This week was very slow which is typical for this time of year.
Monday began with a celebration of the Sharma family arriving in the area 50 years ago. The Sharma family founded the HSNC (Hindu Society of North Carolina) temple. They were one of the first families to arrive here from India. Now the Indian Americans make up a significant portion of Cary and Morrisville’s population. I was joined by several elected officials and community leaders in providing remarks. I spoke about how their presence in this area had a huge positive impact on our communities. We are so lucky to have such a diverse community where our differences are embraced and celebrated.
July 4th Celebration
Later Monday I attended Cary’s July 4th celebration at the Koka Booth Amphitheater. This year’s July 4th celebration was very much like pre-pandemic. A capacity crowd, estimated to be around 10,000, attended to hear the Cary Town Band followed by the North Carolina Symphony. We are so blessed to be the Symphony’s home for the summer. Between the Cary Town Band and the Symphony performances, I provided a few remarks recognizing dignitaries and our veterans. The celebration ended with a twenty-minute display of fireworks which, as usual, was amazing.
Tuesday’s meeting with the town manager was cancelled since he was on vacation, a well-deserved vacation.
School Board Candidate Meeting
Thursday I met with someone running for school board. I urge everyone to pay attention to these “down ballot” races. Our children’s education is extremely important and retaining good teachers is a huge issue that impacts all of us.
Friday’s North Carolina Metro Mayors meeting was cancelled but here is a summary of legislative actions from the KTS lobbyists:
Legislature Adjourns 2022 Short Session
The North Carolina General Assembly concluded most of the work for the 2022 legislative short session on Friday, July 1. The adjournment resolution (SJR917) reconvenes the legislature on July 26 for two days. The resolution also allows for the General Assembly to return once each month for the remainder of the year. Items that can be considered during those sessions are limited to things such as reconsideration of bills vetoed by the Governor, appointments bills, election bills, and conference reports.
Compared to previous sessions, the legislature passed a minimal amount of bills during the short session. Governor Cooper has signed twenty-three bills into law. Twenty-six bills are currently awaiting action from the Governor. A large number of local bills, mainly dealing with deannexation/annexation issues, were passed by the General Assembly. Local bills are not sent to the Governor for consideration.
The budget for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year passed third and final reading last Friday, July 1 with a vote of 82-25 in the House and 36-8 in the Senate. Twenty House Democrats and eleven Senate Democrats voted in favor of the proposal. Currently, we are awaiting action from Governor Cooper on the budget. He has until July 11 to sign or veto, otherwise the bill would become law without his signature. If the Governor vetoes the bill, we anticipate the General Assembly will attempt to override the veto in one of the sessions allowed in the adjournment resolution. An override requires a three-fifths majority vote. This means Republicans need three Democrats to vote for the override in the House and two in the Senate. Below are the links to the full budget document and money report.
Supreme Court Cases
Amidst a numerous amount of Supreme Court decisions released over the last several weeks, two cases originating in North Carolina have made their way to the nation’s highest court.
Berger v North Carolina Conference of the NAACP – In 2018, a ballot referendum in North Carolina was used to implement Voter ID statewide. The issue has since worked its way up through the NC Supreme Court and ultimately was appealed to the US Supreme Court. Attorney General Stein was responsible for defending the Voter ID amendment, a provision he very publicly opposed. NC House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) began pushing back on the idea of state laws being defended by state officials that were not committed to defending the provisions.
On June 23, the Supreme Court ruled that North Carolina state legislative leaders have the right to intervene in litigation to defend the constitutionality of the state’s voter ID law. This 8-1 decision is pivotal for state legislatures that operate in a politically divided state, such as North Carolina, and enables them to defend their state’s laws in the way they see fit.
Moore v Harper – The Supreme Court announced its intent to hear this case when the Court returns after their summer break. Moore v Harper calls into question the North Carolina Supreme Court’s ability to review and reject maps drawn by the North Carolina General Assembly. Republican leaders in North Carolina point to the elections clause in the U.S. Constitution that states, “the times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature therof; but Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations.” The outcome of this case could have a nationwide impact on elections.
Boards and Commissions Application
The Application for Cary’s Boards and Commissions has closed. Council is now in the process of reviewing the applicants and will make recommendations to the board and commission liaisons for interviews. After interviews the council will vote on the each liaison’s recommendations for appointment.
Town Manager’s Report
The town manager’s report for this week included the following:
Happy Friday! We began this week by celebrating our Nation’s Independence. The one holiday out of the year that harkens to the governance that we practice daily. It’s a special holiday for us to celebrate, reflect, and to lean into our challenges with optimism. To conclude the week, this report includes highlights from the celebration and project updates.
Enjoy your weekend.
Development Pulse Report
The June 2022 Development Pulse Report is now available. The following are Highlights:
- Fenton Development: Building permits were issued to complete the upfits of Sports & Social Restaurant, Superica, and Vestique.
- Candlelight, 126 West Chatham Street, Suite 200: The building permit has been approved for a new bar with seating on the second floor of the of the office building across the street from Ivey-Ellington. The first floor is currently occupied by Independent Advisors.
- Protolabs, 3615 Pleasant Grove Church Road, Suite 101: The building permit for the interior completion has been issued for Protolabs’ new location on Pleasant Grove Church Road.
- Duke Health at Green Level, 100 Duke Health Cary Place: Certificates of occupancy have been issued for new medical office building and parking deck.
Independence Day Debrief
Cary welcomed more than 10,000 people to its Independence Day Celebration at Koka Booth Amphitheatre, which included performances by the Cary Town Band and North Carolina Symphony inside the venue, plus games, food trucks, and more outside the venue, capped off by a spectacular fireworks display over Symphony Lake. Mayor Weinbrecht provided a warm welcome from the stage, while Council Members Jennifer Robinson, Jack Smith, Ya Liu, and Ed Yerha attended with family and friends. Wake County Commissioners Sig Hutchinson and Maria Cervania also attended. A cross-departmental team served in Unified Command off-site at Fire Station 9, led by Chief Andy Hiscock and Lt. Stephen Matthews, providing support to the operations team on the ground at the amphitheater. Thanks to their collective hard work, the event was a success.
Maynard Tank Class of ‘23
Cary’s annual salute to its high school seniors was painted on the Maynard Road water storage tank on Tuesday. With the usual painting contractor unable to meet the schedule this year, Utilities staff sprang into action climbing the 138-foot ladder with paint buckets in tow.
Walnut Street Park Upgrades
Walnut Street Park is in the final stages for installing new pickleball and basketball courts. As part of the effort, moveable furniture was added this week to the brick plaza by Walnut Street. This plaza is part of the public art completed by Barbara Grygutis in 2009 titled, Imaginary Garden.
East Chatham Street Traffic Shift
Contractors working as part of private development for the Rogers Building will be performing a temporary traffic shift on East Chatham Street between Academy Street and Walker Street. This is necessary to facilitate vertical building and site construction. Weather permitting, work will begin on July 18 and will be complete by the end of the next calendar day. Traffic will be reduced from the three-lane section to a two-lane section at the intersection with Walker Street. This traffic pattern is expected to be in place until fall 2023.
NCDOT Repaving in Cary
As part of NCDOT’s street maintenance plan, NCDOT is repaving a couple of streets within Cary.
Curb ramp upgrades and paving are complete on Penny Road from Ten Ten Road to Kildaire Farm Road, and temporary lane markings have been installed with permanent lane markings scheduled to be installed in the next month.
In addition, NCDOT started work on Ten-Ten Road from downtown Apex to US 401. Patching work is ongoing and expected to finish in a week, concrete curb ramp upgrades are scheduled to start in the next couple of weeks, and paving is expected to start in the next 2-3 months and be complete Winter 2022.
Early Voting Begins
July 7 kicked off early voting for the Runoff Election. The two Cary races to be determined by the Runoff Election are a Council At-Large seat and the Council District C seat. Herb Young Community Center is one of two early voting locations in Wake County.
Full dates and times for early voting can be found here.
For questions about any aspect of the voting process, please contact the State Board of Elections.
Wake County Board of Elections
Phone number: (919) 856-6240
Chatham County Board of Elections
Phone number: (919) 545-8500
Durham County Board of Elections
Phone number: (919) 560-0700
Hybrid Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Advisory Board
Monday, July 11
Hybrid Information Services Advisory Board
Monday, July 11
Zoning Board of Adjustment
Monday, July 11
Hybrid Environmental Advisory Board
Tuesday, July 12
Hybrid Historic Preservation Commission
Wed, July 13
Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting
Wed, July 13
Hybrid Greenway Committee
Thursday, July 14
- A request to help with understanding a Holly Springs rezoning
- A request to meet with Triangle Off-Road Cyclists about the 217-acre park. (Staff is still gathering information about the land and evaluating issues with certain types of uses. There will be a time for public input in the future)
- An ongoing complaint from an individual that says he was falsely arrested
- A complaint about the cost to install a water meter for irrigation
- A complaint about “unsightly” caution tape on overhead wires (this has been resolved)
- A complaint about an ADA compliance issue
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a swearing in ceremony for Police Chief Sult, the TAC (Triangle Aquatic Center) Grand Opening Expansion ceremony, and a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, July 17th. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.