• Sunday, January 15th, 2017

This week was an unusually slow week in the mayor’s office.

Monday I met with the town manager to go over several items. First we had a quick debrief on the town’s response to the snow/ice storm. Based on the information gathered Cary did very well and much better than our neighboring municipalities. Other topics discussed included the council/staff working retreat, a downtown business, the website redesign, develop update of the state property, redevelopment of the mall property, the town manager’s meeting with SAS, and my upcoming State of Cary address. Our meeting concluded after about an hour and fifteen minutes.

Tuesday I toured the CiVentiChem facility on Sheldon Drive. This is a pharma chemical company that does lab work. They describe themselves as a global provider of contract research, development, and manufacturing services with focus on providing simple solutions to complex chemistry. In layman’s terms they do chemical work for new drugs that may or may not be introduced in the market. My understanding is that all drugs have an active chemical ingredient in addition to additives for preserving and stabilizing. CiVentiChem does their chemical lab work on the active ingredient portion and produces a report as well as the solid form of that active ingredient. This is then passed along to the companies that make the drug. CiVentiChem employs close to twenty people with PhD’s in Chemistry.  Their equipment and facilities are worth millions of dollars. I was able to tour the various labs and actually see chemists at work. I spent about half an hour touring. I wish them great success and am glad they are in Cary.

Saturday I had the honor of providing welcome remarks at the 2017 Dreamfest Diversity Summit. Here is an excerpt from the remarks I made:

“I’m Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, and I’m honored to join you on behalf of our Town Council and the 157,000 people who call Cary home. Welcome to Dreamfest! This annual, weekend-long event celebrates the life, work and mission of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through a wide range of programs like today’s Diversity Summit.

We’ve held Dreamfest annually in Cary since 1999, and I’m proud of the opportunity to both highlight and reflect on the values Dr. King taught us through his example. The values of courage, truth, unconditional love, forgiveness and non-violence resonate with us all, regardless of our gender, race or ethnicity, Like King, we at the Town of Cary value the quality of life of our citizens, and we will continue to promote activities that encourage diversity in our community. …”

The Dreamfest Summit had two panel discussions. The first was with Pastors and the second was with educators. We are so blessed to have such a diverse community and people willing to discuss the hard issues.

Emails this week included the following announcement:

“North Carolina Football Club announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire the rights to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) 2016 Champion Western New York Flash. The club will be renamed North Carolina Courage (also referred to as NC Courage) and will play at WakeMed Soccer Park in the 2017 NWSL season. …”

We are so very proud to have a professional women’s team in Cary. We look forward to supporting them.

Email from the town manager’s report included:

Interbasin Transfer (IBT) Allocation Update

The EMC Water Allocation Committee met on January 11 and DEQ staff presented the Jordan Lake Allocation recommendations as an informational item. There was no discussion after the presentation about its content as the Committee heard a similar presentation last year. The Committee discussed meeting prior to recommending it to the Full Commission at its March 9 meeting. Town staff and the Jordan Lake Partners will be monitoring the situation closely and continuing to discuss any appropriate actions ahead of the March EMC meeting.

FFY18 LAPP Projects

In August 2016, the NC Capital Area MPO’s Executive Board (CAMPO) opened a call for projects to identify and program available FFY 2018 Locally Administered Projects Program (LAPP) funds. The call for projects resulted in submission of 25 eligible projects for consideration. Projects were reviewed for funding eligibility and scored based on the adopted LAPP prioritization criteria by CAMPO staff. The draft FFY 2018 LAPP Investment Program will be released for public review and comment from January 16-February 15, 2017 and CAMPO anticipates scheduling a public hearing at its February 15, 2017 Executive Board meeting. Three Town of Cary projects are proposed to be funded: Reedy Creek Road Improvements, Black Creek Greenway – Phase I & V, and GoCary Bus Stop Improvements.

Wake Manager’s Meeting

At this week’s meeting of the Wake managers, Wake County share information on a few new initiatives. They are beginning work on a 20-year Affordable Housing Plan for the county. A 32-member steering committee is tasked with providing guidance, contributing input and engaging the public. The committee includes residents, stakeholders and subject matter experts. One of your colleagues, Lori Bush, was recruited by Wake County to participate on the committee.

Additionally, Wake County, in collaboration with Raleigh, is in the beginning stages of creating the Oak City Outreach Multi-Service Center. This will be a “one-stop shop” intake, assessment and resource center for homeless and housing-fragile individuals.

Finally, we received a legislative preview from the League. As a reminder, your annual legislative dinner is scheduled for January 31. This will provide the first collective opportunity to engage our local legislators on issues of importance to Cary.

Transit Update

The work of the Transit Planning Advisory Committee continues to ramp up to ensure we are well positioned to begin work in the upcoming budget year. A workshop will be held before the next CAMPO meeting on January 18 at 3 p.m. You will see the Wake County Vehicle Registration Tax Interlocal Agreement at the upcoming Council meeting. This will assign the vehicle registration taxes to the transit authority. Following that, the Joint Agency Agreement (JAA) will be coming to all Wake municipalities. This is a high-level agreement that defines how the transit providers, GoTriangle and municipalities will work together to implement the Wake Transit Plan.

Emails from citizens included:

  • A request to help with a landlord.
  • Multiple kudos for Cary’s snow removal effort.
  • A concern about a proposed development on Trimble Drive.

Next week’s activities include a meeting of the Wake County Mayors, a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Executive Board (CAMPO), and the KidDilly expo.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 22nd.  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, January 08th, 2017

This was the first full week of the year. With the exception of Monday, this was a busy week.

Monday was a holiday for most people but some of us had to work. I didn’t mind since there was light traffic on the roads and at work.

Tuesday started with calls to council members to hear of their concerns and questions about Thursday’s regularly scheduled council meeting. I was only able to reach three members and there were no big concerns. Later in the day I met with management, public information, legal, and administration to go over the agenda items. Based on our discussion I believed that Thursday’s meeting would last about an hour and a half.

Tuesday evening I, along with Mayor Pro-Tem Yerha met with the town manager and others to go over various issues. Some of the items discussed were quasi-judicial hearings, downtown businesses, and council staff relationships. Our meeting lasted about an hour.

Tuesday night the council held a quasi-judicial hearing for one item. Before addressing the item I had the honor and privilege of swearing in former Cary Mayor Pro-Tem Gale Adcock to her second term as a North Carolina House Representative. Gale is loved by many in Cary and does a fantastic job representing us.

In the quasi-judicial meeting the council accepted a payment-in-lieu for bike lanes that was required of a development located at Highway 55 and Turner Creek Road. Council believed this was the safest thing to do since there are currently no bike lanes on Highway 55. In addition, council discussed sidewalks in the area and right-of-way for future road expansion. The vote to approve the request was unanimous.

The last meeting Tuesday was the work session on the Cary Community Plan called Imagine Cary. The council mostly focused on transportation recommendations. The following were approved by council to be included in the final draft to be voted on at the January 24th council meeting:

  • Council agreed with the recommendation for North Carolina 54/Chapel Hill Road to have an ultimate width of six lanes median divided.
  • Council agreed with the recommendation for Yates Store Road and Batchelor Road to follow existing property lines to the extent feasible.
  • After much debate council agreed to leave Green Level Church Road as a four lane median divided road to handle future traffic. Staff was directed to look at ways to be sensitive to the historic area.
  • Council agreed with the recommendation for Holly Springs and Tryon Road to be six lanes median divided.
  • After much debate council agreed to leave the Cary Parkway Extension on the map to connect to Trinity Road. Staff was directed to do a focused study on future development on Harrison from Cary Parkway to I40 to find out what impacts may occur if the Cary Parkway is extended.

The work session concluded after an hour and a half.

Wednesday I attended the Economic Forecast presented by Economics Professor Michael Walden from NC State. The majority of his comments were about impacts of the President-elect on the economy. Other interesting comments included:

  • Cary’s population will double by 2050.
  • The economy is significantly impacted by an aging nationwide population and automation.
  • Cary had a 68% building permit growth rate as compared to 7.1% in North Carolina and less than 2% nationwide.
  • Legislative changes nationwide will be at a rate not seen since the Johnson administration.

His presentation lasted about forty-five minutes.

Thursday before the council meeting I met with Weblos troop 152 from Genesis United Methodist Church. I talked about my duties as mayor and then answered a few questions. Then I told them what to expect in the council meeting later that evening. I am glad to see young people involved in their government.

Thursday night was the council’s first regularly scheduled meeting of the year. There were 13 consent agenda items, 3 public hearings, 8 discussion items, and a closed session.

In the public speaks out portion of the meeting several speakers spoke about Chapel Hill Road being widened to 6 lanes. As is sometimes the case, they were misinformed. The Cary Community Plan, which will be voted on at the January 24th meeting, has the ultimate width as 6 lanes. However it is just a plan and councils can and often do change plans. So that road width could change in the future to 4 lanes or 8 lanes depending on the wishes of the council at the time. In addition, there is currently no funding planned for this road. So unless NCDOT changes their priorities this is not likely to be widened for at least 10 years. Who knows it may never be widened to 6 lanes.

Council also discussed a Walnut Street rezoning proposal after the public hearing. This proposal has a fast food at the corner of Tryon Road and Walnut Street adjacent to the Macedonia Methodist Church. The proposal has challenges with egress and ingress. It will be interesting to see the recommendation from the Planning and Zoning board.

Paid parental leave for town employees allowing up to 6 weeks was approved with council and staff stating that this will allow Cary to recruit and retain the best talent in our quest to remain competitive and create the best staff in the country.

The Legislative agenda was also approved with 5 items. Those items were:

  • If legislation changes municipal elections to even years then support it as an option for municipalities they may not desire even year elections.
  • Support legislation that would retain municipal control over the development process and local rights of way for small cell wireless infrastructure.
  • Support the state’s existing Jordan Lake rules.
  • Support preserving Cary’s ability to continue using 100’ stream buffers and to implement and enforce its current riparian buffer ordinance, which applies to riparian buffers in both the Neuse River and Jordan Lake-Cape Fear River Basins.
  • Seek a local bill to authorize Apex police officers to continue to serve the students at Apex High while the school is temporarily located in the Town of Cary.

The legislative items will be presented to the Cary delegation later this month.

Council also approved 3 construction bids, asked staff to look into our Heritage Tree program, and asked staff to investigate information sessions to benefit realtors. The meeting concluded after about 2 hours 20 minutes.

Friday I had the joy of introducing the 10 finalist for the Davis Drive Middle School national geography bee contest. The National Geographic Bee is an annual geography contest sponsored by the National Geographic Society. The bee has been held every year since 1989 for students in the fourth through eighth grades. This was the 20th anniversary of Davis Drive’s first geography bee. After I introduced the contestants, Davis Drive’s first principal, Dr. Coley, was introduced as the emcee. He was also the principal at Cary High for many years. Although I was only able to watch one round of questions, I am grateful that Davis Drive included me in this milestone contest.

Starting on Saturday Cary was dealing with about half an inch of sleet and about an inch of snow. This combined with low temperatures, which remained below freezing for several days, made it very hazardous to drive. As usual, the Cary snow team was in high gear trying to clear the main roads on Saturday and Sunday.

Emails from staff this week included a response to a citizen about road maintenance. Here is an excerpt which I thought I would share:

“…the Town of Cary is a complex network of streets and roads that are maintained by various institutes.  Below you will find a link to an interactive map that illustrates which streets are maintained by the Town of Cary, NCDOT, & private entities. 

http://carync.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Embed/index.html?webmap=66a51252d79847a694dddcf009e3b59f&extent=-78.7918,35.7858,-78.7759,35.7937&home=true&zoom=true&scale=false&search=true&searchextent=true&legend=true&&show_panel=true&basemap_gallery=true&theme=light&logoimage=http://www.townofcary.org/Assets/Planning+Department/ArcGIS+Helper+Files/TofC2.png&disable_scroll=false&logolink=http://townofcary.org

The Town of Cary is committed to doing what is necessary to efficiently maintain our infrastructure and works to be cost effective by rehabilitating and resurfacing our streets during the early stages of cracking and deterioration.  There are approximately 466 miles of town maintained roadway within the town’s limits that are surveyed each year. 

A private consultant is employed to perform the pavement condition survey work.  They conduct a visual survey of the streets maintained by the Town following the methodology and approach in the latest NCDOT Pavement Condition Survey (PCS) Manual as developed by the Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE).  The information gathered includes physical characteristics and pavement distress types. The information collected is used to calculate the Pavement Condition Rating (PCR) for each street segment.  Overall, the Town of Cary maintained street system is in “Good” condition with an overall weighted average PCR value of 82.7 out of 100, with a distribution of condition as shown in the figure below.

This data is then used to determine which Town of Cary maintained streets are eligible for resurfacing.  Also, we use this information to determine the best places to employee preventative maintenance techniques such as crack sealing, patching, and rejuvenator.  Rejuvenator is a penetrating sealer that simply replaces the vital ingredients that have been lost from the asphalt over time due to exposure to the suns UV rays and wet weather.  This application can extend the life expectancy of roads. Extending the life of the roadway helps reduce future costs and tax dollars needed for paving.

I hope that you have found this information regarding Town of Cary streets helpful.  In regards to any roads maintained by the NCDOT, I would suggest contacting the local district office at 919-733-3213.  Thank you again for helping make the Town of Cary a great place to live, work, and raise a family.…”

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

Winter Weather Preparations

As reported at last night’s Council meeting, brining operations are complete and trucks are switched over to plows and spreaders in anticipation of the winter precipitation likely to begin this evening. In addition to the efforts at Public Works, other actions include:

  • Police will switch to AWD vehicles once the weather begins to materialize.
  • All standby generators at wastewater pump stations have been topped off with fuel and tested.
  • All Fire front-line and reserve apparatus are ready and equipped with chains should they become needed.

All parks, recreation and cultural arts programming after 5 p.m. tonight and continuing through the end of day Sunday are canceled; all facilities are closed through Sunday. The Three Kings Parade is rescheduled for Saturday, January 28. In addition, the Chinese Lantern Festival is closed and is expected to reopen Tuesday, January 10. GoCary will cease operations at 9 p.m. and end all door-to-door pick-ups at 7 p.m. All GoCary services are canceled for tomorrow. The Citizen’s Convenience Center will be closed tomorrow.

We will provide information to Council throughout the event. Stay safe and warm inside!

Duke Energy Grant for EV Charging Stations

Because of your action in December, last week staff received $10,000 from Duke Energy for the installation of one dual-port electric vehicle charging station at Bond Park. Installation is estimated for spring 2017. This charging station is in addition to our existing stations.

Monday at WakeMed Soccer Park

We’ve been given notice that North Carolina FC (formerly the RailHawks) will hold a news conference on Monday at WakeMed Soccer Park to announce the addition of a National Women’s Soccer League team. The team’s permanent home will be WakeMed Soccer Park.

Recognitions

Lots of great work, through the efforts of many, occurred this week. In particular, I’d like to recognize the team that worked on the Paid Parental staff report: Renee Poole, Laura Turk, Danielle Mahoney, Hunter Frank, Allison Hutchins and Carrie Roman.

Also, I’d like to recognize the Imagine Cary/Transportation team for their efforts leading up to and at the Work Session on Tuesday. This includes: Jerry Jensen, Juliet Andes, Jeff Ulma, Tyler Bray and Russ Overton.

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • That I was biased for Muslims (I am biased for diversity)
  • A complaint about an unmaintained state road of Cary Town Boulevard
  • A complaint about state roads and concerts in downtown
  • A complaint about the Cary Community Plan’s draft designating Chapel Hill Road as ultimately being six lanes
  • A complaint about a proposal for townhomes on Trimble Drive

My schedule for next week will be surprisingly light which is extremely unusual for this time of year. I will use that free time preparing the State of Cary address. My only scheduled meetings are with the town manager and a tour of the CiVentiChem facility.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 15th.  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, January 01st, 2017

Happy New Year!

The time between Christmas and New Year was very slow for me and was spent mostly with family. As a result I only had one meeting this week.

Thursday I met with two gentlemen representing the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. I learned a great deal about their Islamic sect of true Islam.

Founded in 1889, their sect of Islam spans over 206 countries with membership exceeding tens of millions. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long-awaited Messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian. Ahmad claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form. Although they are a fast growing community the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is comparatively small in numbers to Shite and Sunni Muslims. And because of their beliefs about the Messiah and jihad they are disliked by other Muslims. Here are the 11 points of true Islam they believe:

  1. Reject all forms of Terrorism.
  2. Believe in non-violent Jihad of the self and pen
  3. Believe in equality, education, and empowerment of women
  4. Advocate for freedom of speech
  5. Advocate for the separation of the mosque and state
  6. Believe in loyalty to the country of residence
  7. Encompass the universal declaration of human rights
  8. Believe in all verses of the Quran and forbid lying
  9. Recognize that no religion can monopolize salvation
  10. Believe in the need for unified Muslim leadership
  11. Wholly reject the concept of a bloody Messiah

BTW, ISIS believes in none of the 11.

These leaders told me that they wanted to reach young people that are being influenced by radical Islamic terrorists (like ISIS) to let them know that those beliefs are not true Islam. They very much want to take a bigger role in helping people in our community. They believe that through education about true Islam would help. If you would like to join in one of their frequent coffees and discussions contact Asaf Mirza, who is the community outreach coordinator, at asaf.j.mirza@ahmadiyya.us or Mirza.asaf@gmail.com.

I thought their message was very important to share with others especially with all the hate towards Muslims today. Acts of terrorism by Muslim extremists around the world cause many people stereotype all Muslims as terrorists. And our nation also struggles with other stereotypes towards African Americans and policeman. I believe we can only reach our true potential as a community by understanding the values, experiences, and gifts that each of us have to offer. Let’s all work together to break the stereotypes by learning and respecting each other in this New Year. The meeting with the Muslim leaders concluded after about an hour.

Emails from staff this week included a statement about Rachael Dolezal who was originally schedule to be part of the Dreamfest celebration. The statement is as follows:

“The Town supports Jireh Management’s decision to remove Rachel Dolezal from its Diversity Summit portion of the Town of Cary’s annual Dreamfest celebration. While we were hopeful that her being part of a panel discussion of discrimination could be meaningful, we heard concerns from pastors and citizens that her presence would result in a negative notoriety that would overshadow all of the good Dreamfest is set to deliver – something no one wanted to see happen.  In Cary, we’re focused on delivering positive experiences for our community.”

Other emails from staff included updates on the future of Louis Stephens Drive. The current North Carolina State Transportation Improvement Project list, which is from 2016 to 2025, has the section of Louis Stephens Drive from Poplar Pike Lane in Morrisville to Little Drive in Research Triangle Park to include the following information:

  • Construct Roadway on New Location
  • Right of Way acquisition in 2020 at a cost of $179,000
  • Construction in 2021 at a cost of $2,577,000
  • By virtue of the Right of Way acquisition in the first 5 years, the project is committed and will not need to be rescored.

So in summary it looks like it is about five years away from being a reality.

Emails from citizens this week included the following:

  • A request to fund Twin Lakes greenway in the budget
  • A complaint that the Jewish festival did not occur (it is scheduled for March 19th to coincide with the Pesach holiday after the Jewish community wanted the community to better understand Jewish holidays)
  • A request to fund Carpenter Upchurch Road in the budget
  • A request for more parks and greenways to be funded by a tax increase
  • Requests to fund needs at Hemlock Bluffs
  • A request to stop destroying green space and create more parks (we don’t have authority to prevent someone from developing their land – thus the reason for less green space)
  • A request for more support to music in the budget

Next week will be busy for me and will include a work session on Imagine Cary’s transportation, a quasi-judicial hearing, a council meeting, and a visit to Davis Drive Middle School.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 8th.  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, December 26th, 2016

This was the last week before the holiday week so things slowed down quite a bit but it was an important week none the less.

Monday the Charlotte City Council voted to repeal their ordinance which resulted in the legislature passing HB2 (the bathroom law). This was followed by an announcement that the legislature would call a special session on Wednesday to vote whether or not to repeal HB2.

Monday evening I attended the Mayors Association Dinner in Raleigh. Besides me, the delegation from Cary included the Mayor Pro-Tem, the town manager, town clerk, public information officer, finance director, staff liaison to the legislature and spouses. We all had a great time and spent time talking with other elected officials and mayors.

Tuesday started with an interview from WUNC about the potential repeal of HB2. I answered several questions and stated that I hoped the legislature would come together and do the right thing.

Tuesday afternoon I met with key staff members to brainstorm about an idea which we will go public with at the beginning of next year.

Tuesday night I had the honor and pleasure of making remarks at the Cary Police Department’s Promotion, Oath, and Pinning ceremony. I was asked to make comments about the retiring K-9 dog and the induction of a new K-9 dog. It should be noted that last year before NC legislator and former Cary Mayor Pro-Tem Gale Adcock pushed through legislation to allow service dogs to be sold to their owners, service dogs had to be treated as property and auctioned off. Because of that legislation I was proud to retire K-9 Robbie after 7 years of service to his handler for $1. Then we inducted into service K-9 Lemm who was from oversees. K-9 Lemm was paid for by a gracious gift from Mr. and Mrs. Hendrickson. God Bless them! He was named after a fallen serviceman SGT Joseph Lemm. To find out more about SGT Lemm go to http://thefallen.militarytimes.com/air-force-technical-sgt-joseph-g-lemm/6568662.  Both K-9 Robbie and K-9 Lemm made appearances (but not at the same time). After the K-9 portion of the program several officers were promoted and several new officers were pinned. Chief Godwin pointed out that over a dozen officers retired this year. I am so very proud of all of our officers who put their lives on the line every day so that we may be safe. God bless them!

My last meeting Tuesday was with the Senior Marketing Director and General Manager of the new HMart store in Cary. This store has about everything in food for different ethnicities, backgrounds, and ages which makes it a perfect fit in Cary. It will be the first location in North Carolina for this Korean grocery chain. It is located near the Davis Drive and High House intersection in the old Lowes Food and opened Thursday. In my conversations the marketing director he made it clear that he is looking to expand in North Carolina and possibly Cary. They assured me that they wanted to be involved and good corporate citizens. I welcome them and wish them great success.

Wednesday I participated in a meeting of the Cary-Morrisville Joint Issues Committee. First we talked about the future of schools in western Wake County, specifically M-16 and E-50. The middle school, M-16, will be located on Winding Pine Trail and was recently approved in a quasi-judicial meeting of the Cary council. It will be on 41 acres with a building of over 210,000 square feet. It is currently under design and won’t be completed and ready for occupancy until August of 2019. It is budgeted to cost $62,558,253. The elementary school, E-50, will be located on Little Drive in Cary. It will be on 32 acres with a building of over 115,000 square feet. It is currently under design and won’t be completed and ready for occupancy until August of 2019. It is budgeted to cost $38,359,093.

Next we talked about the future widening of highway 54. Cary will be deciding if the section from near the intersection of Cary Parkway to the Maynard intersection will be ultimately six or four lanes. This will happen at a January 3rd work session. It is important to point out that there is no funding or plans for funding for this section of state road. That means any change is likely to be at least ten years away.

We also shared information about Morrisville Carpenter Road and Louis Stephens Road. Our meeting concluded after an hour. Our next meeting will be in the first quarter of 2017.

Wednesday night I heard the NC legislators left the special session without repealing HB2.

[Begin Editorial]

There aren’t enough words to express my deep disappointment in our legislative majority to perform a simple task. The deal was that Charlotte would repeal their ordinance and then the legislators would repeal HB2. Charlotte did their part and the legislative majority did not. Instead they tried to inject more politics into a problem that was created by politics. As a result this political posturing is crippling our economy costing us millions in lost revenue. This law not only has a direct economic impact to citizens of Cary, Charlotte, and other municipalities but an indirect economic impact to every citizen in North Carolina. In addition, this law does absolutely nothing to protect anyone from anything. If the legislators in the majority tell you otherwise they are lying. Why? Because the law they created is unenforceable unless there is someone stationed at every bathroom in North Carolina checking body parts. Instead of pointing fingers and blaming each other for all of their failures they need to think about the citizens they serve for a change. Shame, Shame, Shame for putting power grabs above the needs of the citizens they are sworn to serve.

[End Editorial]

Friday evening my family celebrated Hanukah with council member Bush’s family. While we are not Jewish we enjoyed celebrating with them.

The rest of the week was spent celebrating the Christmas holidays. My family always ushers the 9 PM church service on Christmas Eve. It was great seeing old friends that have come back to town to visit friends and relatives.

Emails this week  notified us that Cary was on SmartAsset’s list of the “Top 10 Boomtowns of 2016,” Cary scored a 100 percent based on several factors, including net migration rate, housing growth, unemployment, 2015-16 change in unemployment and GDP growth. Raleigh, ranked 10th, scored an 87.05.

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

Imagine Cary Notes

Based on our collaborative work, I believe we have a clear path for moving the plan to adoption on January 24.

Post-holiday Preview

We will hit the ground running in the New Year, with a QJ meeting, work session and regular Council meeting all during the first week of January. Details on each of the meetings are below:

  • January 3 QJ meeting – one case will be discussed
  • January 3 work session – topic is the Imagine Cary transportation plan
  • January 5 regular meeting – the agenda for this meeting will be posted to the Town’s website next week.

Dreamfest / Diversity Summit Agenda

On Wednesday, Al Cohen gave us the final agenda for the Diversity Summit. The agenda is available; please note it does not include any participation by Rachel Dolezal.

UNC-TV Spotlights Cary’s Citizens Police Academy

Last week, UNC-TV aired a great piece on our Citizens Police Academy. This five-minute segment is the result of a multi-month effort where staff worked with a reporter and photographer to capture the great job our officers do when it comes to educating the public on their roles and responsibilities in keeping the community safe. It also highlights how our CPA program offers citizens a better understanding what it’s like to be a law enforcement officer.

Recognitions

Ginny Johnson was recognized this month by the North Carolina Association of Municipal Clerks. This spotlight is well-deserved as Ginny is an invaluable part of the team.

Next week will be very slow for me with only a couple of meetings.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 1st.  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, December 18th, 2016

This week was slower than last as things wind down for the year.

Monday I met with staff from the Transportation Department to go over transportation recommendations that are a part of Imagine Cary. After talking to all council members they will hold a work session on Tuesday, January 3rd to get direction from council about this section of Imagine Cary. My comments focused mostly on the Highway 54 section between Cary Parkway and Maynard and the extension of Cary Parkway from Harrison. We also talked about the pros and cons of 6 lane roads which are opposed by some council members. Our meeting lasted a little over an hour.

Tuesday I interviewed with 96.1 WBBB on the Doc and Laura morning show. They are interviewing mayors in the area and to find out what is going on in their communities. I spent a little time giving fun facts and telling about things going on in Cary in the month of December. Some fun facts I shared that you may or may not know include:

  • Cary is the seventh largest municipality in the state.
  • If Cary was in S.C. then it would be the largest municipality.
  • We are bigger than eighty two counties in North Carolina.
  • We are bigger than eighteen countries worldwide.
  • We have thirty percent more land incorporated than Paris, France.
  • Nineteen percent of our population was born in another country.
  • Three-fourths of our adult population has college degrees and one-third have advanced degrees.

I also talked about accolades we have received and the fun events coming up in December and January. Our interview lasted about ten minutes. I am not sure when it will air.

Wednesday I met with a representative from addiction family recovery support services. I was joined by the town manager as we brainstormed about ways to make people aware of a growing heroin addiction problem we have in Cary. I believe we need to become more proactive before the problem gets worse. Stay tuned for more on this later.

Later Wednesday I met with representatives for future investors from China. I taped a short video answering several questions about why Cary is a great place to live work and play. I even said “Cary Welcomes You” in Chinese. There have been several visits this past year from Chinese investors and we should expect more in the future. My taped segment will be a part of a promotional video. The taping lasted a little over half an hour.

Saturday I participated in the Wreaths Across America event at Hillcrest Cemetery in Cary. Here is an excerpt from my remarks:

“…Like many of our citizens, I have not served in our armed forces, either at home or abroad, and yet, I, along with so many in our community benefit each day from the sacrifices made my men and women, some of whom may be your family members or neighbors or friends, have made for us.  For that, please accept my heartfelt gratitude on behalf of all those who aren’t with us here today.

It was a proud moment for me to come across the national website for this wreath laying initiative and see our historic Hillcrest Cemetery listed right up there with Arlington National Cemetery. The Triangle is home to one of the largest groups of vets, right about at 8 percent of our area’s total population. Thank you for remembering them during this time of year, a time that evokes such strong emotions for so many of us. …”

There were several dozen people in attendance included veterans from all branches of service. After remarks from several of us we laid about 100 wreaths on graves of veterans whose final resting place is in Hillcrest. I was honored to be part of this ceremony.

Friday NC legislators held a special session which made several people angry including me.

[Begin editorial] – read at your own risk!

Friday the North Carolina Legislative majority, in their infinite wisdom, held a special session (like last year) to do something stupid which will once again result in taxpayer spending over a million dollars in Court. They decided to virtually strip the governor-elect of all authority they could imagine/manage. What was their excuse? The others did it before in the 1960s. REALLY? What are they children? What a slap in the face to democracy which so many men and women have died to protect. I don’t know about you but I am sick and tired of the divisive partisan politics (both sides) that has gripped our state and our country. The people that took an oath to serve the people have somehow interpreted their oath as one that is supposed to serve their political party. We will NEVER reach our true potential as a state and nation as long as we continue to put political parties above all else. If you want an example of how to do it right look at Cary which is governed by an apolitical body. Our partnership with our staff, the chamber, businesses, and especially our citizens has allowed us to become one of the most incredible places to live in America. We are the safest city in the nation. We have been awarded the best park system in the nation. Our award winning fire department has allowed businesses to get the lowest insurance rates possible. Our finance department has allowed us to have the highest rating of all the major bond rating agencies allowing us to have the lowest interest rate possible. Our water and sewer systems have been proactively built to serve us for decades and are so state-of-the art that others come to see what we have done. We are ranked as one of the best places to live in the nation. To summarize, we have the lowest tax rate in Wake County with the highest quality of life by far! How did this happen? By working together NOT against each other. Sure we disagree but we do it because we truly believe our actions would be the best for the people we represent. Our political parties have absolutely nothing to do with our decisions. My hope is that one day the people that represent North Carolina and the nation, whether it is Republican or Democrat, will realize that their acting like children and serving political interests does not help North Carolina. Imagine the potential North Carolina could realize if both parties worked together to solve problems. During this season of reflection I would invite each and every legislator to read the oath they took out loud and remind themselves they are servants not the ones being served. ‘Nuf said!

[End editorial]

 

Information from our planning department for November included the following:

  • The average single family dwelling was 3817 square feet compared to 4031 in 2012.
  • Cary had 11.6% of new single family permits in the county which was third behind Apex and Raleigh.
  • 9 development plans were approved including over 200 single family lots and over 82,000 square feet of commercial and office.

To see more go to http://www.townofcary.org/Departments/townmanagersoffice/Weekly_Report_Files.htm.

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

Imagine Cary – Commuter Travel Information

Below is a slide that several of you, Council, requested as a result of the Imagine Cary small group educational meetings over the past week. The information in the slide is related to the changing traffic/travel patterns in and around Cary. It shows that Cary and Raleigh are strongly linked when it comes to commuter traffic and employment. It also highlights Cary as a regional designation. (The slide shows 67,372 people coming to work in Cary every day while 64,108 leave Cary for work every day.)

“The Benefits Balancing Act”

The Town of Cary and Renee Poole are featured in a recent article published in American City & County. The article talks about the importance of competitive employee benefit packages in a time of a changing workforce.

NC State Bar President-elect

John Silverstein, who represents the Council and the Zoning Board of Adjustment in quasi-judicial hearings, has recently been sworn in as the President-elect of the North Carolina State Bar, the agency that regulates the over 27,000 licensed lawyers in this state.  The State Bar investigates and prosecutes lawyers who violate the State Bar’s code of ethics; resolves fee disputes between lawyers and clients; prevents the practice of law by people who are not licensed; and, in general, seeks to advance the administration of justice.  Mr. Silverstein is expected to be installed as the President of the State Bar next fall. 

Holiday Operations Schedule

Most staffed facilities will close over Christmas and New Years, however curbside collection schedules will not be impacted. Citizens can dispose of trees and other natural decorations with their regular yard waste collection.

Cary One of Safest Cities in NC

The Consumer Research Company, ValuePenguin, recently published a study concluding Cary is among the top five safest large cities in the state. This ranking is based on a variety of crime metrics sourced from the FBI across 115 NC cities and towns.

Recognitions

Officer David Cohen was recognized at the North Carolina’s Hometown Heroes Ceremony, hosted by the NC Auto Dealers Association. This was regarding his valiant effort earlier this year in saving the life of a young child following a near drowning incident.

Reid Kinlaw, Tennis Program Specialist, was awarded the USTA Jr. Team Tennis Local League Coordinator of the year by NC Tennis Association. The same association named the 2015 Cary Tennis Championship the Special Event of the Year.

 

Emails from citizens this week included:

 

Next week’s activities include the annual Mayors Association Dinner, a retirement and installation ceremony for our K-9 dogs Robbie and Lemm, a Cary-Morrisville joint issues task force meeting, and other meetings.

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

• Sunday, December 11th, 2016

This was a busy week and will probably be the busiest week for the month of December.

Monday started with calls to council members to hear of any questions or concerns about the upcoming regularly scheduled council meeting agenda. I was able to contact 4 of the 6 council members and there were very few questions. Later in the day I met with staff to go over the agenda items. I predicted the meeting would last about three hours.

After the staff meeting I met with the town manager, assistant town manager, mayor pro-tem, and public information to briefly discuss an issue.

Monday evening I met with staff members who are redesigning the town’s website. The new design should be public by the end of the year. There has been a great deal of research and analytics put into this design. New features will include Day and Night themes for the splash page, Tagging with calendars at first and then other pages, Newsroom/Specialized Templates, Archived content, and more layouts and additional widgets. In laymen terms it will be a much simpler, fresher design with a strong search capability.

Tuesday started with my one-on-one meeting with the town manager. He updated me on a few issues and then we spent time talking about heroin addiction in our community and our region. This is a much bigger problem than most people realize. I have asked for data and will share it once it is received.

Later Tuesday the council held a quasi-judicial hearing for a proposed 230,000 square foot middle school to be located southwest of Alston Ridge Elementary. The proposal triggered a quasi-judicial hearing because the it was greater than 100,000 square feet and it requested 5 out of 9 champion trees to be removed. A few adjacent residents spoke in opposition because they didn’t want bus traffic going through their neighborhoods stating that their kids played in the street. The applicant spent significant time talking about the reasons for the location of driveways, moving only bus traffic through the neighborhood, and the need for tree removal. After deliberation the council unanimously voted for approval. The meeting concluded after less than an hour.

Wednesday I had the pleasure of attending the Cary Employee Recognition Luncheon. I was honored to greet and shake 672 hands as they came into the dining area. The town manager gave a short speech and then the award ceremony began. Congratulations to Judy Newsome for receiving the Employee of the Year Award. Over the last three years, Judy has dedicated her time to developing programming opportunities for people of all ages with disabilities.

Wednesday afternoon I met with a group from a long time Cary business who are considering relocating in downtown Cary. I think that would be a wise move on anyone’s part as I anticipate downtown becoming more and more popular.

My last meeting Wednesday was with the Economic Development Committee. Here are some notable items from that meeting:

  • Over the last 3 months the Chamber’s Economic Development arm has assisted 20 small businesses.
  • The “State” property is still under contract with Columbia development who plans to build a Wegman’s as part of their project.
  • The approval of the Eastern Gateway gave clarity and will make it easier for developers looking in this area.
  • Duke Hospital purchased 30 acres near the intersection of I540 and Green Level West Road. They have plans for some medical offices but most of the site will be open to other development.
  • There is strong interest in downtown with 4 active projects of corporate offices looking to relocate there. If that comes to fruition then it would had about 2000 employees.
  • The latest announcements in downtown include Pizzeria Faulisi, Pro’s Epicurean Market & Café, FRESH local ice cream, and Annelore’s German bakery.
  • Awards in the last quarter include: #1 Safest city in America, #37 best place to live in America by Money Magazine(only one from NC), #3 best places list by Forbes, and #8 Market for housing.
  • While unemployment has risen in the county, state, and nation, Cary’s unemployment rate has dropped to 3.4%.

The committee spent a great deal of time talking about marketing Cary outside of North Carolina and making trips to employment areas to recruit jobs to Cary. Our meeting concluded after an hour.

Thursday the council held the only regularly scheduled council meeting of the month and the last one for the year. There were 15 consent items, 10 public hearings, and 6 discussion items. The Ryan Road Public Hearing, which is a rezoning proposal near Walnut Street behind the Burger King, had several people in attendance that were opposed. Their biggest concern is the 4 story height of the proposed building. The Mills rezoning proposal on Carpenter Upchurch Road next to Green Hope High School had been tabled twice and was approved by council 4 to 3 with me being the deciding vote. I felt that the biggest concern of traffic should not be considered since it is a state road, it is out of the control of the developer and the town, congestion will exist regardless of what is developed on the property, and the added traffic is not statistically significant. Therefore, my decision was based on conditions presented with the rezoning request and the density which matched the land use plan. The council also approved changes to the sign ordinance, the Holly Brook water and sewer extension project, and intersection improvements for:

  • Chapel Hill Road near Bowden Street
  • Kildaire Farm Road near Advent Court
  • Kildaire Farm Road and Ten Ten Road
  • Cary Parkway and Waldo Rood
  • Waldo Rood and MacArthur
  • High House near Jenks Carpenter Road

These projects are estimated to cost over $4 million. The meeting concluded after 2 ½ hours.

Friday I had a brief interview with a reporter for Indy Week. They wanted to know my thoughts about the Railhawks announcement earlier in the week. I said that we have a great partnership with the owners, we take pride in their successes, and we want them to be successful. At this point we have limited information so it is hard to know what our role will be. I anticipate we will be having conversations with them in the future.

Saturday I had the honor of being in the 37th Cary Jaycees Christmas Parade. Before the parade began I posed for pictures with council member Bush and the Grinch who was actually Deputy Chief Dezomitz. I rode in a beautiful white Corvette convertible, provided by the Jaycees, which was in immaculate condition. Council colleagues Yerha, Bush, Robinson, Smith, and Frantz followed in cars and George marched in the alumni Cary Band. Though the temperature was a cool 42 degrees it was still a beautiful day. The parade had about everything you could imagine from bands, dancers, skippers, jumpers, floats, hotrods, busses, a fire truck, and even a garbage truck. As usual I threw out candy to the kids but my 4 bags only lasted until reached the Baptist Church on Academy Street. After I ran out of candy I took the opportunity to take a selfie before we finished the parade route. Since I was at the beginning of the parade lineup I was able to watch the rest of the parade with hundreds of other people. A big thanks to the Jaycees for once again putting on a great event.

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

IBT Case Decision Delay

As you may have read in the Media Report, the administrative law judge who heard the Fayetteville challenge to Cary and Apex’s interbasin transfer permit modification has been granted a 45-day extension and now has until January 20 to issue his ruling.

Broadband Accessibility

This week Nicole Raimundo, Lee Worsley (from TJCOG) and Erika Sacco (Apex) met with the US Economic Development Administration NC liaison to discuss broadband and the plan to build out a regional municipal fiber network. This effort would leverage MCNC, starting locally and expanding into the more rural areas that do not have broadband access. In addition, Nicole met recently with other CIOs from around the state to discuss how to leverage the networks to better serve others.

Hurricane Matthew Update

A review of North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality records showed that Hurricane Matthew was a historically significant severe natural weather event that caused numerous sewer overflows in affected areas of North Carolina. Preliminary results demonstrate affected areas received approximately 206 sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) during the event, which occurred on October 8. Cary’s wastewater collection treatment systems, which convey more than 6 billion gallons of wastewater per year, weathered the event that produced 7 to 9.8 inches of rainfall throughout the Cary service area with only one spill in the collection system.

GoTriangle Land Sale

The GoTriangle Board is scheduled to take up the sale of nearly nine acres of land to the Town of Cary at next Wednesday’s monthly meeting. GoTriangle tells us they intend to send out a press release next week.

Newest K9 Starts Service

 Later this month the Town’s newest K9, Lemm, will be placed into service. Lemm was purchased with donated funds from a local Cary couple. He is named a fallen service member who died the same year Lemm was born, a new trend by major police departments across the country.

Lemm replaces Robby, who has served the Town since 2011. You may remember him speaking at the October 13 Town Council meeting.

Recognitions

 Approximately 800 Town employees gathered for the annual luncheon at Herb Young Community Center on Wednesday. At the luncheon, Judy Newsome was named the 2016 Employee of the Year. Judy has been with the Town for 14 years, most recently holding the title of Specialized Recreation & Inclusion Specialist. She has dedicated her time to developing programming opportunities for people of all ages with disabilities. In her nomination, staff dubbed Judy the “voice for those in Cary with disabilities. The work Judy does is incredibly honorable, powerful, and affirming. I greatly admire her and appreciate all that she’s accomplishing for our citizens and our organization. Congratulations to Judy and all of the staff who help keep Cary great!

Also at our employee luncheon, some of you joined us in taking a moment to recognize a milestone first for the Town– 40 years of service! Hats off to Sammie Garris, Solid Waste Equipment Operator, pictured here with our Employee of the Year, Judy Newsome.

 

Emails from staff this week included an update on the remaining transportation projects funded by the 2012 Community Investment Bond:

  • Cary Parkway at Evans Road
  • NW Maynard Road at High House Road
  • Kildaire Farm Road at Cary Parkway

Construction on these intersections should start in the Fall of 2017.

Other emails from staff included the following about the Railhawks:

“… Staff discussed this news on Monday with Curt Johnson, President of the RailHawks. He indicated that they have not picked a site yet for the new stadium. They completed a feasibility study several months ago in support of their effort to attract an MLS team. The study included 4-5 sites for a potential stadium, including WakeMed Soccer Park. He also indicated that the RailHawks were in the process of trying to securing a women’s professional soccer team.

As a reminder, the Town signed a 3 year lease for years 2016-2018 with the RailHawks in early November.  Council has a Staff Report on the agenda for December 8, 2016 to expand authority to include “Carolina FC and its Affiliates” instead of just Carolina FC.  This is a technical change to allow Carolina FC to operate a second team, a school, or similar under another name, which is common in the business environment.”

Other emails this week included a request from NCDOT to administer a survey to NCDOT customers to anyone interested in sharing their opinions about transportation services in North Carolina.  The survey is available at: https://ncsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bxQr0bD8PwImlKJ.

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Questions about the Railhawks announcement.
  • Opposition to a proposed Middle School.
  • A question about sidewalk repair on Harrison Avenue.
  • Thanks for a signal light installation at Cary Parkway and West Chatham.
  • Opposition to a proposed rezoning on Carpenter Upchurch Road.
  • A request to increase taxes to create more parks.
  • A complaint about the lack of action on climate change.

Next week will be a lot slower and will include the Wreaths Across America event at Hillcrest Cemetery.

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

• 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.