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.
Council Meeting Prep
Monday I attempted to contact each council member to see if they had any questions or concerns about the upcoming agenda. There was a concern that a consent item about condemnation of a road widening should be pulled and explained. Other than that, there were no questions.
Town Manager One-On-One
Monday evening I met with the town manager for our weekly one-on-one. Topics included an upcoming forum with the manager and me, an event during the Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships, the town hall campus RFQ, the Duke Hospital project, the Epic Games site, the South Hills project, and the future downtown trolleys.
There was a request by one of the council candidates to move early voting to the senior center in Bond Park. Staff reported Monday that this was problematic because of reservations for two weddings, a church event, a family gathering, and 26 programs with approximately 1400 participants pre-registered. So early voting will be at Herb Young this year. The senior center was picked as one of the early voting sites for the 2024 elections.
Neighborhood Meeting About Crime in Regency
Tuesday night I participated in a Regency neighborhood zoom meeting with Cary police officers and about a dozen people from the neighborhood. Regency has been experiencing several burglaries from what appears to be a sophisticated, organized, group. Patrols will be immediately increased and individual assessments on how to make homes safer will start to be scheduled.
Media Stories on Town Hall Campus
This week the media once again did stories on the future town hall campus redevelopment since we have finished the RFQ process. This story created a lot of negative criticism on social media. Most of which is inaccurate and/or misleading:
- “The new development is expected to mirror developments like Fenton and North Hills” – Nothing has been planned yet. The public will be involved when we get started. All that has been done is to ask developers what they think.
- “Just another waste of our money !!!!!!!!” – We have a town hall campus with several buildings having maintenance issues. Town hall currently does not serve the citizens well and cannot accommodate all of staff. To ignore these facts IS a waste of money. We must make sure we are not “penny wise and pound foolish”.
- “They are going to do whatever they are going to do. Doesn’t make any difference what anyone thinks about it!” – Really??? You obviously haven’t watched your council make decisions. Keep in mind that our plans, The Cary Community Plan, was created by the citizens of Cary and not the council.
- “Insane. It is a perfectly good town hall!” – As I stated before we have several buildings in need of repair and with more expensive repairs in the future.
- “we common folks are screwed” – It is your town hall. You will provide input on what it should be. There is nothing planned now. How is that screwed?
To be an elected official in Cary and not look into the future is foolish. The population in the Raleigh-Cary region will double in the next three or so decades. Land in our downtown is already going for $1 million an acre. There is an opportunity for us to create a campus that will serve the public and our staff well into the future. And as a result, serve the citizens better. Please allow the process to start and the public to be involved before condemning changes to town hall campus that haven’t even been planned.
Cary #2 For Fewer Serious Crashes
On Wednesday the News & Observer ran a story “This NC City has Some of the Best Drivers in US, Report Finds.” The ConsumerAffairs website ranked Cary Number 2 on a list of places with fewer serious crashes due to speeding, aggressive driving and other dangers behind the wheel in their publication on July 12. Cary was the only city in North Carolina to rank among the nation’s top 10 places for safe driving.
The council held its last regular meeting of July on Thursday with Ms. Robinson attending via phone since she had COVID-19. The agenda included fourteen consent items, and three public hearings.
Several residents spoke against a townhome proposal for Middleton Avenue mainly because the stubbed road would be completed with the development. The proposed plan would have 12 units an acre when the current zoning allows for 50 units an acre today without a council decision. The road connection would be required with any development.
The other public hearings had no speakers. The meeting concluded after about an hour and a half.
RDU Galleria Opening
Friday I joined the owners, investors, and their friends for the ribbon cutting at the new RDU Galleria on Aviation Parkway near the exit from I40. This is a new concept with a convenience store on the bottom floor with several eateries. Part of the first floor also has office space as does the 2nd and 3rd floor. This 24-7 operation should be a welcoming place for those traveling in and out of the RDU airport.
Town Manager’s Report
I enjoyed being back in the office this week following my family vacation. I want to thank Russ Overton for serving as Acting Town Manager and share my appreciation for all of those who supported Russ while I was away.
We may be headed into the hottest weekend of the year, so be safe and keep cool.
2024 Election Updates
On Tuesday, the Wake County Board of Elections selected Herb Young Community Center and Cary Senior Center to serve as Early Voting sites in the 2024 Primary Election. Early Voting for the 2024 Primary Election will occur from February 15 – March 2, and the Primary Election Day will be March 5. To stay up to date on elections in Cary, visit carync.gov/elections.
Fall Registration Begins August 2nd
The first cycle of fall registration for parks programming begins on August 2 for Cary residents. As we prepare to implement a new registration system, we have made numerous changes to the existing system to make the online experience as seamless as possible for citizens. Some of these changes include splitting the Fall Guide into three different registration cycles to occur over three months, increasing the time programs/classes can stay in the myCary cart, and establishing a new process for free programs. Additional PRCR staff and 311 Citizen Advocates will be available to assist on registration day by answering calls, assisting in person at our facilities, or handling 311 cases as we all work to get everyone registered for their desired programs.
Ryan Nyquist at Action Sports Summer Camps
On April 13, BMX Olympic coach and action sports consultant, Ryan Nyquist, announced he would join the Cary Action Sports Camps for the weeks of June 16, June 30, and July 28. Since his post went live on Instagram, Cary Action Sports has seen maxed-out camp registrations and an influx of sales of the single-day camp passes, as well as open session passes for these days. Nyquist made a post filmed on the course at X-Games to get everyone excited and drive registrations.
Innovating on Waste
Cary’s Waste Strategy and Impact Consultant, Srijana Guilford, joined municipal colleagues from across North and South Carolina for a day of tours and presentation hosted by the Carolina Recycling Association at the Innovation Barn in Charlotte. Created as a joint project between the City of Charlotte and Envision Charlotte, this partnership was established to manage, design, and implement programs that support the city’s transition to a circular economy. It was inspiring to learn how an urban living lab can bring together businesses, non-profits, and citizens to create sustainable waste solutions and new products for plastic, food, fabric, and more.
2023 Powell Bill Program
Cary has completed another successful Powell Bill submission. As an annual state-fiscal aid funding source, the Program funds local municipalities that submit funding requests based on 75% of their population and 25% of their maintained street mileage. The State funds primarily support the repair, maintenance, and construction of municipal streets that are not part of the State’s highway system, in addition to planning, construction, and maintenance of bikeways, greenways, or sidewalks. Following strict guidelines, staff from Construction and Field Services, Finance, and Transportation collaborated diligently to track, measure, and verify field data. Their efforts produced a Certified Statement and GIS map attesting to 514 miles of streets within corporate limits.
Repair for Reuse
This year’s second Repair Café included a sewing machine maintenance workshop with over a dozen participants bringing in their machines for the clinic. The event helped keep many items ticking and out of the landfill. Within four hours, nearly 80 citizens brought in items for repair, including chairs, turntables, toys, and an electric scooter. Local “fix-it coaches” volunteered their time and skills to provide repair services and tips to help owners keep things in working condition. The event had a 68% repair rate, and given the community’s continued interest, Cary will be hosting a third Repair Café in September.
Lieutenant Ashlee Dean Graduates from AOMP
On July 20, Cary Police Lieutenant Ashlee Dean graduated from the 96th Session of the Administrative Officer’s Management Program (AOMP). Hosted by North Carolina State University’s School of Public and International Affairs, AOMP is a unique educational course of study for public safety professionals seeking career advancement. Offered three times a year, AOMP convenes a class of 25 students from agencies across the nation who embark on an intensive 12-week academic program, during which they earn 15 undergraduate and graduate-level college credits and receive a certificate of completion.
Graduates of the 88th Senior Management Institute for Police
On July 27, Lieutenant Chris Redig and Lieutenant Sheri Abraham graduated from the 88th Session of the Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) through Boston University’s School of Law. SMIP is a demanding three-week, seated program offered through the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) that provides senior police executives with intensive training in the latest management concepts and practices used in business and government. The program engages in discussion of the most challenging issues facing law enforcement executives today. Chris and Sheri were honored to have their graduation photo taken with SMIP faculty instructors, which included PERF’s Executive Director, Chuck Wexler, and Retired Police Chief Charles Ramsey (former Police Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department and former Police Chief for the D.C. Metro Police Department).
Human Rel., Inclusion & Diversity Task Force
Tuesday August 1
at 6:00 p.m.
- An e-introduction to new member of Habitat Administration.
- A complaint about irrigation water rates.
- A thank you to Cary Police for helping with Major League Cricket in Morrisville.
- Thanks, from several people for the ADA proclamation.
- A request to help with providing EV charging for a condo building.
- A complaint about a flooding issue.
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, an assessment interview for the Cary Police Department, a Human Relations, Inclusion, & Diversity Task Force meeting, and the Cary Chamber Leaderships dinner.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, August 6th, 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.