Mayor Harold Weinbrecht Blog Post: August 6th, 2023

#5 Best Place to Live, Affordable Housing Interview, Police Assessment, Financial Assessment, Human Relations, Inclusion, & Diversity Task Force, and Cary Chamber Leadership Dinner

Mayor Harold Weinbrecht publishes his weekly blog post on his personal blog (, sharing his thoughts and updates on local news and events in Cary, NC. The Cary Report, with permission from the town, will be re-publishing the Mayor’s blog as they are posted each Sunday. The following is the latest from Mayor Harold Weinbrecht.

Read the original post here.

Affordable Housing

Monday I met with two teachers from Cary High School who are working on their graduate degrees. They set up the meeting to talk about poverty near schools. However, most of the meeting was spent talking about the affordable housing crisis facing the community, region, and the nation.

Police Department Assessment

Later Monday I met with an assessor who was interviewing me as part of the accreditation process for CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies). We talked about my knowledge and thoughts of the police department focusing mostly on the last four years. One of the questions was to describe the department in three words which for me was easy: excellence, professionalism, and reliability. I told the assessor that I believed our department was the best of the best and would put them up against any department in the nation. I acknowledged that I was biased. At the end of the interview, he stated that our department was indeed one of the best in the nation. Needless to say, I left the interview proud to be associated with the fine men and women who make up the Cary Police Department. We are so blessed to have them.

Financial Assessment

After the police assessment I met with a financial auditor as part of the finance department annual audit. Of course, I had nothing but praise for our finance and budget teams. As a result, the interview lasted just a few minutes. Cary’s finances have been strong all the years I have been mayor. Like our police department, and many other departments in Cary, they are the best of the best.

Town Manager One-On-One

My last meeting on Monday was with the town manager. Topics included a police assessment meeting, the next quarterly meeting in November, the Duke Hospital proposal, and the upcoming council elections.

Human Relations, Inclusion, & Diversity Task Force

Tuesday night I joined a meeting of the Human Relations, Inclusion, & Diversity Task Force. A Cary staff expert on ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance made a presentation and fielded questions. A discussion followed on how the task force could help and how the public could be more informed about what Cary is already doing. The task force is hoping to get a preview of the downtown park in September to look at accessibility issues.

#5 Best Place to Live in the Nation

Wednesday I was notified from a citizen that Cary was ranked #5 in the nation for best places to live by Livability. Here is what they said:

“Nestled between the stunning Western Carolina mountains and the famous East Coast beaches of the Outer BanksCary, NC, is using its enviable location to its advantage. Located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, Cary is in the center of the Research Triangle Area, which places the city less than 30 minutes from downtown Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. This central location and its proximity to the Research Triangle Park — the largest research park in the U.S. — are a big part of what makes Cary one of the best places to live in the U.S. With a robust job market, the city of 180,341 is known as a hotspot not only for employees of the Research Triangle Park but also for entrepreneurs looking to launch new businesses. 

Although Cary has the amenities of a large city, including a great restaurant and bar scene, it retains an affordable cost of living and a small-town feel, reflected in the high safety rating given by background check company GoodHire. In 2022 they named Cary, NC, the safest city in the United States. Locals noted that they feel safe running or walking the quaint neighborhoods and greenways. But the safe, close-knit environment isn’t the only reason Cary is desirable for young families. The schools here are fantastic. According to Public School Review, which analyzes and evaluates the quality of public schools, Cary has one of the highest concentrations of top-ranked public schools in North Carolina.  

Finally, Cary is a flourishing city that offers a fantastic arts scene (gorgeous public art, galleries and more), a variety of eateries, must-visit breweries and great sporting events. Baseball fans can rejoice as Cary is home to the USA Baseball National Training Complex. …”

To read more about what Livability said about Cary go here.

Cary Chamber Leadership Dinner

Thursday night I attended the Cary Chamber Leadership dinner. I was joined by Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz, council member Robinson, council member Eades, council member Smith, county officials, legislators, state officials, business leaders, and Congressman Nickel. The dinner began with remarks from myself, Congressman Nickel, and the presenting sponsor. After dinner we were treated to a surprise visit from NC State Basketball Coach Kevin Keatts. It was a great time to network and to thank all the partners we have in Cary.

Legislative Summary

Friday I received a legislative summary from KTS Strategies. The following is that summary:

Legislative Schedule and Budget Update

The NC General Assembly did not hold any floor votes or committee meetings again this week as national conferences kept many members out of town. Last Friday, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Speaker of the House Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), made statements on social media to provide their update on budget progress.  Senator Berger wrote, “Legislative leaders have made significant progress on the budget this week. House Speaker Moore and I have agreed to a tax package and resolved other key differences. We will begin the process of negotiating other aspects of the budget in the coming days.” Speaker Moore wrote, “Significant progress has been made on the budget this week.” We anticipate legislative leadership will return to Raleigh next week for closed door negotiations to finalize budget details and discuss outstanding policy issues. No floor votes or committee meetings will be held next week. The legislature is aiming to pass a budget at the end of the month. 

Town Manager’s Report

Sean’s Message

Today marks the first day of my 8th year as Cary’s Town Manager. It’s been an amazing experience, more than I could have ever imagined or hoped for. Michele, Emma, and I could not be more happy or honored – even our dog Indie loves Cary!
I never take for granted that my success is our success built on authentic, caring relationships that begin with the Council and involve every person who works for – and with – this great organization.
I am grateful to each of you for trusting me in this role and for your support as we work together to navigate a complex future.
Truly living inspired,

Surprise Appearance

Last night’s annual Cary Chamber Leadership Dinner at Ray’s offered the traditional menu of great food and fellowship. Members of Council and staff joined Chamber members and North Carolina elected officials to celebrate all we accomplish together. What was a little different this year was when owner Ray Arias brought in NC State Head Basketball coach Kevin Keatts to say a few words. Coach Keatts was having dinner in another part of the restaurant and wanted to offer his thanks, congratulations, and well-wishes to everyone in attendance who worked to make Cary what it is today.

Lead for North Carolina Reception

Last night Deputy Town Manager Russ Overton joined Governor Roy Cooper at the North Carolina Executive Mansion to celebrate Lead for North Carolina’s fifth cohort. Governor Cooper spoke briefly about his goals to create an educated workforce, increase prosperity for all, and how important the next generation of public service leaders are to those goals. Cary looks forward to welcoming its first Lead for North Carolina Fellow, Adrienne Stacy, on Monday. 

Senior Executive Institute Graduates

Transit Director Kelly Blazey, Special Projects Director Kerry Harville, and Finance Director Kimberly Branch participated in the Senior Executive Institute (SEI) July 16-28. The intensive, two-week executive leadership development program was delivered by Virginia Institute of Government on behalf of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia and focused on leadership styles and team building strategies for personal, professional, organizational, and community leadership. A key component of the program is how to turn organizations into continuous learning communities, which each of the Cary graduates strive for each day. Kelly, Kerry, and Kimberly now join other SEI alumni in Cary, including Russ Overton, Scot Berry, Ashley Lategan and myself.

Final Month to Count You In

The last month of Cary’s community engagement campaign  to develop a climate action strategy is upon us! In mid-July, the Second Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting gathered more than 75 staff and citizens to reflect upon leadership levels that were established during the first meeting, review and discuss ideas for strategies and actions, and identify implementation barriers and other considerations for pursuing them. Since then, staff and climate ambassadors have worked to include as many diverse groups in Cary as possible, especially those underrepresented in survey demographics. Over 10 events at the end of July reached hundreds of people across multiple departments, Boards, Committees, and at places like the Cary Bus Depot, Dorcas Ministries, and West Regional Library. As of August, at least 220 people have taken each of the six surveys (totaling over 2,050 responses) and many more outreach events are planned. Count me in, Cary! surveys are open until September 1.

Fall Program Registration

Cary resident registration for September programs opened on Wednesday. Several changes to the registration process were implemented, focusing on improving the citizen’s experience from previous registrations. 311 citizen advocates and PRCR staff joined forces to assist with registration, field questions, and support each other throughout the day! Almost 1,800 registrations were processed on day one and more than 900 additional sign-ups for free programs were processed separately from program registration.  Over 90% of these registrations were successfully processed online through myCary. Non-resident registration will open August 16 with October programs opening for registration on September 6 for Cary residents.

Emergency Sewer Repair at East Park Street and South Walker Street

This Wednesday, a contractor working on behalf of Cary will be performing an emergency sewer repair at the intersection of Walker St and E. Park St. The intersection will be closed starting at 9:00 am on Wednesday until the repair is complete and backfilled. Walker St will be opened to a one-lane, two-way flagging operation on Thursday until the temporary paving is complete. E. Park Street will remain closed for the entire duration of Wednesday and Thursday until the work is complete. Other traffic-shifting operations in the area have been coordinated to minimize the impact of the closure.

Traffic Calming Construction Update

With this week’s completion of pavement markings, construction has finished on nine speed humps spread through the Picardy Pointe, Brookstone/Parkcrest, and Belmont neighborhoods. Transportation and Field Services staff worked with the contractor, Raleigh Paving, to bring these highly anticipated traffic calming devices to Cary in an effort to enhance the neighborhoods along Kettlebridge Drive, Glenbuckley Road, Park York Lane and Henderson Road. Staff have already received positive feedback from community members and will continue to engage with residents to gather input on the completed project. This input will be combined with traffic data, collected in the coming year, to fully assess the impact of this work and help to inform future traffic calming projects.

This project continues Cary’s evolution toward a more multi-modal transportation network, particularly along Kettlebridge Drive where the speed humps stop short of the gutter line, providing accommodation for bicycle riders.

Bond Rating Affirmed

On Tuesday, July 25, Fitch Ratings affirmed Cary’s ‘AAA’ rating on the town’s outstanding combined utility system revenue bonds with a stable outlook. The ‘AAA’ rating is the best possible rating for a local government. Fitch, one of the three leading national credit rating agencies, cited Cary’s “Exceptionally strong financial profile” and “very favorable service area” as primary credit strengths supporting the ‘AAA’ rating. This affirmation underscores Cary’s exceptional position as one of the strongest municipalities in the country.

Crabtree Greenway Update

Cary’s Crabtree Greenway Project from Bond Park to High House has reached a major milestone. NCDOT approved Cary’s design plans and authorized construction for the greenway that increases access to Bond Park and connects the Preston soccer fields to park facilities. This project will complete an important gap in the Crabtree Creek Greenway corridor and provides another bike and pedestrian connection into Bond Park, the hub of the greenway system.

Cary will bid the project this fall with construction beginning in early 2024. Construction is expected to take between one and two years. 

Invasive Species Removed at Dunham Park

Several invasive species, particularly Japanese and Chinese privet, had begun to take root in the eastern edge of the wetland in Dunham Park. This vibrant wetland is the headwater of one tributary that drains to Coronado Lake which ultimately feeds Walnut Creek. To prevent these exotic invasives from spreading, Cary contracted with a local company, Native Plants Matter, and removed these pesky plants by cutting the shrubs and painting the trunks with an herbicide specially formulated for application in wetlands/aquatic habitats. As the work was conducted in the wooded portion of the property and along the edge of the woods and stormwater wetland, the park remained open for all to enjoy.  

NRPA Park & Recreation Month Where Community Grows Croc Walk

On Saturday, more than 250 people donned their Crocs for the Where Community Grows Croc Walk on the Swift Creek Greenway. After the walk, participants enjoyed the music of My Cousin Skinny, the cool flavors of Kona Ice, and delicious food from the Death By Taco and Pickin’ N’ Que’n food trucks. 

Upcoming Meetings

Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Advisory Board
Monday, August 7
 5:15 p.m.

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

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

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

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • Hundreds of emails from people mostly outside of Cary complaining about RDU Airport Authority’s plan to build a parking lot. (We have no authority in this matter.)
  • Complaints about Cary’s plan for downtown town hall campus based on media stories. (At this time there are no plans for the downtown town hall campus. All that has been done is an RFQ for developers. The Council is not involved at this point. The public will be in the first part of the planning process when that begins in a few months.)
  • Complaints about burglaries in Cary.
  • A complaint about the Cary Tennis Park check-in procedure.
  • A question about intersection improvements for pedestrians at Penny Road and Ederlee Drive. (Staff reported that we are under contract and that upgrades should occur before school starts.)
  • A complaint about a future change to the Bond Lake dam. (I know nothing about this.)
  • A complaint that painted arrows on a speedbump were crooked in the Wellsley subdivision asking that the person who painted them be fired.

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a meeting with Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors, a meeting with Miss Teen North Carolina, a meeting with a boy scout working on his Eagle Scout requirements, Diwali Dance practice, and the ATP 75 tennis tournament.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, August 13th, 2023. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communication with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to and email personal comments to

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