Mayor Harold Weinbrecht Blog Post: September 3rd, 2023

San Diego, Tampa Recovery, Business NC Magazine Interview, Cary Environmental Symposium, and NC Youth for Classical Arts

Mayor Harold Weinbrecht publishes his weekly blog post on his personal blog (, 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.

Read the original post here.

San Diego

I spent most of this week in San Diego at a public works conference as part of my consulting job with a local engineering firm. There were two outings outside of work that I enjoyed.

The first was a dinner party with a couple thousand people on the deck of the USS Midway. That event included parachuters landing at the party and live entertainment on stage.

The second was a private tour of the PetCo Park which is the home of the San Diego Padres.

At the conference I saw all the latest and greatest public works machinery and software. It was very reaffirming that Cary is one of the national leaders in public works equipment and operations.

It was a great trip but absolutely exhausting. Needless to say I was glad to get home.

Mayor of Tampa

Earlier in the year I had met the Mayor of Tampa, Florida. So I felt it was important to reach out to her as they delt with the impacts of Hurricane Idalia:

“Mayor Castor,

I visited your beautiful city in May, and you were gracious enough to talk with us. I am thinking of you and your citizens as you navigate through the clean-up and recovery following the hurricane. While houses, streets, and other infrastructure takes time to be replaced, I know the Tampa community is strong and there to help each other.”

Mayor Castor’s response:

“Thank you Mayor. We fared well through the storm, some flood damage but no wind damage. Sad to see the damage in other areas. Appreciate you checking in on us!”

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who knew the precious souls that lost their lives in this hurricane. I feel for those who lost property and know what it is like to lose everything to a disaster. It is a life-changing event.

Business North Carolina Magazine Interview

Friday morning I had a brief interview with a writer from Business North Carolina Magazine. Most of the interview was focused on Fenton and the Cary Town Mall site. We also talked about the history of Cary and how it has evolved over the years. The interview lasted about 15 minutes.

NC Metro Mayors

There was no meeting of the NC Metro Mayors Friday but there was a summary of legislative actions created by KTS Strategies:

Legislative Schedule

No votes or committee meetings were held this week as budget negotiations continued. Legislative leaders have said they expect to have a budget vote on the week of September 11th.  

Medicaid Expansion Update

NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley was quoted in a press conference on Monday saying Medicaid expansion will not launch by the expected start date of October 1st due to the delay in finalizing a state budget. H76, now Session Law 2023-7, was passed by the legislature in March and would make North Carolina the 40th state to expand Medicaid. Enactment of the program was tied to successful passage of the state budget and DHHS does not have the authority to move forward without final approval from the General Assembly. “It has become clear to us that we will not be able to have a budget passed in time and enacted, so we will not be able to go live with expansion at this time. Depending on how far it slips for them to give us the final authority to move forward, it could be December at the earliest, or it could be in early 2024,” Kinsley said when asked about the new launch date. If enacted, this legislation will increase the eligible population for Medicaid coverage to adults aged 18-64 who have incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. DHHS estimates this would extend health insurance coverage to more than 600,000 North Carolinians. 

Vetoed Bills

Last week, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed two pieces of legislation. To date, Cooper has vetoed sixteen bills this session. Below are the vetoed bills:

  • S512, Greater Accountability for Boards/Commissions- This bill would change the composition and appointments structure of several state governing boards and commissions, resulting in less positions that will be appointed by the Governor. The bill would transfer some of the Governor’s appointments to elected state officials such as the Agriculture Commissioner, while others would be made by the General Assembly.
  • S747, Elections Law Changes- The bill would require absentee ballots to be received by 7:30 PM on Election Day, prohibit private money from elections administration, and give more freedom to poll observers for watching the voting process. The bill also creates a ten-county pilot program that would implement a signature verification requirement for mail-in absentee ballots.

Cary Environmental Symposium

Friday night I joined council members Bush, Eades, and Johnson at the Cary Arts Center for the first Cary Environmental Symposium. I provided welcoming remarks before the featured speakers. The following is an excerpt from my remarks:

“Good evening! I am honored to welcome you to the 1st Tree Speaker Symposium, an event that celebrates not only the beauty of our trees but the critical role they play in sustaining life on our planet. Trees are not just silent witnesses to our history; they are active partners in shaping our future.

Cary takes great pride in its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Trees are not just part of our landscape but are an integral part of our being. They provide us with clean air to breathe, shade on hot summer days, and a sense of tranquility.

We understand the significance of trees and have taken steps to ensure their protection and growth. In Cary we currently have a canopy of just over 50% and we want to increase that with programs like our tree canopy preservation program that encourages responsible development and respects the natural environment. We also engage in tree planting initiatives – Our Tree, My Tree, involving our community members in efforts to expand our urban forests.

This past year, many of you were involved in our Count Me In, Cary initiative – our campaign that explores the impacts of climate change, identifies challenges and opportunities, and implements solutions that work for us. I encourage each of you to stay involved throughout the program. Over the coming months, we will assess potential impacts our community has on climate change and the environment, and then create a strategy for action.

In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers, speakers, and attendees for coming together to celebrate the beauty and importance of trees. I hope you leave this symposium with a renewed sense of purpose, determined to be the stewards that our planet so desperately needs. …”

The event lasted a couple of hours.

North Carolina Youth Classical Arts for Charity

Saturday evening, I attended a charity event at West Cary Middle School held by the North Carolina Youth Classical Arts. They performed classical music from Southern India to raise money those in need. One group in need was a blind school for women in India. It is the only blind school in India and does not receive government funds. Those performing at this event were students from NC State, UNC, and Panther Creek High School. I am grateful that they were not only sharing their talents to enrich our lives but were raising money for a good cause.

Misleading Information from Candidate

Unfortunately a candidate for the Cary Council used the shooting tragedy in Chapel Hill this week as a platform to make promises to improve school security, talk with the police chief, and get more school resource officers. There are several concerns about these types of promises:

  • It implies that our schools are not safe.
  • It implies that our police chief and department need direction and are not doing their job adequately.
  • It does not mention that Cary already funds school resource officers in all high schools and has officers in middle schools and elementary schools.
  • It does not consider that the school board, not Cary, makes decisions on school resource officers.
  • It does not mention how additional school resource officers would be funded.
  • It does not mention that safety is a partnership with the police department and not strictly an issue for the police.

My recommendation is for this candidate to sit down with the police chief now instead of waiting until the election. Our officers will gladly talk about safety measures being taken to keep our town and children safe. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, don’t mislead the public and make them feel unsafe. While we are consistently ranked as one of the safest communities in the nation, that safety recognition means nothing if our citizens don’t feel safe.

It is also important to know that our police department will talk with anyone at any time about safety and how you can make yourself safer. We have one of the greatest police departments in the nation and I would put them up against any department anywhere. So if you have concerns just call them.

Town Manager’s Report

Sean’s Message

This week I had the opportunity to present at a Cary Rotary Club meeting at MacGregor Downs Country Club. During the meeting, I shared our collective vision for Cary and outlined key projects expected to be completed by the end of this year, along with the inspiring concepts that will shape our future. It was a pleasure to engage with the members, address their questions, and discuss Cary’s bright future.
Have a great Labor Day weekend. 

Thinking of Tampa

As Hurricane Idalia threatened Florida’s west coast earlier this week, Mayor Weinbrecht connected with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor to share Cary’s hopes and well-wishes. The two Mayors got to know each other in May during the Cary Chamber’s Intercity Visit. Mayor Castor said that Tampa faired relatively well and that her thoughts are with coastal neighbors who were suffering, and she thanked Mayor Weinbrecht for reaching out. 

Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival 2023

What an incredible weekend at Lazy Daze! The record heat couldn’t hold us back, and the forecasted rain stayed away, giving us the perfect setting for an unforgettable experience. With a massive turnout of over 50,000 attendees, the energy was electric from start to finish. The music was on point, the art was inspiring, and the sense of community was heartwarming. From the new Pixel Wall to the Paint by Number, the food trucks to the cultural celebrations, to the hundreds of artists showcasing their work, Lazy Daze 2023 was a great success. Shoutout to everyone who volunteered, visited, purchased art, ate delicious food, sang & danced, and celebrated with us.

Cary Microtransit Feasibility Study RFP

Staff released a Microtransit Feasibility Study RFP this week to select a consultant to analyze the current GoCary service area and offer flexible solutions to provide transit service to parts of Cary that aren’t quite ready for a fixed route. The study will include a robust public engagement component, so stay tuned to for details. Contact Kevin Wyrauch, Senior Transit Planner, with any questions.

Delivering Customer Service

At the Council meeting on April 13, during the Viridis rezoning public hearing, Ms. Kelli Jackson, who lives on K.C. Farm Road just outside of Cary Town Limits, shared concerns about her mail delivery on Green Level West Road. Specifically, she asked if the Town could help her, and her neighbors get the United States Postal Service (USPS) to move their mailboxes. Even though Ms. Jackson and her two neighbors live on the south side of the road, their mailboxes are located on the north side, necessitating that they cross Green Level West Road every day to get their mail. Through the expertise of Assistant Development Services Director Rob Wilson, Jess Stanford who works in Planning and leads Cary’s addressing efforts, and the USPS, the mailboxes were moved to the south side of the street on August 27. 

Lake Grove Boulevard Pedestrian Safety Improvements

Transportation staff had been in contact with community members who raised concerns about the lack of warning devices when crossing Lake Grove Blvd. Staff from transportation, stormwater and community projects worked together to identify improvements that enhance pedestrian visibility at the intersections, provide better access for stormwater maintenance, and prepare for a future greenway connection. Staff met with community representatives and garnered support for the project, after which project funding came from the Spot Traffic Safety Improvement Program.

Lake Pine Drive Improvement Project Complete

The Towns of Cary and Apex have been working collaboratively through a Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (CAMPO) Locally Administered Project Program (LAPP) grant to improve Lake Pine Drive from east of Pine Plaza Drive/MacGregor Plaza Drive to the Apex/Cary town limits (northeast of Versailles Drive). This jointly funded project added turn lanes, bike lanes, additional sidewalks, a street-side trail, and a pedestrian refuge island to increase safety and mobility in this corridor. Final pavement markings were added to the newly constructed road to complete the project.

Dig In and Grow Green This Fall with Environmental Outreach

Cary residents are encouraged to Dig In and Grow Green this fall with an extensive lineup of environmental activities now through December. In keeping with our commitment to build collaborative and attainable stewardship strategies for a sustainable future, this campaign has opportunities for residents of all ages and stages. The possibilities abound whether they are interested in natural resources, energy, water quality, waste diversion, or simply enjoying an outdoor activity in our beautiful community! The events, hosted in partnership with regional groups, include diverse hands-on experiences like joining an educational tree walk, learning about native plants, celebrating the harvest with local farmers, art-based children’s programs, exploring residential solar, talking with wetland experts, picking up free compost, and more. Staff are encouraged to help promote the campaign by pointing curious community members to the one-stop-shop web calendar at

Upcoming Meetings

Human Rel. Inclusion, & Diversity
Tuesday, September 5
 6:00 p.m.

Senior Advisory Board
Wednesday. September 6
2:00 p.m.

Economic Development Committee
Wednesday, September 6
5:15 p.m.

Virtual Neighborhood Meeting
Wednesday, September 6
6:30 p.m.

Mayor’s Mailbox

  • A complaint about picking up yard waste.
  • A request for a legacy park bench.
  • Compliments to all the town staff and volunteers for a successful Lazy Daze.
  • A request to introduce someone to the town manager.
  • A complaint about a proposed rezoning at Waverly Place (council has yet to see anything).
  • A complaint about multiple yard diggings by communication companies.
  • Complaints about insurance for volunteer groups. (The town is paying the insurance)
  • A complaint about granting the gas utility franchise without talking about carbon emissions. (State grants most authority for these utilities)

Next Week

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a meeting of the HIRD (Human Relations, Inclusion, and Diversity) task force, an HBA presentation with the town manager, welcoming remarks at the NCASCC (NC Association of Senior Citizen Clubs) Conference, an Economic Development meeting, and a NC Metro Mayors meeting.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, September 10th, 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 and email personal comments to

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