Chamber Events and a Federal Grant

This was a slower week than is typical this time of year.

Wake County Mayors Association

Monday I met with the Wake County Mayors at our monthly meeting. In attendance were mayors from Cary, Fuquay Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Rolesville, Wake Forest, and Zebulon. Topics included ARPA funding and upcoming budgets. From the conversations it appears Cary will continue to have the lowest tax rate in Wake County.

Cary Council Candidates Forum

Tuesday morning I attended a Cary Council Candidates forum held by the Cary Chamber. There are 10 candidates running for three seats and they were all in attendance. Due to the number of candidates and the limited time, the candidates only gave an opening statement, a closing statement, and answered two questions. I would recommend visiting their websites for additional information. Here is a list of candidates with the websites I could find:

Election day is May 17th and the runoff election day is July 26th.

Wynston Ridge HOA Meeting

Tuesday night I provided a town update to homeowners of Wynston Ridge in a virtual meeting. I also answered about half a dozen questions.

Federal Grants Presented by Congresswoman Ross

Wednesday I joined most of the Cary Council, some Wake County Commissioners, and a couple of NC legislators for a presentation of $1.9 million in federal grants from Congresswoman Deborah Ross. The first grant of $900,000 is for the Swift Creek Stormwater Management and Modeling program. The second grant of $1,000,000 is for the future Cary Regional Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility.

We are so grateful for Congresswoman Ross for her hard working in obtaining funding for these essential projects.


The Executive Board of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization met Wednesday afternoon and approved two items: The final report for the Triangle Bike Way Study, an amendment to the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and the removal of selected Bonus Allocation projects from the Intersection Improvements list. To find out detailed information about these items go here.

Elected Officials Appreciation Reception

Wednesday evening the Cary Chamber held a reception to thank elected officials for all the work they do to help Cary. In attendance was Congresswoman Ross, NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, several legislators, Wake County Commissioners, Wake County School Board members, and the entire Cary town council. I joined three other speakers in providing remarks thanking the officials. I also posed for several pictures including one with my good friend NC Representative Gale Adcock.

Reception for Mark Lawson the new President of Cary Chamber

Former President Howard Johnson, Current President Mark Lawson, Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht

Thursday I joined dozens of people in a reception to congratulate the new President of the Cary Chamber, Mark Lawson. I along with others provided remarks. In my remarks I stated that the previous President, Howard Johnson, spent decades creating a strong relationship with the elected officials, town staff, and businesses. And that relationship was a key component of why Cary is so successful today. I also stated that I believe Cary’s best days are ahead of us and that Mark Lawson’s skills and talents are perfect for what lies ahead. He is the right person at the right time. I look forward to the new and exciting things he will do for Cary.

Information Requested by Candidates

Cary Council candidates have requested information to help with their campaigns. Here is some of that information:

  • Budgeted for Road resurfacing last five years: $41.2 million
  • Budgeted for all Street Related Projects last five years: $125.8 million
  • Miles added last five years: 32.77 miles
  • Miles resurfaced last five years: 126.50 miles
  • Pavement Condition rating average the last five years: Average = Good, 81.5 to date
  • Cary maintains an award-winning water and wastewater utility that is well leveraged with capacity to support future growth and economic development
  • The Cary/Apex Water Treatment Facility has utilized advanced treatment technologies such as ozone to provide high quality water treatment for 10 years.
  • Cary’s wastewater collection and treatment systems protect the environment by providing advanced biological nutrient removal systems that remove and recycle nutrients and return clean water to our local creeks and streams.
  • The North Cary Water Reclamation Facility (NCWRF) completed a major renovation of its aeration process. The new aeration system improves efficiency, enhances nutrient removal, and supports future capacity expansion of the facility.
  • Recruit for experienced and non-experienced (or non-certified) public safety positions to widen applicant pool for further inclusivity of women and historically underrepresented communities.
  • Post vacancy advertisements across multiple diverse sources in addition to Cary’s recruitment page
  • Job boards including but not limited to: Pinkjobs, EmployDiversity, National Minority Update, American Association for Access, Equity & Diversity
  • Four-year colleges and universities; including Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs); Two-Year Community & Technical Colleges
  • Professional associations targeted to industry professionals within specific demographic & historically underrepresented communities (e.g., Society of Women Engineers, Association of Latino Professionals for America, National Association of Black Accountants).
  • Variety of social media platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter
  • Cary Fact Sheet: Diversity in Recruitment
  • Cary’s Human Resources Department Talent & Culture Consultants use vacancy postings to highlight OneCary culture and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) values. Additionally, brochures and department specific recruitment pages often include images that represent diversity across the organization.
  • Human Resources in collaboration with the hiring department and hiring manager(s) continually review vacancy postings for the elimination of biased language, ensure accuracy in minimum and preferred requirements and transparency through inclusion of the salary range.
  • Cary’s Human Resources Department Talent & Culture Consultants use a standard application, with job specific supplemental questions, that is screened for consideration of all applicants’ minimum and preferred qualifications for a vacancy. Applicants have the option to submit additional documents with the standard application, however, the application is the primary source of evaluation for referral of candidates to departments for further consideration.
  • An Applicant provides voluntary information on race/ethnicity and gender identifiers. The hiring department is not provided nor has access to this voluntary information to eliminate biases.
  • Cary’s Human Resources Department Talent & Culture Consultants educate hiring managers on awareness and acknowledgment of biases when screening referred applications.
  • Cary’s Human Resources Department Talent & Culture Consultants ensure a standardized interview process and apply it equitably across the organization; Use a combination of behavioral or adaptive based and skills-based interview questions to ascertain competency of technical skills along with organizational cultural and DEI values; Work with hiring departments and hiring manager to gather and include a diverse, cross-organizational panel of interviewers with different backgrounds, lived experiences, perspectives, and technical skills

Town Manager’s Report

The town manager’s report for this week included:

Russ’s Message

I have heard of Chamber of Commerce Day before, usually in October, but this week felt like an entire week of Chamber fun. I enjoyed seeing you all at the many events the Chamber held this week, and congratulations to Mark Lawson on officially becoming the President of the Cary Chamber. 
There is nice weather forecasted this weekend, so I hope you take time to celebrate Earth Day by supporting a local farmer, taking a hike at Hemlock Bluffs, or simply learning more about how to contribute to our sustainable community
Take care, 

Federal Grants Awarded to Cary

On Wednesday, Congresswoman Deborah Ross presented two federal grant awards to Cary: the first totals $900,000 for the Swift Creek Stormwater Management and Modeling Program, and a second grant of $1,000,000 is designated for the future Cary Regional Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility. These dollars are a part of the Community Project Funding requests, which are included in the joint federal omnibus package. Special thanks to Congresswoman Ross and Price for their continued support of Cary’s community!

Ivey-Ellington Relocation

In early 2023, the Ivey-Ellington House will be relocated from its current location on Chatham Street, consistent with the Council approved resolution on December 12, 2019. Given several factors, including the desired setting, historic context, and existing infrastructure, the southern portion of the former library site on Academy Street has been identified as the new location. The relocation will not interfere with existing infrastructure, including Charlie Gaddy Lane, parking, and utilities. Consistent with the adjacent structure, the Ivey-Ellington will be set back from the street and existing mature trees will remain. The remainder of the former library site will continue to be programmed with art and other activities until the Downtown Park is completed.
Although Cary will forego individual National Register designation, the new site is located in the Downtown National Register District. Public investment will continue to preserve and rehabilitate the house using the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards. The Ivey-Ellington House is a valuable part of Cary’s history and can be further honored through designation as a Local Historic Landmark.

Gold Community SolSmart Design

Just in time for Earth Day, Cary is proud to announce that we have earned a Gold Level Community Designation from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SolSmart program. After having earned our Silver Level Designation in 2021, we have continued to create systematic improvements to make it more efficient for residents to go solar. Along with improved processes, staff hosted an online class to connect our community to “Cary specific” information to learn if residential solar is right for them. In the past five years, Cary has issued over 800 permits for residential solar energy systems. Cary continues to see growth in the number of residential solar permits issued each year with over 300 permits issued in 2021. Through deepening our commitment to renewable energy, paired with innovation and collaboration, Cary’s participation in the SolSmart program affirms a more resilient tomorrow. 

2022 Cary 101 Program Begins

The spring 2022 Cary 101 cohort kicked off its first session Wednesday evening. This week, the class learned about Cary’s culture, the origins of Cary, municipal government structures, and finance/budget. Next week they will attend Thursday’s Council meeting to witness government in action, and remaining sessions will showcase how different departments work to coordinate Cary’s projects, programs, and services. Twenty citizens are enrolled in the program which runs through June 1.

F.O.G. to Fuel – Fats, Oils, and Grease Recycling Program

Since 2009 Cary has offered to citizens a sustainable disposal option for used cooking oil. The free and convenient curbside collection helps citizens be part of a community effort to both prevent pipe blockages and overflows and convert used cooking oil into environmentally friendly biofuel. Citizens should only collect cooled FOG in a plastic screw-top container and call 311  to schedule a curbside pick-up. Cary works with Key Energies who recycles the oil into bio-fuel.  Most of Cary’s diesel fuel service vehicles operate on a biofuel/diesel blend that helps complete the circle. Through this program citizens scheduled more than 900 curbside pick-ups in 2021 that resulted in recycling 1,500 gallons of cooking oil, keeping it out of our sewer lines and landfill.

Weatherstone Elementary Community Helper Day

On Thursday, staff had the opportunity to participate in Community Helper Day activities at Weatherstone Elementary School.  Staff engaged with faculty and students on what Cary offers including solid waste collection, general operations, police, emergency medical services, and animal control.

Earth Day Presentations

Earth Day generates heightened interest in all things environmental and requests for personalized presentations. The NC Composting Council invited Cary to speak about the new food waste drop-off site and ongoing composting initiatives at its monthly Sustainable Spirits gathering held at Crosstown Pub. The evening event was also its Second Annual Spring Plant Swap that brought out local gardeners. Another staff presentation was coordinated with Carolina Preserve to hold a focused recycling and compost program for over 50 residents. Together, the group focused on actions and opportunities to reduce waste, learn more about the variety of services available to them, and ways to get involved in green efforts across the town.

Fire Receives ESO Power of Data Award

Fire received the Power of Data award at this week’s ESO Wave conference in Austin, TX. Fire transitioned to ESO record management system in February 2021 and immediately became instrumental in assisting the company with troubleshooting and other departments in implementation. Wake County medical director and current chief EMS officer for ESO Brent Myers presented the award, describing Cary Fire, one of more than 16,000 ESO customers, as one of the “crown jewels” of Wake County.

Multi-Agency Drone Workshop

On Wednesday, members of a Cary staff Drone Committee and NCDOT held a multi-agency drone workshop at Wake Med Soccer Park with onsite demonstrations. Charlotte Fire Department Battalion Chief Shawn Royal presented on how the City of Charlotte integrated drones into their workflows, initial struggles with internal buy in, and how their Police and Fire Departments utilize a shared approach. A representative from AirVision UAV, presented on the FAA Part 107 license requirements and the importance of the regulatory framework for agencies to be compliant with NC State and Federal drone regulations. NCDOT presented on what they are doing at the State level with medical package delivery, food delivery, and how they use drones to support internal operations. One of the shared themes between all presenters was the importance of following State and Federal regulations, and how a drone incident can have ripple effect in the industry. The highlight of the day was the Cary Fire Department drone team made up of, Jose Mendez, Brian Smyrski, and Captain Allen Monds demonstrating their drone, a DJI Matrice 300 platform and video streaming capabilities utilizing Dronesense. They were quickly able to share the live video feed from the drone using a QR code that could be shared to anyone with an internet connected device.

2022 Project PHOENIX Managers Workshop

On April 20, Project PHOENIX hosted a semi-annual Property Managers Workshop at the Cary Police Department. Sixteen Property Managers/Assistants joined us for five hours of education, training, and networking. Staff received a lot of positive feedback from the workshop participants. 

IBT Annual Report Submitted to State

The 2021 Interbasin Transfer (IBT) Annual Report was submitted to the North Carolina Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The report demonstrates Cary’s compliance with all the requirements of our certificate. The annual report is required to be submitted to DEQ before May 1 each year, with quarterly updates posted to Cary’s IBT page. Additional history on our IBT certificate can be found on DEQ’s IBT page.

Early Voting

Early voting in Cary will begin April 28 and continue through May 14, with Election Day following days later on May 17. Two locations in Cary were selected by the Wake County Board of Elections to serve as Early Voting sites — Cary Senior Center and Herb Young Community Center. As a reminder Wake County residents are eligible to vote at any Wake County location during the early voting period only.

Voters can find more details on early voting, including dates and times, by following the link for their County of residence: Wake CountyChatham County, and Durham County

Upcoming Meetings

Hybrid Athletic Committee

Monday, Apr. 25
6:00 p.m.

Planning and Zoning Board

Monday, Apr. 25
6:30 p.m.

Cultural Arts Committee

Wednesday, Apr. 27
6:00 p.m.

Council Meeting

Thursday, Apr. 28
6:30 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • A request to do more to get commuter rail
  • A complaint about a utility bill
  • A complaint to have more bike lanes on roads for their 8-year-old to ride on
  • A request for a proclamation recognizing World Falun Dafa Day
  • A complaint about allowed permitted blasting near Providence at Yates Pond
  • A complaint that our 90 miles of greenways and hundreds of miles of sidewalks are not enough
  • A complaint that e-pedal assisted bikes are not included in Bikeshare pilot

Next Week

Next week I will be on vacation. My only event is the groundbreaking of neighborhood parks on May 1st after I return.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, May 1st. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to

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