Mayor Harold Weinbrecht publishes his weekly blog post on his personal blog (mayorweinbrecht.com), 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.
This was another slow week as we continued the dog days of summer.
Deputy Town Manager One-On-One
Monday afternoon I met with the Deputy Town Manager for my weekly one-on-one. Topics we discussed included the downtown park, the town hall campus, the old mall site, the future multi-modal center, and the South Hills redevelopment.
Atlantic Tire Championships Board Meeting
Monday night I participated in a meeting of the Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships board. Topics included the August 6th ATP tournament, the Atlantic Tire Tournament in September, and sponsors.
Human Relations, Inclusion, & Diversity Task Force
Tuesday night I attended the Human Relations, Inclusion, & Diversity Task Force meeting. The group expressed positive comments about PRIDE month and the Cary Celebrations. Most of the meeting was spent on selecting a priority to start a deep dive. Some of the thoughts were communications, accessibility at venues like Koka Booth Amphitheater for events, and additional DEI training for public engaging staff. The meeting concluded after about an hour and forty-five minutes.
Candidate for District Office
Thursday afternoon I met with a candidate for a district council seat. We talked mostly about affordable housing and school overcrowding. It is my practice to endorse incumbents and support all candidates.
NC Metro Mayors
The North Carolina Metro Mayors met Friday to hear a summary of legislative actions. Here is a summary from KTS Strategies:
This week, the House returned to Raleigh for one voting session on Wednesday. The Senate did not take any floor votes or hold any committee meetings this week. Budget negotiations remain at an impasse as House and Senate leadership have not reached an agreement on a tax package and the spending of budget reserves. At this point, we may not see a final budget compromise until mid-August. Due to the budget gridlock and upcoming national legislative conferences, we anticipate the legislative workload will be light for the remainder of July.
House Session Highlights
On Wednesday, the House held a brief voting session. The House considered several local bills and held multiple concurrence votes. Most notably, the House voted not to concur with the 2023 Regulatory Reform Act (H600) and an omnibus health care bill (H125). These bills have been sent to the conference committee where a final compromise will be negotiated. The House voted to concur with legislation that would make changes to the state retirement system (H201), changes to the laws related to the expunction of criminal offenses as recommended by the Administrative Office of the Courts (H193), and an omnibus charter school bill (H219). Those bills have been sent to the Governor for consideration. The next voting session for the House will be held Wednesday, July 19th.
Last week, Governor Cooper vetoed the following five pieces of legislation.
- H618, Charter School Review Board- This bill would convert the Charter Schools Advisory Board into the Charter Schools Review Board and shift the authority to approve charters from the State Board of Education to the Review Board.
- H488, Code Council Reorganization and Various Code Amendments- This bill would reorganize the North Carolina Building Code Council to create a new Residential Code Council and would make various changes to the North Carolina State Building Code provisions, land development regulations, and General Contractor licensing laws.
- H808, Gender Transition/Minors- This bill would prohibit medical professionals from performing surgical gender transition procedures on minors and from prescribing, providing, or dispensing puberty-blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones to minors.
- H574, Fairness in Women’s Sports Act- This bill would prohibit biological males from competing on women’s sports teams.
- S49, Parents’ Bill of Rights- This bill would require public schools to provide parents with information regarding their student’s education, as well as provide them with notifications about the student’s physical and mental health. The bill would also require health care practitioners to obtain written consent from the parent of a minor child before providing treatment and would prohibit instruction on gender identity or sexuality in the curriculum of students from kindergarten to fourth grade.
Veto override votes for H618, H488, H808, and H574 have been calendared for next Wednesday’s House session.
Town Manager’s Report
It has been relatively quiet this week, so I have no substantive updates to share outside of the robust weekly updates provided below from staff.
I look forward to attending and seeing several of you at the Chamber’s Annual Planning Conference next week.
Trolleys Have Arrived
Visitors to our downtown will soon have a new way to get around! Two classic streetcar model trolleys arrived in Cary this week. You may see one of them out and about for a test drive on Monday as we work to finalize scheduling and other program details. The free downtown circulator service is planned to begin this fall. For more information please visit www.carync.gov/trolley.
Greenway Video Inspires Us!
Cary has a lot to celebrate during 2023, the Year of the Trail! We seek to inspire the community this year to get outside and enjoy Cary’s greenways. There are so many ways and reasons to use the greenways – and so many miles to explore!
Cary Joins Threads, a New Social Media Platform
Threads, described by media outlets as “Meta’s answer to Twitter,” launched on July 5 and had accumulated over 70 million users within one day. Cary and several other local governments, including Wake County, Raleigh, and Wilmington, joined the Threads community late last week. You can follow our account at @caryncgov.
The Parking Deck on Cedar Street and Associated Retail
Development plans have been submitted for the second round of review for the Cedar Street Parking Deck and Retail project located at 139 East Chatham Street, between The Center Shopping Center and the Rogers Building. The plan proposes to include 295 parking spaces with 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail along Chatham Street. A staff report with additional information will come before you in the near future.
Urban Design Studio and Planning Team Visits Hub RTP
A few members of both the urban design and planning teams visited Hub RTP to learn more about their successful activation of typical office park and future development phases currently underway. Hub RTP provides a downtown-like urban mixed-use center to the largest research park in the US. The team met with RFP’s planner Travis Crayton who explained the future ambitions of RTP, which includes re-urbanizing strategic areas of the park. The new phase of the Hub will include a new multimodal street network, a full-service hotel, offices over retail, and multifamily residential – almost all entirely using structured parking.
Cary West End Apartments
The first round of development plan review was completed for the Cary West End Apartments. Also known as rezoning case 22-REZ-05 Number Five, the project is located at 602 West Chatham Street and 523 Old Apex Road. The project will include 10,000 square feet of first floor retail, 184 apartments, and a parking deck with 330 spaces.
Spanish Speaking Firefighters Teach About Grilling Safety
Fire was invited to partner with Spanish-language TV network Univision in producing a grilling safety video that targets a Spanish-speaking audience. Four firefighters who are fluent in Spanish participated in the event Wednesday at Fire Station 9, which Univision also broadcast on Facebook Live. Fire is fortunate to have employees who are dedicated and passionate about reaching all our citizens with important safety messages.
Cary’s Independence Day Celebration
Cary welcomed more than 15,000 people to its Independence Day Celebration at Koka Booth Amphitheatre, which included performances by the Cary Town Band and North Carolina Symphony. Mayor Weinbrecht provided a warm welcome from the stage, joined by Congresswoman Deborah Ross. Councilmembers Jennifer Robinson, Jack Smith, Carissa Kohn-Johnson, and Ryan Eades also attended with family and friends.
USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Series
USA Baseball Collegiate National Team (CNT) played a series against both Chinese Taipei and Japan at the National Training Complex at Thomas Brooks Park between June 30 and July 9. On June 30, USA Baseball CNT began the 20th International Friendships Series with Chinese Taipei. USA winning the game 7-3. Then the 44th USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Championship Series ran from July 7-9. USA won 2 out of 3 games in the series, and all the games attracted an international crowd.
Maynard Tank Class of 2024
In preparation for the upcoming school year, on July 5, contractors climbed 138 feet to the catwalk to repaint the year for 2024, continuing a much-loved tradition of welcoming the new senior class.
Upcoming Road Closure
Beginning Monday, July 17, the Annual Water Main Replacement project contractor, Carolina Civilworks, will place barricades on Dry Ave and South Harrison Ave to begin Phase 4 of construction. Faculty Ave will remain open. The contractor has committed to temporarily reopen South Harrison Ave through the Dry Ave intersection by the end of business August 25 in advance of Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival on August 26. Work is expected to continue on South Harrison Ave between W. Chatham St and Dry Ave on August 28, but the Dry Ave intersection is expected to remain open beginning August 25. Updates will continue to be provided as we move forward with additional phases of the planned water main replacement project.
Public Art Advisory Board
Wednesday, July 19
Thursday, July 20
- A complaint about not doing enough to help animals.
- A request to help with awareness of Ovarian Cancer Month.
- A request to appear in two short programs as George Washington.
- A notification that someone has a bumper sticker calling Cary a Sex Cult because of PRIDE month.
- A thanks for fixing/cleaning the fountain at Middle Creek.
- A complaint that Cary doesn’t do anything to protect trees (that is a misperception).
- A request to name Cary’s new downtown trolleys to “Cary’s Ferry” (Trolleys haven’t been named yet)
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, an Atlantic Tire Championships Board meeting, a Human Relations, Inclusion & Diversity Task Force meeting, a Diwali dance practice, an RTA Transportation Breakfast Panel rehearsal, and a meeting with a council candidate.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, July 23rd, 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 Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.