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 council members to hear of any questions or concerns they may have had about the upcoming agenda. Concerns were expressed about the proposed Wake County shared cost on ballfields.
Monday evening, I met with the town manager for our weekly one-on-one. Our topics included council member relationships and the Anthony Blackman memorial.
Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships Board Meeting
Monday night I met with members of the Atlantic Tire Tennis Championships board. We reviewed data from the September tournament and talked about future sponsors. Here is some of the information from that debrief:
- With two rainy days, ticket sales were 67% of 2022. However, we had the largest single ticket sale in ATC history on the semi-final Saturday.
- There were 171 volunteers and 108 ball people.
- We had no line judges and was the first challenger tournament, maybe in the world, to have electronic line calls.
- Next year we want to make sure ability tennis night and the Chamber of Commerce night don’t clash.
Our meeting concluded after about three hours.
Cary #5 Safest in the Nation for Treat-or-Treating
Tuesday morning I was notified that Cary is the 5th safest city in the nation for trick-or-treaters ChamberofCommerce.org.
Cary ranked within the top 5 safest cities due to the city’s low crime rate, high number of law enforcement employees and safe streets for pedestrians.
Overall, the study analyzed key safety metrics across 300 cities, including: pedestrian fatalities, violent crime, property crime, number of registered sex offenders, and number of law enforcement employees.
Here are the highlights for Cary:
- Number of registered sex offenders: 2.1 per 10,000
- Violent crime incidents: 6.7 per 10,000
- Property crime incidents: 97.4 per 10,000
- Average annual pedestrian fatalities: 1.33 (or 0.07 per 10,000)
- Law enforcement employees: 13.2 per 10,000
The top 4 safest cities for trick-or-treating: Naperville, Illinois (No. 1); Gilbert, Arizona (No. 2); Frisco, Texas (No. 3); Sugar Land, and Texas (N).4). The article and full list of municipalities can be found here.
Don Frantz Reception
Tuesday night I attended a reception for the re-election of Don Frantz to the Cary Town Council. Don has served for 16 years and is one of the driving forces for the revitalization of downtown. I believe his greatest attributes are the ability to address tough issues/questions and being brutally honest. He is a key member of the council, and we need him for the next four years which will be transformative.
Cary Chamber Annual Banquet
Thursday night I attended the annual Cary Chamber Banquet held at Prestonwood. The featured speaker was Paula Henderson who is the Executive Vice President and Chief Sales officer for SAS. Awards for business of the year went to Esteemed Coffee, citizen of the year went to Sheila Ogle, and ambassador of the year went to Laura Eischen. In a special presentation, past Cary Chamber President Howard Johnson was presented the Order of the Long Leaf Pine which is the highest honor from the Governor.
The council held its last meeting of September on Thursday night. The agenda included a special recognition, four consent items, two public hearings, and two discussion items.
During Public Speaks Out about half a dozen people spoke against a proposed development on Middleton Avenue that would require a road connection. One spoke in favor.
A public hearing to annex 1.5 acres and allow a single-family unit to connect to Cary utilities was passed unanimously. A public hearing for Act 31 of the Land Development Ordinance was forwarded to the planning and zoning board for their review and recommendation.
The discussion items which would receive county money to convert a USA baseball field to turf for use by the future Morrisville High School was tabled until the next meeting.
The council meeting concluded in less than an hour.
NC Metro Mayors
The NC Metro Mayors did not meet this week. However, we did receive a summary of legislative actions from KTS Strategies:
On Wednesday, The House and Senate Redistricting and Elections Committees held a joint meeting to hear from the public about the redistricting process, in which new political maps will be drawn for the 2024 elections. The General Assembly is required to draw new legislative and congressional maps every 10 years in North Carolina based on new data from the U.S. Census. The last maps were drawn for the 2022 election cycle by a bipartisan group of experts after a gerrymandering trial, where the state Supreme Court found the maps from 2021 to be unconstitutional. Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger was quoted last week saying he hopes to hold votes on redistricting the week of October 9th.
Elections Bill Vetoed
This week, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed S749, No Partisan Advantage in Elections. This bill would make changes to the structure of both state and county boards of elections. The bill would increase the number of members on the State Board of Elections from five to eight. The Senate President Pro Tempore, Speaker of the House, and both the House and Senate minority leaders would each have two appointments. It would also decrease the number of members on each of the 100 county boards of elections from five to four. All appointments would be made by the General Assembly instead of the Governor. To date, Governor Cooper has vetoed 17 bills this session.
Saturday I joined my family (daughter, son-in-law, grandson, and wife) at the 9/11 Heroes Run in Holly Springs. This race unites communities internationally with the goal to never forget the sacrifices of all our nation’s heroes, from the first responders who came to the aid of thousands of Americans in New York City, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania, to the service members who have served with pride since. Travis Manion Foundation helps organize 9/11 Heroes Run events all over the world. It was a privilege to run in this race with my family.
Candidate Spreads Misinformation
In a mailer sent out to voters this week a candidate for the Cary Council District D stated the following:
“… When a resident prompt 9-1-1 during a medical emergency, help doesn’t get to them in timely manner. In some cases, patients have to travel in their own car in middle of this medical emergency to be able to get to the hospital.
Also, I have emails from western Cary residents sharing their concerns, one of them mentioned above. I am committed to working hard to ensure that western Cary residents in Chatham County have the support that they need for better quality of life.
Public safety is paramount and if I am elected, the residents in West Cary will see an immediate impact when it comes to ambulance and EMS services in this district. There are solutions and I will work with our town manager, Chatham County EMS and with Cary Fire to find immediate solutions to address these concerns. That’s the type of leadership I will provide in West Cary. …”
I think it is important to understand that EMS service is run by Chatham and Wake Counties and not Cary. According to the Fire Chief there have not been any complaints about EMS responses in over a year. It should be pointed out that ALL firefighters are trained as EMS first responders. Fire stations have been positioned in Cary to have a response time of five minutes. We also share our space, so EMS teams are co-located in all nearby fire stations including Morrisville.
Unfortunately, this candidate is using a problem that originated in a 911 call center from years past and is presenting it as an existing problem giving the perception that Cary has an emergency response issue today. That is not true.
It is extremely important for any candidate to understand that they can do nothing on their own. So, when you see or hear a candidate telling you they will fix this or change that, then they mislead you. Everything is a partnership. Additionally, giving misleading information about current emergency staff and how they perform does not help build trust. Trust is needed in everything we do if we want to continue to be one of the greatest communities in the nation.
Early Voting for Cary Town Council has begun. Here is the remaining scheduled for early voting:
|Date||Day||Start Time||End Time|
|October 1, 2023||Sunday||1:00 p.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|October 2, 2023||Monday||11:00 a.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|October 3, 2023||Tuesday||11:00 a.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|October 4, 2023||Wednesday||11:00 a.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|October 5, 2023||Thursday||11:00 a.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|October 6, 2023||Friday||11:00 a.m.||6:00 p.m.|
|October 7, 2023||Saturday||8:00 a.m.||3:00 p.m.|
Cary Town Council makes decisions that impact on you directly. They are the closest form of government to the citizens. It is extremely important that you are informed and vote so that elected officials can help Cary remain as one of the best communities in the nation.
My Cary Municipal Election Endorsements
During this election cycle I have offered help to all candidates and have stated that I will endorse only incumbents. Unfortunately, some have used my help to mislead the public that I am endorsing them. Just to be clear the following are my endorsements and quotes about them:
Harold Weinbrecht (me) – I am fortunate to be unopposed during this cycle and would appreciate your ongoing support and your vote.
Lori Bush – “I have known my good friend Lori Bush for decades. She is a caring, compassionate, and committed person and has been invaluable on council. From her tireless work on Affordable Housing, to the greening of our Town, to improving our technological capabilities, she has proven time and time again that she is committed, dedicated, and compassionate in making Cary the best it can be. She has my endorsement and unwavering support for her re-election to the Cary Town Council.”
Don Frantz – “Big ideas often require bold leadership to make the idea a reality and our downtown park is no exception. Don Frantz has been first among equals as the park’s supercharged advocate. Don’s courage, conviction and optimism have been remarkable and his clear focus on the goal has been unwavering.”
Ryan Eades – “Ryan has the knowledge, experience, and leadership we desperately need from our District D representative especially during this critical time in Cary. I’ve witnessed firsthand his ability to bring people together to get things done and his passion for making our community better. I wholeheartedly endorse him and encourage others to elect to keep Ryan on the Cary Council.”
Please vote! Cary’s future depends on it.
Town Manager’s Report
I enjoyed seeing several of you on Wednesday at the Chamber Annual Banquet – one of my favorite events!
Something else I’m really looking forward to is attending the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Conference being held this year in Austin, Texas. It’s been several years since I have been able to go. As is our practice, we will be taking seasoned as well as up-and-coming talented staff to learn and enjoy this very special experience. We met on Thursday in our new conference room to talk about what each person was hoping to get out of the conference. We leave tomorrow and return on October 4. Please contact Deputy Town Manager Russ Overton if you need anything.
One Day Wonder
Mayor Harold Weinbrecht and Councilmembers Lori Bush and Ryan Eades, along with 200 members of the public, visited the One Day Wonder display at the Page-Walker on September 22. The event, held in honor of Constitution Week, featured the original North Carolina State Constitution of 1766 and the 1868 Bill of Rights, along with other supporting documents. Members of the DAR and Sons of the American Revolution were there as guides, dressed in Colonial-style costumes. The event was sponsored by the Samuel Johnston and Asbury Station chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution, with documents shared by the North Carolina Archives.
2023 Elected Women of Excellence Award Winner
Congratulations to our very own Councilmember Lori Bush for being recognized by the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) as an Elected Woman of Excellence Award Winner for 2023! We see firsthand the tireless passion she puts into everything she works on.
Click here for more information about this prestigious honor.
Certified Master Public Information Officer
Cary’s Assistant 311 Director Carolyn Roman has become one of only 157 FEMA certified Master Public Information Officers in the United States!
Please join us in congratulating Carolyn in achieving this amazing designation! Click here to learn more about the program.
Ederlee Drive at Penny Road Safety Improvements
In response to concerns routed to staff via 311 regarding pedestrian safety at the intersection of Ederlee Drive and Penny Road, staff initiated a redesign of the traffic signal. Pedestrians and drivers now have better visibility due to safety improvements.
BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival 2023
BEYOND: The Cary Film Festival returned Sept. 21-24, 2023, for its sixth year celebrating short films from independent filmmakers from around the world. This year, we welcomed 1200+ attendees to The Cary Theater over the 4-day event. This year’s competition lineup featured 22 short films from the U.S., France, and Israel. BEYOND 2023 also included three screenwriting workshops, three free industry talks featuring panelists film studios, and a special live performance paying tribute to jazz legend, Carol Sloane. The 4-day festival culminated in an awards brunch at The Mayton followed by a rescreening of this year’s award-winning films.
Take Action to Make an Inclusive Impact
In recognition of Inclusion Week, Human Resource’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion partnered with the Total Employee Health team to coordinate activities each day this week that helped staff raise awareness, share best practices, and build community around the topic of inclusion. Grounded in Cary’s organizational values, the week was intentionally developed for low impact to schedules, but high impact for the organization, and many departments took time to support inclusion through participating (Anyone Can Lead). The weeklong celebration offered an assortment of options (Working Smart ) – from a community building ‘Inclusion Ice Cream Social’ hosted at Public Works to targeted learning through SafeZone training – alongside more individually focused reflection including an on-site meditation class and a sensory friendly day for reflection on neurodiversity. Each day, staff were empowered with quick and easy to implement resources that can help all of us take action and make and impact, which was the week’s national theme.
Women’s All-American Championships
The Cary Tennis Park is hosting the Women’s All-American Championship for the second year in a row. This event features the best Women’s Division 1 Collegiate tennis players in the country. Play will start this Saturday, September 30, with the finals next Sunday, October 8. Admission is free throughout the event.
PRCR Advisory Board
Monday, October 2
Information Services Advisory Board
Monday, October 2
Zoning Board of Adjustment
Monday, October 2
Senior Advisory Board
Wednesday, October 4
Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting
Wednesday, October 4
- A request to host cub scouts (of course I will!).
- Complaints about a missing tree buffer at Fairview Park.
- A request to help the Salvation Army with a permitting matter.
- A request for a facility to have an indoor running track.
- Complaints about a proposed rezoning on Middleton Avenue.
- A request to approve the proposed rezoning on Middleton Avenue.
Next week’s activities include a trip to Austin, Texas as part of my consulting job. When I return I will have staff meetings, attend the ITA Women’s All-American Tennis Championships, and participate in Oktoberfest ceremonies.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, October 8th, 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.