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 one of the slowest weeks I have had as mayor, which is typical for this time of year.
Diwali Dance Practice
I attended the first Diwali dance practice on Wednesday. There will be a total of four dances using staff members from Apex, Cary, and Morrisville. All three mayors will be participating in a dance near the grand finale.
NC Legislative Summary
The NC Metro Mayors did not meet Friday due to the upcoming holiday. Here is a summary of legislative action from KTS Strategies:
State budget negotiations continued behind closed doors this week at the General Assembly. The top sticking points between the two chambers remain a tax package and how reserves will be spent on economic development and capital projects. The goal was to have a budget in place before the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, but it will likely be mid to late July before the legislature takes a vote. The House and Senate are taking a legislative break next week and will return to Raleigh the week of July 10th.
Veto Override Votes
On Tuesday, the House voted to override six of Governor Cooper’s vetoes. That is the most override votes ever held in a single day. The six pieces of legislation are as follows:
- S299, Reimburse Late Audit Costs with Sales Tax Revenue – This bill would authorize the Local Government Commission to withhold a county or municipality’s sales tax distribution if the county or municipality fails to submit an annual audit report.
- S329, Retail Installment Sales Act Amendments – This bill would modify the maximum finance charge rates that may be applied to consumer credit installment sale contracts. It would also increase the default charge for past due installment payments from $15 to $18.
- S331, Consumer Finance Act Amendments – This bill makes various changes to the statutes in the Consumer Finance Act.
- S364, Nondiscrimination & Dignity in State Work – This bill would prohibit discrimination against job applicants based on personal beliefs or political affiliations. The bill would also prohibit concepts related to race or sex from being promoted in the workplace of state employees.
- S582, The North Carolina Farm Act of 2023 – This is the legislature’s annual bill that would make various changes to laws pertaining to agriculture, forestry, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
- H750, Address ESG Factors -This bill would prohibit state agencies and state pension plan fiduciaries from discriminating in employment decisions based on environmental, social, and governance criteria.
The Senate voted to override S299, S329, S331, and S364 last week. They also voted to override S582 and H750 this week meaning all six bills are now Session Law.
Parents Bill of Rights
This week, the House passed S49, Parents Bill of Rights with a vote of 66-47. One Republican voted in opposition. 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. The Senate voted to concur with the House changes with a party line vote of 26-13. The bill will now be sent to Governor Cooper for consideration. We anticipate he will veto the legislation.
George Washington Reading
Saturday morning, I participated in a small performance at the Page-Walker gardens put on by Katherine Loflin of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). She spent time talking about the area, now known as Cary, during the time of the American Revolution.
I was dressed as George Washington and read excerpts of the Declaration of Independence. It was well attended, including several children.
Town Manager’s Report
On the last day of the fiscal year, let me say how proud I am of the great things we were able to accomplish together. In our effort to keep Cary at the Top of the Arc, we know our work will never be done, and that’s a good thing because every day brings something new to look forward to.
With so many people planning to take advantage of the holiday next week and spend time with their family, including me, we will not be doing a Council Weekly Report next Friday.
Enjoy your weekend.
Council District Demographic Data
Please find linked district demographic information prepared by our Planning Department.
Nancy Jones House Becomes Cary’s Newest Landmark
Last week, Council unanimously adopted an ordinance designating the Nancy Jones House as a Cary historic landmark. Built in 1803 and Cary’s oldest known residential structure, the Nancy Jones house is historically significant for its Federal-style architecture. In addition, numerous NC governors and even President James K. Polk have visited the house over the years. Further supporting the Council’s initial action to preserve this piece of Cary history, rehabilitation of the house’s interior and exterior is planned to begin later this year.
Green Hope High School Field Trip
On Tuesday, students from Green Hope High School’s Summer Career Accelerator Program visited Town Hall to learn about the Council-Manager form of government. Additionally, they heard about information technology in the public sector and paid visits to the Traffic Management Center and the Emergency Communications Center to learn more about the operations within those areas.
Taking Pride in Training Cary Staff
In alignment with Pride Month, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offered training opportunities in June to equip staff with awareness and skills to be more informed allies to LGBTQ+ citizens and community members. LGBTQ+ Allyship 101 was an introduction that covered the needs and benefits of allyship in action, while LGBTQ+ Allyship 102 featured a deeper exploration of allyship as a journey along a continuum. These well-attended sessions enhanced empathy and understanding among staff of the needs and potential barriers within the LGBTQ+ community.
Middle Creek Disk Golf Course Update
Cary’s Middle Creek Disc Golf course recently completed some much-needed upgrades to bring the course more in line with Cary’s top-rated course, Diavolo, at New Hope. The upgrades included updating tee pads, adjusting hole layouts, adding practice baskets, and improving walking trails with stairs and retaining walls. These improvements, in addition to updates to course signage, are being made in preparation for Cary hosting the 2024 Masters Disc Golf Championship.
- A thank you: “Thank you so much for your great leadership, and the love you have for Cary and its citizens!”. (I very much appreciate the compliment)
- A complaint about an issue on Petty Farm Road.
- A request to meet with a boy scout. (Always glad to do this)
- A complaint about pipes and drains in Carolina Preserve.
- A concern about safety in Renaissance at Regency.
- A candidate’s request to meet. (Always glad to meet with candidates)
- A complaint about our decision on the Kanoy property.
- A complaint about the fountain at middle creek.
- A complaint about not being selected as a vendor for Lazy Daze.
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a meeting with a council member, Fourth of July ceremonies, a State of Cary address at Carolina Preserve, and a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, July 9th, 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 email@example.com.