Mayor Harold Weinbrecht Blog Post: December 3rd, 2023

CAP Dinner, CAMPO subcommittee, and Downtown Cary Tree Lighting

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.

Manager One-On-One

Monday afternoon I sat down with the town manager for our weekly one-on-one meeting. We talked about the park opening, a potential upcoming bond, and the new council. Our conversation lasted about half an hour.

Special Meeting for Staff Reviews

Monday night the council met in closed session to review the performance of our three employees: Town Manager, Town Attorney, and Town Clerk. We heard from each of them as well as reviewed their information presented to us at an earlier date. I believe we have three of the best in their fields. Cary is very blessed that they give their time and talents for the benefit of our citizens.

CAP Appreciation Dinner

Wednesday night Council member Jack Smith and I attended an appreciation dinner for the CAP (Citizens Assisting Police) held by the Cary Police Department. Comments were made by Sgt. Dustin Wright, Chief Terry Sult, and me. In my remarks I recognized the contributions of Al Slonim with a Proclamation noting his years of service to the CAP team and being a leader of the Cary Police Department’s Winter Wonderland.

CAMPO and DCHC MPO Regional Rail Subcommittee Meeting

A subcommittee for the Metropolitan Planning Organizations of the Capital Region and the Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro Region met to discuss the future of regional rail. Most of the discussion focused on which entities would do visioning, planning, and implementation of regional rail. Getting funding for regional rail in our area is still a major hurdle. The subcommittee made no decisions and agreed to meet again early next year.

Cary Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Cary had its first annual tree lighting at Downtown Cary Park on Saturday night. The entire town council along with NC Representative Dahle were in attendance. Since the weather was rainy with storms predicted most events of the day were cancelled and the tree lighting ceremony occurred indoors in the Academy Street Pavilion. However, at the time of the event the weather was just a little drizzle which allowed a large crowd to gather outside around the tree. Speakers were placed outside so that everyone could hear.

The ceremony was hosted by longtime WRAL anchor and Cary High School alumni Debra Morgan. I was blessed to be given the honor of lighting the first Downtown Cary Park tree. It was even more special to me because I was joined by my 23-month-old grandson. What a special treat!

Cary’s downtown is alive with decorations and lights with over 250 lighted displays. I encourage everyone to visit.

Cary #8 for Work Life Balance

A study for work life balance looked at the top 170 largest cities in America, drawing data points from the US Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2023’s County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, and the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The study, conducted by, examined three broad categories that serve as indicators of positive work culture: work intensity, health and wellness, and income and economic stability. According to a new analysis, Cary ranks 8th in the nation for work life balance. You can find the full data here.

Cary #9 Best College Town

According to WalletHub Cary ranked as the 9th best college town in the nation for mid-sized cities which is a surprise. Wake Technical Community College’s Western Wake Campus on Kildaire Farm Road gave Cary enough criteria to be considered in the report.

Town Manager’s Report

Sean’s Message

With a significant rain being forecast and after hearing concerns from several vendors, we have decided to scale back plans for tomorrow’s tree lighting.
Council, you are invited to meet in Academy Street Pavilion at 5:30 p.m. to participate in a modified lighting ceremony, and citizens will be welcomed into the space to join you. For those who understandably may not want to come out in the rain, the tree lighting will be available via live stream at 6 p.m. on Cary’s Facebook Page. 
I appreciate all the work that’s been done to keep our tree-lighting tradition alive in its new location at the downtown park and will let you know if anything changes.
We do believe that many of the activities planned for Saturday will be able to be rescheduled to future dates, and we will promote them as information becomes available.

Council Meeting Follow-Up

Energy Efficiency at North Cary Water Reclamation Facility: In 2022, Cary Utilities conducted an energy audit and emissions study for water facilities, focusing on creating inventories and a web tool for annual updates. Notable improvements came from the 2022 North Cary Water Reclamation Facility Aeration project, yielding a 5% energy efficiency boost and saving around $25,000 annually. The web tool will be updated annually, with 2023 data added in early 2024 for informed decision-making.

Accessory Dwelling Units Community Meeting – January 17th

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are small secondary dwellings accessory to a main house and can come in many forms, including detached cottages, spaces over garages, and separate space attached to the main dwelling. Cary is proposing a Town ordinance amendment to broaden the locations where ADUs can be constructed. To engage the community, staff will host a virtual meeting on January 17 for residents to provide input. This initiative aligns with the 2021 Cary Housing Plan, aiming to enhance housing options and meet diverse resident needs. To participate in the virtual meeting and gather more information, citizens can sign up at

Citizens Assisting Police Appreciation Reception

On Wednesday, Cary Police hosted the annual Citizens Assisting Police (CAP) Team Appreciation Reception at the Carolina Preserve Clubhouse. This event provided an opportunity for the Police and staff to express gratitude for the invaluable contributions made by these volunteers throughout the year. CAP team board members also had the opportunity to highlight their volunteer work and recognize their “Volunteer of the Year”. Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, Councilmember Jack Smith, Deputy Town Manager Russ Overton, and Assistant Town Manager Danna Widmar were in attendance. Chief Terry Sult and his command staff served the food and drinks during the event. Thank you to the CAP Team for your passion, dedication, and service to the Town of Cary!

Higgins Greenway – Phase IV Public Meeting

On Wednesday, Cary hosted a public meeting at the Cary Arts Center to unveil plans for extending Higgins Greenway into downtown. The meeting was well attended with more than 50 citizens in attendance, including Councilmember-elect Michelle Craig. The project generated considerable enthusiasm, as the majority of comments received were overwhelmingly positive. Staff and consultants are reviewing comments and updating design plans. Right-of-way acquisition is planned to begin in Winter 2024, with construction scheduled to begin in 2025.

Visit to Dorcas Ministries

Deputy Town Manager Russ Overton and Director of Housing and Community Partnerships Heather Whelehan visited Dorcas Ministries to meet with the Executive Director, Andre Anthony. Andre shared a tour of the facility, including the store, food bank, and community flex space, where they provide services to over 2,000 families a year. Cary partners with Dorcas to provide counseling and emergency assistance to residents experiencing housing instability or facing displacement.

Recreation Made Easy

Cary’s new recreation registration system, RecTrac, is now live! This user-friendly system enables citizens and visitors to easily sign up for classes and programs. To participate, Cary residents and visitors need to create an account. Based on valuable insights from the past two years, we’ve enhanced the citizen experience, ensuring a higher level of service. Program registrations begin on January 10, with classes starting on January 22. Prepare for registration day by creating your RecTrac account now. Explore programs in late December, register on January 10, and join classes starting January 22.

2023 Downtown Urban Open Tournament

Town Hall campus was transformed over Thanksgiving weekend into the 2023 Downtown Urban Open (DUO) disc golf tournament. The tournament, hosted in partnership with the Capital Area Disc League (CADL), had great weather and was well attended by spectators and players, both local and from around the state. The DUO is a charity tournament that benefits the Cary’s Play it Forward Scholarship Fund. This year, the tournament and CADL will be donating over $5,500 to the fund, which has raised over $33,000 since the tournament inception.

La Farm Sidewalk Update

In October, a traffic accident occurred that damaged the awning in front of 220 West Chatham Street, where La Farm bakery is located. The damage has impacted the sidewalk in front of the store. Typically, this would be something Cary could quickly address; however, this particular sidewalk is located on private property owned by La Farm and not the Town of Cary. Staff have been working closely with the La Farm property owners to ensure a detour was posted, and we have learned this week that they have selected a contractor to do the repair. We will work with them to expedite any permits that are needed to complete this work.

Upcoming Meetings

Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Advisory Board
Monday, December 4
4:30 p.m.

Information Services Advisory Board
Monday, December 4
6:00 p.m.

Zoning Board of Adjustment
Monday, December 4
6:30 p.m.

Council Meeting (Organizational Meeting)
Tuesday, December 5
6:30 p.m.

Senior Advisory Board
Wednesday, December 6
2:00 p.m.

Economic Development Committee
Wednesday, December 6
5:15 p.m.

Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning
Wednesday, December 6
6:30 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • A complaint about the relocation of a skateboard ramp.
  • Complaints about the Bond Park to High House Greenway extension.
  • A complaint about graffiti on the Bond Park Greenway (it has been removed).
  • A complaint about safety at the intersection of Mahal Drive and Petty Farm Road.
  • A complaint about a developer.
  • A concern about informing daycares about potential shooters.
  • A complaint about a park bench not being memorialized.
  • A complaint about a staff referencing a religion at the Downtown Cary Park ribbon cutting.
  • A request for evaluation of buffers on Fairview Park and Commons Ford.

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, the organizational council meeting, the Cary Chamber’s First Responders Breakfast, an Economic Development meeting, a Sister Cities event, and the Jaycees Christmas parade.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, December 10th, 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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