Harold

Harold’s Blog: Tennis, Road Closure & Cary Candidates

Harold

Cary, NC — A lot of my time this week was involved with the Cary Tennis Championships.

Monday & Tuesday

Monday and Tuesday, I participated in the Cary Tennis Championships Pro-Am. Monday’s pros included Ryan Harrison, who was a former top 50 player in the world. On Tuesday, I played with a collegiate player from North Carolina and with one from Duke.

Later, I watched a great three-set match. Cary is very fortunate to host such a great event, and this tournament fits with our strategy to bring in high-profile events at our three main venues.

Wednesday – CAMPO Meeting

Wednesday, I attended the monthly meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Advisory Board’s executive committee (try saying that three times fast). In the meeting, we approved a draft of the Transportation Improvement Plan through 2040.

Morrisville Parkway Will Close in 2016

We also prioritized projects for bicycle, pedestrian, transit, and roads. Updates from NCDOT warned us that Morrisville Parkway will be closed for six months starting in February. This will be a huge inconvenience for Cary and Morrisville residents.

Thursday – Candidate Forum

Thursday morning, I attended the Cary Chamber’s candidate forum. It was nice being unopposed and being able to watch and listen to the candidates.

Here are my observations about the District B candidates:

  • In District B, Don was the clear winner (disclosure – I endorse and support Don, so I am biased).
  • Mr. Lazzaro and Mr. Talton made several statements that were not factual, such as “Cary had a 3 ½ cent tax increase.” This makes me think they really don’t understand the town’s issues or that they really haven’t been paying much attention.
  • Mr. Talton seemed to have a personal issue with the Mayton Inn, which opens in January. I believed that ship has sailed, and it is time to move on.
  • Mr. Lazzaro made interesting comments about reducing taxes that gave the impression that he is a tea party supporter. If that is what you like, then he is your man. All of the other candidates in both district races focused on quality of life issues. Mr. Lazzaro gave the impression that the tax rate is his quality of life.

Here are my observations about the District D candidates:

There was no clear winner in this forum.

  • I really didn’t learn much from Mr. Rinehart except for his history in Cary. In this forum he seemed to be the least impressive.
  • Ms. Cervania seemed to be an extremely intelligent person. I was impressed with her knowledge but she had difficulty articulating and didn’t have a command presence.
  • Mr. George was probably the most polished in stating his thoughts. He basically backs what the current council is doing. It should be pointed out that he has a professional running his campaign and is endorsed by the Republican Party.
  • Ms. Caggia did a great job answering questions. It was obvious her knowledge depth was greater than the rest. You would expect this from someone who currently serves on the Planning and Zoning Board.
  • At this point in the campaign season for District D, I think that Cervania, George, or Caggia would serve the town well as a council member.

Next Date for Debates

The chamber’s format was opening remarks, three questions and closing remarks. On September 28, 2015, the candidates will face off in the Cary Theater at the Heart of Cary debates. See you there!

Thursday – Big News

Thursday, the Cary Chamber of Commerce and Wake County Economic Development announced that Align Technology has established its first East Coast operation in Cary. They plan to invest $4 million and create over 100 jobs in Wake County over the next five years.

New Business Coming to Cary

The Cary facility is one of only two locations in the country, which is headquartered in San Jose. Align Technology is a global medical device company that designs, manufactures and markets the Invisalign system, the world’s leading invisible orthodontic product, as well as 3D digital scanning products and services for orthodontic and restorative dentistry.

The company has numerous open positions in its North Carolina office. Most of the currently open positions are in Research & Development and are focused on software product development. This is another great win for Cary, which has brought over 10,000 jobs to town since 2008. Cary now has more people coming into town for work than leaving.

Friday – Meeting

Friday, I participated in a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors Association.

Light Rail & Legislative Budget

Most of the meeting was spent reviewing the legislative budget that was passed and signed by the Governor. It was pointed out that our efforts helped protect our revenue from sales tax.

The decision that effectively killed “light rail” was discussed.

The concern was that light rail was not clearly defined and could be expanded to kill other transit programs in urban areas. Although the budget was passed, there remains about a week of bills in the legislature. The mayors are stilled concerned about what they legislature might do during this week that would harm metro areas.

Dragon Boat Festival

Saturday, I gave welcoming remarks at the 2015 Dragon Boat Festival held at Koka Booth Amphitheater. More than a dozen dragon boats raced to the beat of drums on Regency Lake.

Over 1,000 people enjoyed cultural performances and delicious ethnic foods. Although I was only there for a short while, the event lasted all day. It was another event that emphasized our diverse citizenry and our town’s embrace of different cultures.

Cary Tennis Championships

Sunday I attended the finals of the Cary’s first Cary Tennis Championships. I was able to witness the finals of both doubles and singles. What amazing talent! I was blessed to be a part of the awards ceremony. This was a great tournament for the Town of Cary.

Things went very smoothly, despite only having two months to prepare. Thanks to all the sponsors, staff and volunteers for making this happen.

I am sure next year’s tournament will be even greater.

Thank You to Parks & Rec Volunteers

Due to the late finish of the tournament, I was not able to attend the picnic for the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources volunteers as I had planned. I do want to thank the many volunteers that make that award winning department one of the best in the state.

We are truly blessed to have so many citizens willing to step up.

Email from Cary News

In emails this week, I received a questionnaire from Cary News. Unfortunately, the questions were delivered with less than three days to respond. Most entities give a least a week or two with questionnaires. Short time lines make it extremely difficult when the questions are leading and my time is limited with a full-time job in addition to being mayor.

Some of the leading questions implied that we weren’t thinking about downtown parking, we weren’t considering schools and that we were encouraging growth. The biggest issue with their questionnaire is that they reserve the right to edit my answers. How unethical is that?

Unfortunately, fair and balanced reporting from our local newspaper disappeared a LONG time ago. If you would prefer to read an unedited version about what the candidates really have to say, I would encourage all to read CaryCitizen’s campaign coverage.

It is much more in-depth and unedited.

Emails from Citizens

Emails from citizens this week included a complaint about code violations, a concern about trees, a complaint about a 911 response, a complaint about sewer line construction, a complaint about speeding and a complaint about traffic in west Cary.

Get in Touch

Next week will be a busy week and includes what looks like one of the longest council meetings since I have been mayor. Activities for next week also include the Cary Chamber banquet, a meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association, and participation in a charity event.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, September 27th. 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 Jessica Patrick.

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