• Sunday, December 04th, 2016

Harold2015This was a slower week than normal.

Monday I met with town manager for our weekly one-on-one. We talked about a downtown business, downtown projects, my state of the town address to be given in January, and the format of quasi-judicial hearings. Our meeting lasted about an hour.

Wednesday I attended the Eye Opener Breakfast, sponsored by the Cary Chamber, where the guest speaker was town manager Sean Stegall. In his message he explained that Cary exploded with growth during the last two or three decades. And that this growth was excellently managed which was unprecedented. As we move forward out of the exploding growth into more redevelopment we will need to be more innovative rather than engineering focused. This will require continued strong partnerships and a new thought process by our council, staff, citizens and businesses. I plan to expand on this a little further in my state of the town address in January. So stay tuned.

Thursday I attended the North Carolina Metro Mayors Coalition dinner in Durham. There are 32 member mayors in this coalition that was founded 15 years ago. Many of the current mayors and past mayors were at this dinner including former mayor Glen Lang of Cary. We were treated to a steak dinner from Angus Barn and heard from a few speakers in the legislature. The featured speaker was Governor-elect Roy Cooper. He stated the need for Democrats and Republicans to focus on what they can agree on rather than spending their time looking for things to disagree on. Amen to that!

Friday I called a second grader (and his mom) from Highcroft Elementary. During the aftermath of Hurricane Mathew he felt bad that kids would not have the ability to go trick-or-treating. So he collected his candy and candy at his school and had it sent to eastern North Carolina. What a fantastic gesture especially for someone so young. In my call to him I thanked him and invited him to ride in the town’s fire truck during the Christmas parade. So if you see him in the parade make sure you blow him a few kisses.

Saturday afternoon I gave welcoming remarks at the Discover China Art Exhibit held inside the town hall lobby. The exhibit included several dozen pieces of art. Each one was explained by students from the Cary Chinese School. The beautiful pieces captured Chinese fine art techniques. We were blessed to have visitors from all over the world at this exhibit including guests from Beijing. Thanks to FotoSay International Arts and Science for making this happen.

After the art exhibit I headed over to the Page Walker to get a quick peek of the Victorian Christmas festivities which included carriage rides. I even had time to take a quick picture with one of the beautiful horses.

Saturday evening I had the joy of once again introducing the Christmas tree lighter for the town’s Christmas tree. This year we honored long time citizen Sheila Ogle who has given so much to our community and was this year’s Hometown Spirit award winner. God bless her! There were great performances at this year’s tree lighting that was emceed by WTVD’s Tisha Powell. Everyone seemed to have a good time and afterwards went into the town hall lobby to enjoy smores.

The report from the town manager this week included the following:

Metro Mayor’s Conference

I attended the NC Metro Mayors Coalition Annual Meeting, joined by Mayor Weinbrecht, Ed Yerha and Lana Hygh. I was able to meet with many mayors and managers from across the state, as well as reconnect with our regional partners. At the manager’s breakfast on Friday morning there was a productive discussion of issues facing large communities.

Wake Transit Interlocal Agreement

As you are aware, on July 6, the Wake County Board of Commissioners approved the Wake County Transit Plan and accompanying Financial Plan. Since Wake County voters approved the Sales Tax Referendum for Transit on November 8, plans are moving forward for implementation. Along with the sales tax, a proposed new $7 Wake County Vehicle Registration Tax is an anticipated local revenue source identified in the Wake County Transit Plan and Financial Plan. Over the next several months, there will be multiple agreements among and between Wake County, GoTriangle, other transit providers and Wake municipalities. One of the first agreements you will see, in January, will be an Interlocal Agreement to assign revenues from the proposed new $7 Wake County Vehicle Registration Tax to implementation of the Transit Plan.

Wilson Road Closure Time Reduced

On Thursday, the NCDOT Board of Transportation approved the closure of Wilson Road that traverses through both the Town of Cary and Morrisville.  Final approval of the Closure Order by the Town of Cary will be considered at the Council’s regular meeting on December 8. The Town of Morrisville Council considered the Wilson Road closure at its November 22 regular meeting. In response to feedback from Woods at Fairbanks residents, the Morrisville Council asked CalAtlantic to come up with an option to reduce/mitigate the effect of the road closing on surrounding residents. As a result they developed a plan that would keep Wilson Road open as a private road for four months (Jan-May) after Cary/Morrisville closure orders are approved and then close it to finish site infrastructure for their new subdivision. Thus, instead of an 8-month closure as originally envisioned, it will likely be a 4-month closure instead. The Morrisville Council will take final action on the closure on December 13th.

Changes at The Cary News

This week we were informed of changes coming to The Cary News. Our beat reporter, Kathryn Trogdon, is moving to the News & Observer; her new assignment includes growth and transportation so you may still hear from her from time to time. Additionally, the editor, Jessica Banov, will be the N&O’s new food editor. Until the paper assigns a permanent reporter to the Cary area, you may hear from Henry Gargan. He currently covers other municipalities in western Wake county as part of The Cary News/Southwest Wake News, and recently did this piece on Cary High School’s adventure to New York for the Macy’s Parade. He can be reached at hgargan@newsobserver.com and his task to cover Cary begins immediately.

NCNGN Video

In the coming weeks you may see a promotional video from NCNGN. Cary is conspicuously absent. Know that the Mayor was stood up twice, and the production team did not include requested b-roll. Not yet available for public consumption.

Leaf Collection – On Schedule

Due to very dry conditions and a “late” leaf drop, tonnages are down this this leaf season. We are on track to have two loose leaf collections done prior to Christmas, as committed.

America Recycles Day

The Town’s seventh annual Shred Event drew over 840 participants. We collected and recycled 41,325 pounds of paper. This effort was assisted by volunteers from Green Hope High School APES.

GoCary Transit Food Drive

The fourth annual food drive was a success, with passenger donations going to Dorcas Ministries to help feed those in need in our community.

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • A concern about a rezoning request next to Marla Dorrel Park.
  • A thank you for the work I do with the town (Thank you!).
  • A concern about school reassignment at Mills Park.
  • A concern about reckless driving on Maynard Road.
  • A concern about a rezoning proposal on Ryan Road.

Next week will be a busy week and will include quasi-judicial meeting, an economic development meeting, the annual Town of Cary employees’ luncheon, a regularly scheduled council meeting, the Cary Jaycees Christmas parade, and other meetings.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, December 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.

• Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Harold2015Since this was a holiday week there was very little activity in the mayor’s office.

Monday I was scheduled to meet with the town manager but we decided to postpone our meeting.

Monday night I met with the Wake County Mayors Association. All mayors were in attendance except the Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina mayors. Two presentations were given to the mayors.

The first presentation was from the Capital Area Food Network and Community Food Lab. Their goal is to create a comprehensive plan to build a hunger free food secure Wake County.

Our second presentation was from Wake Technical Community College. They have nine campuses and centers in the area. There were a lot of interesting facts presented about Wake Tech graduates including: Wake Tech graduates had a 3.12 GPA at a UNC system institution compared to UNC native juniors overall GPA of 3.06. Eighty-eight percent of Wake Tech graduates are employed after graduation.

The remainder of the meeting was spent going around the table and getting updates from the mayors about what was going on in their municipalities.

Tuesday I met with the town manager briefly to get an update on operational matters including a water main break. The good news was that the water main break was repaired within the day. Another example of the excellent staff we have in Cary.

Later Tuesday I met with a scout working on his first class rank. His main interest was to talk about constitutional rights. In addition to that topic we discussed government authority at the local level and certain examples influenced by property rights.

My last meeting Tuesday was with a high school student interested in opportunities available in our local government. We talked about several issues including what to major in at college to pursue a political career. We had a great conversation that lasted about 45 minutes.

Thursday I was proud to watch The Cary High School Band represent Cary and North Carolina in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. What great ambassadors for Cary!

Like most Americans I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family. I have many things that I am grateful for this year. I am blessed. I hope your Thanksgiving was also a blessed one.

Emails from citizens this week included a request for information about how to get involved in Cary. If you are looking for ways to get involved check out the following links:

Other emails received this week included the following:

  • A complaint about a plan for a road in Green Level.
  • A thank you for the hard work and for the transparency. (Thank you!)
  • A thank you for landscaped medians on Carpenter Fire Station Road.
  • A request to change dangerous road conditions for bikers in Cary.

Usually holiday weeks invite very negative emails from citizens. This week was a rare exception with not only one very nice email but two. Keep them coming!

Next week’s activities include dinner at the North Carolina Metro Mayors meeting in Durham, a Chinese Arts Exhibition, the Official Cary Tree Lighting, and other meetings.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, December 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.

• Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Harold2015This week was a little slower which was nice for a change.

Monday I met with the town manager to go over several topics. We discussed the managers first 100 days, the announcement of a new assistant town manager, the on time schedule of the downtown park, the Mills Townhome proposal, Dreamfest, the General Fund, and the future mall expansion. Our meeting lasted about an hour.

Tuesday I joined council member Robinson in a taping of Cary Matters. I topic for this episode was the Koka Booth amphitheater and how it had the most successful year ever.

Later Tuesday the council held a closed session with the town manager. Since I am not allowed to discuss closed session items I can only say we are very pleased with his performance for his first 100 days. Our closed session lasted about two hours.

Wednesday I attended the Executive Board meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO). Approved items included:

  • Title VI, Minority, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and Low Income Public Outreach Plan
  • FY2017 NCDOT Bike and Pedestrian Planning Grant Applications
  • Wake County Transit Plan Implementation Update and Presentation of the FY2017 Wake County Transit Work Plan

I questioned what entity would be responsible for large capital debt and we were told Triangle Transit. Then I asked what their bond rating was and they have none but are applying for it. This is significant because the bond rating greatly impacts the interest rate which in turn could cost millions more. The highest is AAA which Raleigh, Cary and a few other municipalities have with all three major bond rating agencies.

Friday I participated in a meeting of the Metro mayors. Analysis of all races was presented in detail. In addition, we were informed about a legislative special session in mid to late December. That session will discuss providing relief to those hurt by Hurricane Matthew which caused an estimated $2 billion in damages. It is reported that the wildfires in western North Carolina may also be discussed. One controversial item that might come up would be the North Carolina Supreme court which now, for the first time in many years, is controlled by Democrats. It is reported that the legislature may expand the court by two seats and those two seats would be appointed by Governor McCrory before he leaves office. If that happens the North Carolina Supreme Court will go back to a Republican majority. This is significant since they will be reviewing district lines. The meeting ended after about 45 minutes.

Email from the town manager this week included:

Wake Transit Next Steps

With the passing of the sales tax referendum, you can expect to be involved in various actions over the next several months. This winter, an Interlocal agreement to direct funds from the new $7 vehicle registration tax to the tax district will need to be signed. Additionally, in the spring a Joint Agency Agreement for Implementation of the Wake County Transit Plan will need to be adopted. The tax levies are expected to begin in April 2017 with funds available for distribution to various projects beginning in July.

Imagine Cary Next Steps

After looking at the issue and to meet your request for an additional Imagine Cary work session, we are working to tentatively schedule a work session after the QJ meeting on January 3. We will keep you updated with additional scheduling details.

Town Operations Next Week

To accommodate the Thanksgiving holiday, the Town will college garbage, yard waste and recycling one day early for customers with Tuesday-Thursday collection days. Town offices and most staffed facilities will be closed November 24-25 and reopen for business on Monday, November 28. GoCary, along with the Citizens Convenience Center, SK8-Cary, The Cary Theater and the Cary Tennis Park will resume operations on Friday, November 25. Additionally, there will be no weekly report from me next week. I hope you’re able to mark the holiday with loved ones in gratitude and thanks.

Cary Fire Helping Western NC

On Sunday we received a request by the State Emergency Operations Center via Wake County to support firefighters engaged in the woodland fires in western NC. We promptly assembled six firefighters to make up one Engine Company and one brush crew. These firefighters were deployed to Rutherford County and worked 12-hour shifts on the 5,900-acre Table Rock fire at Lake Lure. Their goals included protecting structures from direct fire contact and maintaining fire breaks to control/contain burning areas. Another crew of six firefighters from Cary and two each from Garner, Fuquay-Varina and Apex fire departments left Thursday to relieve them.

The National Forestry Service considers the Table Rock fire as the second most problematic woodland fire occurring in the U.S. today. I’m proud of their hard work and service to our neighbors out west.

DigiPay Gets a New Look

DigiPay, our online utility payment portal, will have a new look and feel starting this Sunday. Our third party vendor, Paymentus, retained the underlying payment platform but improved the customer interface. The streamlined site provides improved guidance for customer payments or inquiring online, and offers additional scheduled payment options. DigiPay continues to be the single sign-on access point for Aquastar.

Cary Earns Bicycle Friendly Community Award

The League of American Bicyclists has designated the Town of Cary as a Bicycle Friendly Community at the Bronze Level based on our fall 2016 application.

Unity Walk

On Saturday, November 12 we welcomed roughly 300 people to downtown Cary for the first Cary Unity Walk. The group continued to WakeMed Soccer Park in a show of support for local law enforcement and an expression of unity and inclusion for all in Cary. Following a 5k at the Soccer Park, fire, police and other Wake County law enforcement agencies showed off their vehicles and tools of the trade, along with other vendor activities, games and food trucks.

Recognitions

Jimmy Simpson, a Public Works supervisor and a Certified Turf Manager, has been requested by Paul Seiler of USA Baseball to serve on the Commission on Venues and Standards Committee of the World Baseball/Softball Confederation. This commission will have oversight on venues used to host continental and world championships, including 12U, 15U, 18U, college-level and professional teams.

Nicole Raimundo has been invited to serve on the Advisory Committee for the Business Analytics Department at Wake Technical Community College. This department is committed to providing its students opportunities and experiences through which to become qualified for a career in the fields of business intelligence and business analytics.

Emails from staff this week included a notice that two trees on the 100 block of Walnut Street (future location of the new library and parking deck) are in bad shape and require removal for safety reasons.  Public Works has received an evaluation from a certified arborist indicating the trees are in a state of decline and present a safety hazard.  A contractor will be removing these trees prior to Thanksgiving.

In another email from staff we were notified that Cary was named one of the 103 Bicycle friendly communities awarded by Bicycle Friendly Community. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, visit http://www.bikeleague.org/BFA.  “The size, regional diversity and high quality bicycle friendly actions being taken within this group shows that building communities where bicycling is safe, comfortable, and convenient isn’t confined to a particular type of city or region, rather a broad movement  nationwide,” said Bill Nesper, Vice President, Programs of the League of American Bicyclists. “It is clear that communities of all kinds in every corner of the country know that making bicycling a real option for transportation and recreation is vital in building vibrant, connected communities.” We are proud to be only 1 of 2 municipalities in North Carolina to receive this award.

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • A complaint about not being able to email town council.
  • A complaint about proposed roads in Green Level.
  • A complaint about an approval in Regency that allowed the parking lot to be built before the building.
  • A request for the town (and all its citizens) to take over financial responsibility of a median contractually agreed to be maintained by a homeowner’s association.
  • A question as to whether Cary will get into the broadband business.
  • A question about crosswalks on Academy Street.
  • A concern about repairing a sidewalk on Dynasty Drive.
  • A complaint about erosion and grading in Fryars Gate.

Next week is a holiday week so my schedule is light with four meetings including a meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, November 27th.  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.

• Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Harold2015This week was an important week locally, state wide, and nationally as we held elections.

On Monday I attempted to contact all council members about concerns or questions they may have had with Thursday’s agenda for November’s regularly scheduled council meeting. Questions from council included the need for more information in the CoFounders Capital lease renewal and the Mills rezoning proposal. Later in the day I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Yerha and staff to go over the agenda.

Monday evening I attended a special presentation and the Parks Advisory Board meeting. In honor of the parks department’s Gold Medal award the following was written by advisory board member John Buben:

Twas the night before Christmas, At the Town Hall of Cary, All the staffies had gone home, Or were out “making merry.”

Council members were snuggled, Away in their beds, While visions of “Lazy Daze”, Danced in their Heads!

Their stockings were hung, By the chimneys with care, In hopes, that by morning, “Greenway Grants” would be there!

But back in the chambers, The “Boss” was still there, Our esteemed Harold Weinbrecht, Cary’s hard working Mayor!

Although his Town Staff, Was in Holiday mood, Poor Harold was feeling, Forlorn and subdued.

Our mayor held in his hand, A report very much chilling, After years as “Top Dog”, Cary no longer “Top Billing”!

While still ranked “Number One”, In several criteria, Bottom Line, it concluded — “You are somewhat inferia”!

“You’re behind Apex and Fuquay!”, The report pointed out. And then… come the reason, For this sad turnabout!

It wasn’t in Police work… Or safety… or tech… The finger was pointed at… “ohhh Nooo”! Parks & Rec.!!

“Your Greenways are littered, With branches and stones, Joggers are falling and, Breaking their bones”!

“Don’t have enough parks, Sports venues… outdated! You have no public gardens, To be cultivated”!

“Your Plan is a bummer!”, The report further chided, “The budget’s outrageous, And your goals are mis-guided!”

In spite of these problems, Don Frantz, had been told— To “sign Cary up”, To vie for NRPA “Gold”!!

Weinbrecht needed a miracle, To save him some face, And get Yerha and Robinson, Off of his case”!

To replenish our luster, To get us back above zero, Was the answer he needed— But who’d be the “Hero!??

Then out on the lawn, There arose such a clatter, Harold leaped to the window, To see what was the matter!

Although it was dark, And he could not see ideally, There was a Toyota Tacoma! And it was “Poppin’ a Wheelie”!

Harold stared in amazement, At this scene so unreal— It was Douglas McRainey, Sitting tall at the wheel!

“Lay your fears down!” Doug Cried! “I’ve come to advise!” We will be going to St. Louis, And bring back that prize!”

“I’ve assembled a team , A magnificent crowd! With talent so great— They’d make Sean Stegall proud!”

Doug jumped from his pick-up, And confronted his troops, Who had started to gather, Into functional groups!

Rubbing sleep from their eyes, They snapped to attention, And saluted their leader, When their names, he did mention!

“Dwayne Jones… Jody Jameson… Sam Trogdon… Cindi King… I Use your creative powers, To make our Rec Centers sing!”

“Lyman Collins, Joy Ennis, Robbie Stone, and Kris C., Instill culture and public art, For all of Cary to see!”

“Paul Kuhn, you’re the man— We’re depending on you, To create super Greenways, Out of… ‘Payments in Lieu’ !!”

“William Davis, our venues, Deserve your attention, To bring sports fans to Cary, And re-gain statewide mention!”

“So this town needs a winner, To inspire and enthrall, How about an arena— For Pro Pickleball?”

“Our objective is GOLD, In St. Louis, next Fall!”

“So Dash Away! Dash Away Dash Away, All!!”

They went right to the challenge, And with timing terrific, Accomplished marvelous things, That were quite Beatific!

They built parks… miles of greenways, A downtown theater… quite neat, Then they blew up… and rebuilt, All of Academy Street!”

By end of this Summer, When they finally were done, They had a Project Portfolio, Which was… “Second to None.”

Doug faced one crucial hurdle, His ADVISORY BOARD! Would they like it, or hate it? “WE LOVE IT!” they roared!

Doug reviewed it with Council, And was urged to proceed. Declared Bush, Smith, & George— “This is just what we need!”

So Doug hopped on a plane, Along with Dwayne, and LeeAnn, To the NRPA contest, To see “Who had the Best Plan.”

Two cities from Texas, One from Oregon, out west, Were the towns that they battled, In the Parks and Rec test.

“I’ve reached a decision” The judge cried with a smile— “Frankly, it’s a NO-BRAINER! CARY WINS! BY A MILE!!!”

With Cary’s reputation, Restored to great heights, Harold thanked Doug McRainey, For those long days… and nights!

To rest on his laurels, Our Doug would be justified, But significant projects, Remain to be questified!

No, he won’t take it easy, He has firmly decided, Howard Farm and Downtown Park, Is where Douglas is guided!

So he bid us farewell, To his staff gave a whistle, And left the third floor, Like the down on a thistle!

And we heard him exclaim, As he faded from sight— “GAIL TAYLOR, GET IN HERE! I NEED THIS… TONIGHT!”

What a great talent we have on our advisory board. Thanks John Buben! And congratulations to Cary Parks and Rec once again for getting the Gold Medal award.

Tuesday was Election Day and there was a tremendous turnout in Cary. I was there when my precinct opened and it took about 50 minutes to get to vote. We elected a new president, new governor, two new house members in Wake County, and some new county commissioners. I joined almost all council members at Gale Adcock’s victory celebration. Gale was the former Mayor Pro-Tem in Cary. She was overwhelmingly elected to a second term. I am so proud of her and honored to know her. Congratulations Gale!

This election was the most divisive and partisan (from the top of the ballot to the bottom of the ballot) I have seen in my life. Regardless of whether you think the President elect is a narcissist sociopath or the great savior of all time, we HAVE to come together. Our country, state, and local governments depend on it!

Wednesday I met with a startup business owner who is into marketing music. He talked about being in this area and his interactions with CoFounders Capital on Chatham Street in downtown. Cary is making a name for itself and is gaining a reputation not only for major corporations but for startup businesses.

Thursday the council held the only regularly scheduled council meeting of the month. On the agenda were 10 consent items, 5 public hearings, 8 discussion items, and 2 closed hearing items.

The meeting began by announcing the Hometown Spirit Award winner for 2016.  Each year the Hometown Spirit Award is given to a Cary resident who enhances the quality of life in Cary by preserving, promoting and carrying out positive and quantifiable traditional small-town community values and traits that include helping neighbors and fellow Cary residents, demonstrating hospitality, promoting and preserving traditional American past times, showing a concern for preservation and working to preserve traditions and the small town atmosphere, promoting entrepreneurship through supporting locally owned businesses, promoting a sense of community in their neighborhood and all of Cary, demonstrating patriotism through promotion and preservation of the country’s symbols and dedication to the US military past and present, and serving the community through business. This year I had the honor and privilege to present this award to Sheila Ogle. The press release about her says it all:

“One of Cary’s citizens who is committed to the success of our Town, Sheila Ogle, is the recipient of the Town of Cary’s annual Hometown Spirit Award; the award recognizes community-minded citizens who enhance the quality of life in Cary by preserving, promoting and carrying out positive small town community values and traits. The Town Council honored the nominees at a reception before tonight’s regular Cary Town Council meeting for their unique contributions to the community. Ogle received an award, and the Town will recognize her on a plaque inside Town Hall.

Nominated by peers, they shared, “Sheila Ogle has been, and continues to be, one of the most prominent business leaders, philanthropists, and supporters of the Town in Cary. She has dedicated her life to helping this Town bloom into one of the best places to live in the country. Sheila wants everyone in Cary to succeed.

Ogle has committed her life to Cary through job creation, charitable work, and leadership mentoring. She is quoted in her nomination as describing her dedication to our Town’s citizens. Says Ogle, “I love watching them become successful, strong leaders, and upstanding citizens.” A few examples of her community involvement and contributions résumé include founding member of several organizations, including Cary Community Foundation and Women’s Giving Networks, operator of the historic Cary landmark Matthew’s House and first women to be inducted into the UNC Advertising Hall of Fame.

Inspired by a suggestion from a Cary resident, the Hometown Spirit Award is bestowed upon citizens with demonstrated leadership and integrity. In addition, the recipient must exemplify at least one of the following criteria: help out neighbors and fellow Cary residents; demonstration hospitality; promote and preserve traditional American pastimes; show a concern for preservation and work to preserve traditions and the small-town atmosphere in the community; promote entrepreneurship through supporting locally owned businesses; promote a sense of community in their neighborhood and all of Cary; demonstrate patriotism through promotion and preservation of the country’s symbols and dedication to the U.S. military, past and present; and serve the community through business.”

Congratulations Sheila!

Of the 5 public hearings the one for the Cary Community Plan drew the most speakers. Most speakers praised the plan. However, several speakers from the SV temple were concerned about the long range plan to widen Chapel Hill Road to six lanes. This was in the Cary Community plan because the NCDOT study recommended it. In the council discussion after the public hearing we asked that staff allow us to review all major changes to thoroughfares. In the past council has said it would like to avoid 6 lane roads if at all possible. It is my belief that we will change the plan for Chapel Hill Road to be four lanes.

Our first two discussion items were for a high density development on Chapel Hill Road. This proposal matched our current and future Cary Community Plan. The only criticism was that it was not dense enough. The council approved these unanimously. Council then approved the Eastern Gateway Plan with one minor adjustment to allow flexibility in height for non-office buildings. The Eastern Gateway is bordered by Chapel Hill Road to the North, Walnut Street to the South, I40 to the East, and Maynard Road to the West. The Mills rezoning for townhomes next to Green Hope High School was tabled once again so that the developer could add conditions. The council also approved intersection improvements at Davis Drive and Waldo Rood. Our meeting concluded after over 4 hours.

Saturday morning I had the honor of giving a few remarks at the Cary Unity Walk. The purpose of this event was to bring our community together to support our first responders and to bring together all race, religions, and backgrounds. Here is an excerpt from those comments:

As some of you know, I’m fortunate to have been serving Cary as mayor for about nine years. I’m also fortunate to be employed full-time by one of the nation’s top employers—SAS. But without a doubt, my most rewarding role is being father to my beautiful daughters. They’re grown now, and as I watch them find their way as adults, I couldn’t be prouder. I know that the decisions they make today are because of what my wife and I, our church —and especially our community—did to influence them over the years. Nurturing our youth is more important today than perhaps ever before. By being here, you show that you understand that, and I’m proud of each and every one of you for making this a priority.

When your walk comes to an end this morning, please continue to look for ways to lead with love. Share your talents with a non-profit like Read & Feed. Volunteer to beautify an outdoor space in your neighborhood with our Spruce program. In lieu of holiday gifts, make a donation to the 200 Club of Wake County. Take a look around your house as you make room for new gifts and see if you have something to donate to Dorcas Ministries. A stronger community starts with each one of us, coming together for the betterment of all.

We just graduated our 39th Citizens Police Academy. It’s a 12-week program where residents get a “behind the scenes” look at what all our police do to keep our community safe. Registration for the next academy will open after the holidays. More than educational, the program is a wonderful way to better understand not just what all officers to but to see how you as a Cary resident play such a vital role in keeping our community the safest in the country.

I want to close with just a word of thanks to our police officers. Without hesitation, every day you put your lives on the line for me, my family, my neighbors, for all of us here—well, that’s just humbling. There are no words to capture my gratitude and appreciation toward every single one of you. You are a remarkable group, and I speak on behalf of the Council when I say we hope you continue to share your talents with Cary. Be safe, be professional and continue to serve with empathy, dignity and respect.

There were over 200 participants in the walk which went from downtown Cary to the Wake Med soccer park.

Saturday evening my wife and I participated in the tree lighting and Parkside Commons Shopping Center in Cary. There were about 200 people in attendance with most of them being children. There were lots of activities for the kids with Santa, face painting, bouncy houses, etc. When it was time to throw the switch I invited kids to join me. It was fun being rushed by about a dozen of excited kids. We counted down from 10 and threw the switch to light the tree and a menorah. Everyone seemed to have a great time. I hope I get invited back next year.

Sunday my wife and I attended the Beaujolais Gala. The purpose of the event was to recognize and celebrate the history of collaboration between The Sister Cities Association of Cary, Cary’s government officials and its business leaders to mutually establish, and nurture and grow cultural, economic and educational relationships with like-minded cities throughout the world.

Emails from staff this week included a notification that Cary once again received the highest bond rating from Fitch which is one of the 3 major bond rating agencies. This allows us to get the lowest possible interest on our capital expenditure loans.

Emails from citizens this week included several complaints (tis the season):

  • A concern about the Wilson Road closing.
  • A complaint about the proposed town homes on Carpenter Upchurch Road.
  • Criticism about our decision to approve a rezoning on Morrisville Carpenter Road.
  • A question about potential town regulations on solar panels (the town does not have regulations. Usually regulations come from HOAs).
  • A complaint about the angle of bricks in the intersection of Academy and Chatham.
  • A complaint about the Imagine Cary proposal to have 6 lanes on Chapel Hill road.
  • A complaint about an approved rezoning from several months ago in Regency.

 

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

Benches on Academy Street

Several benches arrived this week on Academy Street as part of the public art component for the streetscape project. These benches are designed by artist Jack Mackie of Seattle and were manufactured in Mt. Airy, NC. You’ll also now notice permanent platforms along the sidewalk; these are spaces dedicated for rotating sculpture exhibits, typically orchestrated by Cary Visual Art.

HYCC Early Voter Activity High

From October 20-November 5, Herb Young Community Center served as an early voting location for Wake County voters. Vote totals show that 32,249 votes were cast at Herb Young, making it the most popular early voting location in the County.

McDonald’s Coffee with a Cop

Earlier this week, Cary Police attended a Coffee with a Cop event hosted and organized by the McDonald’s on Walnut Street. We were approached by the franchise owner, and believe it will be the first of more to come. Several dozen people came during the two-hour session. It’s just one of the hundreds of community meetings police hold annually as we work together with the community to strengthen neighborhood spirit and foster partnerships for a safer community.

Recognitions

Lori Cove was awarded the Robert J Donge Image Award from the NC Institute of Transportation Engineers on Wednesday. This award recognizes someone who possesses “demonstrated technical competence and excellent people skills, has demonstrated record of service to the profession, the organization, and his/her community and, by personal demeanor and example, projects the best image of what a transportation professional should be.” Staff from her department accepted the award on her behalf – wearing pink!

Bryan Webb has been named Chief Residential Multi-Trade Code Official in the Inspections & Permits Department. Bryan joined the Town in 2016 as a Multi-Trade Code Official after working several years in the construction industry, specializing in the construction of residential apartment complexes throughout the southeast. In 2014, the Residential Multi-Trade Division was created within the Inspections & Permits Department in an effort to provide an increased level of customer service for existing residential customers.

Next week’s activities include a taping of Cary Matters, a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s executive committee, and the Christmas tree lighting at Waverly Place.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, November 20th.  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.

• Monday, November 07th, 2016

Harold2015This week was dominated by small meetings and events.

Monday I had my weekly meeting with the town manager to discuss several items. Some of the topics included Cary Parkway, the importance of medians on major roads, small cell technology that is coming to communities via light poles, and the future of the Carolina Railhawks. Our meeting lasted about an hour.

Late Tuesday I received the following notification from staff about gasoline supply in our area:

“You may have heard by now, that yesterday, a contract crew working on Colonial gasoline pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama hit the line during excavation, igniting the gasoline and causing a fire. Local emergency responders have contained the fire, which is being managed as a controlled burn at this time. Colonial is working on plans to repair the pipeline and restore service as quickly as possible.  At this time, they anticipate that their gasoline line will remain down for the remainder of this week, creating a potential for supply disruptions in certain areas. It appears that the terminal suppliers are a little gun shy already, but it’s very early and the total assessment has not been completed, which will tell us how long the pipeline will be delayed.    Our fuel supplier is doing everything in their power to find product where we can continued to be serviced, similar to a few months ago.  We are hopeful that we will not see a shortage in supply as we did before.”

It is my hope that if we have a shortage it will be short lived.

Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of meeting with Webelos and Den Cub Scouts from Cary Pack 120 at White Plains Methodist Church. I took a few minutes to explain to them the levels of government in North Carolina and my duties as mayor. Afterwards I answered questions for about 15 minutes. Then we took a few photos before I departed. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and am so grateful of their interest in local government.

Wednesday morning I met with a delegation from China that is opening a school in Cary. They were joined by a member from the North Carolina Commerce department and a professor from NC State. We talked very briefly and I welcomed them to Cary and thanked them for having their business here.

Afterwards I heard a presentation from Ted Abernathy and the Chamber’s Eye Opening Breakfast. Mr. Abernathy is the Managing Partner of Economic Leadership LLC, a consultancy that is currently working in more than a dozen states to develop economic strategies. He presented us with data and trends about the nation, state, and local economies. As one might suspect Cary is doing very well. One interesting prediction is that we might be headed for a mild recession in about two years. That is already occurring in other parts of the world.

Thursday the council was scheduled to meet for quasi-judicial hearings. Since there were none on the schedule the meeting was cancelled.

Sunday I had the rare honor of participating in the Eagle Scout ceremonies for 7 scouts at White Plains Methodist Church. It is rare to have one Eagle Scout so 7 was a real treat. Only two percent of all scouts achieve the rank of Eagle. Congratulations to John Eyerman, Colin Foley, Gabriel Henderson, Peter Kosnick, Alex O’Neill, Connor Rice, and Andrew Thornton

Later Sunday I hosted the town manager and his family at the Mayors Association outing at the Carolina Hurricanes game. I was proud to introduce our town manager to neighboring mayors and their council colleagues and staff. Although the Canes didn’t have a good game we had a great time.

Emails from staff this week included the 3rd quarter report. Here are some notable items from that report:

  • Population estimated to be 158,434 which is an increase of 2.4% over the last 12 months.
  • As of October 1st the town included 59.16 square miles.
  • There were 31 development projects in the quarter that included 349 residential homes or lots, 59 townhomes, an elementary school, and a hotel.
  • The average single family dwelling was 3752 square feet as compared to 3637 square feet in 2011.
  • Cary had 17.2% of the county permits which was second to Raleigh.
  • Water demand average was down .4 million gallons a day compared to last year.
  • Cary was ranked safest city in America based on FBI statistics.
  • Town staff partnered with Wake County Emergency Management to test
  • 3rd quarter fire frequency increased 43.4% compared to the same time last year.
  • USA Olympic baseball team will train at the USA training center in Cary.
  • Youth sports increased 5% over the last year.
  • Cary teen council set a record with 1086 members.
  • Three new Adopt a Spots were added bringing the total to 60 in town.
  • The Academy Streetscape project should be finished soon.
  • Walnut Street improvements should be finished soon.
  • The Downtown Park Phase 1 should be finished by the end of the year.
  • The Morrisville Parkway and I540 interchange is in design and is scheduled to be completed in 2019.
  • Improvements for the Cary Parkway and High House Road intersection is finishing design and should be completed by the end of next year.
  • The MacDonald Woods restroom replacement is just beginning design and should be completed by the end of 2018.
  • Mills Park Phase II is in design and is scheduled for completion in 2018.
  • The Cary Tennis Park expansion is scheduled for completion by summer of next year.
  • The town’s public Wi-Fi began operating on campus in August.
  • Cary’s unemployment rate was 3.6% in August.

See the entire report at http://townofcary.uberflip.com/i/745305-3q-2016-report-to-council.

The town manager’s weekly report to council included the following:

Update on Mini-Retreat

We are looking for calendar options to reschedule the tour previously scheduled as part of the October mini-retreat. You will be hearing from Ginny shortly about possible dates.

Remember that the public comment period for the FY2018 budget will occur in December. Comments received in December will be summarized in a report for consideration.

Preparing for Possible Fuel Disruption

You may have heard by now of another incident of damage to Colonial Pipeline, creating the potential to disruption services. The Town has proactively topped off our fuel tanks at the Operations Center and activated GoGas fuel cards to allow staff to fuel Town vehicles off-site until we hear further news about the pipeline.

PD Joint Study with NC State

Our Police Department recently played a role in a study conducted by NC State’s Industrial and Systems Engineering Department. The goal of this study was to determine how to enhance officer safety when responding to a call for service, including making design recommendations for future onboard computer terminal design and operation. It’s the first study of its kind, and we hope to share these learnings with other law enforcement agencies across the nation to improve the safety for all. The study was funded through a grant by the NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center. Chief Godwin was featured in the media on this topic earlier this week.

Park Furniture Arrives on Academy Street

Tables and chairs are arriving on Academy Street. The furniture invites people to make their own seating arrangements to personalize each space. Business people, parents with strollers, shoppers, people watchers, remote workers, coffee drinkers and diners are all encouraged to take a seat and enjoy!

Town Exhibitors at Cary Chamber Business Expo

Staff members from Planning and Development Services departments were exhibitors at the 2016 Cary Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. The event was November 2 at Prestonwood Country Club. Staff was able to interact with Cary’s business community during this event. Topics included the development liaison service, as well as the new Cary Community Plan.

Development Services Space Reconfiguration

With the creation of the Development Services Department in 2015 came the need for a space reconfiguration. The Development Contact Center and development liaisons will be switching spaces, resulting in a more spacious area for the contact center and an office for the Department Director, Scot Berry. Space has also been converted into an office in anticipation of a third development liaison.

Recognitions

Last week, Virginia Johnson completed the fourth and final week at the Clerks’ Certification Institute hosted by the UNC School of Government. The courses provide an in-depth look at responsibilities of municipal and county clerks, including topics such as open meetings law, public records law, and oaths of office.

We received the North Carolina Recreation & Park Association’s (NCRPA) Arts& Humanities Award for the program Artify: Celebrating National Trails Day.

Dave Hallgren has been named the Town’s Infrastructure Asset Management engineer, a new position in the Water Resources Department. He’ll work with operations and engineering staff across departments to develop asset management and condition assessment programs for the Town’s potable water, wastewater, stormwater and reclaimed water systems.

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Concerns about the Carpenter Village Core development
  • A request for help from a child to help share his Halloween candy with flood victims
  • A complaint about more proposed townhouses (Please understand that council doesn’t propose anything)
  • A complaint about Apex Community Park (Apex jurisidiction)
  • A complaint about a neighbor’s outdoor fire pit causing problems with an asthmatic child
  • A request to participate in the “Share the pie” challenge which means a pie in the face for a celebrity. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I am not available during that time. To find out more about this ministry see http://www.stepupministry.org/share-the-pie

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, the Citizen Police Academy graduation, the only regularly scheduled council meeting of the month, the tree lighting at Parkside Commons, the Beaujolais Gala, and Election Day. PLEASE VOTE!

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, November 13th.  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.

• Sunday, October 30th, 2016

Harold2015This week was a little slower than usual for this time of year.

I started the week on Monday by contacting council members for questions and concerns about Thursday’s agenda for our second regularly scheduled meeting of the month. Concerns were expressed about the Mills proposal, the Carpenter Village proposal, an LDO amendment allowing staff decisions for some downtown items, and the council’s calendar.

Later Monday I met with staff to go over the items on the agenda. Based on our discussion we expected to hear from people against the Mills proposal during the Public Speaks Out portion of our meeting. I estimated the meeting would take about 3 hours.

Tuesday I talked with a developer representative that had two items on Thursday’s agenda. He is also representing the Cary Town Mall. In our discussion about the mall he believes they will come forward with a proposal in the near future to redevelop part of the mall. That is exciting news.

Wednesday I visited Davis Drive Elementary’s 3rd grade class which was a hoot! Each of the seven third grade classes elected a class Mayor. I met with each of the mayors for about 15 minutes talking about my duties as mayor and answered questions that they had. Then we took a few photos before going to an assembly of all the 3rd graders. I spoke to them about my duties and explained a little about different levels of government. Then I answered questions for about 20 minutes. Afterwards I took a picture with each class. I got a lot of hugs and high fives after each picture. What a treat!

Thursday the council’s regularly scheduled council meeting lasted over four hours. There were eight items on the consent agenda, six public hearings, six discussion items, and a closed session. In the public hearing portion of the meeting the council praised the Arbors on Wrenn Drive for proposing to add amenities to an existing apartment community.

The council also closed a portion of Wilson Road after a public hearing. Residents wanted no construction traffic and a connection to Cary Parkway. The developer promised to use the remainder of Wilson Road for construction. The connection to Cary Parkway is in Morrisville’s jurisdiction so that really can’t be considered in a Cary decision.

Under the discussion items council approved a legacy program to allow people to purchase park benches in honor or memory of someone. The council also approved the Booth amphitheater budget and the Carpenter Village rezoning. The council tabled the Mills rezoning next to Green Hope High school to get more information about the density and the buildable acreage.

Saturday I had the honor and privilege of welcoming guests to the 58th Cary Band Day competition at Cary High School. I returned later in the evening to thank everyone for attending and invited them back to next year’s competition. All four Cary High School bands played during the day at this competition. Cary and Green Hope played in exhibition and did not compete. Middle Creek and Panther Creek both competed in their classes. All were outstanding and I am so proud that they are all in Cary.

This week council was notified that the Umstead Hotel in Cary is ranked as the #26 best hotels in the world by Conde Nast. Congratulations Umstead! Thanks for being in Cary.

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

A-Team Prepares with Annual Winter Weather Drill

On Wednesday the A-Team assembled for a five-hour refresher on what to do during inclement winter weather. Staff conducted a full “mock” three-inch snow storm, beginning with advanced planning meetings, “brining” operations using water, mounting all spreaders and plows, and driving snow routes to include main thoroughfares and primaries within subdivisions. Additionally, several training stations were set up to include chainsaw safety, vehicle safety, plowing techniques and safe driving tips. The event ended at noon with an Italian feast for lunch. This year’s winter storm inventory includes 76 pieces of equipment – 55 plows and 21 spreaders – along with 900 tons of salt and 2,500 tons of salt/sand mix.

Federal Disaster Declaration

On Tuesday Wake County received a Federal Disaster Declaration, allowing 100-percent of storm related costs to be reimbursed (75% by the federal government/ 25% by the state.)

We have calculated a rough estimation of the costs directly related to storm, storm damage or storm response. All costs will be reimbursed by the 75%/25% split, except for Swiftwater Mutual Aid costs which will be reimbursed 100-percent by the state. Keep in mind, all of these numbers are subject to further investigation and validation by FEMA.

  • Reimbursable damages minus deductible – $26,000
  • Salaries for working the storm – $142,556.59
  • Apparatus and equipment used – $49,972.03
  • Reimbursable supplies and materials – $11,250.02
  • Swiftwater Mutual Aid cost – $29,070.72

Google Fiber Continues Work in Cary

Google announced plans this week to pause operations and exploratory discussions on any “potential Fiber cities.” This announcement does not include the Raleigh-Durham area. Google released a statement saying, “Google Fiber will continue in Morrisville and in fact, we’re still on track to start accepting signups in six other cities throughout the Triangle aligned with our plan. We can’t wait to offer superfast Internet to more residents in the Raleigh-Durham area.”

New Pay by Phone Service

Utility customers now have the option to pay their bills by phone any day, any time using an interactive voice response system. Customers may always opt out of the automated payment system to speak with staff during business hours. This feature launched on Wednesday, and within the first five hours, 21 customers chose the automated payment methods. While this phone option appears counter-intuitive in the age of online services, our early experience is consistent with other utilities. Beyond fees that we incur to accept credit card payments already, the service is a feature provided at no additional cost through our DigiPay vendor. Because automated phone payments reduce the calls handled by staff, this new service allows us to stretch our staff resources to support our growing customer base.

Also, we’ve updated our utility bills to match the Town’s new color palette, and the back of our bills were reformatted for easier reading.

Recognitions

Today marks School Resource Team Commander Tracey Barker’s retirement. Working his way from patrol officer, Lt. Barker served as Community Services Officer, Watch Commander, Traffic Safety Team Commander, detective, and Emergency Response team member. He retires with 24 years and 9 months of service with the Town.

 

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Opposition to closing a portion of Wilson Road.
  • Opposition to the Mills rezoning.
  • A request to spruce up Cary memorial park before Veterans Day

Next week’s activities will include staff meetings, a visit with Weblos Pack 120, Eagle Scout ceremony for six young men, and a taping of Cary Matters.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, November 6th.  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.

• Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Harold2015This week was a difficult week that included a tragic accident and several events.

Monday I met with the town manager to go over several events. Topics we discussed included Dreamfest 2017, the council-staff mini working retreat, the town’s upcoming winter weather exercise, USA baseball, the General Capital Reserve Fund, and CAMPO projects.

Later Monday I met with the mayors of Wake County. Attending were Fuquay-Varina Mayor Byrne, Holly Springs Mayor Sears, Knightdale Mayor Roberson, Raleigh Mayor MacFarlane, Wake Forest Mayor Jones, Wendell Mayor Gray, and Zebulon Mayor Matheny. We talked about a variety of topics including whether or not neighboring municipalities should recruit businesses from each other with incentives.

Monday night I received a call notifying me of a tragic accident with one of the town’s directors, Lori Cove. As a director of transportation and facilities Lori frequently works with the council. She is an extremely intelligent woman who always has a smile on her face. The council and staff love her dearly and were very shaken by the news. As a result the mini working retreat scheduled for the next day was cancelled.

Tuesday I spoke to the Cary Rotary Club on current issues. My topics included Imagine Cary, the Eastern Gateway, Google Fiber, Downtown streetscape and development, Impacts of HB2, our new town manager, and recent accolades. Afterwards I answered a few questions.

Later Tuesday I joined several council members and visited the staff director at the hospital. Council and staff directors and managers spend a lot of time together so they are like family. I was there a just a few hours.

Wednesday I attended the Executive Board meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO). There were three consent items, two public hearings, and three items for discussion. Two discussion items were information only and in the third CAMPO approved the Wake County Transit Planning Advisory Committee Meeting Schedule, Work Product Deadlines, and Identification of Lead Agencies for Responsibilities. Are meeting lasted about an hour.

Thursday I spoke to about three dozen Prestonwood seniors about current issues. I talked many of the things I discussed with the Rotary Club earlier in the week. I answered numerous questions. Questions from this group mostly dealt with issues surrounding them such as road construction. I was there about two and a half hours.

The report for the town manager included the following items:

Pink for Lori Cove

Everything this week has been eclipsed by the terrible news of Lori Cove’s hit and run. My focus has been and will continue to be threefold: ensure that Lori and her family are well taken care of; be personally engaged with our employees on a human level regarding the toll this tragedy is taking on them; and, fully support Police’s criminal investigation.

Within a few hours of the crash, we have had staff at the hospital to support Lori and her family, which we are continuing for the foreseeable future. Employees are providing meals and meeting other requests from the family, including wearing something pink – Lori’s favorite color – to work today.

I’ve stressed with employees that we must take care of each other, and they are taking advantage of grief counseling we’ve made available.  I’ve also told them that during crises, productivity will go down, and that’s okay.  I will keep you updated on significant changes we make to project timelines. I have promised to continue sharing updates with employees on Lori’s condition whenever it changes.

As for our law enforcement activities, I couldn’t be more proud of the incredible effort being made by our police and their partners.  It can become complicated when the same organization that is experiencing a tragedy is also tasked with the criminal investigation.  I’ve made it very clear that what’s important now is that all of us be extremely disciplined with our communications about the event so that we don’t inadvertently do anything to jeopardize the case against the driver.  To this end, I encourage you to send any requests from the media to my office.

Lori represents everything you could want in a public servant: humble, bright, a zest for life. She is an inspiration for us all.

Hurricane Donations at Fire Stations

The community came out in droves last weekend in support of our collection efforts for Hurricane Matthew victims. Roughly 12.5 tons of personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies were donated and then delivered by our firefighters on Monday to our neighbors in Lumberton, NC.

 Aquastar Update

The Aquastar portal now features a new look and feel. It also now allows for five emails per alert (only one text per alert), and a drop-down menu for customers with multiple meters that includes the service and meter number. In conjunction with the front facing portal, we’ve converted to a cloud based meter interface system that improves the overall efficiency and accuracy of the system. Customers will now see usage in increments of 10 gallons.

Assistance Provided to Durham County

We provided mutual aid assistance to Durham County with a water transfer Monday night that continued through approximately 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. The water transfer was requested because of a temporary upset condition experienced with the filters at one of Durham’s water plants.

The team from the Cary/Apex Water Plant did a great job of responding to the request. In total, Cary has transferred 1.85 million gallons. Durham staff was very appreciative of our support.

Cary Locomotive – December

The “Town of Cary” locomotive is scheduled for completion and delivery later this calendar year.  If everything checks out with its acceptance tests it should go into daily Piedmont service early winter 2017.  You may remember hearing about this project on your ride to Charlotte in 2014 for the annual retreat. The locomotive was rebuilt by Higher Power Industries and Norfolk Southern Railroad in Altoona, PA.

Federal Government Bus Tour

At the request of the federal government, a bus tour will arrive in the Cary Depot overflow lot at approximately 2 p.m. on Monday, October 24 for a media conference that starts at 3 p.m. Secretary Perez will be participating on the bus tour with Americans for Responsible Solutions. The tour, which has been on the road for three weeks, will come through the Triangle on Monday before going on to Greensboro and Winston-Salem Tuesday.

 

Emails from citizens the week included:

  • A concern about having a reverse 911 system (we do have one, see http:/www.townofcary.org/Departments/townmanagersoffice/pio/ReacyCary.htm )
  • A complaint about Cary’s bike lanes (Legislation allows for bicyclists to take a whole lane as of October 1st. Cary and other communities added the markings to help make it safer.)
  • A concern about Carpenter Village Core building issues (this is a staff level decision and not a council decision.)
  • A complaint about a developing neighborhood not finishing promised infrastructure before Certificate of Occupancy were issues (enforcement is staff level).

Next week’s activities include a regularly scheduled council meeting, a talk at Davis Drive Elementary, and Cary Band Day events.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, October 30th.  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.

• Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Harold2015This week was dominated by time spent at the SAS Championships golf tournament in Cary and Diwali.

Monday I spoke at an assembly of the Cary Academy middle school. I was joined by former legislator Jennifer Weiss as we spoke about our roles in local government and politics. Then we fielded questions from the audience. It was great fun and I hope to be invited to a future event.

Monday afternoon I attempted to contact all council members about the agenda for Thursday’s regularly scheduled meeting. I was able to contact all but one and there were very few concerns. Later in the day I met with key staff members and Mayor Pro-Tem Yerha to review the agenda. After the review I believed the meeting would last less than an hour.

Monday evening I met with the town manager to go over current events. Most of our time was spent going over the plans for next week’s council-staff mini retreat.

Tuesday I joined council member Jack Smith, town manager Sean Stegall, and Chamber President Howard Johnson at the SAS Pro-Am Pairing party. At this event we participate in a trivia contest (like they have in some bars) to determine the order of picking the pros for Wednesday’s and Thursday’s Pro-Am golf rounds. Out of over 40 teams we finished 3rd. Last year I think we finished 41 out of 45 teams.

Wednesday I participated in the Pro-Am with my foursome from the trivia contest. Our pro for the day was Loren Roberts. He has won 8 events on the PGA tour and 13 events on the Champions tour. He was very kind and we had a great time although we were not competitive.

Thursday morning I participated in the second day of the Pro-Am with my foursome. Our pro for this day was Wayne Levi. Over his career he has won 12 events on the PGA tour and 2 events on the Champions tour. He was a bit more talkative and we talked about ways he could get back to his home in Florida (with all the interstate closures). As a team we played better the second day and were in first after one hole. We stayed in contention until our 14th hole.

Thursday afternoon I did a taping for the Golf Channel welcoming everyone to the SAS Championships and inviting them to visit Cary. We took two takes of me using the teleprompter and two takes of me memorizing the script. I hope the taping turned out well.

Thursday night the council held its first regularly scheduled meeting of the month. On the agenda were 11 consent items, 2 public hearings, and 8 discussion items. Decisions included a $30,000 grant for the recycling program, approval of a resolution to allow K-9 dogs to be given to their owners (no brainer), street improvements for the fiscal year, and direction to proceed with 3 council initiated items. Our meeting concluded after a little over an hour.

Saturday I had the pleasure of giving opening remarks at the 16th annual celebration of Diwali held at Koka Booth Amphitheater. Here is an excerpt from my remarks:

Good afternoon! On behalf of the entire Cary Town Council and the 157,000 people who call Cary home, I want to welcome everyone to our beautiful Koka Booth Amphitheater, which today is home to our annual Cary Diwali. This event is the largest open air festival of its kind in the southeastern United States. It’s our largest fall cultural festival, and the second largest event we host at Koka Booth Amphitheater. We couldn’t be prouder to have you all here. In the audience, I would like to recognize some of our special guests Mayor Pro-Tem Yerha from Cary, council member Bush from Cary, Mayor Stohlman from Morrisville, Mayor Pro-Tem Rao from Morrisville, and of course Congressman David Price. Thank you all for attending.

This year’s theme is Yatra [pronounced yah-tra]: A Journey In Time. Today, we’ll together celebrate a wondrous civilization that is as ancient as it is modern. I’m no history buff, but I do know that when we all pause to learn about our past, our future becomes brighter. It cultivates a sense of understanding, and provides opportunity for our community to unite and blossom together.

In fact, events like Diwali are critical to keeping Cary healthy and successful by getting to know the values, experiences, and talents that each of us offers, something so critical in today’s world. Congratulations to our Indian/American residents for once again creating such a successful festival, and I thank each of you for providing the opportunity to experience the wonderful and diverse elements of your heritage. Yours is a strong and rich culture, and by choosing to call Cary home, you make our community stronger and richer, too. …

I departed after watching several acts and returned later in the day with my wife to enjoy the evening main event and the fireworks. This year’s main acts were Ila Arun, Sonika Sharma, Vijaylakshmi, and Anupam Amod. It was an upbeat Bollywood style performance with lots of dancing. I actually got pulled on the stage twice to dance and closed on the catwalk with Ila Arun at the end. Normally I would have been extremely embarrassed since I can’t dance, but I got over that last year when they pulled my on stage. Needless to say it was a lot of fun.

Sunday I had the pleasure to attend the final round of the SAS Championships. I had the pleasure of watching Doug Garwood shoot an amazing round of 64 to win the tournament. What a great tournament and a great event for Cary.

There was a lot of media attention this week about a 7 year old boy who was allegedly beaten by first-graders on a bus because of his religion. Cary is a diverse, welcoming community made stronger through the unique talents, skills, and experiences of all our citizens. Nothing is more important than protecting public safety, and we’ve taken very seriously the disturbing media reports about the 7 year old boy with Pakistani heritage. Our police department has been coordinating with the school system to uncover details related to this matter. At this time, nothing has been found, and no police report has been filed.

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • A request for more parks and greenways in west Cary.
  • A concern about the brickwork at the intersection of Academy Street and Chatham Street.
  • A complaint about bike markings on major roads in Cary.
  • A question about Google fiber.
  • Several emails about Rachael Dolezal participating in Dreamfest 2017 (Jireh Management organized this and not the town).

Here are some of the items from the town manager’s report:

FirstNet: Radio Access Network

Existing public safety radio (in the Town and across the nation) supports voice but not data communications. The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created an authority known as FirstNet. FirstNet has been charged to design, construct, deploy, and operate the first nationwide wireless public safety broadband radio access network (‘RAN’). FirstNet must act in consultation with federal and local authorities and must present their plan for building the RAN to each state. States may opt in or opt out of the FirstNet plan, but if a state opts out the state must develop and implement an alternative approved plan. The Town is taking steps to be prepared to review and comment on the FirstNet plan for N.C.

Cary Fire Water Rescue Teams

At the request of NC Division of Emergency Management, we have deployed two water-rescue teams consisting of 10 personnel, two boats and several vehicles. The team has landed in Greenville, housed in Greenville fire stations and will be sent to retrieve/rescue citizens who are trapped in Tar River floodwaters. Thanks to the Fire Department, with assistance from Finance and Public Works, in coordinating the logistics to make this happen. 

Downtown Clock Construction

The downtown clock fell over while the contractors were excavating around the base to install the new brick base. The contractor is working to move the clock to their yard, order parts and perform repairs.

New Open Data Story as Part of Fire Prevention Week

In support of Fire Prevention Week, we’ve gathered and made public multiple datasets related to our fire services. Along with the datasets, we’ve published a story that digests the data and showcase the Fire Department as it supports outreach, training and response, all of which contribute to a successful fire program.

December is Budget Input Month

For FY2018 budget, the public comment period will occur in December. Comments received in December will be summarized in a report for consideration. Moving this comment period from October to December will allow staff time to reflect on what was discussed at the mini-retreat.

Mayton Inn/HUD Update

Town staff and HUD staff completed negotiations this week that will allow for the closing of the $1.4 million Section 108 loan and reimbursement to the Town by the end of this month.

Recognitions

I’d like to thank all town staff involved in our Hurricane Matthew response efforts. Those efforts included responding to 60 downed trees, numerous street floods, 45 signal outages and hundreds of calls to the emergency 911. The Town experienced nearly double the amount of rainfall that was forecast (9.7 inches recorded at the South Cary Water Reclamation Facility). I’m very appreciative of everyone’s efforts to keep all citizens safe during and after the storm.

Next week will continue to be busy for me. Activities will include a meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association, two big speaking engagements, a council-staff mini working retreat, and a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s executive board.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, October 23rd.  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.

• Sunday, October 09th, 2016

Harold2015This week was much slower than the past week and next week. It is kind of like the calm in between the storms. And speaking of storms, Hurricane Matthew had a big impact on Cary and North Carolina this week.

Monday I met with the town manager for our one-on-one. We really didn’t have a lot to discuss so we spent our time talking about personal issues such as golf.

Later Monday I met with a town staff member responsible for the new website that should be available to the public by the end of the year. I tested the site and used the search engine to see how much it has improved. It was much faster. My understanding is that some of the improvement gains were because meeting minutes and other similar items were archived. I hope to get a beta version in November.

Tuesday I did an on camera interview with Mark Stewart’s real estate team on what makes Cary great. We also talked about the future of Cary. The entire session lasted about 30 minutes.

Wednesday I did a radio interview with WDUR. It is this area’s only 24/7 South Asian Station. In the interview I talked about my role as mayor, diversity, and the upcoming Diwali festival in Cary. The interview lasted about 20 minutes.

Thursday I participated in promotional photos for the upcoming SAS golf Championships to be held at Prestonwood next week. I was taking pictures with the Charles Schwab Cup trophy. Played in late October or early November each year, it is PGA Tour Champions’ equivalent of the PGA Tour’s Tour Championship, and was formerly known as the Senior Tour Championship. The field for this championship will be small and only have the top 36 golfers. The trophy can only be handled with gloves during photo ops so my photos had me handling it with white gloves.

The Cary Chamber of Commerce was having an event across from town hall during the time of the photo shoot so I talked the handler to going over there for more photo ops. I made a few remarks at the event and was only able to stay about 30 minutes.

Friday I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of the new Proto Labs facility in Cary. Proto Labs, based in Minnesota, recently acquired FineLine Prototyping out of Raleigh. The company, which received state and local incentives, pledged to create 170 new jobs at its new site off Pleasant Grove Church Road. Proto Labs has invested heavily in 3D printing and now has one of the largest facilities in the world with about 77,000 square feet. I was given a tour of the facility and was able to see several types of 3D printing from nylon powder, metal powder, and from an epoxy resin. The company employs not only computer scientists and industrial engineers but several in manufacturing jobs including high school students. I wished them great success and reminded them that the town will do everything we can to help them thrive and prosper.

Saturday the area experienced rain and wind from Hurricane Matthew. There was over six and a half inches of rain at my house which exposed a leak and I was a lucky one. There were several large trees that fell in my neighborhood including one in my cul-de-sac. Many throughout Cary and North Carolina suffered damage to their homes and properties with downed trees and flooding. About one fourth of the local area was without power.

Emails from staff this week included a notification of that The American Academy for the Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has named Cary as a recipient of the 2016 National Gold Medal Grand Plaque Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. This is the highest honor a community can receive in this field. This Gold Medal Award honors communities throughout the United States that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and innovative approaches to delivering superb park and recreation services with fiscally sound business practices. I am proud to be mayor of a community that continues to demonstrate excellence in everything we do. A big thank you to all those in our Parks Recreation and Cultural Resources for all their hard work in making the town’s programs and facilities one of the best in the country.

In another email from staff council was notified that Academy Street is now open for two way traffic. This project that took about a year and a half, included repairing sewer pipes, installing manholes, constructing water lines and storm drainage, relocating power and gas lines, changing out streetlights and traffic signals, laying asphalt and installing close to 300,000 brick pavers. Work will continue on electrical infrastructure and LED light installation, landscaping and public art placement in the form of granite benches as well as solar-powered light pavers in the sidewalks similar to those in front of the Cary Arts Center. Phase one of the Downtown Park will also continue throughout the rest of this year.

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

Wake County Presentation

On Monday, October 10, I’ll join staff in making a presentation to the Wake County Board of Commissioners on Hotel Occupancy Tax funding for projects at WakeMed Soccer Park and the Cary Tennis Park. Specifically, we are asking for funding to convert the soccer field to a synthetic turf field and to add public Wi-Fi at WakeMed Soccer Park. At the Cary Tennis Park, we’re seeking to expand spectator seating, boost court lighting for expanded play, and resurface aging courts. We believe these facility improvements are necessary to meet the demands of the increasingly competitive tournament sports venue options. In total, these projects are estimated to cost roughly $3.47 million.

Prioritizing Goals for CityVision 2016 Conference

CityVision 2016, the NC League of Municipalities annual conference is coming soon, October 23-25. This year, the League is including the Goals Advocacy conference in conjunction with the annual conference, on Sunday, October 23.  At that time, the membership will be prioritizing the goals they will be actively pursuing over the next biennium.  Potential goals have been recommended by the League’s legislative and regulatory advisory committees as well as the board. Town staff has reviewed these potential goals and recommends the following “Top-5” ranking:

  1. Support municipal authority over municipal personnel issues. [Don’t implement state mandates over local personnel issues.]
  2. Support legislation that defends the fiscal integrity of the Local Government Employees’ Retirement System. [Long-term fiscal responsibility]
  3. Support solutions addressing established use impairments in waters that are based on current site-specific data and analysis. [Water quality]
  4. Support legislation that gives deference to community water systems. [Orderly, predictable long-range water supply planning.]
  5. Support legislation that provides for municipal elections to be determined by local municipal authority. [Oppose state-mandated changes to local election cycles.]

The conference will be held in Raleigh.

National Guard Assistance

We’re doing what we can to help the National Guard with a jet fuel spill that occurred at RDU earlier this week while the Guard was preparing for Hurricane Matthew. The estimated 4,200-gallon incident occurred on October 4, and we’ve been asked to take the wastewater from the cleanup. We’re looking at our system parameters and talking with regulators. I expect the work to continue through this weekend and am hopeful we’ll be able to meet the request. 

Raleigh Mutual Aid Request

On Tuesday, staff fulfilled a mutual aid request from the City of Raleigh. Within 30 minutes of the request, water was flowing through our Trinity Pump Station Interconnection at about 2.8 gallons per minute, keeping Raleigh’s tanks from falling while not disrupting service to our utility customers. By 11 a.m., Raleigh resolved its problem, and we returned to normal operations. Early estimates indicate we transferred about 284,000 gallons of water. Raleigh staff was nothing but complimentary of our support, and I’m proud of our staff for their quick response in helping our neighbor in need.

ReadyWake Call Success

On Thursday, staff partnered with the Wake County Emergency Management Center to activate our first Town-wide test of the County’s reverse 911 system, ReadyWake. Since March, enrollment jumped from 420 contacts to 6972 — a 1560% increase in self-registration. Initial reports show that roughly 99% of calls were successful. We’re thrilled to see such positive results from this added level of service to our community.

Accelerator School at WMSP

On Tuesday, the NC Council of State unanimously consented to the Town of Cary’s sublease with Accelerator School, LLC allowing a middle school organized around the training of young, elite soccer players at WakeMed Soccer Park.  

Recognitions

I’d like to recognize Karen Mills for her participation in the Envision Carolina conference at SAS Headquarters on October 4. Karen joined the ranks of well-respected Smart Cities leaders in presenting information on our Aquastar project.

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Several complaints about Rachael Dolezal as a speaker at Dreamfest (the council had nothing to do with the selection or organization of this event).
  • A request to fund Cameron Pond Park (Cary has a long list of park needs and we prioritize them with available funding).
  • A complaint about bike markings on major roads in Cary.
  • A complaint about construction quality at Academy Street and Chatham Street.
  • A complaint about an English mistake in my journal.
  • Several invitations to events.

Next week’s activities include the first regularly scheduled council meeting of the month, a speaking engagement at Cary Academy, the SAS Championship, and Diwali.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, October 16th.  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.

• Monday, October 03rd, 2016

Harold2015This was a long and busy week for me and included a couple of late nights.

Monday I met with the town clerk to go over a few items including our sister city policy. We currently have groups from India and China interested in creating a sister city relationship with Cary.

Later Monday I met with the town manager to go over current issues. Our conversation included CAMPO projects, Dreamfest, Wake County touring our facilities (related to the Meal and Hotel Occupancy tax), organizational assessment, our fiscal year position ending June 30th, and business recruitment. Our meeting lasted about an hour.

Tuesday I was the emcee at the Council, Boards, and Commissions joint meeting. The meeting included a meal followed by the recognition of outgoing members, a presentation of boards and commissions’ accomplishments and plans, and a staff and council update of downtown and other projects. In my remarks I talked about the Imagine Cary Planning process, the Eastern Gateway Plan, development activity and trends, the website update, and the installation of Google fiber. It was great to have so many of our boards and commission members in attendance so that we could hear from them and thank them for their service. Cary is the great town due in part to these great volunteers. Thanks to all of them for giving their time and talents so that we can all enjoy a better quality of life.

Wednesday I was informed that Cary was ranked the safest city in America based on recent FBI crime statistics (http://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/09/28/americas-safest-cities-2/6/). Year after year Cary has been ranked one of the safest communities in the nation. This occurs because of the great partnerships between the citizens, the police department and town. I would like to give a special thanks and recognition to our police chief and his department which is one of the best in the nation.

Wednesday afternoon I was scheduled to do a promotional video for NCNGN. This is a regional initiative focused on stimulating the deployment of next generation broadband networks in North Carolina. The goal is to encourage private sector providers to deliver ultra-fast bandwidth at highly affordable prices to ensure our regions and state remain competitive and at the forefront of developing the next-generation applications essential to all sectors of the economy. Unfortunately, they were unable to make our scheduled time.

Later Wednesday I met with a group from the SV Temple in Cary. They would like to buy properties around the temple which includes an historic sight. Our conversation was about how to preserve the historic sight if they bought and developed the property.

Wednesday night I attended the screening of a documentary called “Generation Found”. I gave opening remarks and then several dozen of us watched the film. Afterwards there was a discussion on the growing youth addiction and drug use in our community and region. Opiate addiction is a fast growing problem across the nation, in our region, and in our community. One person stated that in their small support group alone 4 kids died from overdoses in the last 10 months. The film offered an overview of real solutions to this crisis facing our youth such as sober high schools and alternative peer groups. To find out more see http://rcnc.org/.

Thursday I met with a developer and his representative about land they are buying in West Cary in a prominent location. Their intention is to eventually develop this as a mixed use. If their investment comes to fruition it would create hundreds of jobs and add millions to the tax base. Our meeting lasted about an hour.

Saturday I participated in the annual Fall Litter Sweep. There were several dozen people in my shift as we covered the Kildaire Farm Road area between Maynard Road and Cary Parkway. I had the joy of working with a crew of two young girls and their dads. If you would like to be involved in a future litter sweep or would like to Adopt a Spot in Cary please contact Sarah Justice with the Town of Cary.

Here are excerpts from the town managers’ report this week:

Police’s ERT Strikes Gold

It’s a pleasure to share that our Police Department’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) was named overall champion at this week’s NC Justice Academy & NC Tactical Officers Association’s Annual SWAT Competition. The competition is a grueling three days of mental and physical challenges. This is a team first since its formation in 1993.

The award comes on the heels of being ranked earlier this week by national publications as the safest community of our size in America. I couldn’t be more proud, and I just want to again recognize the work of Chief Godwin and everyone in our Police Department for everything they do to create a safe place for our citizens to live, work and raise their families.

DOJ Charges Former Cary Employee

As you already know, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release announcing the conviction of former water sampling technician Christopher Miller. On Monday, he pleaded guilty to falsifying water sample records.

What you may not already know is that we have implemented many improvements to our processes including advanced certifications and training for water sampling staff, diversification of water sampling staff, and stronger custody management through an electronic system that tracks water sample chain of custody from the sample collection location to the laboratory.

Jordan Lake Turnover

Utilities staff continues to monitor the lake, and we believe it’s now fully mixed with consistent DO (dissolved oxygen). We have seen instances in the past if the temperatures rises the lake will partially stratify again for brief periods. We will continue to monitor conditions closely. Water quality remains very good and we are not experiencing any taste or odor issues.

Wake County Tour Debrief

On Friday, September 23, Doug McRainey, Lana Hygh and I gave a tour of the Town’s three sports venues to Wake County administrative staff, including: Jim Hartmann, Wake County Manager; Dave Ellis, Deputy County Manager; Denise Foreman, Assistant to the County Manager and Chris Dillon, Intergovernmental Relations Manager. We toured the USA Baseball National Training Complex, the Cary Tennis Park and WakeMed Soccer Park. Based on the growing importance of Cary’s venues to the region’s economy, the County Manager requested this tour so that his administrative staff would be better acquainted with these facilities.

Mayton Inn/HUD Process Continues

Despite our best efforts and meeting all of our self-imposed deadlines, we are still negotiating contract terms with HUD. As a result, the loan did not close by September 30. Staff is working to keep the process moving despite some planned vacations of the key staff at HUD.

Fuel Update – Back to Normal

Staff has spoken with our fuel supplier and confirmed that they have reserved fuel for us to be delivered as part of normal processes. Therefore, the Operations Center is now open to all and we are resuming normal fueling procedures. A special thanks to our department directors for the work they did to come up with conservation goals and continuity of operations planning.

Recognitions

On Tuesday evening, Town Council and staff recognized all of the outgoing Board and Committee members for volunteering their time and efforts on behalf of the Town. A special thanks and appreciation goes to the Clerk’s Office for organizing a great event that featured a presentation from Ted Boyd, Downtown Manager.

I also want to congratulate Brian Stark for his recent promotion to Operations Manager with the Inspections & Permits Department. Brian has been with the Town since 2006 when he started as a Multi-Trade Code Official.

And in a Town first, we live-streamed the ICMA Virtual Conference in Council Chambers. This opportunity was open to all staff and I’m pleased that staff was able to participate as their schedule permitted.

 

Emails from staff included an update on the Academy Street construction. The contractor did not connect one of the sewer services for the United Methodist Church.  It was not identified on the plans but was identified when the active laterals were dye tested prior to lining the sewer main and should have been replaced then.  This will delay the two way traffic on Academy into early October which is approximately a one week delay.  The contractor will need to remove pavement, sidewalk, etc. to make the connection to the Academy sewer main.

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Comments about a potential sister city in China.
  • A complaint about potholes in Cary.
  • A complaint about the road conditions at the entrance to MacGregor Downs.
  • A complaint about traffic related to a school at Harrison and Maynard.
  • Several invitations to events and speaking engagements.

Next week will slow down enough to give me a little of a breather. My week includes interviews, meetings, and events.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, October 9th.  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.