Swearing In of NC Senator Gale Adcock
Wednesday I had the great honor and privilege of giving the oath of office to NC Senator Gale Adcock. Gale was elected to the Cary Council in 2007 when I became mayor and served 7 years including time as Mayor Pro-Tem. Afterwards she was elected to the NC House where she served until now. I am grateful to know Gale and be able to call her a friend. I look forward to her representation of Cary and surrounding areas as our NC Senator.
Council Special Meeting to Appoint
Thursday the council met to interview to finalist to fill the remainder of the term for the District D seat formerly held by Ya Liu who was elected to the NC House. We interviewed two candidates and picked Ryan Eades to fill the vacancy. Here is my statement on the appointment:
“On behalf of the entire Cary Town Council and after a great deal of personal reflection and thoughtful discussion, we have tonight voted to appoint Ryan Eades to fill the rest of former Cary Councilmember Ya Liu’s District D term. We would like to thank those who applied and showed interest in being a part of the Cary Council. While those we interviewed were both exceptional people, we felt that Ryan’s experience and intimate knowledge of the Town’s business processes positions him to be a productive member of the Council on day one. We congratulate Ryan and look forward to his taking the Oath of Office on January 26, 2023.”
The meeting to interview and appoint took about three hours.
Former Mayor Harold Ritter’s Memorial Service
Friday I joined council members Smith and Robinson in attending the memorial service for former Cary Mayor Harold Ritter. I was asked to provide remarks which were based on the following:
“Good afternoon. Harold Ritter and I have a lot in common. Most obviously of course is our first names. We both graduated from NC State. We also lived most our lives, but not all, in Cary. And we have a passion for this community. But the rarest thing we share is being selected to lead the oldest service organization in Cary. In fact, it’ll be 152 years old this year. Of course, I’m referring to being a Cary Mayor. Harold Ritter was Cary’s 33rd Mayor. I am number 37, and I am also the nephew of Cary’s 32nd Mayor, my uncle, Fred Bond.
Serving as a Cary Mayor is a lot of things…It’s a humbling and rewarding responsibility.
Sometimes it’s fascinating, and sometimes it’s frustrating. And a lot of times it can be really, really fun.
But for all families of mayors, mine included, it is a sacrifice – their sacrifice- because we lose out on so much time with their loved one. We graciously thank the Ritter family for sharing Harold with us for all those years. (pause) But being a Cary Mayor is also sometimes heartbreaking, as it is today when I represent our entire community in mourning the loss of Harold Ritter.
While many of today’s Caryites didn’t get the opportunity to know him, we are all blessed for the work he did in making Cary one of the most beautiful places in America.
Harold and his wife Gerry moved to Cary in 1957. He became involved in many community activities including the scouts, the Jaycees, Lions, and Civitans.
With a horticultural degree from NC State, he didn’t like how downtown Cary looked in the early 1970s and even described it as a mess. This prompted the mayor at the time, Fred Bond, to create an Appearance Commission and make him chair. The commission was quick to act but not quick enough for Harold. So in 1973 he decided to run for the Cary Council which was called the Cary Commission back then. Upon Fred Bond’s decision not to run for reelection in 1983 Harold decided to run for mayor and was elected with 62% of the vote. During his time as mayor, he saw the town grow from about 5,000 to over 40,000.
Many things Cary citizens enjoy today, such as Hemlock Bluffs, our greenway system, our award-winning parks system, the Page-Walker Hotel, and the Herb Young Community center can be attributed to work of Harold Ritter. Harold once said that out of all that he achieved one of his biggest achievements was the beautification of Cary. That focus on Cary’s beautification is still a part of everything we do today. And to think this started with one man’s passion and love for nature’s beauty in Cary and beyond.
Harold Ritter’s gifts to us were many and I haven’t even mentioned his accomplishments on the state level. Not only do we enjoy more of nature’s beauty because of him, but a higher quality of life.
On behalf of a grateful town, council, staff, and over 180,000 people that call Cary home, we give our sincerest thanks for the life and service of Harold Ritter. God bless him and may he rest peacefully in the arms of his savior.”
The service was held at Greenwood Forest Baptist and was well attended.
Ya Liu and Maria Cervania Oath to NC House
Friday night I attended the swearing in ceremony for former council member Ya Liu and Cary citizen Maria Cervania to the NC House. There were several dozen in attendance including dignitaries from state and local levels. Maria was sworn in by Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Ya was sworn in by NC Senator Gale Adcock. I was so proud to see two more Caryites in the NC House.
Town Manager’s Report
I think of myself as a pretty optimistic guy but never so much so than at the start of each new year. The preceding time off rejuvenates and restores me. It replenishes my capacity to deal effectively with challenges the new year inevitably bring. I get excited about all of the known – and not yet known – possibilities that lie ahead.
Last night is a perfect example.
The Council turned an unknown into a great known by unanimously appointing Ryan Eades to fill Ya Liu’s unexpired term.
On behalf of the entire staff, I want to welcome Ryan to his new role and say just how much we are all looking forward to helping make him successful.
Ryan, as much as you know about Cary and this organization, I predict that this will be one of the most incredible times of your life, and I cannot wait to see how you help us evolve.
Here’s to the “new us,” to Cary, in 2023, which has the potential to be our best year ever.
Congresswoman Ross Secures $1 million for Cary Mixed Income Development
President Joe Biden recently signed into law the omnibus funding package for Fiscal Year 2023, which includes $1,000,000 in funding for the 921 SE Maynard mixed-income housing development in Cary. Congresswoman Deborah Ross secured this funding for Cary and stated, “I fought for this funding because I know it will make a positive difference in our community. I look forward to working with local leaders and seeing how these projects will create tangible progress in Wake County.”
Ivey-Ellington House Update
You’ve likely already heard the exciting news about the relocation and rehabilitation of the historic Ivey-Ellington House in downtown Cary! The house is currently located at 135 W. Chatham Street and will be relocated to 308 S. Academy Street (the small southern portion of the former library site). On Monday, January 9, relocation preparations will begin, including new foundation work at the former library site and the removal of non-historic additions at the existing house site. Currently, the house is scheduled to be relocated on February 20. For more information on the relocation timeline please visit the project website linked here.
Tracking Down Drainage Solutions
Stormwater drainage issues originate from a variety of sources, but when a resident called 311 seeking help from Cary for a drainage issue in the backyard of her Balmoral Drive property, she was surprised to learn that the root of her problem tracked back to CSX Railroad. Staff determined that the culvert under the railroad track was blocked and causing water to back up in her yard as well as her neighbor’s property. Staff provided the homeowner with a local railroad contact and facilitated a conversation to help resolve the issue. An important member of the Cary community, CSX assessed the situation and ultimately determined that the best solution was to replace the culvert. Construction in the Old Apex Rd. area is currently underway to replace the damaged pipe and is expected to be completed in approximately two and a half weeks, according to CSX contractors.
First Walk 2023
On January 1, members of the Greenways Committee and Cary Teen Council held the annual First Walk to start the year on the right (or left) foot. Outdoor lovers joined in the early morning walk along the Black Creek Greenway starting at Bond Park boathouse. 114 citizens took advantage of warm temperatures and enjoyed a nice stroll along one of Cary’s most popular greenway trails.
GoTriangle Community Involvement Meetings
Staff was notified by GoTriangle of their intent to conduct public outreach in Cary to determine next steps in the Greater Triangle Commuter Rail project. GoTriangle asked staff to help them find a location for the public information meetings, but staff will not be participating in the meetings. Additional information will be shared when staff learns more about the engagement from GoTriangle, but for more on the project click here.
Meridian East Chatham
Meridian East Chatham is beginning the first phase of construction for a new 5-story mixed-use building with 220 apartments, 8,200 SF of retail space, and structured parking. The first phase of construction will include a construction entrance on East Chatham Street and an on-site staging area to support the installation of the new storm drain system on East Chatham Street from Urban Drive Park to western boundary of the project. Impacts to traffic is expected. Staff is working with the development team to create a traffic control plan and will share details in a future update.
GLOW Returns to Downtown
Starting on Monday, three GLOW installations will be going in downtown including “Evolution Field” by artist Matt McConnell that will appear on the front lawn of Town Hall. This installation premiered at Burning Man Festival in 2022. GLOW light and technology installations “pop-up” unannounced and are discovered mainly at night because of the unusual light effects.
The GLOW pop-up series will officially kick-off with a Community Lantern Parade on Saturday, January 14 with participants walking with their handmade lanterns and LED lights on the streets surrounding Town Hall. The parade will begin at Herb Young Community Center parking lot at 6:15 p.m.
Globe Road Interconnect De-Activated
Cary water users in the Kitty Hawk, Globe Road and Nelson Road industrial area are now back on Cary water. Cary worked with the City of Raleigh to utilize the Globe Road water system interconnect to support the NC Department of Transportation for approximately three months while they replaced a large failing storm culvert on Nelson Road. After the newly installed utilities underwent proper flushing, pressure and bacteriological testing, Cary completed the Globe Road deactivation procedures which included system flushing and pressure monitoring. At noon on Tuesday, Cary water and sewer service returned to normal operations in the area.
End of Year Event Recap
Downtown Cary was busy with multiple events for community members to enjoy in December. The Cary hosted 5 fun-filled shows December 8-11, where ticket holders received candy canes, jingle ball necklaces, and interactive cards. A special snowflake projection was installed in the theater and timed to create a snowfall effect during the song “Snow” and the final rendition of “White Christmas.” This annual event continues to be a hit with the community with three sold out shows and nearly 700 attendees over the 4-days.
Then on December 19, Councilmember Lori Bush addressed approximately 250 people gathered in front of the Cary Arts Center for the Hanukkah Menorah Lighting. In addition, Congresswoman Deborah Ross, Phil Brodsky, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary, and Rabbi Ariel Edery of Congregation Beth Shalom also provided remarks before Rabbi Yisroel Cotlar of Chabad of Cary lit the candles. The event included a sing-along, a craft for children, goody bags, dreidels, chocolate gelt (coins), and hot chocolate to stay warm on the chilly night.
Lastly on December 30, the annual Cary Kwanzaa Celebration was held at the Cary Arts Center. The celebration included an African Dance performance by the Magic of African Rhythm and musical performance by the Fruits of Labor. Kids were entertained by an interactive drumming workshop “Buckets and Beats,” and a Vendors Market featured an array of goods from multi-cultural area businesses. Cary Kwanzaa is a communal, cultural celebration that honors African American people and their heritage. The Kwanzaa Celebration is produced by Cary in partnership with the Ujima Group Inc.
2023 AARP Tax-Aide Service
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides in-person and remote tax assistance free of charge to anyone, with a special focus on taxpayers who are 50 or older, or who have low to moderate income. This Tax-Aide service will be provided at Herbert C. Young Community Center.
Tax-Aide volunteers are located nationwide and are trained and IRS-certified every year to make sure they know about and understand the latest changes and additions to the tax code. In-person appointments are available 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Monday, January 30 and continue through Monday, April 17.
Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
More information can be found on the website at Herbert C. Young Community Center.
Virtual Neighborhood Meeting January 11th
The Neighborhood Meeting will be held virtually on WebEx from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. The following case will be discussed on January 11:
For more information and to register visit the Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting page.
Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Advisory Board
Information Services Advisory Board
Zoning Board of Adjustments
Environmental Advisory Board
Mills Parks Community Center Public Meeting
Historic Preservation Commission
Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting
- A request to help with a stray cat problem
- A request for a proclamation
- A request for a proclamation that doesn’t fit the town criteria (See Guidelines and Procedure)
- A complaint about garbage truck “regurgitation”
- A complaint that I was not a “believer” in being a “Presperterian” and because I didn’t inform them about the worst hurricane season (What??? OK; unfortunately, I receive crazy emails from time to time)
- A thank you for the Harold Ritter proclamation
- A thank you for giving Gale Adcock the oath
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a meeting of the Atlantic Tire Championships board, a meeting with NC Senator Jay Chaudhuri, the first regularly scheduled council meeting of the year, a tour of the downtown park construction, and a Vietnamese event.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 15th, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.