Ya Liu’s Farewell and Last Council Meeting of the Year

Council Meeting Prep

Monday I attempted to contact each council member to hear of any concerns or questions about the agenda for the upcoming council meeting. Most questions were about the developer agreement for the REZ-05-22 rezoning at West Chatham and Old Apex. Later I met with Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz and key staff members to go over the agenda items.

Town Manager One-On-One

After the agenda meeting, I talked briefly with the town manager about various topics including the council appointment process.

NC Tennis Association Meeting

Thursday I joined the Director of Parks in a call with a couple of NC Tennis Association Board members. We discussed potential partnering opportunities.

Council Group Pictures

Before the council meeting on Thursday the council had group pictures made. This was the first with newly elected council member Carissa Johnson. We also did a picture without Ya Liu since she will be resigning on December 31st to take her seat in the NC Legislature.

Farewell Dinner for Ya Liu

The council held a dinner for Ya Liu before her last meeting and presented a small gift. It was attended by the entire council, management, and directors.

Last Regular Council Meeting of the Year

Thursday night the council held its last regularly scheduled meeting of the year. The agenda included the results of the financial audit, seven consent items, and three discussion items.

Representatives from Cherry Bekaert, LLP gave a report that stated Cary’s financial records were “clean” and that they were awarding their highest rating.

The first discussion item was for the 20-REZ-12 Macedonia Place Rezoning. The applicants were requesting a removal of the senior housing requirement. They offered affordable housing and a few environmental actions. This was approved by council 6-1 with several council members stating that seniors could live in the regular apartments. The council majority also believed that having 10% of the units be affordable housing was more important. It was also stated that the extra apartments were important to increase volume which would result in more affordable housing. My dissenting vote was based that senior housing in Cary is needed now more than ever and that need outweighed the new offerings even though they were important.

The last two discussion items were for the 22-REZ-05 rezoning at Old Apex Road and Chatham Street. Several concerns were raised by email from citizens that lived nearby and included roundabout safety, stormwater runoff, parking, and connectivity to Samuel’s Keep. These were discussed by council. Data shows there have been no injuries at the roundabout since it was installed which was a huge improvement from the intersection. Stormwater runoff will have to handle a 100-year storm. While Cary requires only one space per unit, the applicant stated that they would create more parking in the deck that they build. Our ordinances require the applicant to create a stub to Samuel’s Keep but there would still be a gap on the Samuel’s Keep side which would keep the connectivity from occurring for the near future. After much discussion the council unanimously approved the rezoning which will have retail and apartments.

Town Manager’s Report

Sean’s Message

Based on each of your remarks, Council, I know you join me in feeling the bittersweetness of Council member Ya Liu’s resignation from the Council last night. Like you, I am happy for Ya to continue her journey of service to Cary and beyond in the State legislature, but I will miss her.
In a word, working and becoming friends with Ya has been wonderful. 
In my experience, Ya consistently demonstrated the most important characteristics of being a great Council member: kindness, grace, deep support for the staff, and “team first.” Pursuing her passions never came at the expense of others.
Ya, I will miss our frequent communication, but I know that we will stay connected because that’s what friends do.
Over the next few weeks and like so many others, I will be enjoying time away from the office during the upcoming holidays. I love this time of reflection and rejuvenation, and I wish each of you safe and enjoyable time with friends and family.
With appreciation,

CIF Showcase December 2022

Research and Development (R&D) team’s purpose to orchestrate innovations that transform the lives of citizens everywhere was on full display Tuesday, Dec 13 in Town Hall Atrium. Along with their Alliance Partnership Network, R&D hosted the inaugural Civic Infrastructure of the Future (CIF) Showcase, featuring the innovative work of a unique public-private partnership. External representatives from Slack, Box, ZenCity, Swarm, Oasys, InTown, Blake Consulting, and G&H joined staff to showcase their innovations, advancing our collective mission of creating the local government of the future.

Planting Trees and Growing Civic Services

On Sunday, under the leadership of scout Ian Fuller, 21 members of Troops 212 and 226G planted 60 trees at the South Cary Water Reclamation Facility. Groupings of Nuttall oaks, sugar maples, redbuds, and Sweetbay magnolias and a row of Yaupon Hollies will contribute to carbon sequestration, provide beauty, add wildlife habitat, and enhance the growing and diverse ecosystem at the facility. Many thanks to this industrious group of scouts for supporting the environment and Ian’s application for the Distinguished Conservation Award.

Fire Employee Receives Hometown Hero Award

Master Firefighter Daniel Havens received the Hometown Hero Award on behalf of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association (NCADA). NCADA, a nonprofit, recognizes first responders who go above and beyond the call of duty. Havens, the Johnson Subaru of Cary nominee, was among 50 first responders in the state recognized for their work at the ceremony. He received the recognition award from Governor Cooper.

Western Wake Tennis Association Community Spotlight

Bill Reynolds, Tennis Programs Specialist, is the recipient of the Community Spotlight for the Western Wake Tennis Association (WWTA). Bill is the WWTA Junior Team Tennis Co-Local League Coordinator who oversees Junior Team Tennis, supervises teaching staff and stringers, coordinates the sanctioning for USTA Tournaments at Cary Tennis Park, and provides leadership for USTA events around the state.

Deputy Fire Chief Completes Executive Planning Course

Deputy Fire Chief Michael Martin attended and completed the U.S. Fire Administration’s two-week on-campus Executive Planning course last weekend at the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The NETC, supported by the Department of Homeland Security, is home to the National Fire Academy, U.S. Fire Administration, and Emergency Management Institute. This course, attended by 20 fire service leaders from across the country, assists fire department leaders in thinking strategically and adaptively to help meet the future needs of their communities. It facilitated a balcony view mindset to help create and foster learning organizations.

2022 Biennial Survey Results Available Online

The results of the 2022 Biennial Survey are now online, located here. Overall, Cary continues to receive an excellent report card from our citizens with 23 grades in the A range and 10 grades in the B range. The opinion of our citizens is an important factor in making the best decisions for our community’s future, and we thank the 400 residents that participated in the research.

Upcoming Town Holidays, Events and End of Year Info

With the end of the year approaching, our updates for you will be limited and there will not be another Council Weekly Report until January 6, 2023. In the meantime, if there are time sensitive updates to share, they will be emailed directly to you. 
In observance of the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays, most staffed facilities will be closed December 23 – 27 and January 2.

Upcoming Meetings

Planning and Zoning Board
December 19
6:30 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • A complaint that the leaf pickup has fallen behind schedule
  • A complaint about the rezoning proposal 22-REZ-05 at West Chatham and Old Apex Road roundabout

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a taped message, and the Mayors Association meeting. This is the slowest time of the year for me. I will be spending that time with family and writing the State of Cary address.

Well, that is all for this week. Due to the holidays my next post will be on Monday, January 2nd, 2023. 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.

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