Fenton Hotel, Non-Discrimination Ordinance, and FY 20223 budget passed

Mayors Association

Monday I attended a meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association. In attendance were the mayors from Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Knightdale, Morrisville, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, and Zebulon. We talked about annual budgets which most towns had already approved. Based on the information provided, Cary will have the lowest tax rate by about five cents. We also talked about development and issues related to development. Our meeting lasted a little over two hours.

Chiefs of Police Association Meeting

Tuesday morning I joined council member Robinson in a meeting of North Carolina Police Chiefs Association held at the SAS Executive Briefing Center. I provided remarks along with the Association Executives and SAS representatives. Then we spent about an hour listening how SAS software can pull all the streams of information together to allow better decisions in policing. I was blessed to be among such great leaders from around the state. I look forward to Cary being able to leverage technology that is created within our municipal borders.

Agenda Prep

Later Tuesday I attempted to contact council members to hear of their concerns or questions about Thursday’s agenda. There were very few questions. Later in the day I met with Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz, management, and directors to go over the agenda. Our meeting concluded within fifteen minutes.

Town Manager One-On-One

My last meeting Tuesday was my weekly one-on-one with the town manager. Topics included the storm cleanup, and we agreed the town should be lenient on accepting debris curbside. Other topics included the non-discriminating ordinance with Wake County, and our technical strategy with data.

Fenton Hotel Developer

Thursday I joined the planning director in a meeting about a future hotel at the Fenton. Attending were representatives from the developer and their branding consultants. The big take away from this meeting is that the developer wants to build something that is unique for Cary and that residents will identify as Cary’s own. I am excited about what we might see.

New Police Chief Reception

Thursday afternoon I attended a reception for Terry Sult who was recently named as Cary’s new police chief. Chief Sult was the police chief in Hampton, Virginia from 2013 until 2020 before retiring and then coming out of retirement to serve as Cary’s interim police chief. Previously he served as chief in Sandy Springs, Georgia, and Gastonia, North Carolina, following a 27-year career with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. We are so very blessed to have someone with the talent, experience, and vision as Chief Sult.

Council meeting

Thursday evening the council held its last meeting of the month and for the fiscal year. The meeting included nine consent items, four public hearings, and two discussion items.

NDO Ordinance

The council unanimously approved a resolution permitting Wake County’s Nondiscrimination Ordinance to apply within Cary’s corporate limits. Included with the approval was an interlocal agreement (ILA) authorizing the Town Manager or Deputy Town Manager to “execute an agreement substantially like the ILA and to provide such notices and take such actions as ILA contemplates. Bottom line is while there were protections already in place this gives our citizens additional protection than those traditionally covered by federal and state law.

FY 2023 Budget

The council also unanimously approved the fiscal year 2023 budget. The budget totals $443.6 million which was a 10.9% increase from the prior year. This expenditure increase is largely offset with sales tax revenue expectations. It will keep our tax rate unchanged at $0.345 per every $100 of assessed valuation. There will be a $1.50 increase per month to the solid waste and recycling fee. The utility fee will also increase by 3%.

Our meeting concluded after about 45 minutes.

North Carolina 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  

  • Sports betting, Medicaid expansion, and budget negotiations consumed the majority of conversations in the General Assembly this week.  
  • House and Senate leadership entered final negotiations on the budget Thursday morning, and we anticipate a proposal to be released early next week. 
  • The House and Senate now have individual plans for Medicaid Expansion across North Carolina. This topic will be at the center of negotiations for the remainder of session.  
  • Floor votes are expected to be held every day next week, keeping the General Assembly on track to adjourn before the July 4th holiday. 


S793– Sales Tax Revenue Transfer 

  • The letter of support distributed on behalf of the Metro Mayors was well received in both chambers.  This was a great way to demonstrate our collaborative partnership with the business community on topics like this.  Thanks to all the mayors for their quick feedback, we have heard from a number of legislators thanking the mayors for adding their voices to this issue. 
  • The effort to use STATE sales tax revenues for transportation is currently being discussed among leadership. The Speaker and Senate Pro Tem will ultimately make the final decision as to whether or not it makes the cut for the short session.  We will continue to keep a close eye on this provision as budget negotiations come to a close.  

Public Safety

Nothing new to report 

Economic Development 

H291 – Commercial Prop. Plan Review  

  • H291 would have some unintended consequences and is likely to increase fees for developers.  
  • This bill continues to be discussed but does not appear to be moving any further at this point.  
  • We would advise you to discuss with your planning staff how this bill would impact your municipality. It is important for your delegation to understand how you handle the process and how this bill would impact cost and timelines 

Local Control/Local Revenues  

H1165 – Salisbury Voluntary Annex. Temp. Moratoria
S911 – Leland Annexation  

  • These local bills are examples of the types of legislation dealing with annexation that are surfacing more and more at the General Assembly and could potentially come as a statewide set of circumstances.
  • This is a complicated subject around fiscal issues and urban development that we need to work on educating both the legislature and our colleagues in the counties.Mayor Alexander suggests we partner with NCLM, perhaps including some sort of task force to strategically work on this issue during the interim.

The meeting concluded after about half an hour.

Town Manager’s Report

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

Sean’s Message

I hope you enjoy this week’s report and have a nice weekend!

Juneteenth Celebration

Congresswoman Ross, and Council Members Jack Smith and Ya Liu attended the Celebrate Freedom event at the old library site on June 19. Council member Liu read opening remarks and Council Member Smith read the Juneteenth Proclamation. The event served as a space for celebration, remembrance, and tradition for many in the Cary community.

Cary Housing Program Expands to Job Training Initiative

To help fill the gap between housing needs and job loss due to the pandemic, Cary has partnered with Passage Home to launch a job training initiative for under employed residents. This job training program will help residents earn certifications for positions in leading employment industries and includes job placement after graduation from the program. This initiative is funded by Cary’s Community Development Block Grant program and works with job seekers one-on-one to understand their situation and unique barriers to self-sufficiency. The program also helps job seekers overcome challenges with childcare, transportation, and education to help in the success with their future career.

New Pride Training Programs for Staff

As part of Cary’s celebration of PRIDE month, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion launched a LGBTQ+ educational program series for staff. The three workshops were LGBTQ+ Allyship 101, Allyship 102 & Beyond, and Safe Zone training. These workshops were developed to equip staff with knowledge, awareness and skills to become more inclusive, informed and supportive allies to the LGBTQ+ community.

Old Chatham Golf Club Update

This week Cary welcomes Old Chatham Golf Club as a full-fledged Cary water customer. Over two years ago, Cary started with a desire to help a business neighbor achieve their goals. Temporary water connections were made to meet the seasonal needs of the golf course. Today, permanent underground piping and vaults have been installed and now seamlessly deliver Cary water. Having a relatively large volume user at the outer edge of the water system not only benefits revenue but helps to maintain high water quality.

Summer Camps 2022 Open for Business

Cary summer camps opened on June 13 at eight locations with over 500 campers in attendance. The variety of offerings is never-ending this summer, with full day to half-day camp options. Camp themes include visual arts, ceramics, performing arts, outdoor recreation, full day summer camp, STEM, sports, skateboard, tennis, and other specialty offerings. Camp activities will serve over 5,700 kids this summer across a dozen facilities.

Yoga Day

Cary celebrated International Day of Yoga on June 21. Close to 70 participants began their day with a refreshing sunrise yoga class at Bond Park lakefront or ended their day with a virtual class or sunset yoga in the Garden Plaza at Page-Walker.

Good Hope Farm Summer Produce Starts

Cary’s Good Hope Farm launched their annual summer produce service last week. Collectively, 19 farmers are providing eight weeks of produce to 25 families through this dynamic program. Participants enjoy fresh vegetables, supporting local farmers, and learning more about the historic farm site. Additionally, an average of 50 pounds of produce each week will be donated to Dorcas Ministries Food Pantry to help provide food security to families in need.

Tree and Forest Management

A healthy urban forest requires tree and forest management in addition to plantings that add to the canopy. Recently, staff cleared up space under a heritage oak tree in Jack Smith Park to support the well-being of this champion oak tree. It is now able to flourish, and its beauty and grandeur are more readily apparent for park visitors to enjoy.  

State Firefighter of the Year Award

After being honored with a public service citation by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post, Fire Assistant Chief of Training and Safety Kevin Annis, was awarded the state VFW Firefighter of the Year award in June. Cary’s Franklin-Reedy Post 7383 held a banquet in May to honor local nominees from 2019 and 2021, since COVID precluded having a ceremony and selection process in 2020. Fire Captain Brian Couch, 2019’s nominee, and Chief Annis, the 2021 honoree, attended, along with law enforcement and EMS professionals. Chief Annis was notified later that month of his selection as the recipient of the state award, for which there was a ceremony on June 12.

Animal Services Receives Four New Kennels

The Citizens Assisting Police (CAP) Team donated four mobile kennels to our Animal Services Team. Having four kennels that can be easily moved around and cleaned out on wheels is a beneficial asset for the Animal Services staff. We appreciate the ongoing support of the wonderful CAP Team.

DBE Policy Statement

Cary maintains a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program as a condition of receiving federal financial assistance from the US Department of Transportation for transit service.  As the DBE Liaison Officer (DBELO), TeLeishia Holloway is responsible for implementing all aspects of the DBE program, including dissemination of our policy statement to Town Council. If you have any questions regarding the policy, TeLeishia may be reached via email.

Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting

Neighborhood meetings will be held virtually on WebEx from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on July 13. The following cases will be discussed:

  • 22-REZ-06 Green Level Church Rd at Mills Farm Rd
  • 22-REZ-11 4309 Pine Rail, 1304 Batchelor Rd
  • 22-REZ-15 Swift Creek Elementary School Renovation/Replacement

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

Upcoming Meetings

Hybrid Athletic Committee
Monday, June 27
6:00 p.m.

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

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • A complaint that Cary celebrates Juneteenth “to secure the vote of the black minority which represents less than 10 percent of the Cary population.”
  • A concern that drones are not regulated enough
  • A request to help remove invasive species from Cary greenways
  • A request to install communication boards on Cary playgrounds for non-verbal/non-speaking children
  • A complaint from someone who was “wrongly arrested in April of 2020.”

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a tour of the Ernest Property (200 acres bought by Cary for a park and open space), an audit fraud interview, a meeting with a vocal class, Cary Council member Ya Liu’s kickoff event for NC House, a ribbon cutting for the Fenton’s Paragon Theaters Grand Opening, and a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, July 3rd. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

%d bloggers like this: