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.
Cary Chamber Event, ATC Board Meeting, Cary High Graduation, and Green Level High Graduation
Cary Chamber Member Guest
Monday I participated in the Cary Chamber Member Guest golf outing. Before play began I made a few remarks to the attendees stating that we are in the beginning stages of positive transformation which should provide them with opportunities.
Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships Board Meeting
Monday night I met with the board of the Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships. We talked about the ATP tournament starting on August 6th and the ATP tournament starting on September 10th. Most of the conversation was on sponsorship.
Cary High School Graduation
Thursday I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Frantz and Council member Johnson for the Cary High School graduation in downtown Raleigh. This graduation class was smaller than those I have witnessed before with only 417 but the ceremony was very well done. I appreciate them giving each graduate the time to walk across the stage rather than having multiple graduates walking at the same time. Congratulations to the Imps class of 2023!
Green Level High School Graduation
Thursday afternoon I joined council member Ryan Eades at the Green Level High School graduation in downtown Raleigh. The graduation class had 480 and was the first class that spent all four years at Green Level. One unique aspect of the ceremony was that the names were not in alphabetical order. Instead, they were read by the homeroom teacher who had been with the students all four years.
After the ceremony all the elected officials including council members from other municipalities, school board members, and county commissioners posed for a picture.
Council member Eades and I posed for a picture with outgoing School Board Superintendent Cathy Moore. It was a great celebration and ceremony for the seniors at Green Level. Congratulations Gators’ class of 2023!
NC Metro Mayors
Friday the North Carolina Metro Mayors met for the weekly summary of legislative actions. Here is a summary of that meeting from the Executive Director:
- BUDGET – Budget negotiations are still ongoing. Members have not shared details of the sticking points between the two chambers. With super-majorities in both chambers, the negotiations are focused on the extent of tax cuts and spending as the two chambers seek common ground. The expected budget timeline has now been pushed back. The earliest we expect to see a final compromise is the last week in June. However, it could be mid-July before the legislature takes a vote. Some of the sticking points include NC Innovation funding, proposed tax cuts and the long-term financial sustainability with reduced tax rates, and lastly, how to spend some of the billions in reserves.
Civilian Traffic Investigators H140
- This week the House concurred with the Senate changes returning this to a statewide bill. It was presented to the Governor today.
- Governor Cooper has 10 days to sign, veto, or allow the bill to become law.
- Once law, the NC Justice Academy will develop a uniform statewide training program.
- THANK YOUfor all of the phone calls and hard work on helping get this across the finish line. It truly was a partnershipofcity leadersand our friends at theNC Association of Chiefs of Police that brought this across the finish line.
S-Line Budget Provision Update – Raleigh to Richmond Rail Line
- The Metro Mayors Coalition are strong supporters of inter-city passenger rail in our state. A cornerstone of efforts to expand rail service are planned connections to high-speed rail in Washington DC and the Northeast. The S-Line, a planned future high-speed connection from Sanford though Raleigh, Wake Forest and then to Richmond, is a linchpin of the broader program for state passenger rail.
- A budget provision for state matching funds for a federal grant for the S-Line was included in the House version but not the Senate.
- Based on the input from other partners, we may consider sending a letter on behalf of Metro Mayors to the legislative leadership indicating our support for the S-line funding.
Local Revenues/Local Control
Land Use Clarification and Changes S675 a.k.a. ETJ Bill
- This bill is currently sitting in the House Rules Committee after passing through the Senate.
- The current version of the bill was much less of an attack on the concept of ETJ as it limits the end of ETJ authority to municipalities in counties with a population of < 25,0000 in 2024 and < 50,0000 in 2025, which means Metro Mayors Coalition cities are excluded from the ETJ section of the bill.
- Section 4 of the bill dealing with minimum lot size zoning, requiring no less than 5 units per acre for new construction, was also removed.
Backflow Preventers/Local Auth. S166
- This bill would prohibit a public water system owned or operated by a local government unit from requiring installation of backflow preventers not otherwise required by State or federal law, except where a customer’s connection presents a severe hazard, defined as an actual or potential threat of contamination that presents an imminent danger to the public health with consequence of serious illness or death.
- The bill passed the Senate in May. Thanks to ongoing conversations with House members, we have been able to successfully suspend movement on this bill for the remainder of the session.
- We will continue to keep you updated on conversations surrounding this issue during the interim.
Wastewater Regulatory Relief Act S673
- This Senate bill focuses on water treatment systems for new developments and inter-basin transfers. Most significantly, it establishes a 75 gallon per bedroom for wastewater flow rate for system capacity and needs determinations – a calculation closer to modern water use that may avoid expensive capacity expansion and delays for development.
- The bill passed the House this week and is awaiting action from Governor Cooper.
Economic Development – nothing new to report
Town Manager’s Report
With renovations kicking off this week, those of us in the Town Manager’s Office suite have temporarily relocated to the other side of the building. I for one enjoy holding meetings in random rooms and spaces that I haven’t spent much time in lately. I’m seeing and learning a lot. It reminds me of the exercise we did several years ago at a Council-Staff retreat where we each mapped our routes to work every day. We discovered both the strengths and weaknesses of our routine, and we saw opportunities in changing it up. I’m present with that again.
As you enjoy your weekend routines, keep in mind all of the special activities we have planned for Juneteenth and that Town Hall will be closed on Monday.
Mayor’s Star Medallion
Last Saturday, Mayor Weinbrecht awarded the first Mayor’s Star Medallion to CORRAL Riding Academy’s horse, River, in recognition of her exceptional qualities of inspiration, perseverance, and courage. The CORRAL Riding Academy is a nonprofit organization that empowers adolescent girls in high-risk situations through a holistic equine therapy and education program, where River plays a vital role as a therapy horse. River, a former racehorse, was honored as “Thoroughbred of the Year” by the Jockey Club, a title given to an outstanding horse that has excelled in a non-competitive career in 2022. The Mayor’s Star Medallion recognizes individuals who embody inspiration, beauty, perseverance, innovation, and courage, celebrating their contributions and achievements in Cary. For more information, visit https://www.carync.gov/mayor-council/mayor-s-star-medallion.
Cary Celebrates the Year of the Trail at the ATT Great Trail Day
Cary joined Durham and Wake County in hosting the American Tobacco Trail Great Trail Day Saturday. This event celebrated National Trails Day and the North Carolina Year of the Trail. Information and entertainment took place at trailheads up and down the 26-mile American Tobacco Trail (ATT). Cary shared information about greenways, parks, and biking and invited several community partners, including Wake Audubon, Triangle Rails to Trails, and others, to engage with the community at the New Hope Church Road Trailhead on the ATT.
All Aboard! Our New Trolleys are Almost Complete
Paul Webster, Jenny Pilewski, and Jorge Salazar are in Wisconsin personally inspecting and test riding the new downtown trolleys. Paul reports that the ride is smooth and quiet. Delivery of the trolleys is anticipated this summer.
NCAA Division II National Baseball Championship
Over the weekend Cary, University of Mount Olive, and Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance hosted the NCAA Division II Baseball National Championship (World Series) for the 13th time. In front of a crowd of around 2000 fans, the 3rd seed Angelo State beat Rollins College 6-5 to win their first National Championship. The weather was beautiful, the fields were perfect, and the crowds were tremendous. About 40 PRCR and PW staff devoted hundreds of hours, making this one of the great feathers in Cary’s cap.
Pimento Cheese Festival
On Saturday thousands of cheese lovers filled Downtown for the Annual Pimento Cheese Festival. Over 25 food trucks served their regular menu and included at least two items featuring pimento cheese. Ten local restaurants joined the fun in our Pimento Cheese Marketplace, where they gave away free samples, and sold tubs of pimento cheese to excited citizens. Once In A Blue Moon Bakery was crowned the winner of best pimento cheese for the second year in a row. In addition to all of the food, the festival also featured the return of Sarah Kaurfmann, who turned a 40-pound block of cheese into a work of art.
Black Creek Greenway Reopened
The Crabtree Creek and Black Creek Sewer Rehabilitation Project is coming to completion. Rehabilitation of sewer lines and manholes along the Black Creek Greenway between North Cary Park and the trailhead at Old Reedy Creek Road is complete. Over the summer, contractors will complete the remaining work, including cleanup and restoration at the Lake Crabtree Dam and adjacent sewer easement and removing the temporary bypass pipe. The good news is this will not require the closure of the greenway, and the trail is now open to the Public.
June 22 at 6:30 p.m.
- A complaint about cable contractors leaving a mess.
- A complaint about youth baseball coach.
- A concern that our “smart cities” will spy on citizens and invade privacy.
- A request to do more affordable housing like Chapel Hill and Orange County.
- A complaint about problems caused by Google Fiber contractors.
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a Wake County Mayor’s Association meeting, a meeting with Senator Budd’s regional director, a meeting with a student about mayor’s “overarching agenda and platform”, a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Executive Board, a Wall of Honor reception, the last regularly scheduled council meeting of the month, a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors, and a North Carolina Courage game.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, June 25th, 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.