Memorial Day, State of Cary, TST, Joint Meeting With Apex, and NC Senator Gale Adcock events

Memorial Day Events

Monday morning I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz in the Memorial Day ceremony held at Hillcrest Cemetery hosted by Post 67. We heard from legislators, Congressman Wiley Nickel, and their featured speaker who was a decorated veteran. Afterwards I spent time thanking veterans for their service and a gold star family for their sacrifice.

Monday afternoon I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz in the Memorial Day ceremony held at Cary’s Veterans Freedom Park. In addition to hearing from congressional leaders Deborah Ross and Wiley Nickel, Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz made remarks and I read a proclamation. The Cary Town Band was present and entertained the crowd with several patriotic songs and a medley of armed forces anthems. The featured speaker was the VFW Vice Commander. Afterwards, the Cary Garden Club dedicated a Blue Star Memorial marker which is now on display at the Veterans Park. I hope to have a Gold Star Memorial marker dedicated at the park during the next year.

State of Cary at Cary Rotary

Tuesday midday I gave an updated version of the State of Cary address to the Cary Rotary at MacGregor. There were a few dozen people in attendance. I had a limited amount of time, so I had to cut about 10 minutes off the presentation. After my presentation I received questions on environmental issues and traffic.

Town Manager One-On-One

Tuesday afternoon I talked with the town manager for our weekly one-on-one meeting. Topics included the RFQ for town hall campus, the Cary-Apex joint meeting, and advisory boards.

Interview about Soccer with ABC11

Tuesday afternoon I was interviewed via zoom by ABC11 on the impacts of the TST tournament in Cary. This $1 million winner-take-all event is estimated to have created a $2 million boost to our market and region. In addition, there will be some incredible branding exposure for Cary and highlight one of our state-of-the-art sports venues.

Cary Matters with NC Senator Gale Adcock

Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of taping an episode of Cary Matters with long time friend, former Cary Mayor Pro-Tem, and member of the NC Senate, Gale Adcock. We talked about the $29.8 million house budget passed on May 18th and what can be expected. Some of the items expected to be in the budget include funding for the Year of the Trail program, funding for the NC Symphony, funding for floodplain protections, and funding for land acquisition projects, a major investment in parks, trails, and open space. We did one take of the entire episode and did a few more takes of the opening and closing. We were done in about 30 minutes.

News Story About Break-ins

Wednesday WRAL ran a news story about car break-ins in Cary. Here is a response from our police chief:

“… This is a problem being worked at local, state and national levels.  We have apprehended a number of suspects, most being juveniles.  

We are taking this problem very seriously for obvious reasons by enhancing current efforts and putting in place strategies that are focused upon prevention, enforcement, technology, education, and through partnerships.  …”

It is important to remember that crime prevention is a partnership. Don’t be a victim of opportunity by leaving things unlocked and make sure to say something if you see something.

Cary Apex Joint Meeting

Thursday evening the Cary council and staff joined the Apex council and staff for a joint meeting. We talked about top priorities for each of our communities which was followed up with various questions. Apex is one of twelve amazing communities in Wake County with great people on their council and staff. In my individual conversations with their council members and staff I found that they are concerned about communicating with the public on development and environmental issues, future transit options, their residential and non-residential mix, and large greenfield development projects. Our meeting concluded after a couple of hours with a photo op.

Meeting TST Tournament Organizers

Friday morning I met with the two organizers of the TST (The Soccer Tournament) which was a huge success at the Wake Med Soccer park. The 7 versus 7 format combined with various rule changes made matches exciting and action packed. In my conversation with the organizers, they were very pleased with the tournament and looked forward to doing this in Cary next year. They mentioned that they might be creating a TTT (The Tennis Tournament) for Cary, which I would love. We’ll see.

NC Metro Mayors

The North Carolina Metro Mayors met Friday morning for the weekly legislative summary. Here is a report from KTS Strategies:

Sports Betting Bill Passes Senate

This week, the Senate passed legislation that would authorize and regulate betting on horse racing and professional, college, and amateur sports in North Carolina. H347, Sports Wagering/Horse Racing Wagering, was approved by the Senate Finance and Rules Committees before being sent to the floor for a two-day vote on Wednesday and Thursday. The bill received bipartisan support and passed third reading with a vote of 37-11 on Thursday. The bill will be sent back to the House for a concurrence vote before heading to the Governor for consideration. Governor Cooper has publicly expressed his support for sports wagering, and we anticipate he will sign the bill into law.

Medical Marijuana Hearing

S3, NC Compassionate Care Act, was heard in the House Health Committee on Tuesday. This bill would legalize medical marijuana for qualified patients with a debilitating medical condition. The bill establishes a Medical Cannabis Production Commission that has the authority to grant 10 licenses to medical cannabis suppliers in the state. To increase access in rural areas, the bill specifies that each supplier must operate at least one medical cannabis center in a Tier 1 county. S3 does not legalize cannabis for recreational use. The bill was for discussion only and did not receive a vote from the committee.

Boards and Commissions Appointments

S512, Greater Accountability for Boards/Commissions, passed the House by a party-line vote of 72-46 this week. This bill would change the composition and appointments structure of several state governing boards and commissions, resulting in less positions that will be appointed by the Governor. The bill would transfer some of the Governor’s appointments to elected state officials such as the agriculture commissioner, while others would be made by members of the General Assembly. S512 will be returned to the Senate for a concurrence vote before it heads to the Governor’s desk.

TST Semifinals

Saturday night my wife and I attended the semi-final matches of the TST which were won by Newtown Pride and SLCFC. These were great matches and the stands around each pitch were packed. Council members Robinson and Eades were also there viewing the action.

Gale Adcock NC Senate Reception

Sunday afternoon I will attended a reception for NC Senator and former Cary Mayor Pro-Tem Gale Adcock. She has served Cary citizens as a council member, NC representative, and a NC Senator for decades. I am honored to call her a friend and feel blessed that she represents Cary.

Town Manager’s Report

Sean’s Message

I’ve heard from several of you about how well last night’s dinner with Apex’s council went; I agree. The setting along with the informal agenda and set-up combined to create a positive and relaxed event good for fellowship and relationship building and nurturing. I’m told that Assistant Town Clerk Sarah Schubert handled the logistics, including with The Mayton, and she certainly did a great job – thanks, Sarah!
Finally – and most importantly – Happy Birthday, Mayor!

Memorial Day Remembrance 2023

Despite a misty rain, over 400 people gathered at Veterans Freedom Park for Cary’s Memorial Day Remembrance. Congresswoman Deborah Ross and Congressman Wiley Nickel spoke briefly followed by a powerful message from the new Vice Commander of the States VFW Helen Nelson. Mayor Harold Weinbrecht and Mayor Pro-Tem Don Frantz provided remarks on behalf of Cary and read the proclamation. The Cary Garden Club also dedicated the new Blue Star Memorial out at Veterans Freedom Park with the unveiling of the marker and laying of a wreath. It was a wonderful way to honor those that have fallen fighting for our country.

Bike Plan Focus Group

Cary’s Bike Plan Focus Group, with Councilmember Lori Bush in attendance, held its second meeting on Tuesday. The citizen-based group discussed an overview of our plan engagement efforts during April and Bike Month in May, the analysis underway of the existing plans and policies, what Level of Traffic Stress for bicyclists means within Cary, the varying widths of bike facilities and how they impact comfort, safety and use, and bike facility selection process and design guidance.

As we move into June, we invite the public to provide input on the bike plan through our online survey and mapping tool, open until the end of the month. The community’s input is valuable, so please take a few minutes to share your thoughts and ideas.

Cary Academy Students Work Experience Program

Two Cary Academy students, Mason Herr and Roderick McKenzie, chose Cary for their two-week Work Experience Program. While with the staff the rising seniors spent time with a variety of departments learning the ins and outs of local government management. During their time with Cary, they visited the Traffic Center, attended lots of meetings, experienced a walking tour of development in Downtown, and played the BudgetCary Game.

Celebrate Diversity Day

In recognition of Celebrate Diversity Month, Cary’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) hosted a program on Tuesday that created opportunities for staff to explore and celebrate our diversity as an organization through creating deeper understandings of others. Dozens of participants enjoyed sampling foods from various cultures and/or ethnicities, playing diversity bingo and winning prizes, exploring a wealth information and resources from the DEI staff, and sharing poetry readings penned by staff. The two-hour drop-in gathering allowed colleagues to engage and learn by flexing Cary’s collective DEI muscle in fun ways while exploring commonalities, interests, and lived experiences. 

NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse National Championship

This past weekend, Cary hosted the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse National Championship at WakeMed Soccer Park. Teams traveled from Northwestern University, University of Denver, Syracuse University, and Boston College to participate in the tournament. The teams, their fans, and a local crowd packed the stadium to 7,709 for Friday night semifinals and 6,705 on Sunday for the finals.  Northwestern raised the trophy for the 8th time as champions (but the 1st time in Cary).

Upcoming Meetings

Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Advisory Board
June 5
5:15 p.m.

Information Services Advisory Board
June 5
6:00 p.m.

Zoning Board of Adjustment
June 5
6:30 p.m.

Human Relations, Inclusion, & Diversity Task Force
June 6
6:00 p.m.

Senior Advisory Board
June 7
2:00 p.m.

Economic Development Committee
June 7
5:15 p.m.

Council Meeting (Work Session)
June 8
5:00 p.m.

Council Meeting
June 8
6:30 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • A concern that recent dog park renovations prevent use by handicapped individuals.
  • A safety concern about runners on Green Hope Road.
  • A thank you for what the town is doing for the LGBTQ+ community.
  • A complaint about people parking in the parking garage next to the library that were not going to the library.
  • A list of ideas about homelessness.
  • A thank you to the town’s 311 staff.
  • A proclamation request for National Gun Awareness.
  • A complaint about lack of public transit to the TST.
  • A complaint about a physical barrier on Petty Farm Road.

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, an affordable housing potential partnership meeting, a Human Relations Inclusion and Diversity Task Force meeting, an Economic Development meeting, a council work session, the first regularly scheduled meeting of June, a Cary Council candidate event, a special award presentation, and Green Hope High School’s Graduation.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, June 11th, 2023. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communication with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to

State of Cary Addresses, Wake Mayors, Year of the Trail Ride, CAMPO, and Council Meeting

State of Cary- Cary Central Rotary

Monday morning I presented an abbreviated version of the State of Cary address to the Cary Central Rotary. I didn’t have enough time for questions from the entire group but based on feedback afterwards it was well received.

Candidate Meeting

After giving my address I met with a candidate for office. My practice continues to be that I endorse incumbents and help all candidates.

Council Meeting Prep

Monday during the day I attempted to contact council members to hear of any concerns or questions about the upcoming agenda. There were questions about the Duke Health proposal from one council member. Other than that, there were no questions.

Later in the day I met with staff to go over the agenda items. The meeting was brief.

Town Manager One-On-One

Monday I briefly met with the town manager for our weekly one-on-one. Some of the topics of discussion included the town’s RFQ for the town hall campus, advisory boards, proclamations, and Cary Council candidates.

Wake Mayors Association Meeting

Monday night I traveled to Knightdale for the Wake County Mayors Association meeting. Mayors in attendance were from the towns of Cary, Fuquay Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Rolesville, Wake Forest, and Zebulon. Our topics of discussion included the Centennial Authority and budgets. Our meeting lasted about two and a half hours.

Year of the Trail Ride

Tuesday afternoon I joined council member Bush and about a dozen citizens in a bike ride from Bond Park to the Davis Drive Park as part of the “Year of the Trail” celebration. It was great to participate in the ride and see all the people on the greenway. Cary has about 85 miles of greenways. And if you include trails, we have over 100 miles.


Wednesday afternoon I participated in a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Executive Board. There were four consent items and six discussion items. We heard reports on the Triangle Regional Model, Triangle Transportation Choices/Transportation Demand Management (TDM), FY2024 Community Funding Area Program Update, 2023 (Section 5310) Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program Project Selection, Wake Transit FY24 Recommended Work Plan, and Amendment #12 to FY2020-2029 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). You can review the entire agenda and staff reports here.

Meeting with Bel Canto Representative

Thursday before the council meeting, I met with a representative from the Bel Canto Asset Growth Fund. I usually don’t meet with developers or their represeentatives, but I thought it was important for me to hear her out and for me to express what the council expects in projects. In my conversation I emphasized the importance of affordable housing, green infrastructure, and mobility. Our meeting lasted about half an hour.

Council Meeting

Thursday night the council held their last regularly scheduled meeting of the month. The agenda had four consent items, two public hearings, and three discussion items.

The first public hearing was for the FY 2024 budget and had no speakers. There will be an additional public hearing on June 8th before the vote on June 22nd.

The second public hearing on the Duke Health rezoning proposal which had a lot of discussion between council, staff, and the applicant about interior roads, stormwater mitigation, kiosk usage, affordable housing, and more.

Under discussion the council unanimously approved all items including the FY 2023 – 2024 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Annual Action Plan and funding recommendation. Council also approved Walnut Street and Davis Drive changes. Walnut Street will have a slower speed limit at 35 mph instead of 45 mph and Davis Drive will have a large school speed zone. And the Cary Water Treatment Plant will get upgrades which is part of the infrastructure lifecycle management.

State of Cary Searstone

Friday morning, I presented an updated version of the State of Cary address to about 50 residents and future residents of Searstone. My presentation took about 45 minutes and there were about 10 minutes of questions. I enjoyed my visit and hope I am invited back in the future.

North Carolina Metro Mayors

Friday the North Carolina Metro Mayors held their weekly meeting to hear a summary of legislative actions. Here are the week’s activities summarized by KTS strategies:

Senate Passes Budget

This week, the Senate released their budget proposal. The proposal received approval from the Senate Appropriations/Base Budget, Finance and Pensions Committees before heading to the full Senate. After consideration of 30 amendments, it passed 36-13. Seven Democrats voted in favor. Some highlights of the $29.8 billion spending plan include the following:

  1. Cuts taxes by $1.2 billion for all North Carolina families and businesses over the next two years; 
  2. Spends over $17.2 billion on education in fiscal year 2023–24 and over $17.6 billion in fiscal year 2024–25; 
  3. Boosts funding for the General Maintenance Reserve, used to help with upkeep of roads, by over $311 million; 
  4. Raises pay for State employees by 5% over the biennium;
  5. Raises pay for teachers by 4.5% over the biennium;
  6. Enacts Medicaid expansion.

The House and Senate will now meet in a Conference Committee in the upcoming weeks to negotiate the final budget. Their goal is to have a budget in place before the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Veto Override Vote on Abortion Bill

Last Saturday, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed S20, Care for Women, Children and Families Act. This bill prohibits elective abortions after 12 weeks in North Carolina. Exceptions apply for rape, incest, fetal life-limiting anomalies, and risk of life to the mother. It also includes $160 million for maternal health services, adoption care, contraceptive services, and paid leave for teachers and state employees after the birth of a child.

On Tuesday, the General Assembly held votes to override Governor Cooper’s veto. A three-fifths majority vote of all members present is necessary for a successful override. Both chambers successfully voted to override the veto along party lines. The final vote was 30-20 in the Senate and 72-48 in the House. This marks the second time this session that the General Assembly has overridden a veto from the governor.

School Choice Bill 

After a long floor debate and several failed amendment attempts, the House passed H823, Choose Your School, Choose Your Future Act on Wednesday. This legislation expands access to the Opportunity Scholarship Program to all North Carolina families and grant amounts would be based on household income. This bill is co-sponsored by all House Republicans. The bill passed with a final vote of 65-45, with only one Democrat voting in favor.  

TST (The Soccer Tournament) Taping

Friday afternoon I did a welcome taping for TST (The Soccer Tournament) which will have 32 teams from all over the world playing for a grand prize of $1 million. Matches start on Thursday, June 1st and the Championship match is on Sunday, June 4th. See you on the pitch!

Town Manager’s Report

Sean’s Message

This was a very busy week for our dedicated planning staff. Following the Duke Health rezoning case last night, staff are now focused on the upcoming South Hills Development rezoning case. Letters for the neighborhood meeting, scheduled for June 7, will go out to inform property owners on Wednesday. For the latest information on the case visit the rezoning webpage, here
Have a good weekend.

Celebrating Bike Month and Volunteer Appreciation

On Tuesday members of the Transportation Working Group, Greenways Committee, and Bike Plan Focus Group came together at the Bond Park Boathouse to celebrate Bike Month, the Year of the Trail, and our volunteers. After a proclamation delivered by At-Large Councilmember Lori Bush, the group, which included Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, enjoyed a bike ride along the scenic Black Creek and White Oak Greenways, heading to Davis Drive Park and back.

WWTA Senior Appreciation Day

On Wednesday Western Wake Tennis Association (WWTA) held their spring Senior Appreciation Day at the Cary Tennis Park. This event is held twice a year to celebrate the senior citizens who support the game of tennis in Cary. The event, which had 56 participants, featured a morning of organized round robin tennis as well as lunch and tennis clinics led by Cary Tennis Park pros. The highlight of the event was the exhibition match in which Mayor Harold Weinbrecht played against Tennis Services Coordinator Sean Ferreira during which they were partnered up with two senior volunteers to play in a doubles match. Mayor Weinbrecht also read a proclamation recognizing May as National Tennis Month. 

White Oak Conservation Management Plan Public Meeting

Last week Councilmembers Ryan Eades and Lori Bush and residents from Cary and Apex enjoyed an evening of engagement at the White Oak Creek Conservation Management Plan Public Meeting. The management plan is a grant-funded collaborative project including Cary, Apex, the Triangle Land Conservancy, and industry experts. Participants learned about the ecology and hydrology of the conservation area, why Cary is protecting it with a conservation management plan and gave feedback on possible future public uses/considerations of the space. 

Early Voting Site in Chatham County

At their meeting on May 16, the Chatham County Board of Elections voted to approve an early voting site for Cary’s 2023 municipal election. This will be the first time Cary has had a designated early voting site in Chatham County. We thank the Chatham County Board of Elections for approving this as Cary’s Chatham County population continues to grow. For more information, visit

Cary Senior Housing Symposium

Last week Cary held its first Senior Housing Symposium at the Herb Young Community Center. A partnership between the Senior Advisory Board and the Cary housing staff, this convening brought together regional experts on senior housing affordability to explore current needs, opportunities, and resources to support diverse senior housing options. The agenda included senior demographic data, best practices for constructing and operating affordable senior housing, and models to support aging in place in Cary. Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, Councilmembers Lori Bush and Carissa Kohn-Johnson, and Assistant Town Manager Danna Widmar joined the discussion along with presentations from regional leaders on this topic which includes AARP, Wake County’s Housing Division, Wake County Dept. of Human Services, DHIC, Brick Capital, Rebuilding Together of the Triangle, and Dorcas Ministries.

Councilmember Carissa Kohn-Johnson Presents Creative Placemaking Award

On Tuesday the Cary Chamber of Commerce held the Small Business Excellence Awards Luncheon. Councilmembers Jack Smith and Carissa Kohn-Johnson shared remarks. Councilmember Kohn-Johnson presented the Creative Placemaking Award to Singh Development for commissioning artist Thomas Sayre to create a unique “earth casting” sculpture for their project at Griffin Weston. The Creative Placemaking Award was created to increase public awareness of outstanding public art and to recognize and encourage design excellence in the private development sector.

Upcoming Closure of South Harrison Avenue

Beginning on Monday, the Annual Water Main Replacement project contractor, Carolina Civilworks, will place barricades on S. Harrison Ave between Chatham St. and Dry Ave. to begin construction of a new water main. This project invests in the future of downtown infrastructure by providing additional water supply capacity for our existing community, supporting the development of new projects, and enhancing existing infrastructure within the project area. A larger water main proposed for South Harrison will enhance fire flow protection within the downtown area. Detour routes will be available while S. Harrison Ave is closed to through traffic. During construction, on-street parking will not be available in the work zone. 

Transportation Working Group Visits CASSI

The Transportation Working Group utilized its May meeting to learn more about Cary’s experiences with the CASSI autonomous shuttle at Bond Park. Topics of discussion ranged from battery life and laser detection equipment to the vehicle’s video game-like operational system. The meeting concluded with a round trip ride from the Boathouse to the Cary Senior Center.

Dillard Drive Magnet Middle School Career Fair

Coray Davis, Chris Little, and Ernest Ray from the Transportation Department shared insight into their career paths and use of technology and teamwork to design, manage, and provide practical solutions to challenging engineering projects within Cary at the Dillard Drive Middle School Career Day. More than 1,000 students participated in the event, with a select group of eighth graders provided on-site mock interviews.

BRT Western Corridor Station Area Planning Scoping

Cary and Raleigh are actively preparing for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor connecting the two downtown areas. The Federal Transit Administration awarded a grant to support Transit Oriented Development planning work in the station areas along this corridor. Project scoping is currently underway. This week Cary staff hosted Skidmore Owings and Merrill, the consultant selected for this work, on a site drive of the future BRT route. If you have any questions, direct them to Transit Director Kelly Blazey. 

Cary Orientation

On Tuesday, 18 new Cary firefighters who were hired May 7 as part of Cary’s 27th fire academy joined 20 of their colleagues from many other departments at orientation, a special day structured by Human Resources to welcome Cary’s newest staff members. This week’s roster was one of the biggest ever, and together participants gained insights into Cary’s story, culture, and current events in sessions presented by our organization’s leaders. This unique day-long experience distinguishes Cary’s commitment to People First by dedicating a welcoming day.


Last week Public Works and Fire hosted a homeschool group for a Meet-the-Fleet field trip. There was plenty of sunshine and lots of smiles from the 40 children and 30 adults that attended while they learned about the different equipment, we use to serve the community.

Special Events Around Cary

Cary took the main stage last weekend as we hosted the 19th annual Ritmo Latino Festival and two sold out nights with Grammy Award-winning musician Pitbull. Cary partnered with Diamante Arts and Cultural Center to present the 19th annual Ritmo Latino Festival to celebrate Latino/Hispanic culture through music, dancing, and food.  Across town Pitbull had the audience on their feet dancing for the entire show. 

Fest in the West

Fest in the West was held on May 6, and the event drew approximately 3,000 people. There was a main stage that showcased a variety of musical acts, pie eating contest, petting zoo, and aerialist. There were local artisans selling their wares to the attendees who enjoyed the good weather and a fun community festival.

Solarize the Triangle a Local Success

Solarize the Triangle 2022 set a national record as the largest Solarize program in the country to date with 1,500 people signing up for free evaluations in a single campaign. As a result, 173 Triangle homeowners executed contracts to purchase new solar energy systems. Of these, Cary had 109 free evaluation sign ups and 12 completed contracts. Based upon 2022 success, a second Solarize the Triangle program kicked off on May 15. Enrollment for a free evaluation of homes, nonprofits, and small businesses ends September 30, and enrollees have until December 31, to decide whether to sign a contract. 

Spring Garden Season in Full Bloom

Garden season is in full bloom! Cary continues to grow its pollinator, edible, and native habitats. Recently, staff and seniors renovated two communal garden areas at the Senior Center Community Garden by removing non-native and invasive plants and installing over 32 species of native grasses, shrubs, and flowers. Garden guests of all ages enjoyed the first open house event of the season at the newly renovated Carpenter Park Community Garden. In addition, through our annual sale at Good Hope Farm 385 people purchased a compost bin or rain barrel. 

White Oak Church Road Water Main Construction Begins

Part of providing exceptional utility service includes constructing new water mains to support our community’s growing needs. The White Oak Church Rd Water Main Project closes a gap in the water system which will improve operations, water quality, and fire protection for the surrounding area. Cary has contracted with Sanford Contractor Inc. to install about 3200-feet of 16-inch water main along White Oak Church Road, from the White Oak Elementary to Vandiver Way. Construction work started on Monday with mobilization and tree clearing. 

2024 Council-Staff Retreat Dates

The annual Council-Staff Retreat weekend is the perfect time to be on the balcony for strategic planning and blue-sky thinking, and on the dance floor team building. Town Clerk Virginia Johnson added a block to your calendars for March 1-2, in Wilmington. We look forward to spending time with each of you there for a second year.

Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting on June 7th

The Neighborhood Meeting will be held virtually on WebEx from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The following cases will be discussed on June 7:

For more information and to register visit the Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting.

Upcoming Meetings

Planning and Zoning Board
Monday, May 22
6:30 p.m.

Cultural Arts Committee
Wednesday, May 24
6:00 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • Complaints to CAMPO about the future path to US 401 Bypass in Fuquay Varina (scheduled for 2050).
  • A complaint about the Kanoy rezoning proposal 22-REZ-13.
  • Complaints about the redevelopment of town hall campus.
  • A request to approve the budget as proposed.

Next Week

Next I will be on a family vacation.  

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, June 4th, 2023. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communication with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to

Cary Senior Housing Symposium, Honor a Teacher, Senior Appr

Town Manager One-On-One

Monday I met with the town manager for our weekly one-on-one. Topics included the upcoming quarter meeting, the budget, sports venues, and the DEI task force.

Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships Board Meeting

Monday night I met with the board for the Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships. We mostly talked about this year’s tournament and sponsors. We also found out that we will be holding an additional ATP 75 tournament this year starting the week of August 7th. As Cary continues to improve the Cary Tennis Park, we will get more and more opportunities to hold events. Even if you don’t like tennis, the economic benefits help all of us.

Cary Senior Housing Symposium

Tuesday I gave welcoming remarks at the Cary Senior Housing Symposium. Here is an excerpt from remarks that I spoke from:

“…I am honored to be here with all of you today as we discuss such an important topic – providing affordable and accessible housing for our seniors. Also joining us from the Cary Council is Lori Bush.

Our latest census data shows that Cary’s senior population is growing. In fact, out of the top 14 municipalities we are the oldest. It is essential that we find and provide the support that our seniors need, including a diverse range of housing options, to ensure those who love Cary can stay in Cary, in a safe and comfortable place.

I’m glad that this is the topic for today’s event and that you all are here to listen, give input, and share what you learn with others while we tackle this issue as partners. …

Events like today would not be possible without our community partners. Ensuring the aging population is cared for and can thrive in Cary cannot be achieved by only one organization. I encourage you to meet others today, learn about their expertise areas, and look for ways to collaborate on strategies. …”

It will take all of us working together to make a difference in the affordable housing crisis.

Candidate Meeting

Tuesday afternoon I met with a potential candidate for Cary Town Council. My practice is that I endorse incumbents but will talk with and help everyone that is interested.

Honor a Teacher

Tuesday night I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz and council member Eades at Prestonwood for the Cary Chamber Honor a Teacher Program. This program originated in 1991 with the Discovery Award by the Ashworth Family and shortly followed with the Clara Knoll Excellence in Teaching Award by Barry & DJ Mitsch. This program has since grown to awarding over 30 teachers representing Cary Area Schools. The teachers are nominated by parents, colleagues, administration, and the business community leading to five final nominees per school. After the nominations are complete, the representing sponsor has the option to participate in the selection process and/or present the award directly to the teacher at the ceremony on May 9th. I, along with my colleagues from council, awarded a Civic Education Award to a Green Hope Elementary teacher and an Excellence in Teaching Award to a Wake STEM Early College High School teacher. Congratulations to our winners and all the teachers for their dedication and commitment to changing lives and building the future generation.

Senior Appreciation Day at Cary Tennis Park

Wednesday I participated in a Senior Appreciation Day event at Cary Tennis Park. I provided remarks, read a proclamation, and played an exhibition with Sean Ferreira (the Director of Tennis) along with two players chosen from the attendees. It is important to know that the latest research by the Physical Activity Council shows that more than 23.6 million Americans played tennis in 2022. This is a 33% increase in participation from 2019 and is the highest number of players since the study began. I have played tennis for almost 50 years and credit it for my physical and mental health. I would encourage all citizens to take up this lifetime sport.

MPO Executive Board Commuter Rail Subcommittee Meeting

Thursday morning I attended a meeting of combined MPOs (Metropolitan Planning Organizations) from Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and the Capital Area as part of a subcommittee on Commuter Rail. A loan consultant presented funding options to do phase 1 of commuter rail without federal funding since no federal funding was available. According to research, it would cost $1.6 billion to go from Garner to a little past RTP. The consultants recommended RRIF (Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing). The group instead decided to focus on BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) since federal funding was available for that option. In addition, while BRT is being established, infrastructure on rail lines, such as grade separated crossings, could occur. These infrastructure projects could also receive federal funding. This was a big pivot from what the committee was established for but is probably the best use of resources and funding and will accomplish a goal of providing transit options.

Council Quarterly Meeting

Thursday the council met half a day for its first quarterly meeting of 2023. Topics included Capital and Community Projects, a Development Update, an Environmental Update, a Financial Update with the Proposed FY24 Budget, and Potential Ordinances for Public Safety and Quality of Life. The following are some of my notes.

Capital and Community Projects

Higgins Greenway


Multi-Generational Community Centers

Cary Tennis Park Clubhouse Expansion

USA Baseball Indoor Training

  • Higgins Greenway Phase 3 is close to bid. Construction will begin in the fall and will take approximately 12 months.
  • Higgins Greenway Phase 4 will pick up where phase 3 ends and take it to the downtown park. This will be a 12-foot path that includes a bike path that is separated from the road and pedestrians.
  • There will be a new crossing at Kay Struffolino Park.
  • Several downtown roads will have a significant water main, sewer, sidewalk, pavement replacement over the next few years to prevent potential breaks. Projects include Harrison from Chatham to Heater, Byrum, Park, Page, and S. West.
  • Meridian on Chatham will have road extended to Cedar and major sewer line replacement. The project includes retail, parking, and residential.
  • PRCR master plan is being updated and will include a public survey, existing system analysis, needs assessment, and community workshops.
  • The town is planning two multi-generational community centers at Mills Park and South Hills. Next steps include completing base programs for the centers, floor plans, and finalizing budget costs.
  • Walnut Creek Greenway will be from the downtown park to Fenton and then to South Hills which is about 3 miles. Cary already owns 2 of those 3 miles.
  • Cary Tennis Park will see expansion of clubhouse and courts to meet community need and to position for higher ranked professional tournaments. Pickleball will be part of the expansion to include 20 to 32 courts. There is also a parking deck proposed.
  • Connectivity Improvements are being made with the Crabtree Creek Greenway, Black Creek Greenway, and the Pedestrian Bridge for Black Creek Greenway.
  • USA Baseball expansion will have a 22,000 square foot indoor facility. It is about 75% done and will be completed this year.

Development Update

  • Only 1 out of 29 rezoning proposals were approved last quarter.
  • 39 site plans were approved.
  • There are 56 permits for active development this quarter.
  • Future projects include Duke Health hospital with 500 beds, office, and multi-family.
  • A GoCary Bus Maintenance facility will be built for $37.7 million funded by Wake grants.
  • South Hills will have plans submitted soon.
  • The Crossroads Area is showing interest in redevelopment.
  • Weston Parkway owners are interested in redevelopment.
  • Town Hall campus will likely have redevelopment. The process will include developer interviews, select a developer, negotiate a development agreement, and begin the rezoning process. RFQ is to get information from developers. It is not a plan.

Environmental Update

  • 51% of Cary is covered by tree canopy and the canopy is growing. We are focusing on quality as well as quantity.
  • Downtown Park will have over 600 new trees.
  • 80% of Cary’s tree canopy is on private property and will require help from citizens.
  • Staff is currently working on an Urban Forestry Master Plan.
  • We are planting more trees on town owned property.
  • The Count Me In Cary initiative is underway. It is about stewardship strategies for a sustainable future. Areas include energy, transportation & mobility, natural resources, solid waste, water infrastructure, and community.

FY23 Update

  • Property Tax Collections are up 3%.
  • Sales Tax Collections are strong.
  • Expenditures are up 26% due to inflation, personnel, and new employees.

Proposed FY24 Budget

  • If a recession were to occur, Cary would likely be insulated from the impacts.
  • A Smart Asset report that found Cary to be the #1 most resilient economy in the nation.
  • Cary’s median household income (stated in 2021 dollars) of $113,782 reflects its highly educated citizenry of which 69.5% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • As of February 2023, projections place Cary’s unemployment rate at 2.7%.
  • Cary is transitioning from a growing community to a maturing community.
  • The FY 2024 Town of Cary budget totals $523.8 million supporting both operating and capital spending. Operating expenditures of $354.0 million increased 8.1% when compared to the prior year, while capital expenditures of $169.7 million are up 41.9%. It is not uncommon to see significant shifts in capital funding need as different projects are at different stages of progress from year to year.
  • Property tax collections remained high at 99.8% last year, sales tax collections continued to experience record growth averaging 14.5 percent.
  • The FY 2024 budget assumes that Cary’s property tax rate remains unchanged at $0.345 per $100 of assessed valuation and that 99.8% of that revenue will be collected.
  • Each penny of Cary’s property tax rate generates approximately $3.4 million.
  • The General Fund is at $239.9 million which is a 3.7% increase.
  • Debt Service is at 9.8% of the operating budget, which is well below maximum goals.
  • The solid waste fee will remain at $22.00 per month and will allow Cary to recover approximately 96% of operating costs.
  • The FY 2024 budget recommends a 3% rate increase in Water, sewer, and irrigation ratesto support operational costs, capital infrastructure and debt repayment. The average family of four would experience an estimated $2.57 per month increase in their total monthly utility bill.

Potential Ordinances and Changes

  • There are five changes that are no brainers. Add ordinances to prevent interference with property, public urination, public lewdness, and vehicle trespassing. There will be ordinance recommendations for parking decks as well as unattended property.
  • There will be ordinances that will be difficult decisions that include charitable solicitation, commercial sales, sidewalk sales, and street performers.

Legislative Summary

The following is a summary of legislative actions for the week by KTS Strategies:

Legislative Activity

It was a very quiet week at the NC General Assembly. Most House members worked in District as there were no committee meetings or floor votes scheduled. The Senate conducted only one committee meeting to handle some local elections bills. No Senate floor votes were held. Senate leadership continued to finalize their budget details behind closed doors which could be released soon. We anticipate legislative activity to pick back up again next week.

Abortion Bill

Last week, the legislature passed S20, Care for Women, Children and Families Act. The bill would prohibit elective abortions after 12 weeks. Certain exceptions apply for rape, incest, fetal life-limiting anomalies, and risk of life to the mother. It also includes $160 million for maternal health services, adoption care, contraceptive services and paid leave for teachers and state employees after the birth of a child. Governor Cooper has announced he will veto the legislation on Saturday. The Senate could consider an override vote as early as next Tuesday.

2024 Elections

This week, Representative Jeffrey Elmore (R-Wilkes) announced his run for Lieutenant Governor in the 2024 election. Elmore adds his name to a growing list of candidates for the position since current Lt. Governor Mark Robinson announced his run for Governor last month. Other Republican candidates include Hal Weatherman and Peter Boykin.  Democratic candidates include State Senator Rachel Hunt of Charlotte and former Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey. There are several others that have announced their run for statewide offices in 2024.

For the Governor’s race, current State Treasurer Dale Folwell will challenge Mark Robinson in the Republican primary. Former North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker is also expected to announce his run in the coming weeks. On the Democratic ticket is current Attorney General Josh Stein. Announced candidates for the North Carolina Labor Commissioner race are Republican State Representatives Jon Hardister, Ben Moss, and Democratic Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Braxton Winston. For the State Treasurer race, State Representative Wesley Harris (D-Mecklenburg) announced his run in March. Another Mecklenburg County Representative, Republican Rep. John Bradford, has mentioned he is considering a run for Treasurer, but has yet to officially enter the race. The candidate filing period for the statewide 2024 elections begins at noon on Monday, December 4 and ends at noon on Friday, December 15, 2023. Primaries will be held on March 5, 2024.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • A request to pass an Inclusion and Equality ordinance (Cary did this last summer)
  • A complaint about the Kanoy Property 22-REZ-13 proposal
  • A thanks to an officer who helped a lost traveler
  • Two complaints about town growth (Cary has grown at 2 to 2 1/2 % for the last 15 years)
  • A complaint about a senior housing development on Lilly Atkins

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, two State of Cary addresses, a Wake County Mayors Association meeting, a Transportation Working Group Bike Ride, a Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Executive Board meeting, a regularly scheduled council meeting, and a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Friday, May 19th, 2023. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communication with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to

Tampa Visit, NC Metro Mayors, and Fest in the West

Cary Chamber Intercity Visit to Tampa

Tuesday I joined over 40 business leaders, 3 council members, and staff members in a Cary Intercity trip to Tampa, Florida. Since this was a day of travel, I spent my time connecting with various business leaders and hearing about their challenges. One important theme was that business leaders were all experiencing strong growth and are moving forward with expansion even though some thought there might be a recession.

Wednesday’s first session was with Craig Richard, the CEO of Tampa Bay Economic Development. One of the first things I learned was that Tampa Bay is not just Tampa but includes other municipalities such as St. Petersburg. Mr. Richard pointed out several things which were like Cary. Tampa has experienced a “Brain Gain” rather than a “Brain Drain”. As a result, companies were following talent instead of what we saw years ago when talent followed companies. That is what we see in Cary as well.

The second session was with Water Street Tampa development. After a brief talk we did a walking tour of phase one of their project which included tall buildings in park-like settings. In addition, they were occupied by high end retail or local restaurants. The tenants reminded me a lot of Fenton in Cary. The spaces between the buildings with trees and water features projected a relaxed feeling rather than a feeling of being in an urban setting. This will be very important to implement in our future vertical projects.

For our next session we traveled to the Tampa Bay Rays stadium in St. Petersburg to visit the Gas Plant District. We saw a presentation on the redevelopment project there, which is being done by Hines, one of the partners at Fenton. Their redevelopment project will include a huge mixed-use area as well as a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays. A lot of the discussion centered on public-private partnerships and almost all questions were from our business leaders.

Next we traveled to the St. Petersburg Pier to see the waterfront and development along the waterfront. Having iconic spaces for the public to gather is essential. It is my hope that we continue to add those in the future.

At dinner we were fortunate to hear from the Tampa Bay Chamber President, Dr. Rob Rohlack, and from the Tampa Mayor, Jane Castor. The dinner was held at the Columbia which was founded in 1905 and is the oldest restaurant in Florida. The mayor and Chamber President were a delight to talk to and had a clear passion and love for their community as I do for Cary.

The mayor spoke about the importance of listening to the people, working with businesses, and creating great relationships, which is a big part of what I believe. After the mayor spoke to the attendees, I said a few words and presented her with a gift that had the new Cary logo.

Thursday’s first session was with “rithm”, a group that is creating a mixed-use development at an old mall sight in Tampa. Their plan is to keep about half of the mall space and add mixed use development in the space where the other part of the mall use to be. While they had several good tenants, I am doubtful they will eventually be able to fulfill their dream.

One of their tenants was Vu, a state-of-the-art virtual production studio that gives unlimited creative control. The studio’s main area had a wall that could be changed to be virtually anything. They did several examples for us including some with participants in a hospital setting. Looking at the monitor, you could not tell that it was virtual. They also showed a movie clip that had several scenes which they shot at very little expense in a very short time. It looked very real, and I see this transforming the movie industry because it will allow movies to be made quicker and cheaper. One cool note is that they used Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to build this. Two infamous people that have worked in their studio were Tom Cruise for the Top Gun sequel Maverick, and Tom Brady for an advertisement.

Our next session on Thursday was the CEO of Tampa Bay regional partnership, Bemetra Simmons. She presented a detailed breakdown of data collected for the Tampa Bay area which showed their strengths and weaknesses and how they compare with other metro areas. Cary gets that kind of data from Michael Walden, from NC State, and Ted Abernathy, an Economic Development, Workforce & Strategy consultant. The main difference was that Ms. Simmons and her team were very active with the state legislature working for change.

Our last session on Thursday was in Ybor with developers, brokers, city planners and the chamber president. They talked about the Gas Worx Mixed Use redevelopment project that they were planning. It is a huge project that will take a great deal of public-private partnerships. With Tampa’s growth and the location of this project, I see this as being very successful. It was a great example of redevelopment which Cary will see a lot of in the not-too-distant future.

This was a great trip. Not only did I create new relationships but strengthened others. I carried home a lot of ideas which I am sure we will explore in the future. A HUGE thank you to the Cary Chamber for creating this visit for the business leaders, staff, and a few of the Cary Council.

North Carolina Metro Mayors

Friday the North Carolina Metro Mayors held a meeting to hear a summary of the week’s activities in the legislature. Here is a summary from KTS Strategies:

Crossover Deadline

Thursday, May 4th was the crossover deadline for the North Carolina General Assembly 2023-2024 long session. Crossover is the date by which a bill must pass its chamber of origin to remain eligible for consideration for the remainder of the biennium. Exemptions to the crossover deadline include Constitutional amendments, redistricting, election laws, nominations and appointments, adjournment resolutions, and bills with a finance or appropriations provision. A high volume of bills passed through each chamber this week to meet the deadline. To date, 745 bills have been filed in the Senate and 895 in the House. Only 12 bills have become law so far this session. 

Abortion Bill

This week, House and Senate leadership announced an agreement on abortion legislation for North Carolina. S20, Care for Women, Children and Families Act, was released in a conference report Tuesday evening. The bill was heard in a Joint Rules Committee meeting Wednesday morning before being passed on the House floor Wednesday evening with a vote of 71-46. After a lengthy floor debate in which every Democrat rose to speak in opposition, the Senate approved the bill Thursday afternoon with a vote of 29-20. S20 will now be sent to Governor Cooper for consideration, but he has pledged to veto the legislation. Both legislative chambers now hold veto-proof GOP supermajorities after Mecklenburg County Representative Tricia Cotham switched her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican last month. Current NC law bans abortion after 20 weeks gestation unless there is a medical emergency after the Roe vs. Wade decision was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. This bill proposes the following changes:

  • Abortion permitted for any reason through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy;
  • Allow abortion through 20 weeks in the case of rape or incest;
  • Allow abortion through 24 weeks for life-limiting fetal anomalies; and
  • No limit when life of the mother is at risk as determined by a licensed physician.

The bill also includes nearly $160 million in funding for maternal health services, adoption care, contraceptive services and paid leave for teachers and state employees after the birth of a child.

NC Supreme Court Rulings

Last Friday, the North Carolina Supreme Court reversed previous rulings related to voting maps, voter ID, and felon voting rights. The Court ruled 5-2 that based on the North Carolina Constitution, the courts play no role in determining partisan gerrymandering for voting maps drawn by the NC Legislature. Justice Paul Newby wrote in the opinion, “Our constitution expressly assigns the redistricting authority to the General Assembly subject to explicit limitations in the text.” The Court also reversed a decision on the 2018 voter ID law.  A trial court previously struck down the law and ruled it unconstitutional. Additionally, the Court released a ruling reversing a lower court ruling that would allow felons to regain the right to vote once they had finished their prison sentences, even if they had not finished their probation or paid off the fines and fees associated with their punishment.

Read the statements on the rulings from Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), and Governor Roy Cooper.

Fest in the West

Saturday I joined council member Carissa Johnson at the 7th Fest in the West festival in Brooks Park. My role was to judge the Hillbilly Horseshoe contest. I decided to participate and do commentary. In the end a past champion along with Carissa Johnson defeated me and a police officer. The festival included two stages of entertainment, an arts and crafts village, and a Kids Corral for family activities that included a petting zoo. And there were numerous options for food and beverages that were available. I hope all those in attendance had a great time.

Town Manager’s Report

Dan’s Message

I hope those of you that traveled to Tampa for the Cary Chamber Inter-City trip this week are making your way back safely. On the home front this week things were relatively business as usual except for heightened attention on our water system. As part of routine utility system sampling, Cary received positive confirmation of E. coli bacteria at a water sampling station located on Airgate Drive in Wake County on the afternoon of May 3. Although isolated, because of the detection of E. coli in the water system, utility systems are required to make notification to its customers, which was sent today at 7:30 a.m. As part of meeting regulatory requirements, 311 collaborated with Utilities to create clear messaging for the website, social media, and knowledge articles to assist citizens. 311 increased staffing levels to support a potential influx of calls, while Marketing quickly distributed information through these channels. At this time, 311 has assisted one citizen with additional information and brought the case to closure. Citizens with questions should contact Cary 311 online at or by dialing 311 within Cary limits or (919) 469-4000 from outside Town limits.
I look forward to seeing you all next Thursday at the Quarterly Meeting. There will not be a Council Weekly Report on May 12, because you will be updated on anything timely at the meeting.
Have a nice weekend.

2023 Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival

Cary welcomed more than 15,000 visitors to Bond Park for its 30th annual Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival. The event featured a broad mix of high-quality North Carolina arts and crafts, local entertainment, delectable food and beverage options, plus a wide range of specialized activities – from sports games to boat rentals on Bond Lake to high-flying zip lines at the Challenge Course. Hundreds of festival goers, including At-Large Councilmember Lori Bush, cycled to the event and took advantage of the complimentary bike valet program. Major thanks to Cary staff and almost 175 community volunteers for producing another safe, successful, and memorable Spring Daze. 

Earth Day Lane Activities

At Spring Daze, children had fun raking in leaves and searching in soil for critters and fungi at the Environment booth along Earth Day Lane. Their explorations and discoveries were guided by staff who helped them understand that the foundation of vibrant plants and ecosystems is healthy soils, and healthy soils are built with compost which can be any decaying organic matter, especially leaves.
Additionally, Earth Day Lane celebrated the official launch of Count me in, Cary! Stewardship Strategies for a Sustainable Future. This campaign, available until September 1, was created to educate and generate interest, engagement, and citizen input about their concerns and willingness to act on topics such as supporting the environment and reducing CO2 emissions. So far Cary has received more than 1,000 responses to surveys that will inform actions to create the community’s sustainability and climate action strategy.

Boards, Commission, and Committee Recruitment Opens

Recruitment is now open for our Council-appointed advisory boards, commission, and committee. Cary citizens interested in volunteering their time and expertise to help shape Cary are invited to apply now through June 30 at

2023 Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony

On Tuesday, the Police Department hosted the 38th Annual North Carolina Peace Officers’ Memorial Day Ceremony at The Shepherd’s Church in Cary. This ceremony is held annually to honor North Carolina’s fallen law enforcement officers who die in the line of duty. This year, officers gathered to honor 11 fallen officers who lost their lives in 2022.

Bike to School Day

On Wednesday, hundreds of students across Cary participated in National Bike & Roll to School Day.  This event helps to raise awareness about Cary’s greenways, bike facilities, and sidewalks. It’s also a great start to Bike Month, which has events and opportunities to get involved all month long. Thanks to our partnership with Wake County’s Safe Routes to School, staff distributed water bottles, bike bells, reflectors, maps, bookbags, stickers, and more to six Cary elementary schools who registered for the event.

Choose to Lose Concludes

Human Resources announced the successful conclusion of its Choose to Lose Wellness Challenge, Cary’s 12-week program that netted a nearly 400-pound weight loss among the 75 employee participants who completed the challenge. Together, they focused not only on attaining weight goals, but also on prioritizing their health and well-being by harnessing the program’s tips and tools for healthy behavior change.

Vehicle and Pedestrian Detection Pilot

Traffic Signal System staff partnered with CUBIC to learn about the GRIDSMART System that tracks all road users, including pedestrians, as they enter, travel through, and exit the intersection, extending clearance times to accommodate each traveler or giving back valuable time to vehicles. The Fisheye 3 camera is equipped with high dynamic range technology paired with the horizon-to-horizon view, improving the visibility and accuracy of captured footage. The GRIDSMART camera tracks vehicles into and out of the intersection, providing accurate turning movement counts. The system also provides a virtual pan-tilt-zoom, giving you a traffic management center-like view of the intersection. This technology allows staff access to enhanced real-time information to improve signal efficiency and safety. This pilot will run throughout the summer.

FY23 Traffic Calming – Construction Contract Executed

Traffic calming construction has begun in several areas of Cary. The project contractor, Raleigh Paving, has entered into an agreement with Cary to construct speed humps along Park York Lane, Kettlebridge Drive, Glenbuckley Road, and Henderson Road. Residents of each community were notified and updated on the projects using the Traffic Calming Engagement Hub.

Upcoming Meetings

Environmental Advisory Board
Tuesday, May 9
6:00 p.m.

Historic Preservation Commission
Wednesday, May 10
6:30 p.m.

Quarterly Council Meeting
Thursday, May 11
1:00 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • Several requests asking for a delay the 401 Bypass (this is a CAMPO decision)
  • A concern over the new NC House Bill 198 which would allow billboards again in Cary
  • Complaints about the Kanoy Property Proposal 22-REZ-13
  • A request to pass an inclusion ordinance (already did this last summer)
  • An invitation to play in the Senior Tennis Appreciation Day

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, an Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships board meeting, a Cary Senior Housing Symposium, candidate meetings, an Honor a Teacher event, Senior Tennis Appreciation Day exhibition, a MPO joint subcommittee meeting on commuter rail, a council quarterly meeting, and a North Carolina Metro Mayors meeting.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, May 14th, 2023. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communication with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to

Cary 101, Sports Alliance, and the Gillings School

This was a slow week for me as mayor since I had three birthdays and an anniversary.

Cary 101 Reception

Wednesday I joined the council for a reception to meet the Cary 101 students. Cary 101 is a “citizen’s college” that provides the community with a behind-the-scenes look at municipal government structure, culture, and decision-making. Through discussion and hands-on activities, students obtain greater awareness of Cary’s planning and operations. It is my hope that these students will become Cary Ambassadors once they graduate.

Council Candidate Meeting

Wednesday evening I briefly met with two candidates for Cary Council. My practice is to endorse incumbents while offering advice and information to anyone who asks.

Sports Alliance Event

Thursday I joined a few dozen people at a Sports Alliance luncheon. Ted Reese, President of TTS, talked about Collegiate and Professional Tennis Tournaments, programming, and facility upgrades around the Cary Tennis Park. The audience was mostly made up of business leaders with a vested interest in tourism dollars.

Global Horizons Event

Thursday night I attended an event for Global Horizons focusing on the Gillings School of Global Public Health. The featured speaker was Dean Nancy Messonnier. I had the joy of talking with her and hearing about her time at the CDC, especially at the beginning of the pandemic. If you remember she was one of the first warning of a pandemic early on in 2021. Trump replaced her but she was proven correct. We also talked about how the CDC’s work before the pandemic allowed for the quick creation of vaccines. What an amazing person and I am glad she is the dean at Gillings. There were several other amazing doctors (PhDs and MDs) at the event and it was a joy to talk to them all.

NC Metro Mayors

The North Carolina Metro Mayors met virtually Friday to hear of legislative actions. Here is a summary of actions from KTS Strategies:

Lumbee Recognition

In conjunction with the inaugural Lumbee Day at the North Carolina General Assembly, hosted by the KTS Strategies team, the NC House passed HR499, Support Lumbee Fairness Act. The resolution requests Congress to grant the “benefits, privileges, and immunities that accompany” federal recognition to the Lumbee Tribe. In February, bills identical to House Resolution 499 were introduced by Senators Thom Tillis and Ted Budd in the U.S. Senate and by a group of bi-partisan members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Lumbee Tribe has been formally recognized in North Carolina since 1885 and has fought for full Federal recognition for over a century. Legislation passed by Congress in 1956 recognized the Tribe, but denied benefits that every other federally recognized Tribe receives. North Carolina House Representative Jarrod Lowery (R-Robeson), a member of the Tribe, spoke in support of the measure and called on his fellow members to support the resolution.

School Choice

On Wednesday, House and Senate leaders held a press conference announcing companion bills S406/H823, Choose Your School, Choose Your Future Act. The legislation would expand access to the Opportunity Scholarship Program to all North Carolina families. Grant amounts would be based on household income. It would also eliminate any requirement for recipients to have previously attended public schools. S406 received a favorable report from the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday and was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The House bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee next Tuesday. Both bills are co-sponsored by all Republican members of each chamber.

Mental Health Initiative

This week, House members announced a bi-partisan plan to overhaul the State’s mental health system. H855, Strengthening Care for Families and Children, lays out a plan to invest $1 billion of the $1.75 billion bonus the state will receive from the American Rescue Plan for expanding Medicaid. The plan would invest significant dollars to three key areas:

  • $225 million to improve access to behavioral health services.
  • $200M to building a statewide behavioral health crisis system; and
  • $50M for tele-health programs and a centralized bed registry.

The legislature passed Medicaid expansion last month. Implementation is contingent upon passage of the State budget.

Town Manager’s Report

Shelley’s Message

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce 2023 Inter-City Visit & Leadership Conference in Denver, Colorado along with Town Manager Sean R. Stegall and Business Services Manager Bryan Hayes. It was nice to reconnect and strengthen relationships with leaders and business owners within Wake County while observing the business market and community of Denver.
I was especially impressed with their Union Station, which is their version of a multi-modal center. The Union Station serves as a great example of a multi-modal hub with train and bus connections surrounded by residential and commercial properties and amenities.
I’m looking forward to seeing several of you at next week’s Cary Chamber of Commerce Inter-City trip to Tampa, Florida. I’m hopeful that we can explore best practices as it relates to the areas that are most important to us.
Thankfully, the weather should be clear tomorrow just in time for Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival at Bond Park!
Enjoy your weekend.

Cary Matters

Last week, Mayor Pro Tem Don Frantz and Council Member Lori Bush filmed a Cary Matters segment covering Year of the Trail and Bike Month events in May. Be on the lookout for this production which will be released in early May.

Pinwheel Planting

On Monday, Council Member Carissa Kohn-Johnson participated in a pinwheel planting ceremony at First Baptist Church in Downtown Cary for Child Abuse Prevention Month. During the ceremony, she read the Mayor’s Proclamation. Other speakers included Cary Police Lieutenant Ashlee Dean, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina President and CEO Sharon Hirsch, Wake County Health and Human Services Program Manager Jason Mahoney, and Cary Police Detective Rebecca Platz.

Cary Participates in NC State Energy Conference

Staff participated in a unique networking opportunity at the North Carolina State Energy Conference held in Raleigh this week. The event hosted forums that connected participants with technical innovations and highlighted industry opportunities to help move North Carolina’s regional energy economy forward. Assistant Town Manager Danna Widmar served as a panelist on a forum focused on municipal environmental opportunities, fostering an innovation culture, and building energy stakeholder relationships. Chapel Hill-based Spotlight Solar displayed an innovative stand-alone, no grid connection required, solar shelter that was a hit among participants. A key objective of Spotlight Solar is to provide a variety of publicly visible and attractive solar structures that engage citizens and complement stewardship initiatives that are otherwise out of view.

2023 Cary 101 Program Underway

The Cary 101 program kicked off last week for a group of 20 citizens who are excited to learn about Cary’s projects, programs, and services. In addition to hands-on activities, facility tours, and presentations, this year’s participants enjoyed meeting with Cary Council members on Wednesday. This event included a unique view of the Downtown Park from The Walker Apartment’s Sky Lounge. Participants will continue attending sessions over the next several weeks before graduating at the end of May.

Fire Participants in Nuclear Plant Emergency Exercise

Fire staff participated in the annual Harris Nuclear Power Plant Emergency Exercise, which is graded by FEMA. Fire’s role was to set up the Apex municipality Area Command Post and Staging Area at Cary Station 5 and provide logistical support for site access, radiological monitoring, and route alerting simulation. The Area Command Post and Staging Areas were run concurrently with FEMA evaluations conducted at Wake County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Joint Information Center (JIC), and a forward Area Command Post near the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant. Initial feedback from FEMA evaluators at the Area Command Post was positive. FEMA will issue a final report next month.

Duke University Student Presents Project Findings

Will Hager, a Master of Public Policy student at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, selected Cary as the client for his final thesis. This week, he visited Town Hall to present his findings to Cary staff. His report titled “Governing a Boomburb: Guiding Cary’s Growth into the Future” analyzes trends and challenges among five rapidly growing communities, or “Boomburbs,” including Cary. Robert Lang and Jennifer LeFurgy characterize “Boomburbs” as suburbs with a population of over 100,000 people, a double-digit growth rate for multiple consecutive decades, and not the largest community in the metropolitan area. Will’s full report  includes policy recommendations for Cary to consider moving forward.

West Point Leadership Program Graduates

Sergeant Titus Moore and Corporal David Jones recently graduated from the West Point Leadership Program (WPLP). The WPLP is a 102-hour program through Methodist University, with a goal “to inspire police leaders to develop an informed, systematic, and dynamic approach to leading in police organizations.” The program adapts a military leadership course at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. The course examines and integrates leadership in organizations from four perspectives: the individual, the group, the leader, and the organization.

Cary Launches Shape the Crepe Campaign at Earth Day Celebration 2023

No matter the tree species, pruning in the urban/suburban landscape is an important part of maintaining tree and canopy health. Unfortunately, topping Crepe Myrtles has become so commonplace that people and some landscapers have come to believe it’s the right thing to do. To help debunk that myth and support a healthy urban forest, Cary is launching a multi-year Shape the Crepe campaign Saturday at the tree booth along Earth Day Lane at Spring Daze. Over several years, staff will reach out to stakeholders, including the landscape community, to join us in conversation and practice to stop the chop and Shape the Crepe instead.  

ACC Tennis Championships at Cary Tennis Park

The Atlantic Coast Conference Tennis Championships were held this past weekend, April 19 – 23, at Cary Tennis Park. The NC State Wolfpack upset the top-ranked University of North Carolina Tarheels in the Women’s Final. This was the Wolfpack Women’s’ first ACC Championship title. In the Men’s Final, the top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers defeated the Duke Blue Devils for their 3rd straight ACC Championship. More than 3,000 spectators were in attendance, with ticket sales almost doubled from the last time ACCs were hosted in 2019. The new collegiate seating was a big hit with spectators and teams! The ACC Tennis Championships will be back at Cary Tennis Park in 2024.

Children’s Day Festival of Cary 2023

Approximately 2,000 people attended Cary’s Children’s Day Festival last Saturday. After years in Bond Park, the festival moved to the Town Hall campus and, ultimately, Kay Yow Court at Herb Young Community Center due to the weather. Council Member Ryan Eades presented the mayor’s proclamation. Other activities included music and dance performances by more than 100 children, craft activities, food trucks, and booths from community organizations. The annual event celebrates the importance of children, sharing with them the cultures and traditions of their neighbors. Children’s Day Festival is led by the American-Turkish Association of North Carolina, sponsored by Cary Sister Cities, and hosted by Cary.

Coffee, Cops, and Conversation

On Tuesday, staff from the police department held another successful community engagement event of Coffee, Cops & Conversations. We are thankful for our community partnership with Esteamed Coffee, located on South Academy Street, and their hospitality in hosting the event. It was a great day of fellowship, and the next event is scheduled for May 9.

Upcoming Closure of West Park Street

Beginning on Monday, the Annual Water Main Replacement project contractor, Carolina Civilworks, will place barricades on W. Park St. between Academy St. and Harrison Ave. in preparation of upcoming construction. At the same time, Northview Partners, working on behalf of First Baptist Church, will place barricades at the existing exit onto W. Park St. for coordinated paving and construction of the southernmost church parking lot to minimize disruption to residents and visitors. W. Park St. will be closed to through traffic, and on-street parking will not be available. The road closure is expected to last approximately 4 months. Additional updates will be provided as we move forward with other phases of the planned water main replacement project.

Upcoming Meetings

Parks, Rec & Cultural Resources
Monday May 1
at 5:15 p.m. 

Information Services Advisory Board
Monday May 1
at 6:00 p.m.

Human Rel. Inclusion & Diversity
Tuesday May 2
at 6:00 p.m.

Senior Advisory Board
Wednesday May 3
at 2:00 p.m.

Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting
Wednesday May 3
at 6:30 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • A complaint about affordable housing for veterans
  • A complaint about the Kanoy Rezoning Proposal 22-REZ-13
  • Several complaints about NCDOT proposal for the 401 Bypass
  • A complaint about a civil disturbance
  • A complaint about Google Fiber damage
  • A thank you for my blog (You’re Welcome!)

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, an intercity visit to Tampa, and Fest in the West.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, May 7th, 2023. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communication with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to

Kingswood Earth Day, South Hills, CAMPO, North Fulton County Visit, Indian Ambassador, and ACC Tennis Championships

Town Manager One-On-One

Monday I met with the town manager for our weekly meeting. Topics included South Hills redevelopment, the downtown park, and meeting with leaders in Wake County.

Youth Villages

Tuesday morning I joined council members Johnson and Bush at the Youth Villages’ Growing Strong Breakfast. We heard how important it is to help youth that turn 18 and are suddenly out of Foster Care. They find themselves discarding, living alone without support, resources, or guidance of a stable family or network of caring adults. Youth Villages help these youth. If you would like to find our more visit .

Kingwood Elementary Earth Day Fair

Tuesday evening I attended an Earth Day Fair at Kingswood Elementary in downtown Cary. Kingswood is a STEM school that uses Montessori techniques. The event was well attended with hundreds of people visiting all kinds of booths. I picked up a longleaf pine sapling which I later planted in my yard. Toward the end of my visit, I read a proclamation to the crowd with the help of the junior green team. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to future visits which will include the installation of a solar panel.

South Hills Project Page Goes Live

The project page for the South Hills Development went “live” on Cary’s website at the following link The following is part of the press release from the developer:

A New Vision for South Hills

South Hills was once home to Cary’s first shopping center, a favorite family-friendly mall that helped propel the town’s growth in the mid-20th century. Today, the future of South Hills is being reimagined as a cultivated urban experience. A thoughtfully planned, walkable community with abundant community gathering spaces, pedestrian pathways, and convenient access to local greenway trails. South Hills promises to become a landmark destination for Cary and Triangle residents and visitors alike.

The vision: A vibrant, urban district that hosts concerts, sports tournaments, festivals, and special events year-round. Pedestrian and bicycle-oriented “living streets” lined with bustling coffee shops, local cafés and boutiques, and lively restaurants that serve as a social space to connect and engage. A unique blend of residences, offices, and hospitality that are seamlessly integrated to provide energy and activity throughout the day and night.

The Cary community and sports recreation center will serve as an anchor in the South Hills District.

Project Highlights

The South Hills District includes 44+ acres.

  • Urban experience, easily walkable, pedestrian-friendly
  • Mix of retail, food + beverage, residential, office, hospitality,
  • athletic, and event spaces

Developed by The South Hills Development Company, a joint venture of LODEN Properties and Northpond Partners. Partners include Perkins + Will (planning and architecture), McAdams (civil engineering), Kimley-Horn (traffic engineering), Morningstar Law Group (legal), Redgate (construction management) and Site Collaborative (development management).


Wednesday afternoon I participated in a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Executive Board held in their new offices at Fenton of Cary. The agenda included two consent items and five items for discussion. All the discussion items were informational and did not require a vote. Staff reports of the informational items can be found here. The presentation on the STIP (2024-2033 State Transportation Improvement Program) had significance for Cary. The Trinity Road Grade Separation which was removed has been put back in the STIP. This is crucial as Wake Med Soccer, and Fenton, continue to grow since it will allow access to Chapel Hill Road and I-40.

Cary Chamber Elected Officials Reception

Wednesday night I attended an elected official’s reception held by the Cary Chamber at the Umstead Hotel. I was joined by all the council members. Here is a portion of the remarks I spoke from:

“… I am proud to say that the partnerships we have between federal, state, and local elected officials and our Chamber are very strong and are vital to the success of our community. They enable us to provide the services and programs that our residents need and deserve.

Together, we have been able to invest in our infrastructure, improve public safety, and create new opportunities for economic growth. We have leveraged federal and state funding to build and improve our environment, housing, and transit. Together, we have created a version of Cary that shows a commitment to the environment while welcoming and supporting our business community.

As we move forward, we must continue to build upon our success by being creative, innovative, and inspirational in our efforts to support our economy, our citizens, and each other. …”

Attending the event were elected officials on the state level and local level. It was a great time to build relationships that will benefit Cary in the future.

North Fulton County Georgia Regional Chamber Visit

Thursday morning I participated in a panel discussion for a delegation from North Fulton County Georgia who were visiting Cary as part of an intercity visit. The panel included Cary Economic Development Director Ted Boyd, Cary Chief Development Officer Scot Berry, Cary developer Jordan Gussenhoven, and the President of MacKenan Property Group Kyle Greer. The delegation from Georgia included several chamber and business leaders in addition to elected officials and three mayors. The mayors included Jim Gilvin of Alpharetta, Peyton Jamison of Milton, and John Bradberry of Johns Creek. Their interests included:

  • How has Cary grown and changed over the years? What were some of the large milestones or catalytic projects or policy changes that spurred this growth?
  • What processes were helpful when the city was mapping out its vision and focus for growth and redevelopment and comprehensive planning? When did that take place? Who was involved? What did the process look like?
  • What does your approach to public-private partnership look like across the city?
  • What are the city’s biggest opportunities and challenges right now?
  • How are you currently supporting the workforce development and talent attraction needs of your businesses and largest employers? What are your plans for growing and sustaining this in the future? What are your biggest needs/gaps and how are you addressing those?
  • What are the largest and most influential industries in Cary? How have they grown and changed over the years? What type of public and private support has gone into cultivating those industries?
  • How is Cary approaching diversity and inclusion?
  • How much discussion is happening in Cary about affordable housing? What conversations or initiatives may be in the works around this topic?
  • What are your key economic development priorities in the coming decade?

We spent about 30 to 45 minutes answering these questions as well as a few more before they headed out for a tour of Cary parks and other facilities including Booth Amphitheater, USA Baseball, Cary Tennis Park, WakeMed Soccer, and Fenton.

Indian Ambassador Visit

Thursday night I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz, council member Johnson, and council member Eades at an event celebrating 50 years of business by Singh Development which was attended by the Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu. To have the Indian Ambassador visit Cary was very special and we were honored by his visit. The event included remarks by Sing Development, the Indian Ambassador, Morrisville representatives, and me. I presented the Indian Ambassador with a gift which had our new logo engraved on it. The event lasted about three hours.

NC Metro Mayors

Friday I participated in a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors for a legislative summary. The following is a summary from KTS Strategies:

Bill Filing Deadlines

The House bill filing deadline for any bill without a finance or appropriations provision was this Tuesday, April 18. To date, 840 bills have been filed. Finance- and appropriations-related bills must be filed in the House by next Tuesday, April 25. The Senate bill filing deadline was April 4. The Senate has filed 745 bills. Exceptions to bill filing deadlines include Constitutional amendments, redistricting, election laws, nominations and appointments, and adjournment resolutions.

Over the next two weeks, we will see a large volume of bills passing through the House and Senate to meet this session’s May 4 crossover deadline. Crossover is the date by which a bill must pass its chamber of origin to remain eligible for consideration for the remainder of the biennial session. Exemptions to the crossover deadline are the same as the exceptions for the bill filing deadline. Bills with a finance or appropriations provision are also not subject to the crossover deadline.

Women’s Sports Bills

This week, the North Carolina House and Senate considered companion bills H574/S631, Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. Both bills would prohibit biological males from competing on female sports teams. The Senate version of the bill would apply only to middle and high schools. The House version also includes colleges.

The House bill was approved by the Judiciary and Rules Committees before being heard on the House floor Wednesday. H574 passed on the floor with a vote of 73-39, with three Democrats voting in favor. The Senate bill was approved by the Education and Rules Committees and heard on the Senate floor Thursday.  After two tabled amendments, the bill passed along party lines (29-18).

NC Farm Act

S582, North Carolina Farm Act of 2023, was heard in the Senate Agriculture Committee this week. This is the legislature’s annual bill that generally makes various changes to laws pertaining to agriculture, forestry, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This year’s bill includes provisions that would allow income from the sale of honey to be considered gross income, create a Class 3 misdemeanor for leaving the scene of an animal waste spill, prohibit the use of an unmanned aircraft near a forest fire, and clarify the definition of wetlands. The bill passed the Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

ACC Tennis Championships

Sunday I attended the women’s ACC Championships which were held at the Cary Tennis Park. I joined a large crowd in watching two of the best teams in the country battle it out.

In the end, NC State beat Carolina 4-1 for the ACC title. I was especially impressed with the #1 singles match where NC State’s Diana Shnaider beat previously undefeated, and number 1 nationally ranked player, Fiona Crawley in straight sets. BTW Shnaider is no slouch. She is currently ranked #88 in the world and made it to the third round of the Australian Open before losing a close three set match to the #6 seed. Needless to say, I witnessed two great players today.

I am so proud that Cary hosted the ACC men’s and women’s tennis championships and I hope to see many more in the future. It is our goal to grow this sports venue as well as the other sports venues in Cary.

Town Manager’s Report

Sean’s Message

We couldn’t have more perfect weather than this for Appreciate the Best, which is being held today at USA Baseball. I appreciate the Council’s continued support of events like this that foster fellowship and fun – two important aspects of our culture and creating the local government that doesn’t exist.
Tomorrow, several of us will begin our trip to Denver for the Raleigh Chamber’s Inter-City Visit, and since there’s no Council meeting next week, the next time I will see most of you in person will be the following week in Tampa with the Cary Chamber.
Have a good weekend. 

Indian Ambassador to the United States Visits Cary

Last night many on Town Council and from staff attended a reception honoring the Indian Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Taranjit Singh Sandhu. Mr. Sandhu offered comments about the Indian Diaspora with the audience, made up of representatives from local municipalities. The evening included a gift from Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, and the attendees enjoyed an evening celebrating cultural diversity in Cary and the surrounding area. 

Year of the Trail at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve

On Saturday, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Reid Wilson, North Carolina State Representative Julie von Haefen, Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, and Council Members Lori Bush and Ryan Eades gathered at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve to celebrate NC’s Year of The Trail in 2023 and the completed updates to the Swift Creek Loop Trail boardwalk. North Carolina’s Year of the Trail in 2023 celebrates North Carolina’s thousands of miles of stunning trails, greenways, and blueways. Cary is taking this opportunity to celebrate its 90+ miles of greenways and trails.

Mayor Presents Earth Day Proclamation at Kingswood Elementary

On Tuesday, Mayor Weinbrecht presented the Earth Day Proclamation to the Junior Green Team at Kingswood Elementary School. Kingswood held its annual Earth Day fair that included vendors, food trucks, and activities. Cary It Green also participated as a vendor and handed out material related to the Count Me In Cary initiative.

First Climate Advisory Stakeholder Meeting

On Wednesday, a diverse group of more than 40 staff and citizen stakeholders gathered to participate in the first Climate Advisory Stakeholder meeting as Cary advances towards creating a community-wide Sustainability and Climate Action Strategy . The meeting began with an overview of the signs and predicted impacts of climate change in Cary and transitioned into an interactive presentation about existing conditions, possible pathways, and Cary’s desire to be a national leader in creating a sustainable and resilient community. Breakout groups then discussed and listed opportunities, barriers, and equity considerations to lay the foundation for next steps in creating potential strategies that reflect the future Cary wants to see. 

Volunteer Advisory Board Staff Liaison Meeting

On Monday, Sean Stegall spoke at the monthly Volunteer Advisory Board Staff Liaisons meeting. He thanked staff liaisons for their commitment to the boards, appreciation of our volunteers, and how the boards support the overall structure of our government. Organized by the clerk’s office, Cary staff liaisons meet monthly to cover logistic updates, upcoming advisory volunteer meeting topics, and professional development opportunities for liaisons.

Cary Speaker Series with Marshall Brain

The IT Department launched a Speaker Series highlighting local tech entrepreneurs who are disrupting the IT industry and inspiring us to think differently. On Thursday, our inaugural guest, Marshall Brain, Director of the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program at NC State and founder of, spoke with staff about the importance of identifying gaps and opportunities in the market and creating solutions to address them — often in a way that disrupts traditional business models and ways of thinking. Brain is a well-known public speaker and the author of over a dozen books on various topics.

Meter Replacement Operation Completed

The supply chain for new water meters continues to be challenging, especially for the type of smart water meters required for Cary’s Automated Meter Infrastructure systems. After receiving a new shipment of smart water meters, staff planned and implemented a special operation on April 15 to replace 137 previous-generation meters. In a coordinated effort by staff from multiple departments, including Utilities, Public Works, and Finance, staff installed, programmed, and synchronized the new meters with the appropriate billing cycle in one day.

Duke Energy Lights

North Carolina Football Club and North Carolina Courage fans have a new and exciting way to access WakeMed Soccer Park Stadium. With the opening of nearby Fenton, fans can walk to and from restaurants and bars before and after events at the stadium. Fenton built a new greenway connection that connects to the soccer park. New lights added to a portion of the cross-country trail is a great addition to fans’ game day experiences.

Taste of China

Last weekend, the Chinese American Friendship Association of North Carolina hosted its Taste of China Food & Culture Festival in downtown Cary. Thousands turned out for this inaugural event in Cary, sampling cuisine from more than 45 food vendors and enjoying the various performances and cultural activities. Joining Council Members Lori Bush, Carissa Kohn-Johnson, and Ryan Eades in attendance were more than a dozen other elected officials from the State and Wake County, including Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and NC Representative Ya Liu. The seed for this event was planted early in Ya Liu’s tenure on Cary’s Council in February 2020. After delays due to the pandemic and then a hurricane last fall, we were thrilled to finallysee this event spring to life in downtown Cary.

Housing Conditions

Linked here, please find recent history of affordable housing conditions offered by development. This was a conversation at the most recent Council meeting.

CASSI Open Data Portal Launched

To help better understand how the CASSI Autonomous Shuttle has been operating, survey and operational data were collected by NCDOT and Cary staff over the past several weeks. Data Scientists have crunched the numbers, created graphs and tables, and put them all on display for staff to use. The CASSI Open Data Portal is now live. The portal can be used to find data on popular ridership days or how often and where the shuttle has to disengage its autonomous features. You can find that and more here.

Triangle’s Got Talent 2023

Triangle’s Got Talent returned in 2023 with 14 performances that showcased local teens singing, dancing, jamming, and more at The Cary Theater on April 16. Hosted by the Executive Board of Cary Teen Council, Triangle’s Got Talent recognizes teens in the arts, with all proceeds donated to a local charity group. Last hosted in April 2019, the main event returned, and the beneficiary in 2023 was Read and Feed.

107 East Chatham Street Restaurant

Development plans were submitted for the second round of review for 107 East Chatham Street, currently Gurkan’s Auto Repair. The plans propose expanding the existing building and converting it into a restaurant with outdoor seating. Streetscape improvements will also be included along East Chatham Street from The Center Shopping Center to the corner of Academy Street and from Academy Street to Cedar Street. 

Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting

The Neighborhood Meeting will be held virtually on WebEx from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The following cases will be discussed on May 3.

For more information and to register, visit the Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting page.

Upcoming Meetings

Planning and Zoning Board
Monday April 24
at 6:30 p.m.

Cultural Arts Committee
Wednesday April 26
at 6:00 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • A complaint about Lake Crabtree Pipeline construction
  • A complaint about side street parking when downtown holds an event
  • A complaint about the rezoning proposal 22-REZ-13
  • A thank you for helping with issues related to Google Fiber installation
  • A request to help homeless veterans
  • A request to support rezoning proposal 22-REZ-06
  • Several cut-and-paste requests to pass an inclusion and equality ordinance (we did that last summer)
  • A complaint to the town staff notifying someone about state public records laws allowing information: “I see how proud gleeful and triumphant you are to work for a backward S### H### of a place in a state where the government is always right and the citizens always wrong. Where you get to squeeze the citizen and expose the person to the wrath of your political friends. …”
  • A request to vote against the US 401 Corridor Preferred Route

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a Cary 101 reception, a candidate meeting, a sports alliance meeting, a Global Horizons event, and a NC Metro Mayors meeting. The week has fewer meetings and events than normal because of three family birthdays and my anniversary.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, April 30th, 2023. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communication with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to

ATC Board, Le Touquet Students, Council Meeting, Year of the Trail, and First Responders

Meeting Prep

Monday, in preparation for the Thursday council meeting, I contacted council members to hear of questions or concerns about the agenda. There was only one question, and it was about the Land Development Ordinance Amendments.

Atlantic Tire Championships Board

Monday night I met with the Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships board. Topics included Cary Tennis Park improvements and the potential for additional professional tournaments. Our meeting lasted about two and a half hours.

Earmarks for Cary

Tuesday I was notified by Congressman Nickel that he had a $5 million dollar submittal for Walnut Street Stormwater Management. We believe there is a good chance those federal funds will come to Cary.

NC Senator Gale Adcock

Tuesday evening I met with NC Senator Gale Adcock who served on the Cary council for years and was previously our Mayor Pro-Tem. It was great catching up with a good friend. We talked about everything from our private lives to local elections.

Wynston Ridge Homeowners Association Meeting

Tuesday night I gave a development update and answered questions at the Wynston Ridge HOA annual meeting. Since this subdivision is located near the Crossroads area, most of my comments and most of the questions were about that area.

Farmington Woods IB/PYP Magnet Elementary Birthday

Thursday afternoon I taped a brief message congratulating Farmington Woods Elementary for 20 years as an authorized IB/PYP World School. The IB stands for International Baccalaureate which means it offers a continuum of international education through four challenging, high quality educational programs to students aged 3 to 19. The PYP stands for Primary Years Programme. The IB/PYP program for children aged 3 – 12 nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. The PYP offers an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary curriculum framework that builds conceptual understanding.

Le Touquet Students Reception

Thursday before the council meeting several council members and staff greeted students from our sister city in Le Touquet, France. I talked to the chaperones, students, and host families during this time. Before leaving for the council chambers, we all posed for a picture. Once at the council chambers we posed for another picture presenting a gift to the delegation.

Council Meeting

The council meeting included six consent items, four public hearings, and no discussion items. Other than the consent items, no council decisions were made. Most of discussion at the meeting was on the public hearing for 21-REZ-12 which is a mixed use called Viridis at the Green Level Destination Center. The applicant proposes to build a mixed-use development to include up to 1,500 multifamily units, commercial and office uses. If approved this would be across the street from the proposed 500-bed hospital. Nearby residents expressed concerns about traffic and having to cross a four-lane busy road to get their mail. The council discussion included mostly positive comments about the green space, EV charging stations, and other environmentally friendly conditions.  

NC Metro Mayors

Friday I participated in a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors. Here is a summary of that meeting from the executive director:

General Update

  • It was a quiet week at the General Assembly as both chambers were on spring break.
  • A large number of bills are being filed as the bill filing deadlines approach.  The Senate bill filing deadline has already passed (last Tuesday).  Below are the remaining deadlines for the House. 
  • It is important to keep in mind that due to the fast-approaching deadlines, many bills that you see filed are not in their final form and more work will be done.
  • The crossover deadline is May 4.  This is the date that any bill that does not include a finance or appropriations provision must pass through its chamber of origin in order to be considered for the 2024 session.



  • This bill would do the following:
    • Increase the electrical vehicle fee from $140.25 to $180 and add a new $90 registration fee for plug-in hybrid vehicles
    • Eliminate the vehicle purchase tax cap for commercial Class A and Class B vehicles (would be taxed at the standard 3 percent Highway Use tax). 
    • Impose a per ride tax of $.50 on transportation network companies (Uber/Lyft)
    • Increase the cap on the number of potential toll road projects from 3 to 6 toll projects  
  • The bill was heard in the Senate Transportation Committee and received a favorable report and was referred to Senate Finance.
  • Stakeholder conversations are still ongoing – especially in regard to the tax cap provision as the trucking industry have expressed serious concerns on the impact on smaller trucking firms paying a much larger fee on the trucks that generally cost around $150,000. 
  • The total estimated revenue from all the current provisions would be $70 million/year.

STIP Grant Anticipation Notes S637

  • This bill would create a mechanism for you to use your borrowing capacity to move a project up in the STIP.
  • Encourage your finance and transportation staff to look at this bill and give their feedback.

Public Safety

Civilian Traffic Investigators – S251 and House Bill H140

  • Two of our cities already have this authority (Wilmington and Fayetteville) and it has been very successful.
  • It is heavily supported by the Police Chiefs Association, and we are hopeful it will move forward.
  • Our concern for progress remains on the Senate side.  Please continue to tell your House and Senate delegation about the importance of this tool for cities.

Economic Development

Noting of note this week

Local Revenues/Local Control- LAND USE and HOUSING Bills

The legislature has become keenly interested in affordable housing. But, a number of bills that have been introduced appear more focused on targeting the municipal role in zoning, planning and permitting processes and local authority in general rather than the myriad of challenges associated with affordability.  Some of the bills are plainly pre-empting local tools and processes, and most of the bills will not actually make progress on the wide spectrum of affordable housing needs in NC.  Metro Mayors Coalition member cities have a history of investing resources and seeking creative solutions, with many cities making increasing strides over the last few years. It is frustrating to those of us working on legislative and policy issues that there has not been a more collaboration around most of the bills introduced on this topic. We are now working in support of the NCLM’s coordinated efforts to educate and work diligently with legislators to improve legislation that has been filed.  Please continue to reach out to your delegation about these bills and voice concern, pointing to your own efforts already in place in your city.

Addressing the Workforce Housing Crisis S317

Land Use Clarification and Changes S675

are linked here  and attached.

Regulation of Accessory Dwelling Units H409 / S374

NC Housing Choice Incentive H294

Regulation of Short-Term Rentals S667

Year of the Trail

Saturday morning I joined council members Ryan Eades and Lori Bush at the Year of the Trail celebration. In attendance were NC DNCR Secretary Reid Wilson and Representative Julie von Haefen who provided comments. In my remarks I made the following statements:

“Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve was purchased by the State in the 1970s, and continues to provide education and volunteer opportunities, almost every day.”

“It is estimated that around 55,000 hours of volunteer hours have been given to trail maintenance and other improvement projects since programming started in 1993. And each year, the number grows substantially.”

“The Year of the Trail demonstrates our commitment to promoting healthy and active lifestyles and fostering a sense of community and connectivity among our residents. Our trails have become an integral part of Cary’s identity through the support of our citizens, staff, and council.”

After remarks all in attendance gathered for a photo. This was followed by a walk along the trail.

First Responders Banquet at VFW Post 7383

Saturday night I joined council member Jack Smith at the First Responders Banquet at VFW Post 7383. In addition to a great meal, we were treated to hearing stories about great first responders. The recipients for the firefighter award and the police officer award were from Cary. In attendance were the Cary fire chief and several firefighters, the Cary police chief and several police officers, NC Highway patrol, EMS, and other first responders from surrounding jurisdictions. A big thank you to VFW Post 7383 for celebrating these heroes.

Town Manager’s Report

Sean’s Message

Once again I get to be amazed by my colleagues and what we accomplish together with your support, Council.
This time it’s being recognized with the IDC Smart Cities North America Award’s for our LoRa network – a wireless communication protocol optimized for long-range, low-power Internet of Things applications.
Awards like these bring special, high-profile attention to our efforts, which is appreciated and deserved.
At the same time, I want to recognize our “everyday heroes” in 911 during this National 911 Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Day-in and day-out, they report for work in one of the most stressful environments that exist, knowing full well that each time the phone rings, they may be the difference between life and death, literally. For context, their phones ring about 700 times each day.
In appreciation,

Cary Sister City Visit From Le Touquet, France

At Thursday’s Council meeting, Council welcomed nine culinary students and their chaperones from Cary’s Sister City, Le Touquet, France. The students spent the afternoon touring Town Hall campus and enjoyed a reception at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center before attending the meeting. The students visited as part of a cultural/culinary exchange with Cary Sister Cities and Wake Tech. They will spend five weeks working and learning at the Umstead, Maximillian’s, Academy Street Bistro, and Hank’s Downtown Dive. The Cary Sister Cities organization was also recognized for its 35th anniversary during the meeting. 

Cary Hosts the North Carolina Leadership Forum

On Tuesday, Cary hosted the Duke North Carolina Leadership Forum at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center. The NC Leadership Forum provides an opportunity for civic, business, and political leaders from across North Carolina to discuss issues central to the future of our state. With a cohort including Council Member Lori Bush, we are proud to have Cary representation in this statewide convening. During their time in Cary, Director of Housing and Community Partnerships, Morgan Mansa presented on Cary’s unique approach to housing affordability and the Cary Housing Plan. The group also toured Cary sites related to this topic and the robust economic growth in Cary.

Senior Advisory Board – Transportation Updates and Q&A with Staff

Transportation staff presented to the Senior Advisory Board and Council Liaison Carissa Johnson, providing updates on various street, sidewalk, bike, greenway, and transit projects. The board was particularly interested in the future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project from Raleigh to downtown Cary, CASSI, the autonomous vehicle pilot circulating in Bond Park, sidewalk projects  that fill in existing gaps, and  future greenways, including Higgins IV greenway and the Walnut Creek greenway to South Hills. GoCary staff also demonstrated how a transit rider in a wheelchair boards a GoCary bus. Staff regularly hears that residents of all ages want transportation choices and making those connections across modes is a priority and supports the goals of the Imagine Cary Community Plan.

Cary Supports Green Transportation Demo Days

This week Cary supported the NC Clean Energy Technology Center with their annual demonstration days in Garner and Jacksonville. The Clean Transportation Demonstration Days give government entities across North Carolina information and experience with clean transportation technologies. Staff attended various educational and product training sessions on electrification, infrastructure, and alternative fuels. Cary supported both events by providing our Ford Lightning, Tesla Model 3, and Tesla Model Y PD. Cary staff from Fleet Management and the Police Department were present to provide riding opportunities and share insight on the operation and capabilities of the electric vehicles and how other agencies may implement some in their fleets.

2023 Street Improvements Project Update

Construction of the 2023 Street Improvements project is scheduled to begin the week of April 17. This project includes 19 miles of Cary streets to be repaved or patched. Crews will take 3-4 weeks to make concrete repairs, including upgrading ADA curb ramps and replacing damaged curb and gutter. Street repaving is expected to begin in mid-May, and the project is scheduled to be completed by winter.

Downtown Cary Park Tours

This week the Downtown Cary Park team were busy providing tours of the construction project. The Cary Legal Department hosted their counterparts from Apex to share lessons learned from development, from property acquisition to design and construction. Then Assistant Town Manager Shelley Curran hosted partners from the City of Raleigh and Dix Park Conservancy. The last group was the Future Master Firefighters group. Joy and the team did a great job providing wonderful tours and the visitors were very impressed with the project. 

Design Coordination with Cary Elementary

A meeting with Wake County Public Schools (WCPSS), Cary, and Cary’s design consultant Exult was held on April 12 to continue coordination efforts as the design phase for Higgins Phase IV continues. WCPSS was receptive to design concepts, including arborist recommendations on preserving mature-growth trees along the corridor and how this project will help promote healthy and active lifestyles by encouraging children to walk and bike to school. Topics of discussion included:

  • Design considerations along the school property
  • Right of way impacts and acquisition approach
  • Schedule including Federal grant milestones

Introducing Cary’s New EAP Provider

Human Resources launched a new employee assistance program (EAP) this week featuring our exciting, accessible, modern provider: BHS. Featuring confidential, no-cost services for eligible employees and their immediate household members BHS encompasses all dimensions of well-being to help employees address personal and professional challenges through a robust offering of skill-building resources that support mental, emotional, intellectual, social, and financial well-being. Employees joined the conversation throughout the week by attending ‘pop-ups’ at various Cary locations, where representatives from BHS and Cary’s Total Employee Health team answered questions, showcased the many programs, services, and tools now available, and shared some goodies and giveaways.

Wastewater Nutrient Removal 2022

Cary’s North and South Cary Water Reclamation Facilities are among the best-performing wastewater plants for their size and scale among the Neuse River Compliance Association (NRCA). In 2022 Cary treated more than 4 billion gallons of wastewater and achieved 97 percent nitrogen removal through biological nutrient reduction without supplemental chemicals. This high level of performance recovered approximately 1.8 million pounds of nitrogen from Cary’s wastewater, keeping it out of the Neuse River basin and meeting Cary’s commitment and the NRCA’s mission of protecting the Neuse River and Estuary.

Applause! Cary Youth Theatre presents The Hundred Dresses

Applause! Cary Youth Theatre hosted its first mainstage theatre production since 2019. Twenty-Two participants aged 9-16 acted and worked behind the scenes to tell the story based on bullying, acting as a bystander, and the repercussions of these acts in 1930s small-town America. The performances on March 31-April 2 at the Cary Arts Center drew in 322 total audience members.

First Bike Plan Focus Group Meeting

We are excited to share that the first Bike Plan Focus Group meeting for Cary was held on Monday. The citizen group will assist with input on developing Cary’s upcoming Bike Plan and champion community engagement and advocacy efforts. Their insights will help create a safe, convenient, and enjoyable multimodal network that benefits all community members. During the meeting, the group discussed the project schedule, network analysis and development, project scope, and upcoming engagement opportunities for the community. The information shared at the meeting is available on the Bike Cary project page.

Easter Egg Hunts

Marla Dorrel Park, Alston Ridge Middle School, and WakeMed Cross Country Course became the sites of Easter Egg hunts for over 500 children. Children could visit with the Easter Bunny, Katal Dragon, Disney characters, and other entertainers while waiting for the egg hunt to begin. The partnership between Marla Dorrel, Kids Together Board members, 20 Teen Council volunteers, PRCR and Public Works made these events successful for kids of all abilities.

Upcoming Meetings

Athletic Committee
April 17
 6:00 p.m.

National Preservation Month of HPC
April 17
7:00 p.m.

Public Art Advisory
April 19
6:15 p.m.

Greenway Committee
April 20
6:00 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • A complaint about a rezoning proposal for multi-family on Green Level West Road.
  • A complaint about storm runoff from a development site in MacGregor
  • A complaint about police not enforcing expired license plates (not true)
  • A complaint that the town should have quite zones near the rail tracks
  • A complaint that the town is doing nothing about homelessness (not true)
  • A complaint that the town is not redacting personal information from public records

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a Youth Villages Breakfast event, an Earth Day celebration at Kingswood Elementary, a meeting of the CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s) Executive Board, a Cary Chamber Elected Officials Dinner, welcoming remarks for North Fulton County Georgia Regional Chamber, a joint meeting with Cary and Morrisville’s councils, a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors, and the ACC tennis championships at Cary Tennis Park.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, April 23rd, 2023. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communication with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to

Texas, Augusta, and a Legislative Summary

Texas Trip

Monday I joined others on a trip to visit community centers and venues in Texas where we were hosted by architects and consultants. The purpose of the trip was to see pros and cons of how others have done a combined community centers with senior centers and to look at centers that had competition spaces. This will help as we begin the concept-to-design of Mills Park and The Centre at South Hills.

The first visit was to the Rec of Grapevine which had a total size of over 114,000 square feet and included a water feature. Personally, I considered this a baseline center. That is, Cary would have had better finishes and probably more amenities and programming. The big positive for this center was the integration of the senior center with the rest of the facility. While the seniors had their own entrance and space, they could easily be part of the rest of the center if they desired. The biggest negative for me was the small, programed spaces and the walk/run path that was 1/8 of a mile. There were other cons, especially with the water feature. The entire water feature was one body of water making it too hot for lane swimmers or too cold for the recreational part of the pool. In addition, maintenance of the pool was a big expense.

The second visit was to the MARQ of Southlake. This had an 84,000 square foot center, called the Champions Club, and a 22,000 square foot senior center, called Legends Hall. This facility also had a water feature, and the pros and cons of that feature were like the Rec of Grapevine. The champions club portion had several types of rooms for programming and for rentals. Programming seemed to be strong, but the amount of exercise equipment seemed to be small. The Legends Club had high end finishings that made it look like a country club. In addition, it was only connected to community center portion by one door and a set of steps which made it feel exclusive. The two centers didn’t seem to have any mixing of people, which seemed an intentional part of the design.

The third visit was to the Lewisville Thrive which was about 80,000 square feet with a water feature. This facility did a much better job with the programming rooms and the water feature. It still lacked a good walking/running trail. The biggest pro to me was how they used the outdoor space which included a little amphitheater.

The fourth facility visited was the Stephen Terrell Recreation Center which was still under construction. The center is going to be 149,000 square feet and will not include a water feature. It will include several indoor full-length basketball courts which could flex into a huge event space. Its walking/running trail was significantly better than the others and included multiple levels and even steps for those who wanted to integrate that into their walk/run routine. This facility also had integration to a huge outdoors space. The surprise part of the visit to this facility was that it was being built for $54 million. It would cost twice that if it were built here.

On the way to our fifth facility we toured the Edge Skate Park. This was a big skate park that is used for parties and other events in addition to skating. Something to think about when we consider changes to our skate park.

Our last visit was to the Epic in Grand Prairie. It was a massive space which included a water feature even though it was adjacent to a water park. It had features you don’t normally see in a community center such as a theater. Its exercise space was significant and there were plenty of rooms for rental and programming. The walking/running trail was also significant and multi-level. One big positive for this center was the adjacent outdoor space which was programmed as well as the indoor space. We also toured the adjacent water park which reminded me a little of a small indoor Emerald Point.

The trip was successful in the sense that it gave us information on what works well and what doesn’t work so well in a community and senior center. I had several great discussions with our Parks Director and our Director of Special Venues. One interesting note was that all the facilities talked about the lack of staffing. I look forward to the next phase of concept-to-design for both of Mills Park and the Centre.

Augusta Trip

Wednesday and Thursday I traveled to and from Augusta, Georgia to watch the Masters Golf tournament. I worked at the tournament for 39 years until they retired me in 2017. This was my first visit back. It was a beautiful day with the temperature on the warm side. The course and the golf were amazing as always. I enjoyed visiting and hope I get the chance in the coming years.

Legislative Summary

The North Carolina Metro Mayors did not meet this week due to the holiday weekend. However a weekly summary was provided by KTS Strategies:

Legislative Spring BreakDue to the NC General Assembly’s spring break next week, (April 10-14) you will not receive a legislative update next Friday. Our weekly newsletter will resume Friday, April 21. 

House Passes Budget

This week, the House completed their work on the biennial budget proposal. The proposal received approval from the House Finance and Pensions Committees before heading to the House floor.  After consideration of nearly 30 amendments over the two-day vote, it passed third reading Thursday morning with a vote of 78-38. Ten Democrats voted in favor. The $29.7 billion spending plan includes the following highlights: 

  • 10.2 percent average teacher pay raise over two years;
  • 11 percent Highway Patrol pay raise over two years;
  • 7.5 percent state employee pay raise;
  • Personal income tax rate cut to 4.5 percent; and 
  • $1 billon for transportation needs.

The Senate will now begin work on their budget proposal. Once passed, the two chambers will meet in a conference committee to negotiate a final version. The goal is to have a budget in place before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. 

Party Switch

On Wednesday, Democratic Representative Tricia Cotham announced she was switching her affiliation to the Republican Party.  Rep. Cotham represents House District 112 in Mecklenburg County.  During the press conference House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) stated, “Even when I was in the minority, and Rep. Cotham was in the majority, she was always one of the most bipartisan members who would work with us a great deal.” The switch means that Republicans now officially hold a supermajority in both chambers. Here are links to the official statements from the NCGOP and NCDP

Boards and Commissions Appointments

Sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), Senate Rules Chair Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick), and Senator Warren Daniel (R-Burke) S512, Greater Accountability for Boards/Commissions was filed in the Senate this week. The bill would amend the composition and appointments of the nine following Boards and Commissions: 

  • The Utilities Commission
  • The Economic Investment Committee
  • The Environmental Management Commission
  • The Commission for Public Health
  • The Board of Transportation
  • The Coastal Resources Commission
  • The Wildlife Resources Commission
  • The N.C. Railroad Board of Directors
  • The UNC Health Care Board of Directors

It would generally reduce the number of gubernatorial appointees and allow for appointments by the State Treasurer and Commissioner of Agriculture for certain commissions. S512 was approved by the Senate Judiciary and Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. It passed third reading on the Senate floor along party lines (29-18) and will now head to the House for consideration.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • A request to play exhibition tennis in Senior Appreciation Day.
  • A request to pass a non-discrimination ordinance (we did that last summer).
  • A request to speak as a panel member of a discussion.
  • A complaint about construction runoff in MacGregor.

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a meeting of the Atlantic Tire Championship board, a meeting with NC Senator Adcock, a meeting with a business owner, the first regularly scheduled council meeting of April, the Year of the Trails event, and the First Responders banquet.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, April 16th, 2023. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communication with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to

State of Cary at Templeton, Frank Page, and Legislative Actions

Templeton State of Cary Address

Wednesday morning I presented the State of Cary address to the residents of Templeton of Cary. It was very much like the presentation I gave at the beginning of the year with a few updates. After the presentation there were about a half dozen questions and comments including one about pedestrian access to Waverly Place.

Candidates for Office

When it comes to Cary elections, my practice is to endorse incumbents and to help all candidates.

Wednesday evening, I met with a representative of a candidate planning to run for office. We talked about potential strengths and weaknesses of her candidate.

Thursday evening I met with Sarika Bansal who has declared her intention to run for the District D seat held by Ryan Eades. We talked about several issues including what she thought was important for District D.

Acting as Frank Page

Thursday night I was asked to portray Frank Page, Cary’s Founder, as part of an information meeting for the Friends of the Page Walker. Here is the speech I gave as Frank Page:

“Good Evening, Fellow Cary Residents!

As you may know, I am Allison Francis Page, Founder of Cary and Your First Mayor.  But you can call me Frank. I built this hotel in 1868 –even before we officially became a Town in 1871. I thought it would help put our little Town on the map.  And it did – despite I didn’t allow alcohol, card playing, or dancing on site. 

In fact, I founded Cary on 4 basic principles:

  1. God is our Leader.
  2. Education is Paramount.
  3. Entrepreneurship is Fundamental.
  4. Alcohol is the devil. 

Yes. I founded Cary as a “dry town”. I named it after not me, but Samuel Fenton Cary, the greatest Prohibitionist speaker of my time, who likely never stepped foot here.  I even declared in our incorporation papers that no alcohol would be legal in Cary for 1000 years.  So, clearly, we need to talk.

But not tonight.  Tonight is about you and your critical involvement in the Town we love.  Even if you don’t love our Town now, your involvement can help change that.  So I appreciate you being here, regardless, as civic engagement is the cornerstone of our democracy.

When I founded Cary in 1871, our population was about 150 souls. We didn’t even reach 1,000 people until the 1930s! I’ve watched us grow to over 182,000 people today, making us the second largest small town in America.  I always believed in Cary – even after I left here to go on to found Aberdeen in Moore County – but I’m not sure I ever saw that coming.  After all, Aberdeen’s population is only just over 9,000 today!

Clearly, we have something special here in Cary that we have to grow and preserve.  It starts with our history – the people and places that came before.  I’m heartened to see my original Cary Academy, then Cary High School, the first public high school in North Carolina and the first desegregated high school in Wake County, still sitting in its current form at the end of Academy Street.  I love that my hotel still stands. I understand that the Nancy Jones house and the Ivey-Ellington house also remain, although they don’t seem to be located where I remember them…no matter. I appreciate that there are enough historical structures that we could create a designated Historical Downtown District for Cary. 

But history is more than our buildings, as time and growth march on. It’s also our stories, our adventures, our struggles, our resilience to persevere.  These memories—this kind of history—only endure if they are placed in the hearts and minds of others. I ask you to commit yourself to all aspects of our history. So we know our history, but more importantly, Cary residents – new and long-term – truly know our Cary, love our Cary, take care of our Cary — like they would family.  And hopefully, by providing the sense of place that only history can provide, they see themselves as part of our family, and our future. 

Well, “Cary-on” with your event – (my wife, Kate, told me to put this in the speech, she has the sense of humor between us.  And a much better delivery, I’m sure).  I won’t bother smelling your liquid refreshment and just assume the best in you, that they are spirit-free. 

Thank you for being here tonight for Cary.”

I had a blast portraying Frank Page. Maybe I will do it again one day.

NC Metro Mayors Call

I participated in a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors on Friday where we talked about legislative actions. Here is a summary of legislative actions from KTS Strategies:

House Budget Released

The House released their biennial budget proposal on Wednesday. Some of the highlights of the $29.7 billion spending plan include:

  • Average teacher pay raise of 10 percent over two years;
  • State employee pay raise of 7.5 percent over two years;
  • Individual income tax rate reduction to 4.5 percent in 2024 (a year earlier than planned) and franchise tax rate reduction;
  • $1 billion for transportation needs; and
  • $1 billion for water and sewer infrastructure.

The bill was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday after consideration of nearly 50 amendments. The proposal will be heard in the remaining committees and on the House floor next week.

Sports Betting

H347, Sports Wagering, passed the House this week. The bill would authorize, regulate, and tax sports betting in North Carolina. The Lottery Commission would be responsible for regulating and issuing licenses to 10 to 12 sports wagering operators. A 14 percent privilege tax would be levied on each operator. A portion of tax revenues would be distributed to DHHS for problem gambling, the NC Department of Parks and Recreation for grants to benefit youth sports, certain universities to support collegiate athletic departments, and the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council for grants for sports team travel assistance.

Multiple floor amendments were offered that would have removed college and amateur sports, increased licensing fees, and prevented family members of participants from placing bets on those events. All amendments failed. The bill passed third reading on the floor Wednesday with a vote of 64-45. It will now head to the Senate for consideration.

Veto Override Vote

Last Friday, Governor Cooper vetoed S41, Guarantee 2nd Amendment Freedom and Protections. The bill would remove the requirement to obtain a pistol purchase permit from the sheriff’s office prior to the purchase or receipt of a pistol. Criminal background checks would still be required prior to purchase of a pistol from a federally licensed dealer. The bill would also authorize concealed carry for certain law enforcement facility employees and authorize carrying a handgun in a place of religious worship that is also educational property under certain conditions. Additionally, it would create a statewide firearm safe storage awareness initiative to educate the public about safe firearm storage, facilitate the distribution of gun locks, and provide local communities with a toolkit to launch local firearm safe storage initiatives.

This week, the NC General Assembly held votes to override the Governor’s veto. A three-fifths majority vote of all members present is necessary for a successful override vote.  Both chambers successfully voted to override the veto along party lines. The final vote was 30-19 in the Senate and 71-46 in the House. The bill is now Session Law 2023-8.

While there are several bills working their way through the legislature. SB 317 is very concerning to municipalities. Here is the NC League of Municipalities summary of that bill:

As discussed in the March 17 Legislative Bulletin, SB 317 Addressing the Workforce Housing Crisis would establish a statewide mandate to allow “workforce housing developments” not subject to local planning and zoning regulations. It has been proposed as a solution to improve housing affordability.

Local officials from around the state have carefully gone through the bill’s provisions and given this legislation careful consideration. They express many concerns, including those listed below. The legislation does not represent the kind of comprehensive solution that will make housing more affordable.

Cities and towns are sharing that:

  • The housing affordability crisis in North Carolina is being driven by many factors, including decades of job relocations to metropolitan areas and rising land costs. The cost of land is a major factor in dictating development types, housing size, price points and project financing. By ignoring these issues, the policy changes in this bill are unlikely to substantially affect housing affordability.
  • The legislation fails to address these underlying causes of rising housing costs. It instead focuses on pre-emption of local planning, which cities use to ensure safe, well-designed neighborhoods that do not overwhelm roads or other infrastructure, or damage adjacent development.
  • Municipal officials share state policymakers’ concerns about housing affordability. That concern is seen in an NCLM legislative goal seeking more resources for affordable housing, in municipalities approval of housing bonds, and in cities’ approval of more density by right, where appropriate.   
  • The crisis is complex. Incentives-based approaches that do not undermine local planning will prove more realistic in creating additional workforce and middle housing. This kind of cooperative approach, in which density reforms go hand-in-hand with incentives to help offset development costs, ensures that appropriate development occurs and actually benefits homeowners and renters in the intended income range.
  • Providing developments with blanket exemptions from land-use planning rules has the potential to create a number of damaging effects. These local rules go beyond the protection of adjacent homeowners. They also protect areas around military bases, airports and farms. They help avoid financial losses in flood plains and sensitive coastal areas. They prevent clear-cutting that can lead to downslope erosion.

Let legislators know that North Carolina needs a comprehensive approach to housing affordability, one that will actually result in lower costs for workforce and middle housing. SB 317 may be well-intentioned but will not achieve that goal. Also please utilize this joint report with the N.C. Association of County Commissioners, Local Governments Responding: The Housing Crisis in North Carolina, which provides a detailed look at what is happening related to housing in the fastest growing communities of North Carolina.   

Taking away local control is never a good thing. In this case, it would allow developers to ignore local land use plans and do pretty much anything they would like. On top of that, it is bad policy to create a one-size-fits-all solution to a difficult problem.

Town Manager’s Report

Sean’s Message

On Wednesday, I met with my Cary colleagues for our quarterly All Hands. During this time, we took a deep dive into our recent Council-Staff Retreat, covering topics like what the retreat is (and isn’t) and the experiences of new and more seasoned participants. Staff also received an abbreviated version of Ted Boyd’s retreat presentation regarding our vision for Downtown redevelopment north of the railroad tracks. Our staff are such great champions of Imagine Cary, and I always enjoy having time to slow down and get on the balcony with them.
Please note, there won’t be a Council Weekly Report distributed next week. The next report will be shared on April 14.
Have a great weekend.

2023 Veterans Benefit Live Event

Herbert C. Young Community Center served as the site of the Veteran Benefits Live event last week. As a result of great partnerships among several organizations, more than 1,000 veterans received benefits assistance.

South Walker Street Sidewalk Construction

Construction on a new sidewalk along South Walker Street, between East Park Street and the First United Methodist Church parking lot, is scheduled to start on April 3. This sidewalk project was funded by the annual sidewalk improvement program and will complete the last remaining gap of sidewalk along South Walker Street. Staff have been collaborating with Downtown Park construction to have it built before the opening of the park. The road will remain open during construction; however, a daily lane closure will be necessary to safely complete the work. Construction is expected to be complete by early summer.

Kildaire Farm Road Construction Update

The Kildare Farm Road Improvements Project is on schedule to be completed this summer, including road work beginning in May. In advance of beginning road work, all overhead utilities will be converted to underground. This week, AT&T completed converting their facilities and next week Cary is scheduled to complete converting its facilities. Cary will be making provisions in advance of temporarily losing fiber connectivity to some fire stations, the South Cary Water Reclamation Facility and several traffic signals. Spectrum has been working over the past several weeks in anticipation of planned temporary outages for several thousand customers. Next week, Spectrum will be sending outage notifications to residential and commercial customers as they complete converting their facilities to underground in April.  

Transportation Grant Funding

Cary has applied for and been awarded federal grant funding for several transportation-related projects. NCDOT oversees these projects under the Locally Administered Project Program (LAPP) to ensure design, right of way, and construction activities meet stringent federal requirements. Many of Cary’s federal grant projects are approaching the construction phase and staff have recently received NCDOT concurrence on consultant selections to provide construction engineering and inspection services. for:

  • Crabtree Creek Greenway (Crossing under Weston Parkway)
  • Higgins Greenway Phase III (Union Street to Kildaire Farm Road)
  • Crabtree Creek Greenway (Bond Park to High House Road)
  • Black Creek Greenway Renovation (Old Reedy Creek Road to Dynasty Drive)
  • Cary Parkway Sidewalk including a pedestrian bridge over Black Creek
  • Carpenter Fire Station Road Widening (NC55 to NC540)

In addition, Cary was recently awarded $1.9 million in federal grant funding for Higgins Greenway Phase IV, which will extend into downtown. Design concepts have been developed in coordination with the Transportation Working Group and Greenway Committee, including enhancements consistent with the Cary Community Plan and Council priorities. Preliminary plans are anticipated to be shared with the public this summer.

Award Winning Pilot

Staff participated in the Carolina Recycling Association (CRA) annual conference focused on conserving resources and advancing waste reduction and recycling throughout the Carolinas. Waste Strategy and Community Impact Consultant Srijana Guilford presented Cary’s food waste drop-off and partnership with Toward Zero Waste as a municipal service model. Cary was also honored to receive a CRA Recycling Award for the pilot, recognizing it as an impactful and innovative project that successfully addresses current waste diversion challenges and demonstrates creative promotions and education.

Upcoming Meetings

Parks, Rec, ​​​​​​​& Cultural Resources
April 3 
5:15 p.m.

Information Services Advisory
April 3
6:00 p.m.

Zoning Board of Adjustment
April 3
6:30 p.m.

Human Rel, Inclusion, & Diversity
April 4
6:00 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • A complaint about a homeless encampment on state property.
  • A request to accelerate the widening of Morrisville-Carpenter and Carpenter Fire Stations roads.
  • Kudos to Cary Police officers helping with road races.
  • A request to make sure residents and businesses of properties at East Chatham and SE Maynard “get a fair deal.” (We have no authority to get involved in real estate deals between a property owner and a buyer).
  • A request to start a public transit committee.
  • A request to pass a non-discrimination ordinance (We did last June).

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a trip to Texas, a trip to Augusta, and a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, April 9th, 2023. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communication with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to

Wake County Mayors, EDC Workshop, Council Work Session, Joint CAMPO/DCHC Commuter Rail Meeting, Council Meeting, and Toni Dezomits Retirement

Meeting with Historian

Monday afternoon I met with a historian who talked about citizen interest in Cary’s history. We discussed opportunities for the town to be involved in special historical specific events. I encouraged a conversation with the Parks Director before continuing.

Council Meeting Prep

Later Monday I contacted council members to hear of any questions or concerns about Thursday’s agenda. One council member expressed a concern about the lack of affordable housing in a proposal. Another council member had questions about the amendments to the Land Development Ordinance.

Later in the day I met with the Mayor Pro-Tem and staff to review the agenda items.

Town Manager One-On-One

Monday evening I met briefly with the town manager and Mayor Pro-Tem. We discussed the Environmental Advisory Board, the upcoming work session, and a few other topics.

Wake County Mayors Association

Monday night I joined a meeting of the Wake County Mayors. Attending were mayors from Cary, Fuquay Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Wake Forest, and Zebulon. The meeting started with speakers who are our appointees to the Centennial Authority. They mostly talked about of the expansion of RBC arena and surrounding properties. There are plans to make it a destination center with restaurants, retail, etc., in addition to the venue. The cost may reach $250 million which will be funded by bonds. The bonds will be paid for with hotel, meal, and occupancy tax monies.

The remainder of the meeting was a roundtable discussion on a variety of topics including bills in the legislature that could be harmful to our communities. The meeting concluded after a little over two hours.

EDC Workshop

Tuesday I joined staff and members of EDC (Economic Development Committee) in a work session to explore how we could better utilize our committee members. Our current committee includes prominent business leaders with decades of experience. After several exercises and discussions, the consensus was that committee members needed to be involved more in the early part of the development cycle. They believe they could provide feedback on the economic impact of a proposal. The ideas will be fleshed out by staff and brought back to the committee at our next meeting in June.

Council Work Session

Wednesday the council held a work session to cover topics that were planned for the annual retreat last month. Topics included Greenways and E-Bikes, capital projects, and housing. Here are some points made in the work session:


  • All of our greenways are designed for bicycles.
  • 800 citizens were surveyed about e-bikes, 50% excited, 20% comfortable.
  • Surrounding communities don’t enforce e-bike use on greenways.
  • The council should expect an ordinance amendment on e-bikes in April.
  • Cameras will be installed at trailheads.
  • Staff will develop greenway safety and etiquette educational campaign and install additional speed limit signage along the greenways. 
  • The e-bikes program will expire in 18 months and will be re-evaluated.

Capital Projects

  • Downtown Cary Park is 83% completed and will be finished this year.
  • Higgins Greenway phase III will begin construction this year and will have 12-foot-wide paths.
  • Intersection improvements at Kildaire and Walnut will realign lanes on Kildaire and should be finished in the coming months.
  • The Ivey-Ellington will be refurbished and will house staff offices. We may build a tabletop deck (2 levels) on the old parking lot site. The rest of the site will remain open.
  • 2019 bonds are being implemented with several more parks and transportation projects left on the bonds.
  • There are 41 funded sidewalk projects totaling 10.4 miles, 14 supported by ARPA funds, and 6 supported by 2019 bonds.
  • Parks projects Dunham, Annie Jones, Penny Road, are completed or should be completed this year.
  • Cary Parkway Pedestrian bridge will start construction this year and will be completed in 2025/2026.
  • Crabtree Creek Trail and Weston Parkway tunnel will start construction this year and be completed late next year.
  • Carpenter Fire Station Road widening will start construction this year and be completed in 2025.
  • Carpenter Fire Station Road Park and McCrimmon Park will be completed this year.


  • $5 million budgeted for this year for affordable housing. FY 2024, which starts July 1, will be about the same.
  • $1.15 million from operations and $3.85 million from capital.
  • One penny on our tax rate is about $3.7 million which exceeds recommendations from special interest groups for affordable housing.

Joint CAMPO and DCHC MPO Commuter Rail Committee Meeting

Thursday I was part of a meeting at CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) headquarters in Fenton of Cary. It was a joint meeting between a CAMPO subcommittee and a DCHC (Durham Chapel Hill Carrboro) subcommittee to discuss commuter rail’s phase one beginning and destination.  The CAMPO subcommittee was made up of CAMPO officers, CAMPO staff, Wake Forest Mayor Jones, Raleigh Council member Branch, Mayor Weinbrecht from Cary, Mayor Marshburn from Garner, Mayor Cawley from Morrisville, Wake County Commissioner Evans, and GoTriangle Board member Hutchinson. The DCHC subcommittee was made up of Chair Weaver, Orange County Commissioner Greene, Durham Council member Cabellero, Carrboro Commissioner Seils, Durham County Commissioner Jacobs, and GoTriangle member Parker. The discussion focused on the termination of phase one of the commuter rail route which begins in Garner. Options were RTP, Ellis Road, or further. After a lengthy discussion the DCHC representatives said they needed more time and information to make a choice. Since there is no federal funding for phase one I estimate that the realization of this route is at least ten years out. The meeting concluded after a couple of hours.

Toni Dezomits Reception

Before the council meeting on Thursday the staff and council held a reception for outgoing Public Safety Director Toni Dezomits who is retiring in April. She is a beloved member that will be sorely missed. Some of the things I noted about her in a proclamation include:

  • 27 years of public service, 25 in Cary.
  • 1989-1997, serving our country bravely and honorably in the United States Army including in Operation Desert Storm.
  • Served first as a Sergeant, followed by her appointment as a District Lieutenant, a District and Professional Standards Captain, an Assistant Chief of Professional Standards, and our Police Chief before transitioning to her current role as Director of Public Safety in 2021.
  • Always deeply committed to Cary’s organizational value of ‘people first’’
  • Toni adaptively grew along with Cary as it evolved from a thriving community of 46,000 when she began her career here to a maturing community of more than 182,000 citizens today, perhaps best exemplified through her collaboration in the introduction of Geo Policing which enables officers to partner with citizens and become experts on the needs, issues, and concerns of the people within their district.
  • Toni’s high standards for both integrity and ethical policing made her excel in her job, it was her shining kindness toward everyone she encountered that made her a very special kind of colleague and friend, most especially among her peers in the department director group who cherish her with the highest regard.
  • Toni will enjoy her retirement from the vast responsibilities inherent in her business role, to enjoy her partnership with wife Hilary and three beloved dogs while continuing to serve as a volunteer and foster home for Chihuahua rescue while also embracing her love for the outdoors, mountain biking, and enhancing her self-taught guitar skills along with all the other freedoms and adventures that retirement brings.

Wishing you the best in retirement Toni! We will miss you!

Council Meeting

Thursday the council held its last regularly scheduled meeting of the month.

The meeting included recognition of Toni Dezomits, two consent items, two public hearings, and one discussion item. The public hearing on Carpenter Fire Station at Highcroft PDD drew more than a dozen speakers in opposition. The second public hearing was for an annexation on Green Level West Road associated with rezoning 22-REZ-26 and had no speakers. Our discussion item was for the Fire Station 4 Renovation Bid Award which  was unanimously approved. The council meeting concluded after about two hours.

NC Metro Mayors

The North Carolina Metro Mayors met virtually Friday morning to hear and discuss legislative actions. Here is a summary of legislative actions from KTS Strategies:

House Budget

House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) confirmed the House budget will be released to the public next Wednesday, March 29. The proposal will have its first committee hearings following its release. The House is on track to have their budget passed by the first week of April. This is one of the quickest budget timelines we have seen in recent memory. The Senate plans to have their version passed in May. The two chambers will then negotiate in a conference committee until a final compromise has been reached. The goal is to have a budget completed before the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Sports Betting

This week, the House considered H347, Sports Wagering. The bill would authorize, regulate, and tax sports betting in North Carolina. The Lottery Commission would be responsible for regulating and issuing licenses to 10 to 12 sports wagering operators. A 14 percent privilege tax would be levied on each operator. A portion of tax revenues would be distributed to DHHS for problem gambling, the NC Department of Parks and Recreation for grants to benefit youth sports, certain universities to support collegiate athletic departments, and the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council for grants for sports team travel assistance.

The bill passed the House Commerce, Finance, and Judiciary Committees this week. It will be heard in the House Rules Committee next Tuesday before heading to the floor for consideration.

Medicaid Expansion

The legislature gave final approval to Medicaid expansion this week. H76, Access to Healthcare Options, was heard on the House floor Wednesday and Thursday for concurrence votes. The bill passed on third reading with a vote of 87-24. It will now head to Governor Cooper for approval. Expansion would not be enacted immediately upon signature. It is contingent upon passage of this year’s state budget.

Session Laws

Governor Cooper allowed two bills to become law without his signature. S53, Hotel Safety Issues, would clarify that accommodations provided by inns, hotels, motels, or similar lodgings for less than 90 consecutive days do not create a tenancy. H40, Prevent Civil Rioting and Disorder, would increase the penalties for rioting or inciting rioting that causes damage to property, serious bodily injury, or death. It would also increase the penalty for certain assaults on emergency personnel. Both issues were passed by the legislature last year, but ultimately vetoed by the Governor. They are now Session Law 2023-5 and Session Law 2023-6 respectively.

NC Courage Kicks Off Season

Saturday I attended the first NC Courage match of the year. Cary’s NC Courage kicked off their 2023 season in style with a 1-0 victory over Kansas City. This was the team that beat them in the semi-finals last year. In attendance was a board member from the USA Soccer Federation and several other dignitaries. I had the opportunity to briefly meet a few. It was a good time and I wish our Courage the best.

Wake County Mayors Association Hockey Outing

Sunday I joined other Wake County Mayors at the PNC arena for our annual hockey outing. We were treated to a hockey match between the two best teams in the NHL. It was Whaler night which is a throwback night to the predecessor to the Carolina Hurricanes. That is, they used to be the Hartford Whalers. I had my picture made with Plunky the Whale which was their mascot in Hartford. The match was a good one that ended up in a shootout. Unfortunately, the Canes did not win the shootout. It was a great game, and we had a lot of fun. Thanks to the Centennial Authority for hosting us..

Town Manager’s Report

Sean’s Message

On Tuesday, we had an incredible half-day workshop with Council’s Economic Development Committee focused on how the Town can better leverage the talents, skills, experience, and energy of each member in our work to keep Cary at the top of the arc from an economic development lens. The session was facilitated by Foutainworks and included topics such as the elements of inspiring communities, corridor redevelopment, development recommendations, and potential structural changes to the committee’s meetings and schedule.
This was a significant time commitment by all who attended, and I believe that it will result in substantive impacts by the committee in the months and years to come.
I want to thank Ted Boyd, Kerry Harville, and Sarah Schubert for their work in making the workshop everything I hoped it would be and more.
Enjoy your weekend.

Annual Joint Meeting with Morrisville

On April 20, we will be hosting our annual joint meeting/social with Morrisville. Morrisville Town Manager Martha Paige and I have discussed keeping the meeting focused on fellowship. With that said, if there is a particular topic or two that you would like to more formally discuss for inclusion on the agenda, please let me know by April 7.

Celebrating Trees at Arbor Day

Cary celebrated its commitment to urban forests at Arbor Day. Approximately 800 guests took part in commemorating Cary’s 40th consecutive designation as a Tree City USA community from the Arbor Day Foundation. Mayor Pro Tem Don Frantz and Council Members Ryan Eades and Carissa Kohn-Johnson honored Hometown Spirit Award winners with Arbor Day trees via a brief ceremony that was paired with tree sapling giveaways from the Ask and Arborist booth. The event was rich with environmental engagement thanks to community partner groups who helped host 24 education stations covering topics such as proper tree planting techniques, composting, native plants, and climate action. Live bird demos with a professional falconer, the chance to contribute to a tree-themed public art mural, and locally sourced food were big hits as community members enjoyed the free festivities.

Public Safety Director Toni Dezomits Retires

On Thursday, staff and community members celebrated the retirement of Public Safety Director Toni Dezomits. Toni has served the Cary community with distinction for over 25 years, and we wish her all the best!

Supporting Pollinators and Honeybees in 2023

Expanding on the success of beekeeping at South Cary Water Reclamation Facility (SCWRF), staff launched a nine-month trial period to keep honeybees at some fire stations. Staff and citizen beekeepers are working together to understand the importance and nature of bees and other pollinators, why they need our help, and how they contribute to healthy and connected ecosystems. 

2022 Asset Management Report

The 2022 Annual Asset Management Report  is complete, providing a dashboard view of the current state of Cary’s linear assets. The report tracks assets added through capital and development initiatives and helps verify the achievement of key performance targets. Over the past year, the focus has remained on GIS improvements, maintaining buried linear infrastructure, and continuing work on risk-based capital planning. One of the highlights of the report is the continued high level of sewer main rehabilitation, with significant progress along the Black Creek and Lake Crabtree corridors.

Staff Experiences More AV Tech With NC A&T

With CASSI off and running in Bond Park, staff had an opportunity to experience more autonomous driving with the students and faculty at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. As a member of North Carolina’s Future of Autonomous Vehicles (FAV) Committee, Traffic Engineer David Spencer joined other committee members to hear from Dr. Ali Karimoddini and his students about the impressive work and achievements of the Autonomous Cooperative Control of Emergent Systems of Systems (ACCESS) Laboratory. NC A&T’s ACCESS Lab has developed a rural testing track in Brown Summit, where they test a developing fleet of autonomous shuttles and vehicles for operations in a rural environment. The ACCESS Lab will move on to test their vehicles in an urban environment by providing a connection from the NC A&T campus to downtown Greensboro, featuring a one-mile loop that connects restaurants and shops. This experience was valuable as staff further understood the capabilities of various AV technology and how it could be applied in a wide range of applications.

Sensors Along Davis Drive

Cary has partnered with NC State University to study the viability and impact of road treatments as a possible tool to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Weather permitting, NC State University will place temperature, air, and light sensors at three intersections along Davis Drive next week. The sensors are attached to poles within the right-of-way and will not encumber traffic. They are expected to be in place for a week and deployed quarterly to continue gathering seasonal data on the eco-friendly road maintenance treatment.

2023 Annual Controlled Burn

The annual controlled burn was conducted at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve on Wednesday. The burn was conducted by the NC State Parks in partnership with Cary’s Fire Department and preserve staff. These burns are completed to reduce the potential for fire and to protect adjacent neighborhoods as well as improve wildlife habitat.

Speaking with Real Estate Professionals About Utility Infrastructure

Utilities Director Jamie Revels was invited to speak with a group of real estate professionals with the local Cary/Morrisville Berkshire Hathaway York Simpson Underwood office about utility infrastructure and water supply earlier this week. This was a great opportunity to share information about Cary’s utility services and how infrastructure is master planned to serve both current and long-term needs for overall utility service area including, Cary, Morrisville, Wake RTP and RDU Airport.

My Tree, Our Tree

Now in its third year, Saturday’s My Tree, Our Tree campaign sent 600 native trees into the community for citizens to plant on private property. With the enthusiastic and unabated demand, staff are increasing the number of trees that will be offered in the fall, developing a new registration process, and redesigning logistics to keep the momentum going. 

Growing Gardens at Good Hope Farm

More than 100 volunteers planted native wildflowers and grasses this spring that will support pollinators this summer at Cary’s newest ecosystem restoration site. Through partnerships with local experts and the generous efforts of volunteers, including college students from the University of Georgia who joined us for their Alternative Spring Break Service Project, these sites are building valuable wildlife corridors for birds, bees, and butterflies in our community and beyond.

Counting Down to Count You In

In addition to Arbor Day festivities, this week featured the soft launch of Count me in, Cary! Stewardship Strategies for a Sustainable Future. Staff, consultants, and volunteers continue to elevate efforts that will culminate and be ready to fly at Cary’s Spring Daze Earth Day celebration and beyond. Keep an eye out as the coming six months will feature topics to learn about and engage with including: Community Resilience, Energy, Water Infrastructure, Transportation and Mobility, Solid Waste, and Natural Resources.

Cary Chamber Business Expo

Staff from Planning and Development Services joined more than 70 businesses at the Cary Chamber’s 2023 Business Expo. The Expo is always a great opportunity to talk with other businesses and citizens about the development process and all the exciting projects shaping Cary. 

Upcoming Meetings

Planning and Zoning Board
Monday, March 27
at 6:30 p.m.

Preservation Month Committee of HPC
Monday, March 27
at 7:00 p.m.

Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning
Wednesday, March 29
at 6:30 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • A comment about my grammar in last week’s post.
  • A complaint about a staff member at a committee meeting.
  • A complaint about homeless people on state property.
  • An invitation to see Biden coming to Durham next week.

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a State of Cary address at the Templeton, meeting with citizens and candidates, participating in a history event, and a North Carolina Metro Mayors meeting.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, April 2nd, 2023. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communication with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to