fire, Police, HR and IT staff visited Kansas City to learn about their smart city deployments and multi-jurisdictional 911 Communications Centers. The Cary team met with Kansas City’s Digital Drive Managing Director to discuss the smart city corridor. The corridor includes a streetcar line, free public Wi-Fi, smart LED streetlights, various sensor technology and digital kiosks that provide citizens access to businesses and municipal services. This opportunity provided valuable insight on how smart city technology can be deployed through redevelopment projects.

Additionally, the Cary team toured Johnson County’s $27 million 911 Communications Center. This center uses a variety of regional technology and procedures to provide emergency dispatch services to multiple jurisdictions in the Kansas City Metro Area. Staff also spent the day gathering various operational, technological and staffing information from the Johnson County employees. This information will be helpful as Cary continues to analyze the feasibility of a possible expansion of Cary’s emergency dispatch services to our neighbors.

Favorable IBT Decision for Cary

In 2015 the City of Fayetteville and its public water commission appealed the Environmental Management Commission’s (‘EMC’) issuance to Cary and Apex of a modified interbasin transfer certificate. Happily, this legal matter is now finally settled by agreeing to a Consent Judgment.  Attorneys with McGuire Woods, who represented Cary and Apex, braved the snow Thursday to appear in Cumberland County to have the ‘Consent Judgment’ entered by a Superior Court Judge. The Consent Judgment, which upholds the 2015 Certificate, will be presented to Council in a council meeting. A return requirement, a condition that Fayetteville believed to be important, will be inserted into the 2015 Certificate requiring a return of a specific quantity of treated water to the Cape Fear and Haw River basins. The effect of the return requirement has been thoroughly evaluated by staff of the Towns and our consultants and all parties believe it to be consistent with the Town’s future planned development and key to settling the matter at hand.


We’d like to recognize Terry Yates who was a guest speaker at a graduate level class in the Civil Engineering School at NC State University. Students in this class will develop Smart City projects around water, energy, transportation, etc. as part of their curriculum. Terry’s presentation included information about Cary’s Smart City Program and various project ideas where students can focus. This speaking engagement was made possible by our continued partnerships with non-profit and educational organizations such as NCROT and NCSU.


Emails from citizens this week included:

  • A complaint about the proposed Crabtree Crossing connection (A Morrisville Council decision)
  • A request to have weekly recycling (I would love this but of course that means more taxpayer dollars)
  • A concern about snow removal (I respectfully disagree. We had the best response by far of any municipality in the region)
  • Several thank you emails for snow removal (You’re welcome! But it is the great staff of Public Works that are the superstars)

Next week will be a very busy week for me and includes a regularly scheduled council meeting, a meeting of CAMPO, several small meetings, an event, and the State of Cary Address.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 28th.  Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

Category: Uncategorized  
• Sunday, January 14th, 2018

This was the first full week of the year.

Monday started with calls to all council members to hear of questions and concerns they had about the agenda for the upcoming meeting. I was able to contact all council members except one. Comments focused on the two controversial issues of the Urban Drive rezoning and the White Oak rezoning. Later in the day I met with staff and the Mayor Pro-Tem to go over the items. We expected a significant number of people to speak about the controversial rezoning proposals.

Next I met with the town manager and Mayor Pro-Tem for my weekly one-on-one. We talked about the upcoming controversial proposals and other items.

Tuesday I talked briefly with Wake County Commissioner Hutchinson about CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) actions and how they might compete with Durham light rail.

Tuesday evening I was taped responding to several questions about staff and council relationships. This information will be used at the staff-council working retreat next month.

Thursday I participated in a meeting of CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization), DCHC (Durham Chapel Hill Carrboro planning organization), and GoTriangle staff, chairs and vice-chairs. We discussed a potential issue of CAMPO BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) projects competing with DCHC’s light rail in SPOT 5.0 (Strategic Transportation Prioritization) which is a ten year plan. The Strategic Prioritization Process is the methodology that NCDOT uses to develop the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The process involves scoring all roadway, public transportation, bicycle, pedestrian, rail, and aviation projects on a number of criteria. Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs), and the NCDOT Division offices also contribute to the final project score by assigning local priority points to projects. CAMPO’s Role in Prioritization is two part: First – the MPO selects which projects from the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) are submitted into the scoring competition.  Currently, CAMPO is permitted to submit twenty (20) new projects for each transportation mode in each prioritization cycle. Second – the MPO assigns local input points which increase the final project score.  In the current prioritization cycle, CAMPO is allotted 2500 local input points for the Regional Impact category and 2500 local input points for the Division Needs category.

Thursday evening I joined the council to hear the work plans of our advisory boards. Here is a summary of those work plans:

Environmental Advisory Board

  • Work group on Tree ordinance and open space
  • Input into the Stormwater Solutions
  • Carbon reduction and input into STAR

Historic Preservation Commission

  • Leverage and maintain Certified Local Government (CLG) status: education/training, recommendations, grant applications
  • Pursue local historic landmark status for at least 2 (private) properties
  • Take initial actions towards consideration of a new local historic district

Information Services Advisory Board

  • Website, townofcary.org: review usage data, make changes, measure improvement
  • Policy: Open Data, Social Media, Town Branding
  • Engagement: Across boards, with citizens, finding ways to improve

Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Advisory Board

  • As specified in Section 8 of the Land Development Ordinance (LDO), the PRCR Advisory Board shall review and make recommendations related to the recreation land dedication/payment in lieu requirement for each residential development plan submittal.
  • Review, comment and make recommendations as necessary related to PRCR policies, initiatives and capital projects brought forward by Staff. Specifically, for 2017/s018 Advisory Board members will serve as liaisons for the following projects: Western Cary Neighborhood Parks Project, Downtown Park Phase II Master Plan Project, and Western Cary Community Center Conceptual Plan Project
  • Collaborate with the three Board committees (Athletics, Cultural Arts and Greenway) relative to current issues, initiatives, and projects.

Planning and Zoning Board

  • To review rezoning and other applications with a more refined focus on their place within the Cary Community Plan.
  • To review rezoning applications involving infill carefully for fit in both time and space.
  • To further develop our understanding of the Cary Community Plan as both a functional board and as individual citizens with diverse concerns.

Public Art Advisory Board

  • Public Art Projects – Continue to advise and recommend public art where appropriate to enhance quality of life
  • Education – Work with staff on Public Art education programs.
  • Public Art Master Plan: Work with staff to accomplish the recommendations of the Council adopted Public Art Master Plan.

Zoning Board of Adjustment

  • To conduct quasi-judicial public hearings on requests for variances and appeals based on factual evidence and in accordance with The Town of Cary Policy Statement 167
  • To ensure applicants and public in attendance have a clear understanding of the quasi-judicial process during the public hearing.
  • To further develop our understanding of Cary’s Land Development Ordinance as both a functional board and as individual citizens with diverse professional backgrounds.

The meeting concluded after about 45 minutes.

Thursday night the council held its first regularly scheduled council meeting of the year. There were nine consent items, two public hearings, four discussion items, and a closed session. Several speakers at the Public Speaks Out session spoke against the White Oak rezoning proposal that included affordable and senior housing. The majority of the complaints were that it didn’t fit the character of the community and that it would cause traffic issues. The Public Hearing for extra parking in Regency also drew speakers. They believe that the additional parking will destroy the buffer from US1 and the building. The applicant agreed to work with them further on this.

Under discussion the council approved a water main replacement project for several million dollars. This will actually save money in the long run. The council also approved the bid for the High House and Cary Parkway improvements. In the near future utility relocation will occur in that location.

The council unanimously approved the Urban Drive proposal after strong opposition from the adjacent residents. Opposition will be a common occurrence as redevelopment occurs. That is, council will have the task of balancing the concerns of the residents with the vision in the Cary Community Plan. In this case many residents complained of stormwater issues which are a separate issue from the rezoning. And ironically new development actually helps stormwater issues since new requirements are so stringent. The staff is currently doing an inventory and creating recommendations for stormwater issues.

The council also unanimously approved the White Oak rezoning which included affordable housing and age restricted housing. This was a difficult decision because in the near term it would appear that density is in a rural area and does not fit. But at build out it will make more sense. The housing will be next to a school, church care facilities, and a day care. Since the development has senior housing, door to door GoCary service will be available. These were the justifications used by council members to vote for the project.

Friday I joined CAMPO chairman Mayor Dick Sears of Holly Springs and CAMPO executive staff in a discussion of options to address concerns brought up by DCHC the day before. Mayor Sears and I will meet with the Wake County mayors on Monday and discuss this issue.

Saturday I attended the MLK Dreamfest activities at the Cary Arts Center. I provided welcoming remarks before watching the film The Racial Taboo Initiative. This film was designed to inspire conversation about subjects related to race. It took an honest and entertaining look at America’s racial history and examined how that legacy continues to impact our society today. It was followed by small group discussions. The film is a must see if you get the chance.

Emails from staff this week include notification of rail crossing closures. Weather permitting; CSX Transportation will implement rolling closures of seven railroad crossings in Cary starting at 9 p.m. January 15 through the evening of January 19. CSX crews will begin work near North Academy Street near East Cedar Street, moving four miles west toward Apex and ending at Laura Duncan Road. The continuous closures are necessary to allow CSX to complete railroad maintenance work overnight and asphalt repairs during the day.

The town manager’s weekly report included:

Retreat Preparations Kick Into Higher Gear

As the new year kicks into gear, so too do Council/staff retreat preparations. On Monday, Department Directors engaged a facilitator, Warren Miller from Fountainworks, to reignite our collective memory from last year as well as continuing to flesh out our thoughts for our upcoming retreat.

CSX Railroad Crossing Closings

Weather permitting; CSX Transportation will implement rolling closures of seven railroad crossings in Cary starting at 9 p.m. on Monday, January 15 through the evening of January 19. CSX crews will begin work near North Academy Street near East Cedar Street moving four miles west toward Apex and ending at Laura Duncan Road. The continuous closures are necessary to allow CSX to complete railroad maintenance work overnight and asphalt repairs during the day. Specific railroad closures and local detour information is available on our website. Additionally, all detours and construction updates will be pushed to the Waze app available on smartphones.

Monthly Utilities Report

The December/January Utilities Operating Report is now available. The highlights from this month include:

  • The treatment plants are all operating well and have weathered the cold weather and ice with only a few minor issues.
  • After a brief period of no water transfers over the holidays, the transfers to Durham have resumed.
  • We are expending some additional funds on laboratory testing and added carbon treatment for perflourinated chemicals at the water treatment facility. Additional laboratory testing is continuing to show that our water is below 20 percent of EPA’s health advisory level for PFOA and PFOS.

Analysis Finds Need for Signal at Intersection

Staff has determined that the operations at the intersection of Weston Parkway and Sheldon Drive/Weston Estates Way now do warrant the installation of a traffic signal. As per our usual practice, this intersection was modeled as both a traditional signalized intersection as well as a roundabout to determine feasibility for both treatments. Since both forms of traffic control exhibit similar levels of operations and benefit to drivers, the traffic signal was chosen as the better solution due to cost and feasibility of construction. Staff will commence working with our on-call design consultants to develop a traffic signal design and construction package. We anticipate the traffic signal to be installed and operational in Winter 2018.

Cary Joins NC WaterWARN

This week, the Town joined the North Carolina Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (NC WaterWARN), a statewide mutual-aid alliance of nearly 100 NC utilities who agree to help other utilities respond to and recover from emergencies. Cary regularly extends a helping hand to our neighbors when natural disasters or serious emergencies strike, to ensure reliable, high-quality water and wastewater services remain available to our region’s citizens; likewise, our regional partners are there for Cary if we need assistance. Joining NC WaterWARN enhances this utility assistance with a standard framework and legal protections.

Happenings on Capitol Hill

Last week, Sam Quinones, the author of Dreamland and expert on the nation’s opioid epidemic reached out to us to help prepare for providing testimony to the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Sam testified on Tuesday and while the Town of Cary is not mentioned, we were happy to help provide background for his written remarks, which can be read here.

Speaking of Washington, D.C., the Ferguson Group, our federal lobbyist team, provides a weekly summary of activities. We will begin providing these updates now and again to provide more contexts on our legislative agenda efforts.

Previewing Next Week

In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Town offices will be closed on Monday, January 15. As such, garbage, recycling and yard waste collection for all households will move one day later during the week. Our Citizen’s Convenience Center will be open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on January 15.

Additionally, SK-8 Cary and Cary Tennis Park will remain open.


Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of participating in the Fire Recruits Graduation. I’m particularly thankful I was able to attend so that I could hear Captain Laird Van Gorden give remarks to the graduates. Captain Van Gorden beautifully described how our organization is going through a renaissance. You can read his remarks here.

The record breaking freezing temperatures over the last week have created some challenging conditions for water system operations. The Public Works Operations staff has responded to at least 12 water main break events over the last week, especially last weekend when the temperatures were at their lowest. Thanks to the work of dedicated staff from PW-Ops including Jim Hallowes, Davis Reynolds, Matt Wetherell, Bill Roy, Craig Hollister, Seth Burleson and the entire team, the breaks were managed by working around the clock over nights and weekends to minimize service disruptions to citizens. We are especially thankful for the quick response of the Public Works staff who managed these events so seamlessly and whose work protected the water system from widespread customer outages. 


Emails from citizens this week include:

  • Opposition to the Crabtree Crossing Extension (a Morrisville council decision)
  • Opposition to the White Oak rezoning.
  • A request for an update of the Google Fiber installation (they are planning to do about 20 miles a quarter. They are currently working off North Harrison and in West Cary).
  • A request for a downtown grocery (we don’t have authority to specify a type of business)
  • A complaint about leaf pickup.
  • A complaint about an issue with a water outage.
  • Opposition to the Weldon Ridge rezoning proposal.
  • A belief that Gen X is being put in the Cape Fear river in Fayetteville and would it impact our water (I have no knowledge of a dumping but Fayetteville is downstream)
  • Calling me a hypocrite since I am not opposed to fishing in Bond Lake.

Next week’s activities include a Wake County Mayors Association meeting, a taping of Cary Matters, several meetings with special interests, a CAMPO meeting, and an interview with a seventh grader.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 21st.  Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

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