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Harold’s Blog: October 27, 2013

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Cary, NC — The week’s activities were comprised of a few long nights including a Mayors Association meeting, a neighborhood meeting, and a council meeting.

Council Prep

Monday I called council members for their comments and concerns on the agenda for the upcoming council meeting on Thursday. Unfortunately, I was only able to get in touch with two who had no major concerns.

Later in the day I met with management, directors, legal, and administration to go over the items on the agenda.

Two upcoming Public Hearings on Carpenter Upchurch Road and Kildaire Farm Road were creating a lot of feedback from citizens. In addition, a proposed rezoning at Cary Park was not properly posted so staff recommended council hold that public hearing at a later date.

After discussing the agenda staff also discussed the upcoming November meeting. Due to the number of items staff is considering holding a second meeting in December. That meeting would only have quasi-judicial hearings.

Mayors Association

Monday night I attended the Mayors Association meeting at Wake Med in Raleigh. Nine of twelve mayors were in attendance. Not attending were the mayors of Raleigh, Knightdale, and Fuquay Varina.

Our featured speaker was from the John Rex Endowment. He stated that their endowment supports an environment where children and families in greater Wake County live healthy lives. Therefore, they will be awarding Wake County Healthy Community Grants that will support local municipalities to become healthier cities and towns through collaborative action.

These grants will focus on improving policies in and implementing changes to environments that increase children’s access to healthy food and safe opportunities for active living. Five of Wake County municipalities will receive multi-year funding which should total $70,000 per year. A formal announcement will be made in January along with an RFP.

Our meeting concluded after about two hours.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday I met with the town manager, assistant town manager, and his advisory staff for about half an hour. We discussed operational issues and economic development issues. Neither of which I can go into detail at this time.

Later Tuesday night I joined Mayor Pro-Tem Adcock and council member Yerha in a neighborhood meeting about the proposed rezoning of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church. We talked about a lot of issues including flooding, traffic, enforcement, and trust. It is my hope that everyone had their questions answered. The meeting lasted about two hours.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday I taped the November episode of Cary Matters with Mayor Pro-Tem Adcock. The main topic was the goals and priorities of the three newly re-elected council members. We also talked about the town’s new social media search tool and an upcoming document shredding event.

Wednesday evening I talked with a citizen about several school issues related to schools. Those issues included making the H7 (Roberts Road) High School a high priority, allowing more electives outside magnet schools, making CTran available for PTA meetings, and creating a town safety and health advisory board.

Farmington Woods Elementary

Thursday afternoon I met with representatives from Farmington Woods Elementary. I taped a welcome message to celebrate Farmington Wood’s 10th anniversary of being an IB (International Baccalaureate) magnet school. IB-trained teachers work together to create units of inquiry that inspire students to think about big ideas to promote international understanding and a global perspective. As part of this program students begin a study of Spanish in kindergarten and use advanced technology to explore the world around them. Congratulations and Happy Birthday Farmington Woods!

Town Council Meeting

Later Thursday the council held its second regularly scheduled council meeting of October. In the recognition portion of the meeting I had the joy of reading a proclamation celebrating the 55th Cary Band Day. I will be attending the event on Saturday, November 2nd. More than 30 marching bands from North Carolina and Virginia will be competing in a field competition.

Apartments at Morrisville Parkway

The council meeting also included three public hearings, two of which drew several speakers. The public hearing on a proposal by a property owner to put 285 apartments at Morrisville Parkway and Louis Stephens Road drew unanimous criticism from nearby residents. Those issues included density, traffic, safety, and loss of quality of life. Unfortunately, the public hearing was scheduled at the same time of a homeowner association meeting. So the council decided to continue the public hearing until the next council meeting on November 21 to allow those citizens attending the homeowners meeting the opportunity to voice their opinion.

Champion Trees

The second public hearing that drew several speakers was Land Development Ordinance Amendment on Champion trees. Developers and attorneys representing developer interest complained that this change and the existing ordinance would make it almost impossible to develop land. This proposal was partly to clarify language in June champion tree amendment and to make it more flexible. The council decided to let the proposal continue on to the Planning and Zoning board for their recommendation. In addition, the council directed staff to create a stakeholders meeting of developer interests and environmental interests to work out issues related to the ordinance amendment on champion trees.

Bricks & Masonry

The last action taken by council was to direct staff to investigate potential changes to allow painting brick and masonry in certain situations. The council meeting concluded at 9:30 PM.

Saturday – Eagle Scouts

Saturday I had the honor to be a part of the Eagle Scout ceremony for Patrick Lathan, Ryan Fleming, and Jacob Coleman. Their Eagle Scout projects included a set of concrete stairs, benches at a middle school, and planters with retaining walls. We are blessed to have great youth in our community and I hope they continue to serve others in the years ahead.

Emails from Staff

In emails from staff this week council members received the third quarter report. Some of the highlights include:

  • As of October 1st our population was over 146,000 which is a 0.7% increase over the last 12 months
  • Crime saw a decrease of 8% during the last 12 months due mostly to a significant decrease in aggravated assaults
  • Through the first 2 months of the third quarter Cary led all municipalities in single family permits
  • Five intersections were chosen for improvements to help relieve congestion using funding from the bond referendum. They include:
    • Kildaire Farm Road and Cary Parkway
    • Cary Parkway and Evans Road
    • NW Maynard and Chapel Hill Road
    • NW Maynard and High House Road
    • Cary Parkway near US1/64 ramps
  • Ridership on CTran increased 25% in the last 12 months
  • Water demand through the summer was lower than 2012
  • Cary’s teen council is now close to 800 youth

Emails from Citizens

Emails from citizens included complaints about our tree ordinance being too strict, a complaint about cutting down trees at the construction site of the veterans park, complaints about a proposal for 285 apartments, a complaint about the apartments at Tryon and Cary Parkway, and a question about the future Downtown Park and the Academy Street streetscape.

Get in Touch

This week’s activities include the groundbreaking of the MetLife buildings, Cary Band Day, a talk with the Kildaire Farms Homeowners Association, and a meeting with School Board member Fletcher.

Well that is all for last week. My next post will be on Sunday November 3rd. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communications with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to Harold.Weinbrecht@townofcary.org and email personal comments to augustanat@mindspring.com.

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From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

News on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Craig Conley of MetLife in Cary.

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