Monday in preparation for the council meeting I contacted each council member to hear of any questions or concerns about the agenda. The agenda was very short so there was only a clarification. Later in the day I met with staff briefly to go over the agenda.
Town Manager One-On-One
After the agenda meeting, I met with the town manager for our weekly one-on-one. Some of the topics we discussed included a MacGregor Lake issue, the DEI task force, the future Center at the South Hills mall site, and the council appointment from last week.
Atlantic Tire Championship Board Meeting
Later in the evening I met with the Atlantic Tire Championship Board. Our discussion was mostly on sponsors and materials to present to sponsors. We also talked about new activities to be held during tournament week. Our meeting lasted about two hours.
Thursday afternoon I met with NC Senator Chaudhuri via zoom. We talked about how we could help each other in the upcoming legislative session. I asked that he protect us from losing local authority. We also talked about lobbyist that are representing the town. Cary is blessed to have two great senators representing them: Jay Chaudhuri and Gale Adcock.
Meeting with Council-Elect Ryan Eades
Thursday evening, I met with Ryan Eades who will be sworn in as a Cary Council member on January 26th. The purpose of the meeting was to get to know each other better and ask and answer each other’s questions. I described myself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal but politically left of center. He described himself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal and politically right of center. Our meeting lasted about 45 minutes. I look forward to all Ryan will bring to the council.
Friday the council held its first regularly scheduled council meeting of the year. The agenda was very short and included two consent items, no public hearings, and two discussion items.
Under discussion the council unanimously approved a staff recommendation to appropriate $78,250 of funds from the Federal Equitable Sharing program for the purchase of six electric bicycles and one side-by-side utility vehicle to serve the Downtown police team and Cary’s Park system. In attendance were the officers that will be serving Cary’s downtown park.
In other action the council also unanimously approved a resolution approving the updated “Town of Cary (GoCary) Title VI Program” and authorized the Town Manager or designee to submit the Program to the FTA. You can find out more about the program update here. In staff’s presentation they talked about GoCary bus stops usage of solar. Compared to other municipalities, we about double the usage of solar.
The council meeting concluded after about twenty minutes.
Downtown Park Tour
Friday morning I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz, council member Robinson, the town manager, assistant town manager, and several staff members in a tour of the downtown park construction. We were able to visit key components of the park which are mostly built such as the Academy Plaza, Gathering Place, Park Street Courts, Bark Bar, and the children’s play area. The two giant play structures (Birds) will be placed by crane on Monday, January 16th from 9 to 12 which will be exciting. The park is on schedule to open late summer. You can find out more about the park here.
Tet Vietnamese New Year Festival
Sunday I joined Secretary of State Marshall, NC Senator Adcock, Morrisville Mayor Cawley, and Raleigh Council Member Patton in the Tet Vietnamese New Year festival in Raleigh. The event consisted of traditional and current song and dance celebrating the Vietnamese culture. There was also amazing food and drink.
Town Manager’s Report
A few weeks ago, I went inside the fence surrounding the Downtown Park for the first time, and I was blown away. I don’t know how words alone could describe all the feelings that occur when you see and touch and are surrounded by the amazing architecture, materials, and craftsmanship. This morning I had the opportunity to go inside again, but this time my attention was on what the Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem, and Council member Robinson were experiencing. I think it’s fair to say that they, along with the staff who accompanied us and the Directors who toured earlier in the week, were, well, blown away. I really want to encourage the remaining Council members and Directors to schedule a tour. Before we know it, the park will be complete, and seeing it at this point in its development simply is not to be missed. Also this week, we finished taping the interviews that will comprise this year’s retreat video. As you know, we explored the concept of living inspired, and, not surprisingly, the park was mentioned many times. As we approach another three-day weekend, I hope we can each take a moment to reflect a little more on what Live Inspired means to us and to do so within the context of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr holiday, officially our National Day of Service. Whether Council or staff, we’ve chosen to serve, to work to make our community and the lives of those who comprise it, better. In Cary, we are so fortunate that we aren’t alone in this. Our non-profits, our places of worship, our businesses, our artists, and our activities really do come together on the most important things – and it just isn’t this way everywhere. Sean
Neighborhood Services Committee Kickoff
Cary’s Neighborhood Services Committee convened for their initial kick-off meeting this week. Dan Ault, Carla Witherington, and I shared our vision for the group including how their work contributes to creating the local government that doesn’t exist. Moving forward, this group of employees will meet regularly to think strategically and holistically about complex community issues such as traffic calming. This was demonstrated through recently installed offset speed humps along Loch Highlands Drive in attempt to calm speeds while avoiding impacts to emergency vehicle response times.
First Public Meeting of 2023
The first of three planned public meetings for the new community center to be located at Mills Park was held this week. The citizens in attendance given an overview of current trends with community center design and then given an opportunity to show their preferences. Special Thanks to all staff that helped with the event, 311, Public Works, and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources staff.
RFQ Posted: Wake BRT Western Corridor Station Area Planning
Cary and Raleigh are actively preparing for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor that will connect the two downtown areas. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded a grant to support Transit Oriented Development (TOD) planning work in the station areas along this corridor. An RFQ to select a consultant to lead this effort has been posted, with a due date extension of February 1, 2023. Questions should be directed to Kelly Blazey, Transit Director.
Open Space Survey
Mailings were sent out last week to randomly selected citizens to participate in a survey regarding a new Open Space Plan and an updated Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Master Plan. The plan is linked here. The gathered information will guide recommendations for years to come. Additional public input will be sought over the coming months. A public survey is also available for all members of the community to provide their input on the future of Cary’s open space, parks, greenways, recreation and cultural resources.
Beaver Creek Pump Station Improvements
In December, a second bar screen and an odor control improvement project at the Beaver Creek Wastewater Pumping Station was completed and is now in operation. The Beaver Creek Pump Station receives wastewater from western portions of Cary, Apex, Morrisville, and the Wake County portion of RTP and conveys to the Western Wake Regional Water Reclamation Facility for advanced wastewater treatment. The installation of the second bar screen helps in the removal of debris from the sewer system, improves maintenance capabilities, reliability, and adds redundancy for more effective and efficient management of our remote wastewater facility. Enclosures were also added to house the trash dumpsters to dispose of the debris. These improvements streamline operations and further serve Cary’s goal of being a good neighbor at our utility facilities.
A complaint about the left turn signals at Tryon and Cary Parkway
A complaint about construction around MacGregor Lake
A concern about pedestrian safety at Penny Road and Ederlee Drive
A complaint about a broken elevator at Willow Creek Apartments
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, the delivery of Bird structures to the downtown park, a Wake County Mayors Association meeting, a Human Relations and Diversity Task Force Meeting, a Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Executive Board meeting, and an Affordable Housing Luncheon.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 22nd, 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.
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. In appreciation, Sean
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
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 email@example.com.
Monday, December 19th I taped a message celebrating Dr. Jim Goodnight’s 80th birthday. He has had a significant impact on our community through the years. The world-wide recognition of SAS has resulted in businesses choosing to locate to Cary and their success has helped existing Cary businesses to expand. His philanthropic work has made a big impact in our community. Such as the Veterans Freedom Park, the SAS Championships, donating land for a fire station, and creating learning programs and institutions.
Mayors Association Annual Banquet
The Mayors Association held their annual banquet on Monday, December 19th. It was held in Garner at the Grand Marquise Ballroom with approximately 150 guests. All 12 Wake County mayors were in attendance. In addition to great food and conversation, we were treated to entertainment by the Hall Sisters. A good time was had by all, and it was a great way to close out the year.
The results of the biennial survey were made available right before Christmas. The survey was based on the responses from 400 Cary residents. The results showed Cary had an overall grade of A- as a place to live. Overall, 2 grades improved, 16 remained the same, and 15 declined. There were 23 A’s and 10 B’s. To review all the results go here.
Former Mayor Harold Ritter dies
On New Year’s Eve I was notified that former Cary Mayor Harold Ritter had died. Harold Ritter served as Cary’s Mayor for four years after Mayor Fred Bond. He was mayor during the time Cary began to change from a small town into the mid-sized city it is today. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, family, and friends. Cary is forever grateful for his years of service to make our community a better place. Rest is peace Harold!
Writing State of Cary Address
The remainder of the year was spent researching and writing the first draft of the State of Cary address. In the address you will hear about Cary’s accomplishments of the past year, and the significance of this year and the next five years. I will need to have the first draft completed in the next week so that staff can fact check and provide feedback.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I spent New Year’s Eve at home with my wife mostly watching the football playoffs. It was a great way to relax and bring in the New Year. I hope you have a Happy New Year!
New Year’s Day Walking Tour
On Sunday, January 1st I joined a few dozen people in a walking tour of downtown Cary. The tour was given by Cary resident Katherine Loflin who can trace her ancestors to this area from the 1700s. Ms. Loflin has done extensive research into Cary’s history and was able to share some of the stories she had found. I was able to learn things about Cary’s history that I had not heard before. It was a great tour and I hope she gives another one again in the future.
A question on why Epic Games is not moving forward with redeveloping the old mall site
A question about future Cary Community Center Projects
A request to visit Carpenter Village’s lighting competition
A complaint about no bathroom at the Amtrack Station
A complaint from the “Armenian Origin constituents” about a past proclamation we made
A complaint on Christmas Eve about power outages: “I always thought Cary was a top city in the south, apparently not” (BTW Duke Energy maintains the power grid not Cary. I passed along the complaint and Duke Energy responded.)
Compliments on the Academy Street holiday lighting
Best wishes during the holidays
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, an Economic Forecast, Gale Adcock’s swearing in ceremony to the NC Senate, District D applicant interviews, former Mayor Harold Ritter’s funeral, and Ya Liu’s and Maria Cervania’s swearing in ceremony to the NC House.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 8th, 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.
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
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, Sean
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.
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’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 email@example.com.
Monday I attended an economic development event by Enzyvant who announced that they will be headquartered in Cary and will refit a manufacturing facility in Morrisville to develop an in-house regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicines seek to replace tissue or organs that have been damaged by disease, trauma, or congenital issues. Enzyvant is a company that treats rare diseases in children. Their manufacturing facility is expected to be completed during the second half of 2024. Once completed the facility will provide the size, flexibility, and processing capability to serve the company’s commercial and clinical research needs for regenerative medicines.
At this event I provided remarks on behalf of the elected officials which included the Morrisville Mayor and several Morrisville council members. Other speakers included several individuals associated with Enzyvant.
During my visit I learned about one of their drugs recently approved that saves lives of children born without a thymus, which could cause profound immunodeficiency, vulnerability to potentially fatal infections and life-threatening immune dysregulation. To put it simply, without a thymus you have no immune system and can die from a cold. This drug is individualized, made in roughly two weeks, and then put inside the patient. The patient should then be protected for the rest of their lives. I am so proud that Enzyvant, a company that literally saves lives, is headquartered in Cary.
Town Manager One-on-One
Monday evening the town manager and I met virtually. Topics included the new Parks Director, the council appointment process, the future redevelopment of town hall campus, the future parking deck next to the Rogers, the downtown Christmas tree (which may be dying), and the downtown park.
Atlantic Tire Championships Board Meeting
Tuesday night I attended a meeting of the Atlantic Tire Championship board. We had two guest speakers, Kelly Gaines, the Executive Director of the NC Tennis Association and Doug McRainey, head of special parks projects including the tennis center expansion. Kelly provided information about running the Winston Salem Open while Doug provided information about the tennis center expansion. Afterwards the board reviewed the numbers for this past tournament and set meetings for the coming year. One interesting stat for this year was that attendance increased 58%.
Passing of Bob Matheny Former Zebulon Mayor
Tuesday I was notified that Bob Matheny, former mayor of Zebulon for 28 years had passed. He served in many roles including the President of the NC League of Municipalities. More than anything else he was a great guy and a friend. A person that I looked up to. I, along with many others, will miss him.
First Responders Breakfast
Wednesday morning I joined council members Liu and Johnson at the First Responders breakfast. Our keynote speaker was Cary resident Marjorie K. Eastman, author, veteran, and former candidate for U.S. Senate. Her address was very fitting for the Police, Fire, EMS, and Veterans in attendance. We appreciate her service and for her words to our heroes.
Economic Development Committee Meeting
Wednesday I participated in a meeting of Cary’s EDC (Economic Development Committee). The committee was recently expanded to include three new members. Each of the new members told a little bit about themselves and their experience. Cary is blessed to have EDC members with extensive corporate backgrounds.
The town manager reported on how the EDC might change to provide feedback on more business decisions. He recommended a half day meeting to flesh out ideas sometime in January.
Next the President of the Cary Chamber provided updates on the town’s economic activity for the last quarter. Here is a summary:
MetLife is recruiting for 400 positions in software engineering, data science, cyber security, and service operations.
Current pipeline includes 500 jobs and $1.4 Billion in Capital Investment potential
Enzyvant announced 80 jobs in life science
Development firm has planned to build of around 162,000 sq ft, of industrial space. It can be 2 buildings, or one large building. This developer is targeting late January 2023 to begin their grading and infrastructure work for their site.
Another industrial build is near the airport. The tract is 142 acres and has 700,000 sq ft. The project is estimated to have their site plan approved in the next 4 to 6 months.
A building formerly known as the old Oxford University Press company on Evans Road has been prepared as a shell space. This building is a great space for Life Science, Biotech, advanced manufacturing, and logistics.
Class A office is still slow. There are some small opportunities for 15,000 to 45,000 sq ft. The best areas to accommodate needs are located in Downtown, Fenton, and Regency Park.
The town’s Economic Development Director asked the group to think about what information they would like him to present to the new EDC.
The next EDC meeting is scheduled for March 1st however the committee will try in meet within the next couple of months.
Thursday morning I did a video tapped interview which will be part of a larger taping of all council members, staff, and some members of the public. The answers to the questions will be part the annual council-staff retreat in February. Most of the questions were related to inspiration and what is inspirational to you.
The taping was done in the skybox of the Walker which overlooks the downtown park under construction. Of course, I had to have my picture made with the park in the background.
Roger’s Deck and Future Town Hall
Thursday afternoon I met briefly with the town manager and staff to discuss the appearance of the future parking deck that will be adjacent to the Rogers. It will be the same height as the Rogers and have a facade that will make it look nicer than a typical parking deck.
I also talked about the future of town hall campus with the town manager and staff. There were a lot of ideas being presented. I believe the future town hall campus should be like the rest of Cary, something special. We may see ideas brought forward next year.
Town Council Work Session
Thursday evening the council held a work session in the police department training room to discuss the Green Level Destination Center Planning Area and the Council District D vacancy appointment process.
The destination center presentation had representatives from the future Duke Hospital and multi-family developers adjacent to the hospital. The hospital wants to rezone to allow 500 beds instead of 100. Council members didn’t provide feedback that would object to this. The combined multi-family in the area would result in 2250 units which would be a significant change in density. There were concerns expressed about traffic and what this would do to nearby major intersections such as Highway 55 and High House Road. I expressed concerns about the worse case traffic scenario where the 2250 units would have 2 cars each with none working at the hospital or nearby facilities. This in addition to the 7500 jobs would create a minimum of 12,000 trips. I asked that data be presented during the public hearing on the premise that many workers adjacent to facilities actually work at those facilities. Other council members expressed concerns over walkability and the overall flow of the project. It will be interesting to see what is presented at the three public hearings (one for the hospital, and one each for the two multi-family projects).
The next part of the work session was the appointment process to potentially fill the seat left by Ya Liu once she goes to the NC House in January. The process was led by Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz. He asked each council member to pick their top two candidates for interviews. The results showed Sarika Bansal with 4 votes, Ryan Eades with 4 votes, Kengyeh Chu with 2 votes, and Cindy Sinkez with 1 vote. Council member Robinson made a motion that the council continue the process with the anticipation of appointing which passed 5 to 2. This is to let the candidates know that we aren’t going through the process with the intent of leaving the seat vacant. However, that option is still available after the interviews. There was a second motion by council member Bush to change the process to allow a third candidate for interview which failed. The next step will be to schedule interviews with the two finalists and the council. This may or may not happen before the end of the year.
Cary Christmas Parade
On Saturday I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz, and council members Smith, Liu, and Johnson in the Cary Jaycees Christmas Parade. The parade was streamed on WRAL for the first time ever. I rode in a classic 1968 Cutlass with Former Planner Debra Grannan her husband, and my wife. For the first time we were not allowed to throw out candy, but fortunately for the kids along the route, Cary Teen Council Members walked along the edge of the road and handed out candy. There were many other safety measures added to this parade such as more space between entries. This caused the parade to last about 1 ½ hours. From my observations, this was the largest crowd ever. I hope to even see more people next year.
Town Manager’s Report
Think for just a minute about where you were and what you were doing when you heard that a shot had been fired inside Cary High School in October. I was at the SAS Championship with the Mayor and Jack Smith. Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting with many of the key responders to the incident and hear what it was like for them as they worked to keep kids safe while piecing the puzzle together that day. Lillian Hamilton, Barnabas Edmonds, Jim Young, Albert Jones, Chris Bernhardt, Josh McCabe, Barbara Clemmons, Steve Wilkins, Doug Workman, Bradley Evans, and Ken Quinlan shared their “Secret Sauce,” so to speak. Their success, then, now, and in the future – is being part of a teams that stay together for a long time. The 911 team. The SRO team. The Investigations team. They can work together seamlessly with little to no explanation. They know context by the tone of a voice or a glance. They’ve built trust with each other and between teams over years of training and responding. On all our behalf, I thanked them for their courage and commitment, and I promised to do everything we can to keep supporting them in their incredible work. In appreciation, Sean
Heart of the Holidays
New milestones were reached this year for a number of Cary’s Heart of the Holidays programs. The Gifting Tree Project increased from 80 to 91 total participants and sold out within hours. More than 1000 people attended the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Town Hall featuring performances by nine different local groups, with Hometown Spirit Award winner Bob Moncsko flipping the switch. More than 600 Letters to Santa have already been dropped in Santa’s Mailbox, with Sunday as the final day. From record attendance at Heart of Holidays events to the throngs coming downtown to take in the lights, it is clear citizens are enjoying the holiday spirit.
On Tuesday, I met with my Cary colleagues for our quarterly All Hands. This gathering served as an opportunity to celebrate Cary’s recent recognition by Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) as the best place to work in local government. I also shared my thoughts on a variety of topics, including Cary’s new Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources director and the ongoing implementation of our new ERP system. We wrapped up with a visit from Rashonda Harris and Stephanie Reed who discussed their recent work through Cary’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. It’s hard work, but they are a great team to help build the organization’s DEI muscle.
Black Creek Sewer Rehab – Moving to the Next Phase
Over the past several months, crews have been rehabilitating sewer lines and manholes along the Black Creek Greenway between W. Dynasty Drive and North Cary Park. They are currently finishing restoration and cleanup along this section of the project. The greenway along this corridor is scheduled to reopen to the public on Tuesday, December 13th. At the same time, our sewer rehabilitation contractors are relocating their operations to the next phase of sewer infrastructure for rehabilitation between North Cary Park and the Crabtree Creek Greenway. This will require closure of the Black Creek Greenway in the construction zone until Spring 2023. Current information regarding the status of the greenways, including detour routes, is available here.
Cary Chamber of Commerce First Responders Breakfast
On December 7, Cary Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual First Responders Breakfast at Prestonwood Country Club, and staff from police, fire, and emergency communications were in attendance. Other regional first responders included Wake County EMS, Wake County Sheriff’s Office, and regional hospital staff were recognized for their service. Veterans from American Legion Post 67 were also on hand and recognized for their service. The show of appreciation by the local business community was greatly appreciated by Cary staff.
Solar Energy Continues to be a Hot Topic in Cary
Although temperatures are cooling down, solar energy continues to be a hot topic for Cary residents. A Solar Energy virtual lunch-and-learn attracted 65 registrants who enjoyed a presentation from industry experts and Cary staff. Solar education supports our ongoing designation from the Department of Energy as a Gold Level SolSmart community and our recent regional partnership in the Solarize the Triangle program. While SolSmart focuses on reducing barriers to accessing solar installation, Solarize the Triangle provides reduced pricing through group purchasing options via a collaboration with the Triangle J Council of Governments. Since the start of the program in August, 546 kW of renewable solar power have been purchased through 59 homeowner contracts. Once completed, these installations will mitigate over one million pounds of CO2 per year which is equivalent of 100 gas-powered passenger vehicles driven for one year.
Director Leadership Dialog
On Monday, our Director Group gathered for a final Director Leadership Dialogue of 2022. As with other dialogues, this three-hour session was facilitated by our partners at CRA | Admired Leadership®. The discussion centered on decision-making and collaboration, with a particular focus on how Directors can model and teach these skills and behaviors in their respective teams and departments. In addition, we used the opportunity to discuss priority topics for the group to focus on as we continue these conversations in 2023.
NCAA College Cup 2022
Multiple departments have been working to prepare for the 2022 NCAA College Cup at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Women’s event ended with an electric atmosphere in overtime crowning UCLA as champions in front of a record finals crowd in Cary of 9,510 which also aired on ESPN. The Men’s semifinals are set for December 9 at 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. with the finals on Monday, December 12 at 6:00 p.m. Reduced ticket prices are being advertised through local soccer clubs, Cary Chamber and other promotions such as Groupon for the championship game.
Victorian Christmas at the Paige-Walker
On Saturday, December 3, the Page-Walker Arts & History Center was filled with holiday cheer for the Victorian Christmas. More than 500 people attended the event, and enjoyed cookies and cider, music by the Triangle Folk Ensemble and Victorian Carolers, the beautifully decorated historic hotel, kids crafts, visits with Father Christmas, and the return of the horse-drawn carriage rides. The event was a delightful lead-in to the Christmas Tree lighting at Town Hall.
NC One Water Conference Recognition
Cary’s wastewater collection and water distribution systems were both recognized this week at the NC One Water Association annual conference in Charlotte as top performing large wastewater collection and water distribution systems. This is the fourth consecutive year that Cary has been named number one in the state for the Wastewater Collection System Award and the fifth consecutive year that Cary has been recognized for the Water Distribution System award. Cary also placed second in the best tasting water contest. At the same time, Senior Project Manager, Betsy Drake, was recognized with the prestigious Golden Manhole Award for her many years of service to the NC One Water Association. Cary staff continue to be inspired to do their best in managing and maintaining our water and wastewater services.
Mobile Surveillance Trailers Go in Service
Fire and Police staff completed a training on operating the Town’s four newly acquired mobile surveillance trailers. They are now in service and available to be deployed for special events or other situations that call for mobile monitoring, such as this weekend’s parade. Credentialed personnel can access the video feed and control other features, such as camera angles, speakers, and lights, via a website.
An ongoing complaint that a crime was committed by someone who placed an “offensive” ornament on one the trees lining Academy.
A complaint about the repaving process for Fairlane Road
A request for contact information with Bojangles so that they could open a franchise
A question about short term rentals in Cary
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a meeting with the NC Tennis Association Board, Council pictures, Farewell dinner with Ya Liu, and the last regularly scheduled council meeting of the year.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, December 18th. 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.
Wednesday afternoon I attended the ribbon cutting for the Truist Bank in Fenton and provided remarks. In my remarks I stated how proud we were of their continued growth in our community, and that we look forward to seeing how they can help other business grow. After the ribbon was cut, I posed for a couple of pictures.
The first with NC Senate Elect Gale Adcock and Regional Manager Chris Bell and the second with Gale Adcock and Santa. Tis the season!
CAP Appreciation Dinner
Wednesday night I joined council member Jack Smith in attending the Citizens Assisting Police (CAP) appreciation dinner. One surprise attendee was former police chief Pat Bazemore. Before dinner, I provided remarks along with the police chief. In my remarks I stated that the Cary Police Department and the CAP members are the best of the best. They are one of the main reasons Cary is always recognized as one of the greatest places to live, work, and play in America. Thanks to all the volunteers in Cary who give of themselves to make Cary a better place. You are the backbone of our community.
N&O Interview About the Center
Thursday morning I was interviewed by a News and Observer reporter about the Center planned to be built in the redeveloped South Hills mall area. The point I tried to get across was that the building of the Center is at the early stages of a multi-year process. At this point we don’t know the design or cost (which will determine funding options). And with roughly two years of design and two years of construction we have a long way to go. What we do know is that our Center will have four parts: a community center, a senior center, a competition component, and an arena. Of course, there will be plenty of time for public feedback before anything is decided.
Christmas Tree Lighting
Saturday night I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz, council members Bush, Johnson, Smith, and Liu at the annual Cary Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony to kick off the holidays. As is tradition, the emcee was WTVD anchor Steve Daniels. The crowd was treated to great performances by Cary citizens, school groups, and others. After the performances I gave a welcome and introduced the Official Tree Lighter, Bob Moncsko, who was our 2022 Hometown Spirit Award winner. He provided remarks and counted down from 10 before throwing the switch and lighting the tree. It was a great evening, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Cameo Appearance in A Christmas Story by Cary Players
Sunday afternoon I made a cameo appearance in the Cary Player’s A Christmas Story. I played a fireman coming to help rescue the boy who stuck his tongue on the flagpole. I was given the ability to adlib so when one fireman asked what took me so long, I said “It was the traffic. Someone should call the mayor!”
The Cary Players did a fabulous job with this play and all actors, including about a dozen kids, were spectacular. We are so blessed to have this much talent in this area.
Town Manager’s Report
On Tuesday I joined Joy Ennis, Sarah Alexander, Susan Moran, and Page Martin from Balfour Beatty for a walkthrough of the downtown park construction site, and I was truly blown away! In a word, it is SPECTACULAR! Every thoughtful detail of the design is being manifested with breathtaking precision, craftsmanship, and beauty, and the pride of all the workers is palpable. The Downtown Cary Park is and will be a lasting testament to what our co-created culture can produce in service to this great community Hope to see you tomorrow night at our Christmas Tree lighting. Sean
Cary Jaycee’s Christmas Parade
We are just over a week away from the 40th annual Cary Jaycees Christmas Parade which will be live streamed on WRAL.com. Staff has partnered with the Jaycees to plan a safe and festive parade for participants and those in attendance. Some highlights of new safety measures include:
Requirement of valid North Carolina registration, State inspection and insurance on all vehicles that are required to do so under NC law
All drivers must have a valid North Carolina driver’s license
The throwing of candy or other objects from floats or vehicles in the parade are prohibited
Fire and Police personnel will discuss safety protocols with each driver
Floats must arrive by 12pm
No more than 16 people allowed on floats (12 if a professional)
We will continue to monitor for any safety concerns as they arise and will adjust planning accordingly. We look forward to seeing you there.
Wastewater Testing for Lead
During our November 10 Quarterly Meeting with Council, drinking water updates included a summary of Lead and Copper Rule Revisions adopted by EPA. As a follow up to the question about testing wastewater for Lead, Cary maintains a routine wastewater testing program for a variety of parameters. Eleven metals including lead are tested each month at Cary’s water reclamation facilities. Over the last couple of years, wastewater testing has shown practically no detection of lead in our wastewater. Staff conduct testing regularly to support wastewater treatment operations and to ensure our treatment systems are meeting all established regulatory criteria in State and Federal permits.
Cary Them Home
In October, Cary Animal Services partnered with Fi-Nano to microchip 522 animals, free of charge, to keep animals out of shelters. Due to the success of this event, Cary Animal Services created an initiative called “Cary Them Home”. Through a grant provided by Fi-Nano, and a commitment from area veterinarians, Animal Services will provide free microchipping indefinitely. For more information about the partnership with local vets click here.
Harvest Fest Wrap-Up
The second annual Harvest Fest event series attracted more than one-thousand guests to Good Hope Farm for produce sales, farm tours, and Q&A with dozens of environmental experts from across the region. Environmental education focuses included wildflowers, songbirds, pollinators, tree-care, compost, solar energy, healthy soils and more. Guests of all ages enjoyed old-fashioned games, crafts for kids, live music, and farm-to-fork food. Also new in 2022, other festival highlights included free pop-up “make and take” pickling workshops, guided historic trolley tours, and a bonsai pepper pruning class. In keeping with Good Hope Farm’s mission to marry Cary’s agricultural past with an innovative future, the Harvest Fest event series also showcases Cary’s commitment to sustainability and community engagement.
Wake BRT Open House
Cary staff and planners from the City of Raleigh met with community on Wednesday to answer questions about Wake Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects. Despite the rainy weather, several people stopped by the downtown library to learn about the Western BRT corridor that will connect downtown Cary with downtown Raleigh. Additional information about all BRT projects proposed for Wake County can be found at https://raleighnc.gov/bus-rapid-transit. Please contact Kelly Blazey, Transit Administrator, with any questions.
A complaint about power outages in a certain part of Cary
A complaint about the sad shape of the American flag flying at the post office on Academy Street
A complaint about leaf pickup
A complaint about a “vulgar” ornament on one of the Christmas Trees lining Academy Street
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, an economic development announcement, an Atlantic Tire Championships Board meeting, a First Responders Breakfast event, a meeting of the Economic Development Committee, an interview for the council retreat in February, a council work session, a Christmas performance, and the Cary Christmas Parade.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, December 11th. 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 email@example.com.
This was a short week due to the Thanksgiving holiday so there is not a lot to report.
Monday morning I spoke to several middle school students from Connections Academy who were accompanied by their Assistant Principal and other teachers. Based on the information shared these were students who made a bad decision and chose to attend Connections Academy rather than be suspended.
I talked with them about my duties as mayor and how I deal with situations when people “push my buttons”. Afterwards we had our picture made together before they continued their tour of town hall.
Town Manager One-On-One
My weekly meeting with the town manager was brief due to the holiday week so we didn’t have a lot to talk about.
Wake County Mayors Association
Monday night I attended a meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association held at the Morrisville/RTP Wake Tech campus. Attending were mayors from Apex, Cary, Fuquay Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Rolesville, Wake Forest, and Zebulon. We were given a tour of the campus by Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls. The RTP campus has degrees in IT, Cybersecurity, Biotechnology, Business, Finance and more. It is also an early college campus.
During our monthly meeting we enjoyed Indian cuisine provided by a restaurant from Cary. In the business portion of the meeting, we continued our tradition of electing some of the newer mayors to leadership roles. I served as chair in 2009 after being elected in 2007. At this meeting the Wake County Mayors elected Jessica Day, the Knightdale mayor, to be our next chair. Glen York, the Zebulon mayor, was elected as vice-chair. These mayors will start their new roles in December.
Cary Christmas Parade
After the tragic loss of life at the Raleigh Christmas parade, changes will be made for this year’s Cary parade sponsored by the Cary Jaycees. Here is a summary of the changes:
Candy will not be allowed to be thrown to spectators. To keep spectators from running in the street, parade participants must walk along the sidewalk and hand out candy.
Floats must arrive to the parade site no later than 12 p.m.
All drivers participating in the parade should bring a copy of their latest inspection report if they have one.
Cary police and fire departments will inspect cars and trailer brakes before the parade and go over general safety protocols
No more than 16 people are allowed on any float (12 if it’s a professional float)
Thanks to all those who are doing their best to make the joyful event a safe event.
A complaint about the rezoning proposal 21-REZ-16 for 255 multi-family units on Old Apex Road. This application was submitted by Singh Development.
Several emails from someone struggling with mental illness. Complaints included being “mad at Tim Tebow”, hackers trying to steal a wedding app, “food poisoning on the ground”, their unpaid labor at the White House, etc. Sadly, this time of year seems to generate many of these.
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a cub scout meeting, a Truist Bank ribbon cutting, the Citizens Assisting Police annual appreciation dinner, and the Cary Christmas Tree lighting event.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, December 4th. 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.
Monday I attempted to contact all council members to learn of any questions or concerns about the agenda later in the week. The only concern was about the Macedonia rezoning which proposed to remove the age restriction from the proposal for multi-family. Later in the day I met with staff members to review the agenda.
Council’s staff review
Three Cary staff report directly to the council, the town manager, the town attorney, and the town clerk. The review of the town manager was last week after the quarterly meeting. The review of the town attorney and town clerk were held on Monday night. The process consists of a report from each that includes accomplishments and plans. The council hears from each and asks questions. After the review the council determines the performance level and salary. We are blessed to have three outstanding employees that are the best of the best.
Park Director Candidate Review
Tuesday morning I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz and Council Member Bush in a review of the final two candidates for the Parks Director job. This is a town manager appointment, but at the town manager’s invitation we provided input as part of the process which included assessment panels and many other interviews. I was very impressed by both finalists.
Chinese Lantern Festival Preview
Tuesday I had the honor of flipping the switch to turn on the lights for the Chinese Lantern Festival in Cary that will run from November 18th until January 8th. The preview party included elected officials, board and commission members and their families, and town staff and their families. There are over 15,000 LED lights in this year’s lantern display which took several weeks to set up. The lanterns traveled from Zigong in the Sichuan Province of China and arrived in 19 tractor-trailers. To find out more about this year’s Chinese Lantern Festival click here.
CAMPO Executive Board Meeting
Wednesday I participated in a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (CAMPO) Executive Board. CAMPO is the regional transportation planning organization serving Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, and Wake Counties. CAMPO is an entity required by the federal government to receive federal dollars. There are 19 MPOs in North Carolina.
Our agenda for this meeting had 5 consent items, 1 public hearing, and 6 discussion items. The executive board unanimously approved:
Amendment 10 to the FY2020-FY2029 Transportation Improvement Plan (Sadly many projects have been removed from this plan due to lack of funding)
Option 2 which adds auxiliary lanes to the Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) to create a safer merge operation and add capacity. Crossroads Junction projects, that border Crossroads and South Hills, will be constructed as a one design-build project in 2026.
The master agreement for CAMPO LPA (Lead Planning Agency). Authorized CAMPO Executive Board to execute any necessary additional or supplementary agreements to implement the LPA transition
Our meeting concluded after about two hours.
2027 World University Games Awarded to South Korea
In an email to elected officials and supporters of bringing the World University Games to this area (including Cary) in 2027, the Chairman and CEO of the NC Bid Committee notified us that the games would go to South Korea. Here is an excerpt from that email:
“North Carolina USA World University Games Supporters:
As you have probably heard by now, your Bid Presentation Team in Brussels, Belgium, this past weekend, unfortunately, did not bring home the 2027 World University Games to North Carolina. … it is important to keep in mind that this is the first time in history that North Carolina has ever been at this level internationally for a global event of this magnitude. And everyone on this email and all the execs who represented you in Brussels brought their A-game — and all of us can be very proud of that! We made a name for North Carolina and the USA and everything was done in a first-class manner. No regrets.
TWO IMPORTANT ASPECTS:
1)Team Effort: We could not have achieved what we did without everyone coming together as a fantastic, collaborative Team NC USA! An emphatic THANK YOU to all!
2)The Effort Continues: The good news is that it’s not over until it’s over and North Carolina is currently being considered for the 2029 Games — and if NC is awarded such, it will come about thankfully without having to go through another bid process!
In short, there is still a possibility of landing the World University Games, so we want everyone who has helped get us to this point, to hang in there a little longer just in case the Games end up coming our way.
In the meantime, we wish everyone a joyous Thanksgiving as we have much to be thankful for when it comes to North Carolina’s amazing, world-class 2027 FISU World University Games bid!”
Hometown Spirit Award Reception
Thursday evening I had the pleasure of being the emcee of the Hometown Spirit Award reception. The Hometown Spirit Award is given each year to a Cary citizen who enhances the quality of life in Cary by preserving, promoting, and carrying out positive and quantifiable, traditional small-town community values and traits. I introduced the three finalists and read what their nominators said about them. Here is a little about each of the nominees:
Michael’s nominators describe him as having a lifelong commitment and dedication to serving Cary; a person who steps forward when called on. Michael has contributed to the business and philanthropic life of Cary through the Curran Family Foundation and the construction of the Triangle Aquatic Center (“TAC”), a nonprofit public aquatic facility. His nominators shared that with the support of the Curran Family Foundation, TAC addresses the health, safety, recreation, and competition needs of Cary citizens and aquatic organizations. Michael has tens of thousands of volunteer hours over the past 15 years, providing leadership as both chair and interim executive director for the Triangle Aquatic Center.
Bob’s nominators said that he shares his time and expertise to better the lives of others though the Cary Senior TechEd, one of the clubs at the Cary Senior Center. In his volunteer role of Technical Director, he has brought the Cary Senior Center lab up to date, established a help desk, maintain the Cary Senior TechEd website, and has worked with Cary staff to upgrade the Senior Center internet and install Smart TV technology in classrooms.
Bob’s nominators described him as a Renaissance man, being thoroughly knowledgeable on many subjects and having the gift of explaining details to others on a level they can understand, while being caring and humorous. His nominators said he made them better teachers, organizers, researchers, and computer operators under his guidance. And while he is always willing to help, he blocks time each day to visit his 99-year-old mother for lunch.
Don’s nominators shared that since April 2020, he has reported an amazing 952 hours of volunteer service at The Center for Volunteer Caregiving!
At the Center for Volunteer Caregiving, Don volunteers in their caregiver respite program and also as a volunteer driver, which gives family caregivers a much-needed break from taking care of a loved one 24/7. Don’s nominators said he is praised regularly by families for all the help and care he provides to those he assists.
His nominators also shared that when he starts a new volunteer assignment, he develops a relationship with both the caregiver and the care receiver, earning their trust and building comradery. He explores the care receiver’s interests to find something in common that he and the care receiver can share.
Don has also volunteered in the past as a coach, Cub Scout leader, high school mentor, and with the Miracle League of the Triangle.
After the reception, those in attendance went to the council meeting where the winner was announced by the 2021 winner, Sarah Martin. The 2022 Hometown Spirit Award winner was Bob Moncsko. Congratulations to Bob and all our finalists.
Thursday the council held its last regularly scheduled meeting of November. The agenda included two special presentations, eight consent items, four public hearings, two discussion items, and a closed session.
The first presentation was the Hometown Spirit Award announcement by Sarah Martin.
The second presentation was from AARP representatives who recognized Cary as an Age Friendly Community. This designation resulted from a letter I sent to the AARP in August with the following efforts:
Making outdoor spaces and buildings more senior friendly
Increasing the accessibility and affordability of transportation and housing
Increasing access and opportunities for social participation and inclusion through programs that promote ethnic and cultural diversity
Supporting work and volunteer opportunities
Improving/increasing access to communications and information
We are honored to have this designation and are grateful for our Senior Advisory Board for their foreword thinking, dedication, and commitment to see this initiative through.
After presentations and Public Speaks Out the council unanimously approved the consent agenda which included:
Disposal of Surplus Personal Property $30,000 or More
Establish a Special Operating Fund to Support Parking Operations
Adjustment to Adopted Meeting Schedule
Council Recommended Economic Development Committee Appointments
21-REZ-18 921 SE Maynard Road Rezoning and Statement of Consistency
22-REZ-12 Brookstone Community Association and Statement of Consistency
22-A-12 Brookstone Community Association Annexation
ACT 26 Town Code and Land Development Ordinance Amendments (Technical and Minor)
The public hearings for the Swift Creek Elementary School rezoning and the Legacy on Twyla Road annexation had no speakers. In the public hearing for Green Level Church Road concerns were expressed about traffic and other issues. Council members expressed concerns that this is not a transition since it is surrounded by single family neighborhoods. The public hearing for the Laurel Street affordable housing developer agreement had several speakers urging the council to support. Since the council initiated this affordable housing project that was not an issue and was approved unanimously.
The discussion item for the Macedonia rezoning from age restricted to market apartments was moved to the December 15th meeting at the developer’s request. The discussion item for a downtown social district, mostly the downtown park, had questions about enforcement and neighboring housing to the district. After a thorough discussion it was unanimously approved and will take effect when the park opens which is scheduled for June 1st.
After a closed session our meeting concluded after about three hours.
Waverly Tree Lighting
Friday night I joined council member Jack Smith in the annual tree lighting at Waverly Place. I was introduced by Craig Woolard whose band was performing. I talked to the crowd about Read and Feed and then introduced the Athens Drive High School Marching Band who performed Christmas music.
BTW, the Athens Drive High School Band will be performing at the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC in May of next year. To pay for expenses they have partnered with Dewey’s Holiday store in Waverly Place to raise money. To show your support please buy holiday treats at Dewey’s.
After the band’s performance I introduced Santa and Mrs. Claus to the stage. They said a few words and we did a countdown from 10 before Santa threw magic dust on the tree to light it. My wife and I posed for a picture with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and council member Smith and his wife before leaving.
Fenton Tree Lighting
Saturday night I had the honor of participating in the first annual tree lighting event at Fenton. I, along with General Manager Rob Canepa, gave welcoming remarks. I then spoke about their partnership with Read and Feed before introducing the Cary Dance Production’s Sugarplums who performed a dance routine. Then we brought Debra Morgan of WRAL, Santa, and Mrs. Claus to the stage. They did the countdown and flipped a switch to light the tree. Fenton square was packed with people on their ice rink and in the square. It was a great event which should get better every year. Parking was an issue because their 400-space deck was not ready in time. It should be opened soon.
Town Manager’s Report
One of my favorite Cary events – the Chinese Lantern Festival – is back at Koka Booth Amphitheatre for its 7th season. It opens tonight at 6 p.m. and runs nightly through Sunday, January 8. There will be new lanterns as well as new entertainment. Last year we hosted more than 200,000 visitors from several states, and we expect that number to increase, assuming the weather cooperates. Because the lines to buy tickets at the gate can be long, and given that tickets sometimes sell out, we encourage visitors to purchase tickets online at boothamphitheatre.com. Many thanks to Interim Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Director Allison Hutchins, Cultural Arts Manager William Lewis, and the entire team at Koka Booth Amphitheatre as well as our public safety professionals for all of the work that has, and will, go into making this year’s festival our very best. Have a good weekend. Sean
Hometown Spirit Award Winner
Last night the 2022 Hometown Spirit Award was awarded to Bob Moncsko. The Hometown Spirit Award is bestowed annually on a Cary citizen who enhances the quality of life in Cary by preserving, promoting, and carrying out positive and quantifiable traditional small-town community values and traits. Moncsko volunteers with Cary Senior TechEd, a club at the Cary Senior Center. In his volunteer role of Technical Director, he has brought the Cary Senior Center lab up to date, established a help desk, and maintains the Cary Senior Technology Education website. In addition to Moncsko, this year’s finalists included Michael Curran and Don Seay.
Dominion Energy Gas Line Replacement Project
Staff is still in the process of working with Dominion Energy on a gas line replacement project along E. Chatham St. A new 12″ steel gas line will be installed, replacing an existing 8″ gas line, along Reedy Creek Rd. adjacent to Fire Station #2 and along E. Chatham St. from Reedy Creek Rd. to the Dominion Energy facility just east of NE Maynard Rd.
The project started on October 27 as night work but due to unforeseen circumstances with obtaining asphalt during the nighttime hours, the project has switched to daytime hours starting on November 15. Dominion Energy has two (2) active crews working during work hours to help with completing the project in a timely manner. Lane shifts and/or closures to be expected.
This week, 60 employees participated in on-site leadership workshops led by Executive Leadership Coach Mark Robertson. In recent years, Mark has helped us learn and embrace leadership fundamentals and behaviors that support our organization’s culture and values. The workshops were extremely beneficial for staff at all levels to have open and vulnerable dialogue about commitment and accountability, and how to have conversations and relationships that lead to greater impact and clarity. We always find value in having Mark share his expertise with our future leaders.
Adaptive Leadership Group Explore Challenge Course
This year’s Adaptive Leadership Seminar cohort had a unique opportunity to explore the Bond Park Challenge Course. Participants spent an afternoon navigating a series of quests designed to incorporate themes and concepts from Leadership on the Line. Activities were carefully curated to illustrate opportunities to turn up the heat, get on the balcony, manage hungers, and more. Special thanks to Outdoor Recreation Program Supervisor Emily Boykin for her creativity and hospitality.
Cary – RTP Rapid Bus Extension Comment Period
CAMPO is seeking comments on the Wake BRT: Rapid Bus Extensions Study draft results and recommendations. The planned Wake BRT: Western Corridor will connect downtown Raleigh to downtown Cary, and the proposed Rapid Bus service will extend to include the area between Cary and the Research Triangle Park. After reviewing the information on the study website, comments can be provided by email at WakeBRTExtensions@publicinput.com or by phone at 1-855-925-2801, using code: 7804. Comments must be provided by December 16. Please contact Kelly Blazey, Transit Administrator, with any questions.
Reid Kinlaw Recipient of NC Tennis Award
Reid Kinlaw, the Head Tennis Professional – Community Tennis, is the 2022 recipient of the NC Educational Merit Award given by Buster and Karen Brown through the North Carolina Tennis Association. This award recognizes an individual who has developed an outstanding tennis initiative, which provides leadership and inspiration in junior programming for schools, colleges, parks, and playgrounds and benefits the growth of tennis. Additionally, it was recently announced that Reid won the Educational Merit award for the Southern Tennis Association. He will be traveling to Atlanta in January to accept the award at the Southern Tennis Association Awards luncheon.
Cary Firefighters Give Back to the Community
In the spirit of the season, we are grateful to our fire crews for serving our community both as first responders and as contributors to the wellbeing of those who struggle with food security. This week wrapped up the final summer produce harvest of tomatoes and peppers planted by crews and community volunteers at 8 fire station gardens. In addition to using produce for shift meals, the firefighters have donated more than 130 pounds of fresh produce to Dorcas Ministries Food Pantry since July.
Trash and Tech
Over the last eight months, Cary built a partnership with NCSU to support its research and development of technology to improve identification and characterization of waste stream organics. Cary started providing waste samples to help the research team build datasets based on a variety of factors, including the chemical composition of the material. Samples will be provided seasonally till the end of the fiscal year. Cary is excited to support this advanced research that will help train an AI-driven system that could ultimately be used to inform decisions on the quality of material that can be used in waste-to-energy conversion.
Red Ribbon returned in 2022 as teens helped promote the message to say no to drugs. Twenty-one posters were selected as finalists with the top 3 chosen from each of Cary’s 7 middle schools. This year the theme was ‘Celebrate Life. Live Drug Free.‘ There was a ceremony hosted for the finalists on November 10 by the school resource officers of Cary’s middle schools as they awarded the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes for each school. Ada M. from West Cary Middle was selected the overall grand prize winner. The posters are currently on display at the Herbert C. Young Community Center through November 24.
This past week Patrick Duffy and Paul Kuhn were invited to the GRELOC (Greater Raleigh Esports Local Organizing Committee) Summit to participate in training of Esports coaches and share information on Cary facilities which could host Esports events in the future. This summit was held in conjunction with the Fortnite Champion Series Invitational in Raleigh with $1,000,000 prize pool. While at the summit, staff received a preview of the facility setup for the Fortnite event and learned about some of the other statewide initiates in the works.
ACC Championship Soccer
In the past two weeks, four soccer matches were played attracting a total of 8,755 spectators to WakeMed Soccer Park for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships! The stadium was wrapped with branding from the ACC and provided the perfect backdrop to utilize the new Cary brand. Fans traveled from all over the East Coast to explore Cary and experience one of the nation’s soccer treasures, with schools playing from North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and New York. The ACC Championships served as a good precursor to the NCAA Men’s and Women’s National Championships in early December.
Kildaire Farm Road Workshop
On Thursday, November 17, a multi-departmental team held a workshop at the Cary Urban Design Studio to discuss the future of the Kildaire Farm Road Corridor. The workshop featured interactive engagement activities and a bus tour to see the corridor real time. There was important discussion on creating a safe environment for pedestrians and bikes, ways to manage vehicular traffic including interactions with transit facilities and fostering a special sense of place. This workshop was a key touch point as staff continue work in imagining the possibilities along Kildaire Farm Road.
Neighborhood Rezoning Meetings
The Neighborhood Meetings will be held virtually on WebEx from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. The following cases will be discussed on December 7, 2022:
A police matter related to a person with mental illness
A complaint about a proposed rezoning 21-REZ-16 on Old Apex Road
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a meeting with Connections Academy Middle School students, a meeting of the Wake County mayors, and Thanksgiving.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, November 27th. 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 email@example.com.
Monday I met with the town manager for our weekly one-on-one. Topics included the Tennis Park utility relocation, pickle ball, and the agenda for the quarterly meeting.
Tuesday night I attended a couple of election parties for Cary People in the legislature. I was pleased that Cary Council member Ya Liu become the first Chinese American elected to the NC House. I was also pleased to see my good friend Gale Adcock elected to the NC Senate. And Cary resident Maria Cervania will begin her first term in the NC House.
Thursday the council and staff held its last quarterly meeting of the calendar year. In addition to all the great information, the council unanimously approved two motions. The council approved the purchase of two Downtown Trolleys with a small difference in their appearance. The council also approved a process to fill Ya Liu’s seat along with disqualifying factors (same as for boards and commissions).
The following are some of my takeaways from the various topics:
Finances are in excellent condition
Last year we had $210 million in revenue and $160 in expenses with surplus going in fund balance
$33 million in planned spending from fund balance was in this year’s budget
Revenue was up 20% from last year
Sales tax revenue was highest ever
Fund balance at end of fiscal year was $98 million
Issues continue to be inflation and supply chain. As a result, there are strategic purchases such as fire trucks sooner than later
This past quarter of the 34 cases seeking rezoning only 3 made it to council for a decision
Rezonings are down 29% based on the 5-year average
The conversion rate of proposals starting at staff and getting to the council process is 13.9%. The last five years: 14.3%, 13.4%, 26.0%, and 23.1%.
Development plans submitted are down 23% over the last 5 years
Permits are down 39% over the last 5 years
A proposed parking deck of 300 spaces next to the Rogers development should come to the council in about two weeks
Gurkens, on the corner of Academy and Chatham, has its lease expiring at the end of the year. There have been concepts of a restaurant at this space.
The fire administration building next to Gurkens will see redevelopment. Fire administration personnel will be relocated to Jordan Hall on Harrison Avenue. We are hoping to see a mix of uses to compliment existing restaurant and bar uses on Chatham and Academy.
The Lee and Associates building at Walnut and Kildaire should be finished in March.
Current inventory has 500,000 to 1 million square feet of flex space which will likely be used for life science and manufacturing
The South Hills mall redevelopment proposal, which will include the Centre project, will likely come to council early next year
Crosstown Pub did an excellent job buying the space next to them and creating a large outdoor patio area
Our utilities serve over 280,000 people
There is 70 billion gallons of water in Jordan Lake
There is a 167,000 watershed that includes Greensboro and Burlington
We use ozone technology for water treatment and have been for 20 years
We were awarded the President’s award for safe water
We can currently treat 56 million gallons of water a day
We are prepared for 2023 regulatory changes
Future regulatory changes require us to identify any lead and copper lines. In Cary these would be lines before 1980 which is basically inside the Maynard loop. Compliance is required before October 16, 2024.
On target to complete construction by Summer of 2023
Bark Bar should be finished late 2022
Birds for the kids play area should arrive December 12th of this year
Academy Pavilion should be finished in early spring of 2023
Pavilion should be finished in spring of 2023
Phase one opening should be in spring of 2023
The Centre Project
Will be on 10.9 acres10,000 square feet
Includes dedicated space for seniors, community center, tournament center, and an arena
Should have final plans by summer of 2023
May be on 2024 bond referendum
Community Center on Green Level Road
Minimum of 72,000 square feet
Indoor track, 3 multipurpose play areas, workout space, senior center, multipurpose rooms, and police substation
Design starts fall of 2023, design complete spring of 2025, construction starts summer of 2025 with completion in summer of 2026
Public Safety Center
On O’Kelly Chapel Road
16,770 square feet for Fire Station #10
9,300 square feet for 911 backup center
Location for Chatham County EMS
800 square feet for Marketing and IT
Public Works Facility
39,664 square feet
Includes operations, facilities, solid waste, fleet, fueling, and emergency response area
Cary Tennis Clubhouse Project
Design Starts in Winter of 2023
Design Complete in Spring of 2024
Construction begins Summer of 2024
Construction completed in Summer of 2026
Earnest Jones Project
Planning initiated in winter of 2023
Public engagement in Summer of 2023
Plans completed in Summer of 2024
Construction starts Spring of 2023
Construction completed in Summer of 2024
Thomas Brooks Park Cross County Course and Batchelor Greenway extension
Good Hope Farm
Rose Street Park
Ivey Ellington House
New foundation for move on old library site in January
Moved in February of 2023Will face Academy
May house downtown park offices and visitor center
Exterior redone immediately after the move
Interior redone in Summer of 2024
Possibility of tabletop deck behind building
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
Will require some updates to rules
One parking spot per ADU
No taller than primary dwelling
Size of ADU relative to size of primary dwelling but no more than 800 square feet
Philip Isley will be Cary’s lobbyist starting in January
We need to schedule meetings with school board and legislators
Council will need to set legislative priorities
Council Appointment for Ya Liu’s seat
Applications accepted from now until December 2ndCouncil meets in work session on December 8th to review candidates
If council decides to appoint new member to be sworn in as early as January
Disqualifying factors are same as boards and commissions
Classic Streetcar style
Low floor height
Custom Paint and Graphics
Will be held in Wilmington
May include a couple of speakers
Dates February 23 through 25
Set priority on many large projects
Complaints about maintenance at an apartment complex
Suggestions from middle school and elementary school students for dead batteries
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, staff reviews, Chinese Lantern Festival opening, a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Executive Board, Hometown Spirit Award reception, regularly scheduled council meeting, Waverly Place tree lighting, and Fenton tree lighting.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, November 20th. 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.
Wednesday morning I attended the Economic Forecast presentation by Ted Abernathy. He presented 92 slides with tons of data. Here are some of my takeaways from that presentation:
Cary continues to be ranked at the top in many national categories. For example: #1 to attract corporate headquarters, #1 most resilient economies, #4 healthiest housing market, and #1 safest city
A look back at predictions from 10 years ago after the recession: slowing population growth, entrepreneurs will come back, North Carolina regains competitive position, mounting college debt, declining home values, retirement tsunami, and escalating political discourse. Predictions were right on track.
The last few years were built on the assumption that the US, Russia, and China would work together. This change is significantly impacting our economy.
Technological changes continue to accelerate.
Major weather events are becoming more common.
Politics continues to get worse.
Current State of Economy:
Inflation near record high
Unemployment near record low
Hiring remains strong
Retail sales steady
Trade deficit improving
GDP growth slowing
Interest rates rising
Stock market falling
Large gap between job openings and hiring rates.
Since Covid, NC has seen an increase of 4.3% in jobs. About half the state in the country are losing jobs.
Raleigh/Cary metro area has seen a 30.7% growth in jobs since 2011 which is the highest in the state.
Raleigh/Cary metro area has seen a 6.7% growth in jobs since COVID.
Raleigh/Cary metro area is expected to have the largest population growth in the next 10 years with 19.2% growth.
Raleigh/Cary metro area has seen growth beyond state and national averages in all types of jobs. For example: construction, trade, transport, utilities, financial, profession and tech, and leisure and hospitality.
Consumer spending has slowed while disposable income is well below pre-COVID rates.
Personal savings has dropped to about 3.5%.
Business conditions remain very good.
Corporate profit margins are about the highest they have been at 15.5%.
Inflation rate is the highest it has been since the 1970s at 8.4.
Countries around the world experiencing inflation. Germany’s inflation is above 10%.
Inflation rate breakdown – top dozen:
Food at work or school 91.4%
Utilities Piped Gas 33.1%
Butter and Margarine 32.2%
Health Insurance 28.2%
Public Transportation 27.1%
Commodity Prices are starting to come down but well above pre-COVID.
Employment costs are rising about 5.1% a year.
Average price of home has increased more than 45% in North Carolina the last two years.
Between March 2020 and April 2021 half of all US adults had experienced some change in their work.
Labor Shortages by 2030:
Germany will see a shortage of up to 10 million
Brazil will have a shortage of up to 40.9 million
Canada’s labor deficit of up to 2.3 million
China’s shortage of up to 24.5 million
US population growth has changed from 0.99% in 2001 to 0.12% in 2021.
Working age immigrants is about the same as it was in 2018.
Millennials are not having that many children.
US Labor Force (18 and older) is about where it was pre-pandemic.
Two income families are declining.
Participation rate of those eligible to work has been declining the last 20 years and is currently around 62%.
Work force participation from 1960 until now:
Increased from 68% to 82% in the 25 to 54 age group
Increased from 55% to 57% in the 16 to 24 age group
Remained the same at 40% for the 55 and over age group.
For decades, there has been a steady decline in the number of potential workers in the 25 to 54 age group. The largest age group is now 55 and over.
Labor productivity (non-farming) has declined 2 ½% since Covid.
68% of people who quit jobs do not have a next job. 57% of those are looking in a different field.
40% of US workers say they will leave their jobs in the near future.
There is a shortage of workers in critical positions: soldiers, truckers, teachers, mechanics police officers, and healthcare workers to name a few.
North Carolina is ranked as the best or one of the best states for business by multiple agencies.
North Carolina ranked 4th for business climate, workforce, and innovation.
North Carolina has one of the top 10 business tax climates in the nation.
North Carolina ranks in the best third in the nation for legal climate.
North Carolina ranks 11th for Internet, 27th for Energy, 29th for Transportation, and 22nd overall.
North Carolina ranks 17th for Innovation.
14th for Science/Tech Employment
23rd for Patents
16th for Venture Capital
25th for Immigration of Knowledge Workers
26th for High-Tech Exports
9th for Inward FDI
33rd for Broadband Subscription Rate
7th for Labor Productivity Manufacturing
21st for Workforce Education
North Carolina is one of the top 10 states in Tech Sector Employment growth for the last five years.
North Carolina is 2nd in Workforce Development in the South Atlantic behind Virginia.
North Carolina is projected to have population growth in the next 10 years.
North Carolina’s labor force participation rate is under 60% with the national average at 61.7%.
Cary employment has grown from 74,185 in 2012 to 95,513 in 2022.
Cary has the lowest unemployment rate in the triangle at 2.8%.
Cary’s annual residential permitting has leveled off over the last 10 years.
Cary’s annual commercial permitting has more than doubled over the last 10 years.
In 2010 Cary permitted 27% of Wake’s Total. Today this is at 7%.
Average price of a residential property in Cary has risen from $312,116 in 2012 to $506,575 in 2022.
Volunteer Appreciation Event
Wednesday night I joined council members and staff for a volunteer appreciation event held at Colletta’s in Fenton. It was an opportunity to thank all our volunteers especially the outgoing board members. And we also welcomed the incoming volunteer board members. I was a great time in a great atmosphere. Thanks to Colletta’s for being our host.
N&O Inquiry about Wastewater Samples
Thursday I was contacted by the News and Observer and asked about Cary’s extended agreement to continue providing wastewater samples to the county and state for COVID-19 and other disease research. Here is the information we provided:
Cary signed the updated Memo of Understanding with Wake County on October 20, 2022
Wake County Health and Human Services signed on October 21, 2022
The updated Memo of Understanding runs through June 30, 2025
Generally speaking, wastewater samples are collected twice a week from Cary’s three wastewater treatment facilities. The samples are picked up by a State Lab and analyzed for Covid, (SARS-COV-2). The information is used and shared with NC Department of Health and Human Services and CDC through the NC Wastewater Monitoring Network to help track COVID-19 trends along with other public health data. Cary extended our agreement with Wake County to continue COVID-19 wastewater monitoring for an additional 3 years and to add other infectious diseases such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and other health-related issues to the panel for surveillance and tracking.
Overall, this ongoing and evolving work represents one important way Cary can support our public health agencies with monitoring and tracking Covid and other infectious diseases. More information about Cary’s wastewater testing for Covid can found on our webpage.
Friday I joined several council members, county commissioners, legislators, and Congresswoman Ross in a Volunteer Luncheon held in the ballroom at Prestonwood Country Club. Council member Jack Smith was the emcee and the featured speaker was Terry Westbrook who is the Director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs for the State of North Carolina. A special thanks to Prestonwood County Club who donated the space for the event allowing the town to only pay for the food. The ballroom was at capacity and there was even a waiting list.
I was honored to be in the presence of so many heroes who served to protect our freedom. I had my picture made with the only surviving World War II veteran, Mr. Young, who was 94 years old. We are blessed to have so many willing to serve. Thanks to all our veterans!
The event was probably one of our best thanks to American Legion Post 67 who arranged the flag presentation and coordinated the speaker. A special thanks to the Cary staff from the Senior Center who helped organize this event and who were all present.
Parkside Tree Lighting
Saturday night I had the joy of participating in the tree lighting ceremony for Parkside Commons. Attendees were treated to man made snow (even though it was 80 degrees), karaoke, arts and crafts including face painting, train rides, and of course Santa Claus. At dusk I invited the kids in attendance to join me in flipping the switch and lighting the tree.
Ed Yerha Park Sign Dedication
Sunday afternoon I had the honor of emceeing the park dedication for Ed Yerha. The town’s policy for naming parks states that this should only occur for individuals who have shown “outstanding accomplishments by an individual for the good of the community.” Ed Yerha did this and much more.
He and his wife relocated to Cary in 1995 and he began his early years of service to Cary by serving on the Planning & Zoning Board, including acting as the Chair. Following that, he spent time serving on the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Ed Yerha was appointed to an At-Large seat on Cary’s Council on August 23, 2012. He spent the past decade representing and serving Cary’s citizens as a Council Member and as Mayor Pro-Tem.
Ed Yerha has been an active part of multiple groups and roles in Cary including: Council Liaison to the Historic Preservation Commission, Council Liaison to the Senior Advisory Board, Sister Cities Commission Vice Chair, Town Center Area Plan Citizens Advisory Committee, Downtown Parking Committee, Historic Preservation Master Plan Advisory Committee, Historic Preservation Survey Committee, Council Liaison to the Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel Board, Council Liaison to Cary150 Task Force, Member of Triangle J Center of Region Enterprise work group, regular speaker at the UNC School of Government, and more.
Ed Yerha is perhaps most well-known for his being a fountain of information of, and an advocate for, Cary’s History. Throughout Cary’s Sesquicentennial anniversary year, Council Member Yerha shared a piece of Cary’s history every month during his History Moments at the beginning of Council Meetings. In addition to the many ways he has educated us with his knowledge, he has also helped bring action to the preservation of Cary’s history through supporting the creation of Cary’s first Historic Preservation Commission and serving as the Council Liaison to the Commission since its creation in 2014.
The dedication ceremony began shortly after Ed Yerha arrived with a fire and police escort to the park from his home. Remarks were provided by the town manager, town attorney, town clerk, and me. In Ed’s typical fashion he spoke to the crowd for about ten minutes both entertaining them and educating them.
I am blessed to know Ed and am grateful that I had the opportunity to serve with him. He truly represents the best of Cary. Thank you, Ed, for all you have done!
Town Manager’s Report
I hope you will join staff and I on Sunday as we celebrate the sign dedication for the renamed Ed Yerha Park in honor of our dear friend, Ed Yerha, who devote countless hours to making Cary a great place to live, work, and play. The event is November 6 at 2 p.m. at Ed Yerha Park. To recognize the occasion, History Moment signs have been placed along the greenway between the greenway entrance by Davis Drive Middle School and Ed Yerha Park.
In other news, with the upcoming holiday, there will not be a Council Weekly Report on November 11. However, I will be sending you information early next week in preparation for the Quarterly meeting on Thursday. Sean
The Carying Place “Journey Home” Gala
The Carying Place hosted their annual gala this week and Council Member Carissa Johnson served as a guest speaker along with Ralph Ashworth and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Rennie Curran. Carissa shared Cary’s vision for diverse housing options for all residents and celebrated The Carying Place’s long-standing history of supporting those most vulnerable in the community. The Carying Place is Cary’s largest organization that provides both housing and supportive services to families with fragile housing. Their housing and programming are supported by Cary’s Community Development Block Grant program.
Advisory Board Volunteer Appreciation
On November 2, Council, staff, and advisory board members gathered at Colletta in Fenton for a night of appreciation for Cary’s Council-appointed advisory board volunteers. During the event, Mayor Weinbrecht shared remarks welcoming new members and recognizing the 15 outgoing members who have completed terms on advisory boards.
Veterans Luncheon at Prestonwood County Club
Cary’s annual Veterans Day luncheon is back! After two years of hosting a drive-thru affair, we gathered in-person to celebrate and honor our veterans. Cary partnered with Prestonwood Country Club to create a truly unique experience by providing a meal and entertainment to over 300 veterans.
Terry Westbrook, Assistant Secretary of NC Veterans Affairs inspired attendees with a keynote address. Additional guests from the Department of Veterans Affairs included Charles Lee, Robert Johnson, and Edison Platt. Council member Jack Smith emceed the event.
Special guests included Mayor Weinbrecht and Council Members Ya Liu, Jennifer Robinson and Jack Smith; Wake County Commissioners Vickie Adamson, Matt Calabria, Maria Cervania and Susan Evans; NC State Representative Julie Von Haefen; and US House Representative Deborah Ross.
Unsafe Building Use
Because of life/safety building codes associated with an assembly use, staff from the Fire and Inspections and Permits departments have had to post as unsafe the Bethel City Church, 7000 Hospitality Court. The congregation can no longer gather there until these issues are addressed, which we believe may impact as many as 200 parishioners. We understand the disruption this will cause and will continue to work with the occupants and owners. If you have any questions, please contact Chief Cooper.
DEI Task Force
On Tuesday, I had the privilege of attending the Human Relations, Inclusion, & Diversity (HRID) Task Force meeting. This meeting presented an opportunity for Task Force members to introduce themselves, learn about my leadership style and life experiences, and the expectations for the work of the task force. The Task Force members were able to learn more about the Reimagining Policing Initiative and affordable housing from me, and I affirmed the pace of the Task Force’s work to date.
Welcome to Cary!
As part of the branding rollout, some of our major events and venues have started integrating Cary’s new logo. WakeMed Soccer Park has a new entrance sign to welcome all visitors to the park and is visible to drivers along E. Chatham Street. We anticipate approximately 30,000 people will be attending the ACC soccer and NCAA soccer matches during the months of November and December, which created a great opportunity to make a splash with the new brand!
Public Hearing for the Historic Nancy Jones House
The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) has studied the historic significance and architectural integrity of the historic Nancy Jones House, located at 9321 Chapel Hill Road and owned by Cary, and has determined it is eligible for designation as a Cary Historic Landmark. In addition to being federally listed in the National Register of Historic Places, a local landmark designation would show that the Nancy Jones House is valued by the community, deserves the honor of being a historic landmark, and would ensure preservation through a legal ordinance. The HPC will hold a public hearing on the proposed landmark designation ordinance on November 9. Following the hearing, the HPC will forward the ordinance along with the commission’s recommendation to Town Council for the required second public hearing and Council’s final action.
Greenway Bike & Wine
In an effort to further “Activate Cary Greenways,” an inaugural Greenway Bike & Wine event was held this past Sunday afternoon. Registrants enjoyed a 10-mile bike ride along White Oak Creek Greenway and learned about Cary’s greenways as well as conservation efforts along the western end of White Oak Creek. Participants then spent the afternoon enjoying hors d’oeuvres, wine, and lovely jazz saxophone music by Bond Lake. Cary businesses were activated to make this event special and to encourage participants to explore and curate their own experiences along Cary’s greenways. Keep an eye on the Spring Program Guide and www.townofcary.org/greenways for a Spring Greenway Bike & Bubbly event!
Fire Leads CERT Certification Course
This past weekend Fire graduated the latest Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic certification course. Fire and Emergency Services Analyst Blake Boyd, with assistance from Fire suppression staff, taught 16 citizens skills that are important to know in a disaster when emergency services are not available or delayed. Topics covered include basic disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, fire safety, disaster preparation, and more. Course participants have the option of joining Cary CERT.
Cary continues to collaborate with Toward Zero Waste (TZW) to seed conversations and foster local actions to reduce food waste and increase composting opportunities. TZW Cary Community Director, Meghan Holler, teamed up with Waste Strategy and Community Impact Consultant, Srijana Guilford, to speak at Morrisville’s Environment and Stormwater Committee meeting. They shared the benefits of partnering to support community initiatives. Cary’s food waste drop-off has become a model for NC communities, and the committee was interested in the design and development of it. Also this week, Cary and Toward Zero Waste led a food waste reduction workshop to nearly 30 residents, the third co-hosted program offered this year.
First Financial Operations Group Meeting
Approximately 30 staff members from multiple departments attended Cary’s first Financial Operations Group session. With all the new faces in Cary it felt like a great time to bring folks together to facilitate cross departmental collaboration and idea sharing on financial matters. The first meeting focused on relationship building as a first step to helping one another with improving operations. Recurring monthly meetings in the future will allow the group to discuss various financial topics and to continue to build relationships.
Howlin’ Good Halloween
Citizens celebrated a Howlin’ Good Halloween with a variety of activities across Cary. The annual Herbert’s Haunted House hosted by Cary Teen Council attracted a record 1,116 brave attendees who took a walk through the house of horrors. Screams were prevalent throughout the night with many patrons happy just to survive. The Mummy & Son Ball provided a fun-filled spooktacular evening for mummies and sons who dressed in their favorite costumes and competed for prizes. Over a hundred spooky guests danced the Monster Mash, played eerily fun games, and roasted a ghost over an open fire for a tasty marshmallow treat! The Cary Theater was thrilled to showcase two fun-filled screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Nearly 200 die-hard fans filled the theater to sing along to their favorite musical, dance to the Time Warp, and dress up like their favorite character. Zombiepalooza attracted a sold-out crowd featuring a costume contest with prizes and a zombie short film. Twelve zombie short films were selected out of 700+ submissions. Audience members selected their People’s Choice award winner at the end of the program. Pumpkins were afloat on Bond Lake during the annual Pumpkin Flotilla which attracted over 1,000 attendees who came to watch the orange glow of pumpkins and listen to the live music. And finally, the Great Pumpkin Carve was more popular than ever with over 900 people attending the event. The Cary Public Library provided story time, and there was face painting and outdoor movies. Water marbling pumpkins was new this year were participants created designs on top of water and then dipped mini pumpkins in to transfer the design onto the pumpkins.
On Monday, October 31, Human Resources team members embodied Cary’s values of People First by visiting departments, re-connecting with staff, and giving away Halloween goodies. By sharing gratitude, recognition, and appreciation for the dedication and commitment of staff, Cary continues to celebrate the best and be one of the best local government places to work.
Kildaire Farm Road Closure
Work on Kildaire Farm Road is off to a good start despite challenges with the availability of some construction materials. Installation of the new waterline started on October 31. Beginning on Monday, November 7, the contractor is planning to close Kildaire Farm Road from Pleasants to Walnut Street for approximately two weeks. During this closure contractors will be concurrently working to upgrade Cary’s waterline as well as installing a duct bank for burying overhead utilities. During the road closure, traffic will be detoured to use Walnut Street and Maynard Road.
Wake Bus Rapid Transit Fall Open House
Join us for a Wake Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) update on November 30 at the Cary Regional Library. Planners will be available from 12-2 PM to answer questions and share updates on all Wake BRT projects. Additional information, including virtual meeting opportunities, is available at https://raleighnc.gov/bus-rapid-transit. Please contact Kelly Blazey, Transit Administrator, with any questions.
Town Hall Parking Deck Maintenance
Beginning next week and through the month of November, the Town Hall parking deck will be undergoing maintenance. Beginning Wednesday, November 9, contractors will perform clearance pruning of the trees adjacent to the Town Hall parking deck and following the pruning contractors will begin pressure washing and cleaning the deck. Sections of the deck will be closed on a rotational basis until November 21, but those will be clearly marked with signs and cones.
Complaints about the proposed Holt PDD rezoning in Regency (council will not receive information about this rezoning until a public hearing is scheduled)
A concern about safety at the Walnut Street and Lawrence intersection
A thank you for the volunteer appreciation event
Next week’s schedule is lighter due to the Veterans Day holiday. Activities include staff meetings, the council-staff quarterly meeting, and the Cary Veteran’s Day Observance.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, November 13th. 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 email@example.com.