Interviews, DEI Task Force, and a Council Meeting

Interview with High School Students

Monday I was interviewed by two students from the Enloe High School newspaper. They asked several questions regarding schools, housing, future retail, development, economic development, and other items. Our talk lasted about 30 minutes

Agenda Review

Monday I attempted to contact each council member to hear of questions or concerns about Thursday regular meeting agenda. Topics of concerns expressed to me included the Terraces proposed rezoning of Highway 55, and questions about the Meridian development in downtown.

Later in the day I met with staff and the Mayor Pro-Tem to go over the agenda items. We discussed the council member’s questions and concerns to help prepare staff’s presentations for the meeting. Our meeting concluded after 15 minutes.

Town Manager One-on-one

After the agenda meeting I met with the town manager for our weekly one-on-one. Topics included the South Hills mall purchase, the future Sportsplex, our light ordinance, updates on the tennis center, and the Fenton’s rezoning proposal.

Wake County Mayor’s Association and the University Games

Monday night I met with several Wake County mayors for our monthly gathering. Attending were mayors from Cary, Fuquay Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Morrisville, and Rolesville. The meeting started with a presentation on the University Games. The Triangle venues are in the final location selection with Korea for the 2027 games. Cities involved in this bid include Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, and Greensboro (for swimming). If picked this area will host 19 events over a 13-day period. The economic impact from these games is estimated to be over $153 million. After the presentation the mayors held a roundtable discussion mostly on budgets and projects. Our meeting concluded after about 2 ½ hours.

DEI Task Force Interviews

Tuesday night I joined council members Bush, Liu, and DEI manager Harris in interviews of the final eight applicants for the DEI task force. The mission of the task force is to improve the quality of life for the organization and community by encouraging fair treatment and promoting mutual understanding and respect amongst all people. The task force will consist of seven members appointed by me for two years or until the final report of findings from the Reimagining Policing Project is presented to Council, whichever is later. The candidates we interviewed were very articulate and impressive. The covered a wide range of DEI topics we are trying to assess. I look forward to seeing what they will accomplish.

State of Cary Address

Wednesday I presented the State of Cary address to the Templeton Retirement Community. There were several dozen people in attendance. This was the second time I have given the address and the first time since January. There were a few updates, but it was very similar to the first presentation.

Council meeting

Thursday the council met for its last regularly scheduled meeting of March. The agenda included four consent items, three public hearings, and three discussion items. The consent item for the sublease agreements at the WakeMed Soccer Park was moved to the April 7th meeting to allow more time to finalize documents. The discussion item for The Terraces at West Cary rezoning was removed from the agenda at the request of the applicant. There is currently no date on when a final decision will be made on this proposal.

The public hearing for the Estes rezoning to would allow fifteen detached dwellings, had speakers concerned about traffic directed onto Mills Road. There were also questions about allowing traffic on Emery Gale Lane which is a private road with no plans to be a public road. This proposal will go to the Planning and Zoning Board for their review and recommendation.

The public hearing for a Chapel Hill Road rezoning that would allow thirty-two townhouses had speakers concerned about additional traffic on Wilson Road. This will also go to the Planning and Zoning Board for their review and recommendation.

Under discussion the council approved the Meridian project for downtown on East Chatham Street. This development will be a mixed-use residential building with ground floor retail and a parking structure. In a partnership with the town, the development will include extending Hunter Street to Cedar Street as well as water, sewer, and stormwater improvements within East Chatham Street.

The council also unanimously approved the FY 2022 Street Improvements Bid Award and the use of $698,953 of Powell Bill Capital Reserves for projects. The FY 2022 Street Improvements construction bid was awarded to Blythe Construction, Inc. for $8,483,627.90. Cary maintains about 504 miles of streets which are mostly in neighborhoods. Thoroughfares are mostly the maintenance responsibility of NCDOT. Cary continues to have a much high standard for its streets than the NCDOT maintained roads.

Cary Council Candidate

Friday morning, I met virtual with a candidate for Cary Town council. In our forty-five-minute conversation I was able to learn about their passion for Cary and their ideas to make Cary better.

RTA Trip prep

Friday afternoon I participated in a RTA (Regional Transportation Alliance) Tour Prep meeting. Eighty-four people will travel to the Miami area to tour and discuss rail transit.

WRAL Interview at the Fenton

Friday evening I traveled to the Fenton construction site to provide WRAL comments on the impact of the project. The Fenton is the biggest development in Cary history. It is designed not only to provide living, shopping, and dining, but will be an experience like no other in this region. Some of the retail stores will open on April 29th and the grand opening will be on June 3rd and June 4th. To read the WRAL story go here.

Town Manager’s Update

The town manager’s report for this week included the following:

Danna’s Message

It was great seeing everyone at last night’s Council meeting. We look forward to welcoming a group from Frisco, Texas for an Inner-City visit next week. Staff has worked closely with the Chamber to coordinate a great visit that includes facility tours, panel discussions, and meet and greets.
I hope everyone enjoys the nice weather this weekend.

Cary Youth Leadership Program

Forty Cary students participated in a mock public hearing at the Cary Chamber of Commerce to learn about Cary’s rezoning and development process with Planning staff members, Erin Puckett, Kaley Huston, Jeff Caines and Allen Davis.

Cary Chamber of Commerce Business Expo

Planning and Development staff Tara Adams, Julie Mitchell, and Sue Wall, participated in the Business Expo sponsored by the Cary Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday at Prestonwood County Club.

Fire Attends Railroad Emergency Training

Fire staff attended TRANSCAER (Transportation, Community Awareness, and Emergency Response) train incident training course last week. The training was sponsored by Norfolk-Southern Railways as part of their nationwide program that helps communities, and first responders prepare for and respond to a hazardous materials transportation incident involving a train. This year Nutrien Ag Products co-sponsored the training to share information about new hazardous material railcars that will be traveling through our community going to and from their manufacturing facility on the coast of North Carolina.

2021 Asset Management Report

The 2021 Annual Asset Management Report was recently completed and provides a dashboard view of the current state of Cary’s linear assets. The report tracks assets added through capital and development initiatives and helps verify that key performance targets are being achieved. Over the past year, the focus has remained on GIS improvements, maintaining buried linear infrastructure, and continuing work on risk-based capital planning. One of the highlights of the report is the record low number of sanitary sewer overflows experienced in the past year. Having only five overflows for a system of over 1,000 miles is a testament to Cary’s maintenance and rehabilitation work.

Cary is for the Birds

From now through May 31, Cary is partnering with Wake Audubon Society to prevent bird strikes through the national Lights Out Program. During this time, billions of birds are migrating, and staff members are piloting an initiative to prevent bird window collisions specifically on Town Hall Campus. By reducing bird exposure to non-essential lighting at night, this initiative will help protect migrating birds without compromising public safety. The internal efforts will be complimented by an external public education campaign that invites our community to join us in this important environmental protection program.

CAWTF Ozone Replacement Project Completion

The Cary-Apex Water Treatment Facility (CAWTF) Ozone Replacement Project is now complete. Three new ozone generators have been installed, integrated with the existing generator, and are all running smoothly. The collaboration between the CAWTF staff and the contractor contributed heavily to the success of this project. Having a well-functioning ozone system mitigates some of the seasonal variations of lake water and helps ensure that the CAWTF continues to produce high quality, great tasting water now and into the future.

Cary’s First Electric Mower

Cary’s first electric mower can be found at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Gravely Pro-Turn EV will be put to the test this season maintaining the park’s general turf. This electric mower is great for the environment, has lower maintenance and operational cost, and is quieter than a gas mower.

Reclaimed Water Networking

This week, Cary hosted a meeting with area reclaimed water utilities that included staff from Cary, Raleigh, Holly Springs, and Durham County. The networking allowed everyone to share information about the operation and management of their reclaimed water systems and how each jurisdiction promotes the utilization of this sustainable reclaimed water resource. Cary is celebrating its 20-year reclaimed water system anniversary and although we have the oldest residential reclaimed water system in North Carolina, it is valuable to hear from and share information with other utilities so that we can continue to learn and improve our programs.

NC Tech Diversity + Inclusion Tech Summit

On Thursday, Chief Information Officer Nicole Raimundo served on a panel discussion – The Intersection of DE+I and Tech – at the NC Tech Diversity + Inclusion Summit in Durham. The panelists discussed the advances in digital transformation and growth in data and analytics that have led to technology becoming pervasive in helping us to better understand our current state, the gaps that exist in building an inclusive workplace, and how to move the needle towards a culture of diversity, equity, belonging, and inclusion.  

Cary Academy and District C

The Marketing, Information and Technology (MIT) Department had the pleasure of working with Cary Academy and District C on a mutually beneficial problem-solving exercise. District C is a nonprofit program that offers training to high school students in navigating “real life” problems. Cary Academy often invites local startups and established businesses to draft problem statements for their students, which help teach them the importance of critical thinking and problem solving. Cary provided this statement to the students to work on over a four-week period: “Recruiting and retaining technical staff against the backdrop of a robust array of household names in the private technology sector is a consistent challenge for the Town.”

In response, students set up an interview with MIT staff to dive deeper into the problem and get a better understanding of how government works, after which they embarked on a two-week sprint to explore solutions. The engagement culminated in a pitch event where two student groups offered up separate solutions on how government could retain technologists during a time of extremely competitive hiring. MIT staff was impressed with the thoughtfulness of the students’ ideas and hopes to partner with Cary Academy and District C again on future educational opportunities.

Upcoming Meetings

Planning and Zoning Board
Monday, March 28
6:30 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Thank you emails from students who attended Youth Leadership
  • A thank you email for all Cary is doing for senior housing
  • A thank you email for interviewing a candidate for our DEI task force
  • A concern about a “hazardous light pole” on the Cary Wake Med property
  • Condolences for the tragic loss of life in a recent apartment fire in Cary
  • A request to have an ordinance to prevent a neighbor’s floodlight from shining in a window
  • A request to have 5% of our budget (about $20 million) for affordable housing
  • An ongoing complaint about the background color of my blog
  • A complaint about town inspectors
  • A complaint about a water bill
  • A request to fix sidewalk issues near the Templeton
  • A complaint about the Meridian proposal causing traffic and pedestrian safety concerns
  • A request to help sale a home to work force employees
  • Several emails to support the town-initiated Laurel Street rezoning which includes affordable housing

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a taping of Cary Matters, a trip to Miami with a RTA (Regional Transportation Alliance) group, welcoming remarks to a group visiting from Texas, and a Cary-RTP Rapid Bus Stakeholder meeting.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Monday, April 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 and email personal comments to

Meetings, a Memorial, and a New Restaurant

Youth Leadership

Monday morning I spoke with about 40 high school juniors as part of the Youth Leadership Cary. This program began in 1998 and is sponsored by the Cary Chamber of Commerce. Its focus is on developing the potential of future leaders. The students were selected from Athens Drive, Cary, Green Hope, Green Level, Middle Creek, and Panther Creek. In my talk I covered the council-manager form of government, Dillons Rule states compared to Home Rule states, the Cary Council, and current topics. I answered questions until my time expired. It is always a lot of fun for me to speak with students.

Blue Star Memorial

I also spoke with members from the Cary Garden Club Monday morning about installing a Blue Stare memorial plaque in Cary. The Blue Star Program honors all men and women that serve in the United States Armed Services. The Blue Star was adopted because it had become an icon in World War II and was seen on flags and banners in homes for sons and daughters away at war as well as in churches and businesses. While it was an easy decision to agree to have this plaque in Cary, it will take some time to find the right location. They would prefer it be in the downtown area. If all goes well, we might be able to celebrate the installation of a plaque this summer.

a’Verde Cocina and Tequila Library

Monday night my wife and I attended a soft opening of a new restaurant in the Centrum at Crossroads, A’Verde Cocina and Tequila Library, which serves Mexican cuisine. Its claim to fame is the former “Top Chef” competitor Katsuji Tanabe. My experience was a good one. The food was excellent, and the atmosphere had a fun vibe. There were presentations of flaming drinks and entrees.  In addition, patrons could order shots of tequila in glasses of made of ice which, after drinking, could be thrown at a bell. It was a unique experience and one worth trying.


Wednesday I participated in a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Executive Board. The agenda included 3 consent items and 4 discussion items. Under consent the committee unanimously approved a modification to the FY 22 Unified Planning Work Program and an additional funding request for LAPP (Locally Administered Projects Program). The discussion items were informational presentations except for the US 401 Corridor Study Update which was also passed unanimously. That study revised the scope and schedule to include an additional corridor alternative along with the 2 existing corridor alternatives.

Thursday I met with staff about the DEI task force’s scope of work, and to gather information about the final nine applicants that will be interviewed for the seven slots. This task force will meet the first Tuesday of each month and will be open to the public. The initial assignments for the Task Force include the Reimagining Policing Pledge Engagement Project, community courageous conversation sessions, and Minority and Women Owned Business program and disparity study. In the next two years the Task Force will assist Town Council and staff by:

  • Recommending effective strategies for public engagement, removing barriers, and increasing access to Town services for citizens, visitors, and businesses
  • Recommending opportunities for community partnerships as a strategy to better understand and address equity impacts throughout Cary
  • Facilitating the building of relationships with under-served and underrepresented citizens, visitors, and businesses
  • Being a community advocate by welcoming, embracing and respecting all differences so all citizens, visitors, employers, and staff feel valued and supported in Cary.
  • Providing updates to Council on work plan progress and planned next steps
  • Performing such other duties that the Mayor or Council Liaison may direct

My meeting with staff concluded after about thirty minutes. The next round of interviews will continue next week.

North Carolina Metro Mayors

Friday was a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors. The following is a summary of that meeting from the Executive Director:

10am: Federal Update

  • Federal Government budget passed both the US House and Senate at the end of last week and was signed by the President on Tuesday, March 15.  The federal government has been operating on a Continuing Resolution since the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1, 2021.  With the final passage and the President’s signature this week, federal agencies are now funded for the remainder of the year ending on September 30, 2022.  Passage of this Appropriations bill is especially important because it provides full funding to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (also known as Infrastructure and Jobs Act – IIJA), which opens the door to state and local government infrastructure funds and grants. The competitive grant cycle for cities to apply for large number of federal grant programs will be in full swing beginning this month!  See this Local Competitive Funding.pdf for a list of some of the federal funding opportunities for cities.

General Assembly

General Update –

  • Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal to an earlier N.C. State Supreme Court ruling on the NC Congressional map.  This means elections under the current maps will proceed with the May 17 primary date.   Previously, the NC Supreme Court has ruled the Congressional maps unconstitutional and ordered a 3-member special masters to redraw the Congressional districts.  Now, with U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene in the election at this late date, the Congressional district map drawn by the special masters will be utilized for the 2022 elections alongside the Legislatively drawn House and Senate districts.
  • The legislature appears to have concluded their work for the legislative long session (we think).
  • An adjournment resolution was passed that brings them back two more times before the beginning of the short session (April 4-6 and May 4-6), but leadership has indicated there are no plans for votes to be held at that time.
  • The Short session will convene on May 18, the day after the primary elections.
  • We anticipate the short session to last six to eight weeks.
  • Local bills need to be submitted to bill drafting by 4:00 PM on Monday, May 9 and filed by 4:00 PM on Tuesday, May 31.
    • All local bills for the short session must have consensus by each member of the delegation (House and Senate).

Transportation ––

  • We continue to hear that there will be a bill introduced that would add additional funding to the NCDOT budget by dedicating transportation related sales and use tax receipts (such auto repair and parts) to the transportation budget.  Currently, revenue from those transportation related sales taxes go to the General Fund (a General Fund which has run a surplus of well over $4 billion in the last year). 
  • This is an idea that a number of our mayors first heard about as a possible source of funding for a depleted/delayed NCDOT project list, during an NC Chamber of Commerce Destination 2030 Zoom event on February 18.  This “user pay” idea could produce as much as an additional $450 million a year for NC transportation once fully phased in over a four-year period.  Mayors should STRONGLY advocate that these possible NEW FUNDS for transportation go the Highway Trust Fund in order to help alleviate SOME of the delays we are currently facing in transportation projects on the STIP.

Economic Development – nothing new to report.

Local Control/Local Revenues– nothing new to report

Town Manager’s Report

The town manager’s report for this week included the following:

Sean’s Message

Staff is excited to be able to host the Veterans Benefits Live , coordinated by Cary’s American Legion Post 67, event again this year. The three-day event kicked off Thursday at Herbert C. Young Community Center, with approximately 500 Veterans greeted by American Legion volunteers throughout the day. At this unique event, Veterans are able to meet face-to-face with experts from Veteran Affairs and Veteran Services Officers to receive explanation and assistance facilitating claims. This is the only event of its kind on the east coast, with Veterans traveling to Cary from as far away as Michigan, Arizona, and Florida. The event will conclude on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Take care, 


All Hands

On Wednesday, I was joined by Anna Crollman and Betsy Drake for another All Hands during which we highlighted some of the amazing work happening in and around our utility operations and shared the recently adopted new Cary brand. The event was produced live from the North Cary Water Reclamation Facility – a first! More than 470 employees joined us virtually, and as always for those whose schedules conflicted with the live production, it is recorded and saved for later viewing.

Arbor Day

Cary celebrated its 39th consecutive year as a Tree City USA community with an Arbor Day festival at Bond Park, on March 13. Held in conjunction with the My Tree, Our Tree native tree distribution, this event included 20 educational booths from community organizations that engaged with guests about topics such as waste reduction, regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, ecosystem restoration, and urban forest management. Live music, kids activities, and participation from local scouting troops made this a family-friendly event. The North Carolina State Forest Service attended to present Council with two awards from the Arbor Day Foundation for our care and management of Cary’s urban forests.
The My Tree, Our Tree giveaway continues to increase the number of native trees planted across Cary, with six hundred (600) new trees now rooting throughout the community. The trees add economic, aesthetic, and environmental benefits to each home. The tree distribution process would not be possible without the many community volunteers in service to the community and the environment.

Partnership for Safe Water President’s Award

The Cary/Apex Water Treatment Facility (CAWTF) is proud to announce that Cary has been recognized with the President’s Award for Water Treatment from The Partnership for Safe Water. The Partnership program is a volunteer initiative developed as a collaboration between the United States EPA and several national water industry professional organizations to recognize water suppliers who strive to produce drinking water with quality that exceeds regulatory requirements.  The CAWTF has participated in the Partnership’s  treatment program since 1995 and received the program’s Directors Award in 2003, an honor that has been maintained every year since. The President’s Award has requirements that are substantially more stringent than the Directors Award. The CAWTF joins a small and distinguished group of water treatment facilities who have achieved this exceptional level of performance.

Youth Leadership Cary

On March 14, forty high school juniors participating in the Chamber of Commerce’s Youth Leadership Cary program spent the day with Cary staff to learn about local government and potential career options. After hearing from Mayor Weinbrecht and staff from the Town Manager’s Office, Information Technology, Police, 911, Traffic Management, Page-Walker Arts & History Center, and Planning, the students concluded the day by watching the Cary 150 documentary at The Cary, followed by a Q&A session with two-time Emmy Award Winner Hal Goodtree, Jennifer Hocken, William Lewis, and Kris Carmichael.

K9 Nitro Visits Peace Preschool

On March 17, Officers Berl, Fox, and K9 Nitro visited with the children of Peace Preschool. Police officers attended the preschool’s annual “Community Helper Day” and spoke to the classes about what it means to them to be a community helper and how their jobs fit into this role. Many of the children attended class dressed up as firefighters and police officers!

WTVD Camera On Cary Arts Center

On March 15, Downtown Cary made its debut as a live feed was shared by Meteorologist Don Schewenneker during WTVD’s weather forecast. ABC 11 reached out to Cary staff at the end of 2021 to gauge interest on our hosting a live camera. There is no set schedule for when downtown Cary will be shown on the channel. Thank you to staff from Public Works, Marketing and Information Technology, Parks and Recreation for coordinating the camera installation. 

Sidewalk Connection Between Fenton and Downtown Cary

Staff led the way today walking the 1.7 mile path from Downtown Cary Park to Fenton, to assess sidewalk connectivity. As seen in the pictures there are sidewalk width and material variations, ADA upgrades needed, and other necessary improvements. Staff will begin meeting and planning soon on how to address the findings. 

GLOW: Evolution Field by Matt McConnell

Just announced this week, artist Matt McConnell’s “Evolution Field” will be featured at Burning Man 2022. Evolution Field is a triple layer moiré wall that blends color and light in visual waves reminiscent of galaxy form, and is currently displayed on the old library site. The display the artist will use at Burning Man 2022 will be three times the size of our current installation. Read about the Burning Man 2022 festival and the artwork selection process, here

Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meetings

Neighborhood meetings will be held virtually on WebEx from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, on April 6. The following cases will be discussed:

  • 22-REZ-03 Batchelor Road and Knotty Oaks Dr
  • 22-REZ-04 Bel Canto at Green Level West Destination Center
  • 22-REZ-07 Green Level Industrial

For more information and to register visit the Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting page.

Upcoming Meetings

Cultural Arts Committee
Wednesday, March 23
6:00 p.m.

Council Meeting
Thursday, March 24
6:30 pm

Mayor’s Mailbox

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • Several invitations to events
  • A complaint about a police matter
  • A complaint about grading at a construction site
  • Several complaints about a planned April show at the Cary Arts Center (the event was cancelled)
  • A complaint about overcrowded schools
  • A complaint about a neighbor’s floodlights shining into a bedroom
  • An ongoing complaint about a theft at the Hemlock Bluffs parking lot
  • Thanks, from Green Level students for speaking at Youth Leadership
  • A complaint about a previous blog labeling their “thoughtful and data driven emails” as a complaint (my apologies)

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, an interview with high school students, a meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association, DEI interviews, a State of Cary Presentation, and a regularly scheduled council meeting.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Monday, March 28th. 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 and email personal comments to

Meetings, Events, and Arbor Day

This week included the first regularly scheduled council meeting of the month along with several meetings and events.

Meetings with Staff, Council Members, and Atlantic Tire Board

Monday I attempted to contact each council member to hear of any questions or concerns about Thursday’s regularly meeting agenda. Comments were mostly about the Macedonia rezoning proposal to change from a senior multi-unit development to a market rate multi-unit development.

Monday afternoon I met with the Mayor Pro-Tem and key staff members to go over the agenda items. We talked about the Fenton and the Macedonia rezoning proposals. Our meeting lasted about twenty minutes.

After the Agenda meeting, I met with the town manager and chief strategy officer. Our topics included the South Hills Mall redevelopment, the future Sportsplex, the Fenton, the Epic rezoning proposal, and the future 200-acre park in western Cary. Our meeting lasted about twenty minutes.

Later Monday I met with a candidate for Wake County Commissioner. We talked about schools, partnerships, and the hotel/meals occupancy tax.

My last meeting Monday was with the board of the Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships. We discussed the Cary Tennis Park improvements, potential tournaments other than the Atlantic Tire Championships, plans for the tournament, and brainstormed on ways to get participation in sponsorships. The meeting concluded after about three hours.

OneWake Meeting

Wednesday I joined Assistant Town Manager Widmar and Housing manager Mansa in a virtual conversation with the members of OneWake. They expressed their concerns and passions about the affordable housing crisis in America. They want Cary to dedicate funding to affordable housing. Several months ago, we passed the Cary Housing Plan which includes strategies and goals to help with the affordable housing. Last year we spent more than what OneWake suggested that we spend. This year, as we continue to follow the plan, we will likely spend as much or more than they suggest we spend. It is important to understand that affordable housing will be an ongoing problem in our town, county, and nation. Cary plans to be very strategic in working on this crisis now and in the future.

Council Meeting Summary

Thursday the council held its first regularly scheduled meeting of the month. The meeting included a presentation from our CAP team, no consent items, one public hearing, and three discussion items.

The CAP (Citizens Assisting Police) team presented a savings check of $160,964.36 from 6436 volunteer hours they served the community and our police department. While their work of holding child safety seat checks and other various events might seem trivial to some, their service is invaluable and allows our officers to focus on duties that are critical to their profession. They are one of the reasons Cary is such a great place to live, work, and play.

The only public hearing was a proposal to make an adjustment to the Fenton project. If approved it would create a second development option for the primary anchor store, provide additional flexibility for signage, and make minor revisions to the original PDP. To simplify, it would create a grocery anchor about half the size of the original Wegmans and add other changes to that pod (section of the plan) such as a “jewel box” restaurant/retail in the middle of the main road. Most of the council seemed supportive of the changes but expressed concern about the roof of the anchor which will be visible from the rest of the development since it is a one-story building. Council members suggested the anchor have a green roof. This proposal will now go to the Planning and Zoning board for their review and recommendation and return to council for a decision in the next couple of months.

Under discussion the council unanimously approved Fire Truck Idle Reduction Technology to 9 of 23 large fire trucks. The others do not have the technology to all this and/or will rotate out of service in the coming years. The return on investment is estimated to be 4 to 6 years. The life of a fire truck is usually about 20 years and this technology will extend that life. The reduction in emissions is anticipated to be 8.23 metric tons per vehicle per year. This is equivalent to emissions from 2 passenger vehicles per year or the emissions related to energy consumption from 1 home for a year.

Our second discussion item was the construction bid for two neighborhood parks on McCrimmon Parkway and Carpenter Fire Station Road which was also approved unanimously. Funding for these parks of $15,240,000 was included in the Shaping Cary’s Tomorrow Bond approved by Cary voters in 2019.

Our last discussion item for the Macedonia Place rezoning was removed from the agenda at the applicant’s request.

The council meeting concluded after about an hour.

Legislative Summary

Friday I received a summary of this week’s legislative action from KTS Strategies:

Legislature Concludes Majority of Business for the Long Session
With the 2022 State and Congressional maps finalized, the legislature returned this week to wrap up their work for the legislative long session. Items considered by the legislature included an appointments bill, veto override, budget technical corrections bill, and adjournment resolution.

On Wednesday, the Senate unanimously confirmed the appointment of Karen M. Kemerait to the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Kemerait was nominated by Governor Cooper in May of 2021 and the House unanimously approved the confirmation in September. The Senate also attempted to override the Governor’s veto of S173, Free the Smiles Act. The bill would have allowed parents to decide whether or not their children wear a mask in schools. The override attempt failed 27-22. (An override requires a three-fifths majority vote.) Governor Cooper has encouraged local school boards to lift mask mandates.

Both chambers passed a 52-page technical corrections bill that makes changes to the 2021 Appropriations Act. Some of the provisions include:

  • Clarifications of rate increases to home and community-based providers;
  • Corrections to State Capital Infrastructure Fund grants;
  • Modifications of reporting dates for multiple programs; and
  • Changes to the business recovery grant program.

The bill passed the House 96-16 and the Senate 44-4. It will now head to Governor Cooper for approval.

The House and Senate also passed a resolution (SJR748) adjourning the legislature to a date certain. The resolution adjourns the legislature today (March 11) at noon and reconvenes the legislature in April (April 4-6) and May (May 4-6). During those three-day sessions only a limited number of issues could be considered such as appointments bills, veto overrides, and conference reports. However, leadership has indicated there are no plans for votes to be held during those sessions at this time. The General Assembly will return on May 18 (the day after the primary) to begin the legislative short session.

2022 Elections
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal to the State Supreme Court ruling on the NC Congressional map. This means elections under the Congressional map drawn by the special masters will continue. Last Friday was the candidate filing deadline for all elections in the State. The full candidate filing list can be found here

The North Carolina General Assembly will look very different in 2023 with a number of retirements and multiple incumbents paired together in the same district, also referred to as “double bunking.” In the Senate, current Senators Bob Steinburg (R – Chowan) and Norman Sanderson (R – Pamlico) are double bunked in Senate District 1 and Senator Ralph Hise (R – Mitchell) and Senator Deanna Ballard (R – Watauga) are double bunked in Senate District 47. In the House, Representatives Jamie Boles (R – Moore) and Ben Moss (R – Richmond) are double bunked in House District 52 and Representatives Jake Johnson (R – Polk) and David Rogers ( R-Rutherford) are double bunked in House District 113. A total of 34 members of the General Assembly are guaranteed to be back in office in 2023. There are 10 Senate members running unopposed (9 Republicans and 1 Democrat) and 24 House members running unopposed (20 Republicans and 4 Democrats). 

Saturday’s events were moved to Sunday due to the inclement weather.

Sunday I participated in the annual Arbor Day Celebration at Bond Park. I was joined by council members Bush, Lu, Smith, and Yerha. For the 39th consecutive year Cary was designated as Tree City USA Community. At this ceremony our Hometown Spirit Award winner, Sarah Martin, was also presented with a tree and plaque in her honor.

After the speakers concluded we all joined together for a picture.

Later Sunday I attended the Basant Bahar ceremony at the Cary Arts Center. Basant Bahar is a celebration of spring. This was the first time in three years that this event was held. The mayor of Apex and Morrisville were in attendance along with a capacity crowd. I was able to see amazing performances and beautiful costumes. We are so lucky to have this event in Cary.

Town Manager’s report

The town manager’s report for this week included the following:

Sean’s Message

Having seen you only a few hours ago, there’s little new to report on my end. So, I’ll simply wish you a great weekend.

Celebrating 311 Day All Week

March 11 is National 311 Day. In true Cary fashion, we made it a week and took some extra time to celebrate our 311 Citizen Advocates and the critical work they do to connect our citizens with non-emergency information, services, and support.
Our citizen advocates in the 311 Center and at the Hub are the heart and soul of our 311 operation – for many citizens, a citizen advocate is their primary point of contact with their local government.

Kudos To Julie

Recreation Manager Julie Collins demonstrated her self-taught Salesforce abilities to Directors this week. Julie is putting together dashboards for Park’s programs and helping us improve our data-informed decision making. Kudos to Julie for taking this on during the pandemic when her other work had been postponed.

Cary to host NC Lantern Festival through 2028

Cary officials announced this week that Koka Booth Amphitheatre will be home to the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival through 2028. The festival began in 2015 and has grown significantly in scope and attendance each year. In 2021 the event welcomed more than 200,000 visitors, setting a new attendance record.

Annie Jones Playground Update

As part of the 2019 Shaping Cary’s Tomorrow Bond Referendum, funding was approved for playground upgrades which included funding for improvements to Annie Jones Park. The installation of new play equipment at Annie Jones Park was recently completed and is now open to the public. The park still has construction ongoing for the replacement of the restroom building and court renovations, and those areas of the park will remain closed.

Fuel Update

The price of gasoline has increased significantly in recent weeks. Nationally, the average price of unleaded increased by 18.6% and the price of diesel increased 22.7% during the period of February 7 to March 7. During that same period, the price Cary pays has increased by 23.7% for unleaded and 19.9% for diesel. The price increases are largely based on reduced supply, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The current Energy Information Administration forecast indicates prices declining during the second half of 2022 and continuing to decline in 2023. Unfortunately, they note that their forecast is highly uncertain given the situation in Ukraine.
Cary is well positioned to manage price increases, and the Finance Department will work with impacted departments to ensure operations aren’t impacted and will factor the uncertainty related to fuel and energy prices into current and future budget decisions. 

New Member Orientation

Human Resources hosted a successful New Hire Orientation this week for 27 new Cary employees. With so much energy and expertise among the group, it’s clear Cary will continue to remain at the top of the arc. From presentations on our unique culture and the community we serve, our newest colleagues spent a full day meeting peers across the organization while learning what makes our organization so special.

Citizens Like It A Ton!

In the first three weeks, our community dropped off 1,822 pounds of material at the food waste recycling drop-off, diverting nearly a ton of compostable material from the landfill. Citizens are showing their interest and enthusiasm by searching items in the Cary Collects app for proper disposal with “food scraps” being the #5 top searched item in the Waste Wizard. Citizens can register now through the end of International Compost Awareness Week, May 7, to learn more and receive a free kitchen caddy during a second webinar co-hosted with Toward Zero Waste; register at

Upcoming Meetings

Public Art Advisory Board
Wednesday, March 16
5:00 p.m.

Hybrid Greenway Committee
Thursday, March 17
6:00 p.m.

Free Health Fair

This week I received information from a Cary High School student about a free health fair. I promised I would pass along this information in my blog. It will be held on Sunday, March 19th from 12 to 3 at the Life Enrichment Center at 3805 Tarheel Club Road in Raleigh. The fair will include vendors, food demonstrations, food giveaways, music, exercise, blood pressure checks, colon screening kits and more.

Mayor’s Mailbox

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • A complaint about affordable housing for veterans
  • A complaint about light pollution
  • A request for a nondiscrimination ordinance
  • A complaint about an out-of-state vehicle with expired plates at Crescent Commons Shopping Center
  • A complaint about a smash-and-grab theft at the Hemlock Bluffs parking lot
  • A concern about an invasive species on greenways

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, speaking at a youth leadership event, a meeting with the Blue Memorial Highway Marker group, a VIP dinner at a’Verde, a CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) Executive Board meeting, a podcast taping with a realtor group, and a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Monday, March 21st. 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 and email personal comments to

Composting, Economic Development, and an Interview

This week included several individual meetings with candidates for office.

Town Manager one-on-one

Monday I had a brief remote meeting with the town manager. Topics included the South Hills Mall site, the Sportsplex center, and the future 200-acre park in western Cary.

Talking with Candidates

Tuesday I talked to candidates and potential candidates for the NC House and for Congress. Almost all want my endorsement. Usually, I reserve endorsements for friends that I have known for a while, like Gale Adcock.

NC State Compost Center

Wednesday I toured the NC State Compost Center with representatives from Toward Zero Waste and Cary staff. This compost facility and research cooperative is located off of Lake Wheeler Road and is focused on organic waste management. It processes up to 1,200 tons of organic waste annually from the NC State campus with an eight-step process. It eliminates the need for taking the organic materials to the land fill. The process:

  1. Students, faculty, staff, & guests dine on campus, utilize paper towels, & manage greenhouse & agriculture waste.
  2. These organic waste & compostable materials are placed into a green compost bin.
  3. Everything collected is taken to a compost dumpster by staff.
  4. The dumpster is picked up by NC State’s Waste Reduction and Recycling team and transported to the NC State Compost Facility & Research Cooperative.
  5. This material is then mixed with wood chips & animal bedding (also from campus) at specific rates to ensure the proper carbon to nitrogen ratio, moisture content, bulk density, & porosity. If animal bedding is not available leaves can be used.
  6. The homogenized mixture is placed into a bay with perforated PVC pipes recessed into the floor. The pipes are hooked up to blowers and keep the piles aerated, eliminating the need for turning.
  7. The piles remain in the bay until they reach at least 131 degrees F for 3 days and have maintained an average temperature of 113 degrees F for 14 days to kill pathogens & weed seeds. Once the organic waste is completely broken down, the resulting compost is full of nutrients and will be used as a rich soil amendment and to grow new plants, flowers, and trees.

It is my hope that we can use this type of process in Cary to reduce our waste in the landfill and our carbon footprint. To find out more details about the NC State Compost Facility go to NC Department of Environmental Quality.

More Candidate Talk

Later Wednesday I met with another candidate for Cary Town council. We talked for about an hour.

Economic Development Committee

Wednesday evening I participated in a meeting of the Economic Development Committee. The agenda included a branding update, a quarterly report from the Cary Chamber, and a development update from our Economic Development Director.

In the branding update, the town manager showed the adopted tagline “live inspired”, the logo, and accepted versions of the logo. He explained that a logo, like art, can be loved and hated by many. The purpose of our branding effort was to position ourselves to compete nationally and internationally for businesses. This the first time Cary has had an update of its logo in decades.

The Cary Chamber President, Mark Lawson, presented his quarterly report to the committee noting visits to 31 existing businesses. Other notable items in his report include:

  • Existing industry expansion:
  • Garmin will expand its class A office by 90,000 square feet and add 100 staff.
  • ProtoLabs will build a new 70,000 square foot manufacturing facility adding 50 to 110 jobs.
  • WakeMed added 475 jobs.
  • UNC Health added 350 jobs.
  • Dude Solutions added 75 jobs.
  • New Company announcements:
    • Sonic Automotive: $5 – $7 million investment, estimated 100 jobs
    • Onlogic: Building 50,000 – 75,000 square foot manufacturing facility over the next 36 months in Weston.
  • Business recruitment pipeline includes 3 active projects worth $85 million in investment and 900 jobs. The types of jobs included advanced manufacturing, Life Science, and Warehouse-Distribution with most interest in the Life Sciences.
  • There are two separate development firms interested in building large flex spaces in west Cary. One is building 170,000 square feet in two buildings or one large building while the other is building 700,000 square feet on a 142-acre tract.
  • While interest in class A office is picking up, it will probably take more time before it comes back and at what extent is still unknown.
  • A delegation from Frisco, Texas will be visiting Cary from March 30th through April 1st.

In the Development Update, Director Ted Boyd announced that the Fenton would probably be fully operational sometime in June. There will be soft openings before then. He also talked about the South Hills mall purchase and development, and downtown development projects.

Under new business the committee discussed the possibility of Social Districts. During the pandemic the legislature gave cities the authority to allow designated outdoor areas for the consumption of alcohol. This would allow individuals to walk around from business to business with alcoholic beverages. While Social Districts could easily be enforced on private property, such as the Fenton, it could be problematic on public streets with officers having to determine when someone should leave due to intoxication. The committee decided to discuss this further at future meetings.

Another item discussed under new business was the need for Cary to do a better job marketing the town’s talent pool. Committee business leaders pointed out that the talent pool is a major factor in relocation decisions.

The meeting concluded after about an hour and scheduled the next meeting for June 8th.

Blog Discussion

Thursday I met with staff about the Mayor’s new blog. We talked about formatting, the look, and how to update the new web page. I will post this week’s blog on Monday myself with staff available for questions.

NC Metro Mayors Meeting

Friday I participated in a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors. The following is the summary from the executive director:

Federal Update

  • Federal Government is still operating under a Continuing Resolution, which expires March 11. Potentially looking at a budget vote next week, which is important for Transportation funding that is currently tied up until a budget is passed.
  • Federal Grants session  – a webinar sponsored by NCLM, next Thursday, March 10 at 3pm, will address how to access grant funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.  Register Here: Federal Infrastructure Grants Session   There are a wide variety of competitive grant programs and these opportunities will be open over he next few years.  This session (jointly organized by Metro Mayors and NCLM) will help with pointers on seeking fund and help to demystify the process of applying for competitive federal grants.

General Assembly

General Update –

  • NCGA is officially in LONG session (now the longest session on record) and is expected to schedule floor votes within a week or two to address “technical changes” to the budget bill they passed in November 2021.
  • Will potentially resume committee meetings next week for budget technical correction.
  • Re-districting Update: Final maps have been approved by NC Courts. The NC Legislative leaders have appealed the NC Congressional Districts to the US Supreme Court – seems unlikely the US Supreme Court will intervene at this point.
  • Based current maps, past elections and polling, all points to Republicans winning a majority in the House and Senate in the 2022 Election, but probably not a supermajority. Deadline for filing for an election for May 17 is today at noon.
  • 2022 Short Session will likely begin after the May 17 primary, late May, or early June. Looking at 6–8-week session with a focus on spending and a few other topics such as medical marijuana and sports betting. Any mayors/cities with local bills they are interested in should begin talking to their delegation now since the session will be short and action will have to well prepared in advance of the NCGA reconvening.

Transportation – NC Chamber of Commerce Destination 2030 Zoom event follow up

  • One item discussed was the prospects for diverting transportation related sales and use taxes (such auto repair and parts).  Currently, revenue from those transportation related sales tax revenues currently go the General Fund and now there is talk of diverting them to the NCDOT budget.  This “user pay” idea could produce as much as an additional $450 million a year for NC transportation.

Public Safety – nothing new to report

Our next Metro Mayors Zoom on Friday, March 18 will include a quick update on federal funds available for municipal cyber-security support.  Reports are that the risk of cyber-attacks is growing, especially as the Russian attack on the Ukrainian continues.  So, competitive grants for cyber-security aid are more important than ever.

Economic Development – nothing new to report.

Local Control/Local Revenues– nothing new to report

Scott Mooneyham, Director of Political Communications/Coordination, NCLM

  • Greensboro article linked above is a part of a larger series of articles that is centered around land use planning and development. The League began an issue campaign last Fall surrounding land use, in an effort to help with the ever-present battles over land use and local control that we have been fighting at the legislature for decades. We have recently seen wins in several areas surrounding land use planning (defeated proposals to strip control of trees, stormwater/flood control, etc.) It does appear we are making some progress in efforts to educate State Legislators on the importance of local control of many land use issues.
  • During the Legislative session this year, the House created a local government committee on land use planning and development that helped advance terrible infringements on local land use control. There are still Legislators that remain hostile to allowing local authority to regulate land use and development.
  • This effort is an attempt to highlight how cities are often working collaboratively with developers, and how they are working cooperatively with neighborhoods, builders and businesses for growth that both grows the economy but protects community values.  A balance that is best addressed at the local level
  • So far, five articles have been published by WRAL, (series is here on WRAL website) the largest visited news website in the state. These articles highlight land use issues currently going on in Raleigh, Wake Forest, Edenton and Greensboro.
  • Another great example of the work Scott is doing can be found  here – this example is related to the unique need to manage Airbnb/short term rentals in ways that addresses unique local circumstances – such as in Asheville.
  • The League is currently exploring how to expand this effort.  Please continue to spread the message that cities are working with developers, and local problems are best addressed at the local level.

The meeting concluded after about 45 minutes.

Interviewing of All NC Mayors

Saturday I was interviewed by Mitchell Whitley who is in the process of interviewing all 552 North Carolina mayors. We talked for about an hour and fifteen minutes and then took a picture in front of the Cary Arts Center. He plans to publish a book once he finishes his interviews.

Town Manager’s Report

The town manager’s report for this week included the following:

Dan’s Message

We had another wonderful week that included routine work items as well as a few bigger picture items. Interdepartmental teams collaborated with consultants on project frameworks and quarterly milestones. This type of work doesn’t produce huge headlines. However, it does bring clarity of purpose and most importantly strategy around work that happens at the microlevel in support of larger projects and services. Next week looks to be a largely routine week and we’re excited to hold our first regular council meeting of the month. I look forward to seeing each of you there.
Happy Friday!

Development Pulse Report

The February 2022 Development Pulse Report is now available.


  • Lee & Associates Headquarters,413 Kildaire Farm Road: The building permit has been approved for a new 19,700 square-foot, 3-story mixed-use building with offices and ground floor retail. Site work began in January 2022.
  • Rogers Building –Mixed-use Office and Retail, 167 East Chatham Street: The building permit has been issued for a new 60,500 square-foot, 3-story mixed-use building with office, assembly and retail spaces. Site work began in January 2022.
  • Waste Management MRF Building, 10415 Globe Road: The Certificate of Occupancy has been issued for a new recycling facility at the existing Waste Management campus.
  • Urban Place, 400 E Chatham Street: The Certificate of Occupancy has been issued for the new 28-unit apartment building, Urban Place.

Rolling out the Qcard

Marketing and Information Technology recently rolled out the QCard QR project as part of the Crabtree Creek/Black Creek Greenway detour. This pilot technology tool combines the power of video with QR codes, allowing us to upload informational videos and turn them into QR code stickers to place right where citizens want to access information. They’ve been deployed at Crabtree Creek Greenway trailheads to inform greenway goers about the ongoing sewer rehabilitation project. Qcard is a product of the RIoT accelerator program in which Cary is a partner. Scan the QR code above to see it in action, or tap the image, if you’re reading this on a mobile device.

Lunch and Learn: Food Waste, the Pilot, and You

Nearly 50 residents joined a free lunch and learn focused on food waste and the pilot drop-off service. During the virtual event, staff along with members of Toward Zero Waste Cary, shared what’s in and out for composting and tips to support our community’s participation in collecting food scraps for drop-off. Attendees shared their excitement for this new service and are receiving a free kitchen caddy to help collect food scraps to be turned into compost. More opportunities to learn with us and receive a caddy will be advertised throughout the year, here.

Camp Registration

Summer Camp registration for 2022 kicked off Monday with 3,103 registrations –  94% of the transactions were via myCary. Revenue generated from these programs totaled $468,000 in just one day.
Facility staff and 311 advocates handled 33 citizen inquiries regarding registration procedures. At the end of the day, camp programs were 43% full. Half-day specialty (Arts, Outdoor Recreation, STEM, Sports) camp options are back in 2022 and saw an overwhelming response and interest from citizens. Half-day camps accounted for approximately 60% of the registrations.

Council Member Jack Smith Visits Blush

Council member Jack Smith joined Blush owners during their grand opening week. Blush is a women-focused coworking space that provides dedicated desks, conference room, and childcare. This business marks the first coworking community for women with childcare in North Carolina.

Public Records Overview Webinar

On Thursday, the Clerk’s Office, 311, and Legal team welcomed over 50 employees to a virtual Public Records Overview and Q&A with Kristina Wilson, Assistant Professor of Public Law and Government with the UNC School of Government. Attendees learned about public records law and the importance of producing public records.

Watershed Protection

Cary and Apex are now the proud co-owners of the Williams Property, having jointly acquired our first watershed protection property in the Jordan Lake watershed. The property is approximately 9.82-acres located near the American Tobacco Trail, the White Oak Greenway, and the Cary/Apex Water Treatment Facility. The Williams property was identified for watershed protection by the Triangle Land Conservancy. This marks Cary’s first watershed protection property purchase since watershed protection funding was established in FY 2021.

Upcoming Meetings

Hybrid Parks, Rec and Cultural Resources Advisory Board
Monday, March 7
5:15 p.m.

Hybrid Information Services Advisory Board
Monday, March 7
6:00 p.m.

Zoning Board of Adjustment
Monday, March 7
6:30 p.m.

Hybrid Environmental Advisory Board
Tuesday, March 8
6:00 p.m.

Historic Preservation Commission
Wednesday, March 9
6:30 p.m.

Council Meeting
Thursday, March 10
6:30 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • A complaint about light pollution
  • Comments for and against the affordable housing proposal on SE Maynard
  • A complaint about not having enough affordable housing for veterans
  • A concern that people are buying houses to set up Airbnb businesses
  • A complaint about the mayor’s new blog background not being white
  • A complaint about a plugged drain on Ralph Drive
  • Requests from several candidates to meet
  • A complaint about the Epic Games rezoning proposal

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, candidate meetings, a meeting of the Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships board, a meeting with OneWake, a regularly scheduled council meeting, a North Carolina Metro Mayors meeting, the Arbor Day ceremony, the Patrick Daugherty Art construction project, and a Basant Bahar event.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Monday, March 14th. 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 and email personal comments to

Lazy Daze Grants, Public Hearings, and Sister Cities

This week included the last regularly scheduled council meeting of the month.

Monday I contacted each of the council members to hear of questions or concerns about Thursday’s agenda. There was a question about an Act 22 item which was a public hearing, and a question about the proposed sister city.

Later Monday I met with staff members to go over the agenda. Our meeting lasted about fifteen minutes.

Monday night I participated in a meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association. There were seven other mayors in attendance. Absent were the mayors from Apex, Raleigh, Wake Forest, and Wendell. Our discussion topics included the county’s mask mandate, issues with growth, and communicating with citizens. Our meeting lasted about two and a half hours.

Tuesday night I joined council members Smith, Yerha, and Liu in presenting $40,000 in grants to local non-profit organizations with programs and projects in the cultural arts. These grants were from the 45th Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival proceeds. To date the festival committee has given over $800,000 back to the arts in our community.

Thursday the council held its last regularly scheduled meeting of February. The agenda included 7 consent items, 2 public hearings, and 1 discussion item. Approved with the consent were minutes, the Kilmayne Place Senior Living, Act 21 Land Development Ordinance Amendments, and the Deletion of Outdated Policy Statements.

The first public hearing was on Act 22 Land Development Ordinance Amendments and Town Code Amendments. These would be a series of technicalLDO amendments that would align the LDO with state statutes, make LDO process improvements without changing town policy or regulatory intent, and make minor clarifications and corrections to the LDO and Town Code. There were no speakers for the hearing and it was sent to the Planning and Zoning Board for their review and recommendation.

The second public hearing was for the 21-A-17 Pleasant Grove Annexation. The owners of the properties petitioned for annexation to relocate their business from Downtown Cary to this site next to the airport. The hearing had no speakers, but several written comments were submitted to the council. Most of them were told, through Nextdoor and other social media, that the council wanted to create a strip club. They expressed disgust with the council and the town. Here are the facts:

  • All legitimate businesses, including strip clubs, must be allowed to locate in a municipality, by law.
  • Years ago, Cary created a zoning for strip clubs next to the airport and nowhere near residents, schools, churches, and other sensitive businesses to accomplish this requirement.
  • What was being voted on at this meeting was not the use (zoning at this site was approved years ago), but whether this business could be annexed into the town, pay taxes, and get water and sewer.
  • The applicant wanted to move the strip club from downtown Cary (that had been a non-conforming use for years) to the airport site.

While I am confident that council members are not happy to have this type of business in town, it is a legitimate business that is protected by law. As a result the vote was unanimously approved. I look forward to the strip club in downtown being a thing of the past.

Under discussion the council unanimously approved our fifth sister city, Bandirma, Turkey. Other sister cities include Le Touquet, France; Markham, Canada; Hsinchu, Taiwan; and County Meath, Ireland. Since Spring 2019, Council Member and Liaison to Cary Sister Cities Jack Smith has been in conversation with Turkish representatives about the communities’ interest in formalizing a sister city relationship between Cary and Bandirma, Turkey. I look forward to other sister cities in the future. Personally, I would love to have a sister city in India and Germany.

After a short closed session, the council meeting concluded after about 45 minutes.

Sean’s Message

The town manager’s report for this week included:

It is hard to believe that February is coming to a close already. Council and staff had a productive month of meetings and action. Personally, I look forward to March – the warmer weather and spring activities. 

One spring initiative is a pressure zone modification in the Piper’s Crossing, Piper’s Grove and Pritchett Farms subdivisions on April 6. In preparation of this improvement Council Member Jack Smith joined staff for a virtual neighborhood meeting that was held February 23 to discuss the upcoming water pressure increase in the identified area. A recording of the meeting is available on Cary’s Pressure Zone Modification webpage

Annual Biosolids Report

Cary’s Water Reclamation Facilities (WRF) utilize thermal drying at both the South Cary and Western Wake Water Reclamation Facilities for managing and treating biosolids, a nutrient rich byproduct of wastewater treatment. Cary produces EPA-Certified, Class A Exceptional Quality biosolids by recycling valuable nutrients from the wastewater for beneficial reuse as a natural fertilizer and soil amendment. In 2021, the North Cary and South Cary WRF together produced 3,665 dry tons and the Western Wake Regional WRF produced 3,087 dry tons of biosolids. Cary’s high-quality dried biosolids, known as Enviro-Gems are marketed to a vendor for use in the agribusiness industry. Read the entire 2021 Annual Biosolids Report here

Downtown Park E-Newsletter

To keep up with the progress in the Downtown Park consider joining the E-news list. Citizens can add themselves to the Downtown Park E-news list by going to the park’s website, scrolling to the bottom and entering your information. Once the information is submitted a confirmation email will be sent to authorize being added to the email list. 

Upcoming Meetings

Hybrid Senior Advisory Board
Wednesday, March 2
2:00 pm

Economic Development Committee
Wednesday, March 2
5:15 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • A complaint about Morrisville Carpenter Road should be named by the Carpenter family.
  • A complaint about a storm device overflow that the town refuses to fix (the pond and devices are privately owned and maintained by the HOA)
  • A complaint about high rents in Cary
  • A complaint about a plugged drain on Ralph Drive
  • A concern about Cary multi-story buildings might collapse like the one in Florida
  • A complaint about an out-of-state vehicle parked at Crescent Commons every day giving the appearance that they are working at Harris Teeter

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a visit to the compost center with Toward Zero Waste in Raleigh, a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors, and a meeting with a citizen on a mission to meet all North Carolina Mayors.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Monday, March 7. 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 and email personal comments to

Meetings, Transportation & Food Waste

CAMPO Meeting

Wednesday I participated in a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Executive Board. The agenda included three consent items, three public hearings, and five regular agenda items. 

Public hearings for the Unified Planning Work Program along with MPO Certification and an amendment to the FY2020-2029 Transportation Improvement Program were held without speakers and approved unanimously. A public hearing for the FY2023 Locally Administered Project Program (LAPP) was held without speakers, approved unanimously, and included funding for Cary’s Old Apex Road sidewalk. 

Items of interest under the regular agenda included the announcement that the I540 project to US70 is expected to be completed around March of 2024. It was also announced that the I40 widening project to Johnson County, which has been ongoing for two years, is expected to have overall completion in late 2024. 

The meeting concluded after about two hours. 

Meeting with Representatives of Fast-Growing Frisco, TX

Later Wednesday I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz in a meeting with Cary Chamber members, staff members, and representatives from Frisco, Texas. A contingent from Frisco will be visiting in late March.

Their city grew from 30,000 people in 2000 to over 200,000 now (recognized as the fastest-growing community in the country several times). We visited Frisco, Arlington, and other areas around Dallas about three years ago in an intercity visit. I look forward to their visit here.

Staff & Homebuilders Association Meetings

Thursday morning I met with staff to discuss how to strategically improve my interactions with other governing entities. My meeting lasted about an hour.

Thursday midday I joined the town manager in a meeting with representatives from the Homebuilders Association. The focus of our meeting was mostly relationship building.

Learning How to Better Fund Transportation Needs

Friday I participated in a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors which used the meeting to hear from the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce on “Destination 2030”.

The mission statement for this initiative is stated as “The Road to a Stronger Transportation Future initiative, powered by job creators on the Destination 2030 Coalition, is leading a broad-based, business-driven effort to modernize and diversify North Carolina’s transportation funding structure to protect our quality of life, support the healthy growth of our economy and our communities, and ensure we continue to meet the mobility needs of our fast-growing state in an increasingly competitive business environment.”

Basically, this group is trying to broaden the discussion on how to better fund transportation needs since it continues to be inadequate because funding is mostly based on the use of gasoline.

The following summary of Legislative action this week was received on Friday from the KTS Strategies lobbying group:

Legislature Submits Revised Maps
This week, the legislature returned to pass remedial state legislative and congressional maps. On February 4, the State Supreme Court ruled the first maps the legislature submitted unconstitutional. The revised NC House map received bi-partisan support with a vote of 115-5 and 41-3 in the House and Senate respectively.

The NC Senate map passed along party lines with Senate Democrats stating the revised maps do not solve the underlying partisan gerrymander. The Congressional map also passed along party lines, with the exception of two House Republicans voting in opposition.

The legislature had to submit revised maps to a three-judge panel by noon today (February 18). The court has appointed three “special masters” in the case to help review the maps submitted by the legislature. Compliant maps must be approved or adopted by the court by noon on February 23. The candidate filing period is scheduled to resume February 24. The primary election will be held on May 17.

Mask Requirements
On Thursday, Governor Cooper held a press conference encouraging schools and local governments to end their mask mandates. NCDHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley encouraged schools to move to voluntary masking beginning March 7.

A summary of changes to the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit can be found here. Masks will still be required in certain places such as health care settings, long-term care facilities and public transportation in compliance with federal regulations.

The House and Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would allow parents to decide whether or not their children wear a mask in schools. S173, Free the Smiles Act, would repeal the requirement for monthly votes on face covering policies, allow parents to opt their child out of face covering requirements in schools, and limit the liability for public school units when allowing parental opt-out of face covering requirements. The bill passed the House with a vote of 76-42 and the Senate 28-17.

Town Manager’s Report

The town manager, Sean Stegall’s report for this week includes the following:

Sean’s Message

While Terry Sult continues to do an incredible job for us as Interim Chief of Police, our search for Cary’s next chief went public this week with the posting and national circulation of this recruitment brochure.

Many thanks to Deputy Town Manager Russ Overton and Chief Human Resources Officer Renee Poole for leading this critical element of our work to ensure the strength and effectiveness of our police for the future

I look forward to seeing most of you Thursday night for our only regular Council meeting of February.

Public Safety Update

There are 14 active Covid-19 cases among town employees bringing the total to 470 since the pandemic began. The percentage of employees vaccinated is at 89% which is one of the highest, if not the highest, in the state. The percentage of citizens over the age of 5 vaccinated remains at 76% which is the second highest in the county.

Public Safety Communications

This week, staff from several departments came together for a session facilitated by Warren Miller of Fountainworks to begin work on improving public safety communications.

Annual Reclaimed Water Holiday

On February 14, Cary began its annual 10-day maintenance shutdown of the reclaimed water system, also referred to as the “reclaimed water holiday.” The scheduled shutdown provides staff the opportunity to perform routine maintenance on the system in the winter while irrigation and reclaimed water use is lower.

The shutdown also allows reclaimed water users an opportunity to perform maintenance on their own systems. Cary’s 870 reclaimed water customers were notified in advance of the annual maintenance shutdown of the system. Following completion of maintenance and repair tasks, the system is scheduled to restart on Feb. 24.

Annual Water Disinfection Change

Cary will begin its annual water system disinfection process on February 25. During this period, the Cary/Apex Water Treatment Facility (CAWTF) will switch from the standard mixture of chlorine and ammonia for disinfection to free chlorine. Water line flushing to cleanse the system will also begin at this time.

This change, which will continue until April 13, is in accordance with state and federal recommendations and is part of our normal water system maintenance process. During the switchover period, residents and customers may notice a minor increase in chlorine odor and temporary discoloration of water due to nearby hydrant flushing. More information is available by visiting  

Holly Springs Staff Tours Downtown

On Wednesday, Cary hosted several members of the Holly Springs Town staff with representatives from their manager’s office, planning department, and economic development office to tour Downtown Cary.

It was a great opportunity to see firsthand several private development projects and talk through the various aspects necessary to make them a reality. We also discussed the many public investments Cary has made, which has played a significant role in the revitalization of Downtown Cary.

Those public investments made developers confident that Cary is committed to our vision and plans for Downtown.

Pilot Food Waste Recycling Drop-Off Opens

Pumpkins, pasta and potato peels are some of the many items being tossed into the carts at the pilot food waste recycling drop-off during the first week of operation. Engagement in social media and in 311 inquiries reflect a tremendous amount of interest and excitement in this service.  

Social media conversations about Waste Management in Cary generated 616 interactions — approximately 14x greater than the weekly average over the past three months. The spike in volume is primarily attributed to the high engagement in response to posts about the Town’s pilot service.

We continue to monitor engagement online and in person. Staff and Toward Zero Waste Cary members are volunteering at the site each week through February to support answering questions and help monitor what we’re seeing at the drop-off.  

Spring My Tree, Our Tree Registration Opens

The spring My Tree, Our Tree registration is bloomin’ hot! In the first week, citizens reserved nearly 500 of the 650 available native trees. Beautiful burr oak, serviceberry, silverbell, and sweetbay magnolia are still available for citizens who want to add a tree to their yard and to the community’s canopy. Click here for more information.

Basic Canine Handler Graduation

On February 9, the Police Department honored its newest Police K9’s as they, along with their handlers, successfully completed a Basic Canine Handler Course hosted by the Cary Police Department.

Officer Matthew Cotten and his K9 partner, Arlo, as well as Sergeant Seth Everett and his K9 partner, Logan, received certificates of completion. Please join us as we extend a hearty welcome to our newest police K9 teams.

Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meetings

The following cases will be discussed on March 9 at an upcoming neighborhood meeting that will be held virtually on WebEx from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. To learn more about the cases click on the rezoning name to view the neighborhood letter and vicinity map.

22-REZ-01 Autumnwood 4
22-REZ-02 Duke Health at Green Level West Destination Center
22-REZ-05 Number 5 Rezoning

For more information and to register, visit the Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting page.

Upcoming Meetings

Hybrid Athletic Committee
Monday, Feb. 21 at 6 PM

Cultural Arts Committee
Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 6 PM

Council Meeting
Thursday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 PM

Mayor’s Mailbox

Emails from citizens this week include:

  • A complaint about a future proposal in Chatham County
  • A complaint about storm runoff from construction at the downtown park

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a chamber event, the Lazy Daze Grant reception, and a regularly scheduled council meeting.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, February 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 and email personal comments to

Quarterly Meeting & Cary’s New Logo

Cary, NC — This week the staff and council held its first quarterly meeting of the year.

Monday I met with the town manager to go over items to be discussed at the quarterly meeting. Those topics included branding, an environmental update, an update on capital projects, park projects, and sidewalk projects. We also talked about the upcoming DEI committee appointments which I will make in a few weeks. Our meeting lasted about fifteen minutes.

Recording the 2022 State of Cary Video

Tuesday I recorded the voice-over parts for the video version of the State of Cary address at Digital P studios. This video should be available for viewing at the end of the month. These recordings took about thirty minutes.

Afterward, I went to the council chambers to record an opening and a closing for the State of Cary video that was taped when I presented to the Cary Chamber of Commerce members in late January. The tapings of the opening and closing took about twenty minutes. FYI, the State of Cary address that I presented at the Cary Chamber can be seen here on YouTube.

The quarterly report (October – December) came out on Thursday and can be found here.

A Recap of the Council’s Quarterly Meeting

Thursday the council held its first quarterly meeting of the year. Our next quarterly meeting will be in May. Here are some of the notes I took from the slides at the meeting:


  • Property Tax (over half of revenue) on track
  • Permits and Fees up 27%
  • Parks 100% over last year and almost to pre-Covid levels
  • Sales Tax revenue up
  • Inflation expected to have impacts this fiscal year
  • Cary has $3 billion of town owned property
  • There is $34 billion in taxable property excluding vehicles and non-taxable properties such as churches


  • Alyssa Campo Bowman was hired as an environmental manager for Regenerative Agriculture and Sustainable Community Practices
  • Our environmental initiatives are integrated into all sustainable practices such as stormwater, public works, facilities, utilities, fleet, and transit
  • Emission Reduction Plans: Completion of SEAP (Strategic Energy Action Plan) and CAP (Climate Action Plan)
  • Other Plans: Solid Waste Master Plan, Urban Forestry Master Plan, Open Space Plan, and Communications Plan
  • Energy actions: Solar – bus shelters, stormwater sensors, and USA Baseball, New Energy Monitoring Program, Solar Master Services
  • Solar Installation increased 53% in 2021, there will be a webpage for tracking
  • Cary is in negotiations to purchase the solar farm at the South Cary plant
  • Transportation: GoCary ridership at pre-Covid levels, adding a Morrisville Smart Shuttle. Soon an Apex Smart Shuttle will be added. Electric will be considered our first option moving forward.
  • Pilot program in the works with NCSU for Cool Streets – an application that not only preserves streets but keeps them cooler reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Two Teslas are currently used by Police, expect eight more this year. These vehicles not only perform better but will save the town $4000 over the life of the vehicle.
  • Idle reduction technology is being added to Fire Trucks.
  • We will sponsor a Tree Talk Series.
  • There will be changes to the LDO to focus on native species, and planting seasons.
  • We will be creating tree planting webpage.
  • Several employees in public works are being certified as arborists.
  • We are creating a tree orchard and pollinator garden and continuing with My Tree Our Tree program.
  • We have purchased 200 acres in Chatham County. There will be programs to restore natural lands such as in Walnut Creek.
  • We are partnering with Triangle Land Conservancy on Watershed protection.
  • We received a grant to preserve 300 acres of wetlands on the White Oak Creek Greenway.
  • We will provide help to create residential rain gardens.
  • Soil cells are now being used, such as the sidewalk area in front of the Rogers, which allows trees to grow healthy in urban environment and allows better stormwater control.
  • We are partnering with NCSU on recycling. We received an AI award.
  • We are part of TJCOG regional solid waste consortium.
  • We are creating a food and waste webpage working with education and outreach toward zero waste.
  • Food waste recycling center is now open on Dixon Drive.

Capital Projects

  • Construction costs continue to trend up.
  • Material lead times are longer than normal.
  • Supply chains continue to be disrupted.
  • We currently have 500 active town projects worth about $1 billion. This takes 70 project managers from 10 departments.
  • There are 160 town projects under construction worth about $415 million.
  • Most of the non-utility projects are transportation and parks.
  • Projects from the 2019 bonds include 11 park projects worth $82.6 million and 11 transportation projects worth $60 million.
  • Active Park projects include downtown Cary Park, Carpenter Fire Station and McCrimmon neighborhood parks, Penny Road school park, Court renovations, playground renovations, and open space acquisitions
  • Active Transportation projects include the Cary Parkway Sidewalk, the Louis Stephens Sidewalk, street improvements, intersection improvements, and NCDOT Enhancements.
  • Future Park projects (from the Bond sale) include historic preservation, South Cary greenways, Cary Action Park improvements, Veterans Freedom Park enhancements, Tryon Road Park, and Walnut Creek greenway.
  • Future Transportation projects (from the Bond sale) include the Green Level Church Road widening, the O’Kelly Chapel Road widening, NC55 Pedestrian Grade Separation study, the downtown parking development, and the Fenton infrastructure.
  • There will be a Kildaire Farm Road Water line replacement project that will begin this quarter which will go from Maynard to McEnroe Court. During construction two lanes will remain open.
  • The McCrimmon Parkway Park, starting construction this spring, will have a hammock sculpture, a playground, a natural play area, pickleball courts, a community garden, a shelter, and tennis courts.
  • The Carpenter Fire Station Road Park, starting construction this spring, will have a skate park, a multipurpose court, a playground, an area for adult fitness, ball fields, a dog park, and a shelter.


  • Council decided on a logo which will have various adaptations depending on how it is used.
  • “Live Inspired” will be the tag line.
  • We realize that logos, like art, are in the eye of the beholder. As a result, there will be many people that like the logo and many people that don’t like the logo.


  • There were 21 cases seeking rezonings in Q2 (October – December) rezoning with 5 being approved.
  • Q2 approvals included a 10,000 square foot grocery store, 55 detached dwellings, 32 dwellings with a minimum of 3 detached, 160 dwellings with a maximum of 15 detached, and a habitat and flood mitigation.
  • Q2 rezonings are up 9% close to 5-year average.
  • Q2 development plans are down 21% from the 5-year average.
  • Q2 building permits are up 2% from the 5-year average.
  • Q2 had 15 rezoning pre-application conferences with only 6 rezoning applications submitted.
  • The Fenton is scheduled to open late spring with 556,525 square feet of retail and office and 357 multi-family units.
  • South Hills Redevelopment plans will soon be submitted.
  • South Hills may include Sportsplex center.

The quarterly meeting lasted a little over four hours.

Dancing at Diwali

Friday I participated in a virtual meeting with Hum Sub board members, council member Bush, Parks Director McRainey, and Cultural Arts Director Lewis to talk about Cary officials participating in dancing at Diwali.

Bush, McRainey, and I will dance and will try and recruit other Cary officials. There will also be dance teams of officials from Morrisville and Apex.

Mayor’s Mailbox

Emails from citizens this week included:

  • A question about sidewalks off Chapel Hill Road
  • A question about community/neighborhood meetings
  • Requests to support a town-sponsored rezoning for affordable housing
  • A request to speak to Triple F group

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Executive Board, a meeting about a future Chamber intercity visit, a meeting with the Homebuilders Association, and a meeting who is trying to meet with all 532 NC mayors.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, February 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 and email personal comments to

Greenway Connectors & General Assembly Updates

Cary, NC — This was another light week as the council and staff prepare for our first quarterly meeting of the year next week.

Meetings & Tennis Championship Board

Monday I met with the town manager and town attorney to discuss elections, and ordinances related to discrimination. Our meeting lasted about 30 minutes.

Later Monday I met with the Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships board. The tournament date for this year is set for September 11th through the 18th. Our discussion focused on getting our community and businesses involved. This may include new events during the tournament. Our next meeting is scheduled for March 7th.

Interview with the “Living in Cary” Podcast

Thursday I participated in a podcast interview with Wayne Holt who is a local builder located in downtown Cary. This was the first of his podcasts which will be called “Living in Cary”. Some of the questions included:

  • How would you describe Cary to those who aren’t familiar with it?
  • As Mayor what are some of the things you look back on in your tenure that you’re most proud of about this town?
  • What do you see as some of the biggest challenges facing Cary these days?
  • What are some of your goals for the future of Cary?

Our taping was completed in less than an hour.

NC Metro Mayors Discuss General Assembly, Transit

Friday morning I joined a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors. The following is a summary of that meeting from the Executive Director:

Federal Update

  • NCLM is starting a regular update in the League Bulletin about what cities are doing with ARP money and they want to share your stories.
  • NCLM Bulletin stories – ARP in Action
  • When you have ribbon cuttings, consider inviting your members of Congress to demonstrate the work that is associated with the ARP.

General Assembly

  • While the NCGA is officially in session, there is no regular committee work or votes taking place.
  • We are waiting to see what happens with the maps.  The State Supreme Court had their hearing on Wednesday of this week.  We expect a ruling to be issued quickly (by early next week).
  • We assume the Court will return a ruling for the General Assembly to redraw the maps with specific instructions.  They could also rule that a Special Master participate with the same instructions.
  • The legislature will have 14 days to review, draw, and execute new maps.  The maps do NOT go to the Governor for action.
  • The General Assembly may also consider budget technical corrections language for specific agencies, but we expect the scope of items they take up to be extremely narrow.
  • Current timing for elections is still May 17 for the Primary, but this date is likely to move.  Feel free to call Beau as you prepare your budgets to navigate this issue.


  • The NC Transportation Summit was held in Raleigh.  All of the presentations and materials from the conference can be found HERE
  • The big issue for cities continues to be the delay in major transportation projects.

Economic Development

Nothing new to report.  Congrats to Greensboro and Triad for both Toyota and Boom Supersonic and Concord/Kannapolis for Eli Lilly job announcements.

Special Guest

Ryan Berni, White House Special Advisor for Infrastructure.  Introduction by Evan Wessel, White House IGA. They shared an update on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and BUILD.GOV & Guidebook – focus on Building a Better America opportunities for cities.

  • The intent of the guidebook is to increase access to information to provide for planning on the front end. There is also an excellent summary of local grant opportunities attached to the email.
  • The 400-page guidebook was released this week and provides an overview of each program.  There are over 375 programs with opportunities for local governments, most existing funding programs, but there are also 125 new programs for locals to consider applying for.
  • Each page lists the agency name, who is eligible, timeline, and key program information.  The file is also searchable/sortable so you can filter the information you are looking for.
  • The White House is organizing webinars over the next six weeks for deep dives into specific programs.  In addition, NCLM and Metro Mayors are organizing a grants overview webinar for city managers and staff. Beau will make sure you get the details for these informational sessions as soon as they are available.
  • As your cities begin to initiate projects or stand-up programs with federal dollars (incl. both ARP and the Infrastructure funds)– PLEASE consider inviting your Members of Congress to participate in the events.  We need to make sure they are seeing the impact of the funding they have entrusted us with. Remember – both of our Republican Senators were a key part of the bipartisan vote in favor the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The meeting concluded after thirty minutes.

New Cary Food Waste Drop-Off Now Open on Dixon Street

Friday the town announced the Cary Food Waste Drop-Off on Dixon Street will be opened on Monday, February 7th. This drop-off is a new way for residents to divert household food waste from landfills and return it to the earth as valuable compost through its food waste recycling drop-off pilot.

This site, the first of its kind in Cary, will gauge citizen interest and participation in this style of service to reduce food waste in trash and provide data for analysis of the impact on the Town’s solid waste stream and management program. The following is additional information based on questions received:

What is the pilot Food Waste Recycling Drop-Off?

Cary’s pilot food waste recycling drop-off is a new local option for residents to turn food waste into compost. All material is processed by a local facility and some of that finished compost will be hauling services in this pilot. The drop-off is a year-long pilot service that will allow the Town to evaluate the community’s receptivity to food waste recycling and the impact it has on the solid waste stream. According to a 2019 study, 27% of Cary’s waste that goes to the landfill is considered food waste. Cary has also partnered with Toward Zero Waste Cary to provide education resources, planned efforts, and events that will support citizens’ participation in the program.

What is accepted at the pilot drop-off?

  • Food Scraps and leftovers (raw or cooked)
  • Coffee grounds, filters, tea bags
  • Napkins, paper towels
  • Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) Certified items
  • Paper plates (non-coated/glossy)
  • Pizza boxes
  • Pet Food


How do I use the drop-off?

Collect food scraps at home and bring to the drop-off during operating hours. Toss the accepted items in the food waste collection carts on-site or, contain your scraps in a Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certified bag and then toss them in the cart.

How is this different from backyard composting?

Food scraps collected at the drop-off are taken to an NC commercial grade composting facility composting facility that achieves significantly higher temperatures; meaning, more items such as meat, dairy projects, and bones can be more effectively composted than in a backyard system. Learn more about backyard composting;

Is there a limit to how much I can bring?

There is no limit to the amount you can bring if there is room in the carts. However, we encourage you to first reduce your food waste; tips to consider at

I am looking forward to this pilot program getting started and hope that the community shows interest.

New Schedule for Candidate Filing & Elections

Friday evening the council was notified by the town attorney that the NC Supreme Court issued a ruling striking down the legislative and congressional redistricting maps.

The General Assembly was ordered to redraw new maps by February 18 and submit them to the three-judge trial court panel. The trial court must either approve the General Assembly maps or adopt its own maps by February 23. Here is the current schedule based on that decision:

  • February 24 – filing opens
  • March 4 – filing closes
  • May 17 – election day
  • July 5 – municipal runoff date if second primaries are needed for state races and no second primaries are needed for federal races
  • July 26 – municipal runoff date if second primary is needed for any federal race or if no second primaries are needed for state or federal races

Stay tuned for more changes.

Recording the State of Cary Address

Sunday I did several on-location tapings for the video version of the State of Cary address. This version was taped at the USA Baseball National Training Center, the Davis Dive Park greenway tunnel, and Good Hope farm. The on-location tapings took about three hours.

Deputy Town Manager’s Report

The following is the weekly report from the Deputy Town Manager:

Russ’ Message

After three weeks of weekend snow, Groundhog’s Day came and went with a prediction of six more weeks of winter – followed by two sixty-degree days. Welcome to North Carolina winter – sorry Sean! In all seriousness, I am thankful that our staff received a much-needed break from snow removal this weekend.

In other news, I look forward to seeing each of you on Thursday at the Quarterly Meeting. Staff will provide updates on our branding effort, as well as other financial, capital project, development, and environmental updates. By the end of the meeting, you should be completely up to date so there will not be a Council Weekly Report on February 11.

Take care,

Public Safety Update

Currently there are 52 town employees infected with Covid-19 bringing the total to 447 since the pandemic began. The employee vaccination rate is at 89% while the citizen vaccination rate is at 76% which is the second highest in Wake County behind Apex.

Cary leads the county in the percentage of most boosted out of those eligible. Cary is second in case rate per 100,000. Infections and hospitalizations are declining in the county and state.

Development Pulse Report

The January 2022 Development Pulse Report is now available.


  • USA Baseball Office & Training Complex Improvements, 280 Brooks Park Lane: The building permit was approved for a new facility located between Coleman Field and the parking lot. Assembly space is approximately 22,000 sq. ft. of unconditioned flexible space; full-size baseball infield or up to eight pitching/batting lanes and three individual training spaces. Tenant spaces to include new office and warehouse. Remaining spaces include staff offices, classroom, restrooms, showers and storage spaces. Construction will be phased to minimize disturbance of existing operations.
  • Crosstown Pub, 154/156 East Chatham Street: The building permit was approved to expand existing food service and restaurant into adjacent vacant suite in the former Daylight Café location.
  • Twin Lakes Apartments, 1015 Hatches Pond Lane: The building permits were approved for new apartment buildings within the Twin Lake PDP. The development will construct 230 units with site amenities and structured and surface parking.

Fire Station 9 Receives Design Award

Fire Station 9 received a 2021 Fire Station Design Awards Program recognition award from Fire Industry Education Research Organization (FIERO), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving firefighter health and safety.

Recognition awards go to those projects for which four out of six jurors agree that the project exemplifies excellence in all aspects of planning and design, including site plan, floor plan(s), innovation, and architectural image.

An online magazine, FireRescue1, spotlighted the award in its January 28 edition.

Community Rezoning Meeting

Cary will host a virtual community rezoning meeting on February 16 at 6:30 p.m. to provide a second opportunity for citizens to provide comment on the proposed rezoning at 921 SE Maynard Road (21-REZ-18). In partnership with Laurel Street LLC, this town-owned site is proposed to be developed into 130 mixed-income units, consistent with the goals of the Cary Housing Plan.

For more information on the development visit the 2021 Rezoning Cases page  and to register for the meeting, visit the Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meetings page.

Thomas Brooks Park Sand Volleyball

Construction of two sand volleyball courts began this week at Thomas Brooks Park. Contractors will clear, grade, install court drainage, a retaining wall, fencing, and lights, then staff will finish volleyball courts by installing sand and netting. The courts will be open this spring.

Academy Street Water Main Replacement Update

Beginning on February 8, the northbound lane on Academy St (from Chatham St to Cedar St) will be closed to traffic while crews install a new water main as part of the annual water main replacement project.

Once this segment is finished, it will complete a larger run of pipe between the Field Street elevated water storage tank and the heart of downtown. Traffic control signs and barricades will be posted and a detour around the work area via Chatham St & Harrison Avenue will be in place.

The work is expected to last approximately one week. Southbound traffic on N. Academy St will not be impacted.

Phone Service Interruption

Cary’s phone service provider, Windstream, experienced issues this week causing the Town to be unable to receive inbound calls for a portion of the day Wednesday.

Windstream moved the Town’s circuits which supports the phones to a new piece of hardware and removed the legacy hardware to reduce the potential for outage due to failure. In doing so, the new hardware was not processing calls correctly.

To get phones working properly Windstream rolled back the change and put the legacy hardware back into service.

This action restored phone services. Staff was unaware that Windstream was making changes, and Windstream has committed to coordinating the next maintenance window with MIT Operations to ensure staff is on site to prevent this issue from impacting Town business in the future.

Weston Crabtree Connector Greenway Project Update

A virtual public meeting was held on February 3 with nearby residents and local businesses for the Weston Crabtree Connector greenway project. Staff along with consultants from Withers & Ravenel presented project location, goals, and artist renderings of the future trail and pedestrian tunnel.

The project will complete a 1,000-ft gap between the Crabtree Creek Greenway and numerous neighborhood trails to the south. The tunnel, which is proposed to be similar to the one on White Oak Creek Greenway near Davis Drive, will safely carry greenway traffic beneath Weston Parkway.

Meet and Greet with the Jewish Community Relations Council

On January 28, members of the Police Department’s command staff welcomed Janis Zaremba, Jorie Slodki, and Judah Segal of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) a meet and greet.

The JCRC is a locally based organization which operates as the local, grass roots affiliate of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs organization. They aim to represent the consensus of the organized Jewish community in the cities in which they operate, and then assist in consulting other local stakeholders on matters of importance to Jewish community values.

Both groups discussed how the JCRC can serve as a liaison to the Police Department, and how together we can form a partnership to find solutions through collaborative problem solving and improved public trust. To quote the Jewish Federation of Raleigh/Cary, “together we are the community!”

Upcoming Meetings

Hybrid Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Advisory Board
Mon, Feb. 7
5:15 p.m.

Hybrid Information Services Advisory Board
Mon, Feb. 7
6:00 p.m.

Hybrid Environmental Advisory Board
Tues, Feb. 8
6:00 p.m.

Historic Preservation Commission
Wed, Feb. 9
6:30 p.m.

Council Meeting (Quarterly)
Thurs, Feb. 10
1:30 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

Emails this week included:

  • Dozens of emails asking the town to support a town-initiated rezoning for affordable housing.
  • A request to help with solar at Green Level High School
  • A request to gauge interest for public drinking districts in downtown
  • A complaint about Wake County EMS response times
  • A complaint about a residence on Walker Street
  • A request for help with getting EV chargers at Chatham Walk
  • A request to pay for car damage obtained on a NCDOT maintained road
  • A complaint about staff’s response to housing rehab
  • Praise for staff in helping with a water leak issue

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, tapings for the State of Cary Address, a staff-council quarterly meeting, a North Carolina Metro Mayors meeting, a surprise birthday party, and a meeting about a celebrity dance for Cary Diwali this year.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, February 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 and email personal comments to

The 2022 State of Cary

Cary, NC — This week I was scheduled for a trip to Miami on Wednesday which was canceled. As a result, there were not a lot of activities on my calendar.

Weekly 1:1 with the Town Manager

Tuesday I met virtually with the town manager for our weekly one-on-one. Our topics of discussion included downtown development, future ordinances, intergovernmental meetings, the Eastern Gateway developments, and the DEI task force. Our meeting was less than thirty minutes.

2022 State of Cary

Wednesday morning I delivered my annual State of Cary address to a couple hundred people in the Prestonwood Country Club ballroom. I wrote the address in the first week of the year. Then it was passed to staff for fact checks and suggestions. The town clerk’s office created the slide deck from my drafted text. I am grateful for their work on this since it takes a LOT of time.

My main message was that we are doing very well despite being in the middle of a pandemic. It was captured in the opening:

“…As we begin 2022 and in spite of the continuing personal and professional challenges and tragic losses which cannot be overstated, my assessment as your mayor is that Cary’s todays and tomorrows have never shone more brightly.

Why? Because we have the people with talent and skills. We listen to and care for each other, because we are intentional in how we collect and spend your money, because we not only plan but also execute on those plans, because we focus on what unites us instead of what divides us, Cary continues to be an unparalleled place to call home. …”

You can find the complete State of Cary Address and the slides I spoke from on the Town website.

Town Manager Report

The town manager’s report for this week included the following:

Sean’s Message

It was so nice to see so many familiar faces at the Mayor’s State of Cary address on Wednesday. For me, the mayor’s annual presentation contributes to renewed excitement for the year ahead. To echo the Mayor, Cary is in a great place, and we have so much to look forward to this year.

With an experienced Council, remarkable staff, and passionate citizens, I am confident Cary will continue to be a special place.

Have a great weekend.

Winter Weather

It’s our third consecutive winter weather weekend, and we’re cautiously optimistic that accumulation this time will be minimal. Nevertheless, all operational teams are preparing in case we see something more substantial, and crews have brined all the major roads ahead of the storm.

Public Works crews will report at 10 PM. Friday night and be active until Sunday morning to operate plows and tend to any slick spots. Staff is monitoring forecasts and will announce any service changes on the Town’s website, by email, and on social media.

COVID-19 Update

Cary and Wake County remain in a high transmission state. There are 89 active cases among town employees bringing the total to 416 since the pandemic began. Town employees have a vaccination rate of 89% while citizens over the age of five have a vaccination rate of 76%. Cary has the second highest vaccination rate in the county. Cary has the second lowest infection rate in the county.

Election Update

The Governor has vetoed HB605 which would have changed the election date to June 7, 2022. In his veto he states that “The constitutionality of congressional and legislative districts is now in the hands of the North Carolina Supreme Court and the Court should have the opportunity to decide how much time is needed to ensure that our elections are constitutional.”

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments next week. The Court may change the election date, but until then it will remain May 17, 2022.

Covid-19 Wastewater Tracking

COVID-19 wastewater testing data for Cary is available on the NCDHHS – NC Wastewater Monitoring Network website , along with other COVID-19 response health metrics. In October 2021, Cary began its participation in a Wake County Public Health funded project that is in coordination with NCDHHS that tracks COVID-19 trends in sewer systems.

Cary collects influent wastewater at our three water reclamation facilities twice a week to test for concentrations of COVID-19 RNA fragments. Wake County coordinates data management, sampling, and record keeping for high-quality metrics for public health action. Wake County will assess wastewater data against other available health indicators to work with the CDC, NCDHHS, Cary and other communities to improve and better manage the pandemic.

The project is expected to continue through at least August 2022. For more information visit Cary’s Tracking COVID-19 webpage.

SolSmart Community Designation from Department of Energy

Cary is excited to receive the SolSmart Silver Level Community Designation from the U.S. Department of Energy. The SolSmart program helps local governments make systematic improvements to make it faster, easier, and more affordable for residents and businesses to go solar.

To receive this designation Cary improved upon existing permitting and planning procedures, facilitated staff training opportunities, and expanded education efforts including a new solar webpage that provides Cary-specific solar information, resources, and guidelines. Continuing an upward trend, the Town experienced a 53% increase in solar permitting during calendar year 2021.

Cary is proud to provide increased access to renewable energy solutions, an important part of reducing carbon emissions and building a sustainable and resilient community.

USA Baseball National Training Center Improvements

Construction will begin soon on the USA Baseball Training Complex. The construction contract and building permit were approved and a pre-construction meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 31. The project will be completed in two phases in order to maintain event parking and pedestrian access to the main entrance during construction.

Phase One will involve new underground stormwater and utility work and reshaping the existing parking lot for the new 40,000-square-foot facility. The start date of phase one is Feb. 14 and construction is estimated to be completed on May 18. Phase two includes the construction of the new office and training facility which will overlap with the end of phase one with an estimated completion date in Summer 2023.

Upcoming Meetings

Hybrid Senior Advisory Board
Wednesday, Feb. 2 at 2 PM

Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting
Wednesday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 PM

Mayor’s Mailbox

I received several emails requesting support of the Laurel rezoning which is a town-initiated multi-family development near Cary Towne Boulevard and SE Maynard. If approved it would have 130 multi-family units, with half designated as affordable, on 7.06 acres. The Public Hearing for this rezoning has yet to be scheduled. Council’s decision will be months after the Public Hearing.

Other emails from citizens included:

  • A complaint about classes canceled at the Senior Center without notification (staff apologized and as rectified the problem)
  • A complaint about the Hatcher rezoning proposal
  • A complaint about not having a mask mandate
  • A request to have tobacco-free parks (my understanding is that this would require legislative approval)
  • A complaint about poor road conditions in Walnut Hills (improvements were delayed because of sewer line updates and road improvements should begin in April)
  • Comments about Cary’s and Morrisville’s diversity

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a meeting of the Atlantic Tire Championships board, a taping of the short version of the State of Cary address, a podcast with Reward Builders, a photo op at the Cary Food Waste Drop-Off, and a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, February 6th. 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 and email personal comments to

Snow Conditions, Transportation & Composting

Cary, NC — This was a holiday week so things were a bit slow.

Meeting with Mayors, Congressional Candidates

Monday I participated in a meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association. Ten of twelve Wake County Mayors were in attendance with only Apex and Raleigh absent. We welcomed Blake Massengill, the new mayor from Fuquay Varina, Sean Mayefskie, the new mayor from Holly Springs, and Glen York, the new mayor from Zebulon. After introductions, we talked about what was going on in each of the communities. The meeting lasted about three hours.

Tuesday I met with a Congressional candidate. We talked about current issues and development in Cary and what is important to our citizens. Our talk lasted about an hour.

CAMPO Meeting Recap

Wednesday I attended a meeting of the CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s) Executive Board. The agenda included a public hearing for the 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan. There were no speakers.

Discussion items included the election of the Chair and Vice-Chair. The board unanimously approved the re-election of Sig Hutchinson of the Wake County Commissioners as Chair and Mayor Vivian Jones of Wake Forest as the Vice-Chair. Other items unanimously approved included new CAMPO Office Space which will be located at the Fenton in Cary.

Strategic Retreat follow-up items were also approved. Presentations, to be received as information only, included the Unified Planning Work Program and MPO Self-Certification FY 2023 and the FFY2023 Locally Administered Projects Program (LAPP) Investment Program. The meeting concluded after a little over an hour and a half.

Clearing the Roads Following Snow Event

Friday I attended a virtual meeting for those that were scheduled to travel to Miami next week to look at commuter rail. Over half the participants believed it was a bad time to travel due to the COVID spread and asked that the event be postponed.

Friday evening into Saturday was Cary’s first winter event in a couple of years. There were about three inches of snow on the roads which was no match for the Cary A-Team. They had main roads and collector roads clear by lunch. Absolutely amazing! It will be interesting to see how long it takes our neighbors to clear their roads. Hopefully the sun and warmer temperatures will help them.

Town Manager Report

The town manager’s report includes the following:

Sean’s Message

Coming from the Chicagoland area, I’m still getting used to North Carolina’s definition of snow! But seriously, I want you to know that whatever the weather, our organization does a stellar job of being prepared and following through with their thoughtful plans as you can see below in the Public Safety Update.

I know you join me in appreciating all that they do.

Following the big thaw early next week, I look forward to seeing you all next Wednesday at the Chamber breakfast for one of my favorite and most important events of the year, the Mayor’s State of Cary address.

Stay safe and warm,


Winter Weather Preparedness

This week, staff has been preparing for another round of winter weather in Cary. A mix of snow and freezing rain coupled with low temperatures is expected overnight through Saturday.

Town facilities will be closed on Friday, with staff working remotely if they’re able to do so. All web-based services will continue to be open to citizens. The Citizens Convenience Center will operate with modified hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All Wake County COVID testing sites, including WakeMed Soccer Park, will be closed on Friday.

Public Works will begin their winter weather response this evening with spreaders and repairs crews standing by and prepared to address any potential black ice issues as a result of Thursdays rain. Public Works will establish Snow Command at 6 a.m. Friday morning and are prepared to address road impacts and will operate through Saturday or until conditions no longer warrant it.

Our 311 Center will operate on a normal schedule Friday, 7am to 7pm and will remain flexible to weather conditions through Saturday if additional activation is needed. Fire, Police and our Emergency Communications Center are staffed and at the ready!

Our first messaging to citizens will go out late this afternoon with a listing of closings and service modifications, but our focus, as always, will be on safety, encouraging citizens to limit travel over the next few days so snow crews can do their work effectively.

With the forecast currently indicating less precipitation, our biggest concern for this event is the freezing weather, which could make black ice a major risk factor in the days to come. We’ll continue to drive traffic to our website and social media channels to give timely information throughout the event, and we’ll keep you informed about any significant issues as they arise.

COVID-19 Update

There are 81 active cases among the town’s staff bringing the total to 365 since the pandemic began. The vaccination rate for staff is 89% and for Cary citizens it is 75%. The transmission rate remains high in Cary even though Cary has one of the lowest transmission rates in the county.

Council Tour of NCSU Compost Facility

Council Members Lori Bush, Jack Smith, and Ya Liu joined staff and members of Toward Zero Waste Cary to tour North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) compost facility. NCSU shared best practices, current procedures, and the value of composting collected food scraps from designated locations to reduce food waste at the university.

The facility is an impressive, closed-loop system that returns the finished compost to their gardens and fields.

Solar Masters Service Agreement

Cary is excited to continue promoting solar on Town properties by starting our search for qualified Solar companies through the release of a Solar Master Services Agreement Request for Qualifications (RFQ). This RFQ will help Cary find qualified firms to support municipal solar related planning, analysis, and design services. The RFQ continues Cary’s assessment of the potential for solar installations on Town buildings as well as helping Cary understand and manage the carbon footprint of all Cary facilities. It is also the next logical step to meet and further the goal(s) of Cary’s Strategic Energy Action Plan and Carbon Reduction Recommendations from the Environmental Advisory Board.

Keeping Trees in Tip-Top Shape

Two dozen citizens joined the recent online Pruning Tips class in Cary’s Tree Talk series. Topics covered in the pruning workshop included how, when, and why to prune trees, as well as appropriate tools to use for different applications.

The free series of tree care workshops provide opportunities for citizens to gain valuable tips on how to support tree health across the seasons and the years. Keep an eye out for the spring workshop, Soil Care, that will provide information on how to keep trees rooted in healthy soil.

Chapel Hill Road Mobility Study

The next step of the Chapel Hill Road Mobility Study is a 3-day charrette Jan. 24-26. Cary’s consultant on the project, Stantec, will facilitate the charrette with designers and illustrators on-hand. A charrette is a collaborative planning process, open to the public where they can attend virtual open houses to review different scenarios and maps drafted each day.
At the charrette, the design team will examine two alternatives: 2-lanes with a left-turn lane and 4-lanes with a left-turn lane. The goal is to build public consensus for a future project, identify preferred bike, pedestrian and transit facilities, and gather feedback for Council and staff to use when planning the future cross-section.
Residents may attend virtually to learn about the study, and provide feedback on different design elements and conceptual plans. For more information about the project go to the project webpage,

Upcoming Meetings

Hybrid Athletic Committee
Monday, Jan. 24 at 6 PM

Planning and Zoning Board
Monday, Jan. 24 at 6:30 PM

Hybrid Cultural Arts Committee
Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 6 PM

Mayor’s Mailbox

Emails from citizens this week include:

  • A complaint that the town’s sanitation workers were working on MLK day
  • A thank you for having pickleball at Bond Park
  • A complaint about information/misinformation from the 21-REZ-09 neighborhood meeting

Next week’s activities include staff meetings and a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors. The schedule is light due to the RTA planned trip to Miami.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, January 30th. 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 and email personal comments to