• Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Harold WeinbrechtMy first full week back as mayor after my mother’s death has been a full week of events and meetings.

Monday night my family and I met for a behind the scenes look at the RBC center. Members of the Centennial Authority provided a great tour and I now have a better understanding of how everything works. I was able to visit about everywhere including locker rooms and even the catwalk. There is a new $6 million high definition scoreboard that will be unveiled at the first Hurricanes exhibition hockey game. Although, I could only see are part of the scoreboard, I am sure it will be a big hit with the fans. One interesting fact I learned during my tour was that the RBC center was voted the number one indoor arena of its size in the US. That is very impressive.

Tuesday morning I attended the opening of North Carolina’s first green McDonalds on Kildaire Farm Road. This is a fantastic facility that has applied for Gold LEED certification. If you haven’t been by there yet it deserves a visit. Make sure to view the kiosk about the green components. The restaurant’s environmentally friendly characteristics will reduce electricity by over 40% and reduce water consumption by over ½ million gallons a year. The owner, Ric Richards, and his team should be very proud of their accomplishment and I hope they will inspire other entrepreneurs to also build green in Cary.

Tuesday evening I attended the Partners meeting of the Western Wake Wastewater Reclamation Facility. We received a couple of updates from staff members and went into closed session to get advice from attorneys. It is my hope that this project will continue to move forward. Delays will cause Apex harm since it nearly used up its sewer capacity. In addition, our water and wastewater agreements with the state are tied together by a temporary agreement called an Interbasin Transfer which expires 2011.

Wednesday I attended the Wake Transit Leadership Team. We talked about various issues including the NC Senate and House voting to allow a ½ sales tax for the Triangle for transit. In addition, we talked about how to get more information from the public. I believe the majority of Cary citizens would support expanded bus service. I think it will be important for Cary citizens to hear and provide more feedback on potential light rail through Cary.

Thursday I met with organizers who are interested in creating a Cary Marathon. Their desire is to start and end at Bond Park. They have several course options they are looking into but would like to include the American Tobacco trail and Cary greenways. The course will also include parts of Apex and the county. They are struggling with physical barriers but hope to finalize a course soon. Their target race date will be in March.

Thursday night I also attended a community meeting on the US64 corridor which was held at Green Hope High School. I said a few words to welcome the crowd of about 250 people. The DOT gave a presentation and members of the audience made comments. In attendance were myself, council members Adcock and Portman, Mayor Weatherly of Apex, Representative Dollar, Representative Harrell, and several members of the Chatham County Commissioners. Based on my understanding almost everyone in the auditorium was not happy with the potential plans presented by the DOT. This included all of the elected officials. Therefore, it is my hope that DOT members of this project will continue to look for better solutions to this corridor and hold more meetings.

Friday afternoon I met with the town manager and the Mayor Pro-Tem to discuss various issues. Most of our conversations centered around how the town should position itself on various issues. Sorry I can’t be more specific.

Friday night I attended a concert and presented a proclamation at the Page Walker. The concert was sponsored by the Little German Band and Dancers. They were hosting a band from Germany who performed for about two hours. This is part of an exchange arrangement where our band goes to Germany and vise versa. Interestingly, our band plays mostly German music and their band plays mostly American swing. This causes a little bit of a predicament since people in the audience expect German music from the visiting Germans and American music from the visiting Americans. At this concert they played about half “um pah” music and then some American swing. They gave a great performance which was thoroughly enjoyed by me and everyone in attendance. An important side note is that I received gifts and a letter from leaders from their towns that are interested in establishing a relationship. Maybe they will be our next sister city.

Saturday night I hosted members of the Mayor’s Association at Booth Amphitheater. We were treated to another excellent performance by the NC Symphony. Mayor Sears from Holly Springs was in attendance with his wife and two guests. Mayor Matheny from Zebulon was also in attendance with his wife and two guests. We all had a great time and I was proud to show off our amphitheater.

Sunday afternoon I was part of the charter dedication of the Cary Community Lions Club. I was also inducted as a charter member. Charter members include Chief Bazemore, Chief Cain, and several members of the fire and police department. There are 37 charter members. I am excited about the opportunities the brain trust in this organization can come up with on how we can better serve our community. If you are interested in serving and would be interested in being a Lion please contact me or another Lion Club member.

Emails this week have been informative and interesting. Here is an interesting email snippet I received about transportation equity:

…According to our recent analysis of all state and federal transportation expenditures by NCDOT between 1990 and 2007, the Triangle’s counties (Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, and Johnston) have received about 12 percent of the state’s total transportation funding.

Those same counties have experienced 28% of the state’s population growth between 1990 and 2007 and are expected to experience 30 percent of the state’s population growth over the next 25 year. …

Part of the job of being mayor is receiving email complaining about various things. The staff reads all my email to help address complaints. It is important to note that all my email is public record. This week’s complaints include noise from Camp Canine, DOT’s proposal for US64, Cameron Pond’s buffer, wild cats, golf cart usage on streets, speeding in Lochmere Highlands, and odors from the reclamation facility. We take all email seriously and try to address all issues in a timely manor.

Unfortunately, we occasional receive email from a small group that consistently accuses staff and council members of being dishonest and corrupt. From everything I know about staff members and council this couldn’t be farther from the truth. This week I received an email complaining about the town asking citizens to vote for Cary to be the top tennis town in the nation (we are already top ten). We are now accused of accumulating emails and selling them for a profit which is absurd.

Positive emails this week include compliments to staff that work our convenience center on N. Dixon Avenue. To compliment guys that deal with trash day in a day out is a very nice and easy way to show appreciation for an unappreciated job. Thanks to the citizen who sent that one in.

This week was also marks the end of the filing period to run for town council seats. There is one challenger for the at-large seat held by Julie Robison, two challengers for the District C seat held by Jack Smith, and three challengers for the seat held by Jennifer Robinson. I will only endorse Julie Robison in the at-large seat. I will be glad to meet and talk with any and all candidates about issues. I will not endorse in any other race.

Well that is about it for this week. I plan to make another journal entry on Saturday, July 25th.  Please feel free to leave a comment on my post.

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