Taping the Short Version of the State of Cary Address
Wednesday I spent about two hours at town hall taping a 7 to 8 minute version of the State of Cary Address. The script for this modified version, created by staff, was just over 1000 words compared to the text I created of about 5500 words. The opening and closing segments were different from the original and involved me memorizing the script, and walking while talking. Many takes were recorded to allow for experimentation with various angles to see which looked the best. The remaining segments, except one, were recorded with a teleprompter with most of those segments being used for voice overs.
Metro Mayors Meeting
Friday I participated in the first Metro Mayors meeting of the year. The purpose of these weekly meetings is to inform the metro mayors of actions occurring in the legislature. Here is a summary from KTS Strategies for this week:
The North Carolina General Assembly officially convened the 2023-2024 legislative biennium on January 25. Republicans maintain control of the legislature. The Senate holds a supermajority with 30 Republicans and 20 Democrats. The House is one shy of a supermajority with 71 Republicans and 49 Democrats. There are also many new faces at the legislature with over 30 new members. While passing a budget is always the main priority, other major issues we expect to be addressed this session include Medicaid expansion, sports wagering, medical marijuana, mental health, and infrastructure needs.
The legislature is not up and running at full speed yet. We anticipate it will be another several weeks before committees and floor work begin in earnest while legislation is filed, and committees hold introductory meetings. So far, just over 100 bills have been filed. Below are links to view legislation that has been filed and committee assignments.
Bills & Laws – North Carolina General Assembly (ncleg.gov)
Committees – North Carolina General Assembly (ncleg.gov)
The meeting concluded after about 30 minutes. These weekly meetings will continue until the end of the legislative session.
Town Manager’s Report
On Monday, we had the privilege of welcoming Council Member Ryan Eades to our weekly Directors meeting. Each Director took the opportunity to introduce themselves and share a bit about their focus areas of service. It was great to hear from Ryan and find out more about his interests and goals as a councilperson. We look forward to spending more time with Ryan at the upcoming Council/Staff Retreat.
Today has been a busy one to cap the week. I started the day at the Share & Care event at the Herb Young Community Center and was impressed with the number of resources and services our community offers our citizens. Then later in the afternoon, I had the chance to meet several seniors at the public meeting for two new community centers. I always enjoy hearing input from our citizens on important future projects.
I hope you enjoy the extra sun this weekend!
Bike Plan Focus Group Engagement
As part of the development of Cary’s upcoming Bike Plan, staff is building a citizen-based focus group to help inform the plan and ensure community engagement and advocacy. Citizens interested in participating can complete this brief survey and applicants will be considered by the staff-led steering committee. This approach will ensure geographic distribution and representation from a diverse group of respondents. The goal is to recruit 12-15 citizens to serve on the committee. Those interested are encouraged to apply by 5 p.m. on February 17.
Family Greenway Walk – January 2023
Throughout January, 168 members of Cary Teen Council participated in the family greenway walk. To celebrate Year of the Trail in 2023, members were encouraged to take an hour walk on any Cary greenway, trail, or park and submit a fun picture of completion. Over 30 different walk locations were submitted, highlighting the variety of options and miles available across Cary for all to enjoy.
SCWRF Solar Facility – Renewable Energy Credits
The last step of the South Cary Water Reclamation Facility (SCWRF) Solar Facility ownership process was recently finalized, as we have secured the facility’s Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) through the North Carolina Utility Commission. The REC’s represent the greenhouse gas, or carbon offset, achieved through the site’s solar energy production. Securing the REC’s is key to supporting Cary’s current and long-term carbon reduction goals, as Cary can now directly claim the related greenhouse gas emissions offset. The REC’s provide an offset of approximately 1,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
Twelve New Officers Take Their Oath
On Wednesday, the Police Department administered the oath of office to 12 new officers. This was the largest number of officers sworn collectively in recent years. We welcome officers Caleb Russell, Harper Spell, Nick Beltz, Thomas Scott, Damian Rodriguez, Sean Luddley, Raul Garcia, Nick James, Lex Crisostomo, Wyatt Godwin, Colin Everett, and David Dibiase to Cary.
Cary’s Budget Process Presented to UNC MPA Students
On Tuesday, Financial Strategy Analyst Alice Mahood, and former summer 2022 budget interns, Liam Brailey and Jacob Orman, spent the morning at a UNC School of Government MPA budget class discussing Cary’s budget process with current students. They played the budget game the interns developed over the summer, discussed how Cary’s rolling budget process works, and how to foster collaboration through the budget process.
Share & Care 2023
Share & Care is a one-stop opportunity for persons with disabilities, family members, care providers, and anyone interested in gathering information to come to Cary and learn about the amazing services our community offers. Share & Care was held Friday morning at the Herb Young Community Center. Close to 50 booths were set up sharing information on everything from resources for seniors, GoCary, the CERT team, to our wonderful community engagement staff.
Parks, Rec & Cultural Resources
February 6 at 5:15 p.m.
Information Services Advisory
February 6 at 6 p.m.
Zoning Board of Adjustment
February 6 at 6:30 p.m.
February 7 at 6:00 p.m.
Human Rel, Inclusion & Diversity
February 7 at 6:00 p.m.
Historic Preservation Commission
February 8 at 6:30 p.m.
- A complaint that the Swift Creek Elementary School rezoning process was not transparent enough.
- A complaint about silt from a developer site near MacGregor Lake.
- A request to pass an ordinance that prohibits discrimination (we did last summer).
- A request to pass an ordinance that prohibits pet stores that sell dogs and cats (outside our authority).
- A complaint about safety for a crosswalk on Morrisville Carpenter Road.
- A complaint about a homeless camp at Tryon Road and Regency Parkway.
- A request to correct an error on the town’s website.
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, an interview with a student from Duke’s Public Policy Masters program, a meeting of the Human Relations, Inclusion, and Diversity Task Force, the Sports and Social Fenton opening and ribbon cutting, the first regularly scheduled council meeting of February, and the opening of Gigi’s Playhouse.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, February 12th, 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.