Cary, NC — This week mostly consisted of appearances and a quasi-judicial hearing.
Monday, I met with the Interim Town Manager to go over several items at our one-on-one weekly meeting.
More Frequent Property Evaluations
In addition to talking about issues coming before council, we talked about an idea being floated by some people to do property reevaluation every four years instead of every eight years.
The downside of that is the cost, which I understand would be over one million for Cary.
Closed Council Session
Later Monday, the council met in closed session to receive information about the town manager search. I’m very pleased with the progress we’re making and the great pool of applicants we have. While I won’t get into specific numbers at this point, I will say that I, for one, am very optimistic about the group of qualified professionals who are interested in Cary.
Town Manager Search
Over the next month or so, we’ll be bringing several of our top picks into the town to meet with us. I’m very proud of how the council is once again working together in the best interest of the organization and our community. We don’t have a specific date we’re shooting for to hire the new manager, but of course we want it to happen as quickly as possible, being sure that every council member has the time he or she needs to participate in the process. We appreciate the great work our staff continues to do keeping the Town going strongly while we conduct the search.
Tuesday, I met with a 4th grade class at Kingswood Elementary in downtown Cary as part of Read Across America.
Elementary School Visit
The book I chose to read was the Lorax, which has been made into a movie.
Very few of the students had read the book, but many had seen the movie. The students were very quiet and attentive as I read. The story seemed to have an impact on some. One girl said she wanted to be President so that she could save trees.
After reading the book, I spent a few minutes answering questions about what I do as a mayor. The questions from kids this age are always very amusing.
For example, they wanted to know if I lived in a mansion, if I had a limousine or if I knew the president. And, in case you are wondering, no is the answer to all of those. I enjoyed my time at Kingswood and hope they invite me back in the future.
Wednesday, I joined several council members in “Read Across America” day at Davis Drive Elementary.
Read Across America
I read “Two Bad Ants” by Chris Van Allsburg. Most of the students had read this book before but said they didn’t mind if I read it again. After reading the story, the students asked prepared questions related to reading.
I explained that reading and comprehension skills were essential in my job as Mayor and my job as SAS and that those skills were crucial in being successful. My visit lasted about 45 minutes.
School of Government
Wednesday evening, I joined all council members in welcoming this year’s School of Government class.
This class has nine sessions and is organized around Town Council focus areas that include community planning, infrastructure, budget and finance and municipal services. Students get a behind-the-scenes look at Town government structure, culture and decision-making. Participants are chosen from all submitted applications to represent a cross-section of Cary by age, gender, length of residency and area of town. Through discussion and hands-on activities, students obtain greater awareness of the breadth and depth of Town planning and operations.
I, along with all of my council colleagues, made comments to the group and about the importance of citizen involvement. I look forward to attending their graduation in a few weeks.
Thursday morning, I met with several high school students as part of the Cary Chamber Youth Leadership program.
Cary Chamber Youth Leadership
I talked about my role has a mayor and then answered a variety of questions related to leadership and decision making. The group then spent the rest of the morning visiting various departments at Town Hall.
Cary Companies Ranked Best Places to Work
Thursday started with an announcement from Fortune that two Cary companies were listed in the top eight as best places to work. The two companies were Kimley-Horn and SAS. Kimley-Horn was ranked number seven, moving into the Top 10 this year after being ranked 25th last year. SAS, which has been on the list for the last 19 years, moved four spots down to number eight. This is the company’s 13th Top 10 ranking on the list. I am very proud of these two companies, and we want the world to know that Cary is full of talented, committed people doing fantastic things in great businesses – both large and small – throughout our community. Congratulations to SAS and Kimley-Horn!
Thursday night, the council held a quasi-judicial hearing on two items.
Fryar’s Gate Phase
The first hearing was on Fryar’s Gate Phase Five modifications. The first modification request was to provide a payment-in-lieu for 112 feet of a future section Stockwell Lane. This was approved by council, since DOT won’t allow a stream to be crossed unless the road connects to another road. The second modification request was to provide a partial payment-in-lieu for a future section of Highcroft Drive to cross a stream. Once again, DOT won’t allow them to build since it also won’t connect to a road. The partial payment request was denied by council and the applicant agreed to make the full payment.
Manors at High House
The second hearing was for the Manors at High House, which is bordered by High House Road, Bridal Creek and Bradford Drive. This proposal was to eliminate a vehicular and pedestrian connection to Preston. Council agreed to remove the vehicular connection but denied the request for removal of the pedestrian connection.
The majority of council believed that neighborhood residents would cut through that part of the neighborhood to go to Preston and others would cut through the neighborhood to go to the Bradford, so it made sense to go ahead and create the partial pedestrian access even though Preston asked that the connection not be made.
After the quasi-judicial hearings, the council went into closed session to hear about two legal matters and then to discuss the town manager candidates. The town manager search is ongoing, and I remain excited about the applicant pool.
Emails from Citizens
Emails from citizens this week included:
- A question about a café closing.
- A question about scheduling at the WakeMed Soccer Park.
- Several invitations to participate in events.
Next week’s activities include a regularly scheduled council meeting, a work session on the Cary Matters TV program and the Imagine Cary Plan, an Economic Development meeting and other meetings.
Get in Touch
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, March 13th. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.