Cary, NC – This is an installment in our Candidate 2019 series, in which candidates get to respond in their own words to the same three questions.
We publish the responses in the order we receive them. This questionnaire is submitted by Harold Weinbrech, running for Mayor of Cary.
Why are you running?
It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Cary’s mayor for the last twelve years. During this time, we have focused the town’s resources, staff, and entire council to fulfill the citizens’ vision and priorities. This year we were recognized as the best place to live in North Carolina and the 5th best place to live in the nation. We are consistently recognized as one of the safest communities in the nation. Our economy is robust as we continue to bring jobs and headquarters to Cary, with 13,000 jobs added during my time as mayor with Xerox announcing 600 new jobs within the last month. We have the highest quality of life with the lowest tax rate in Wake County. But the best part of Cary is our citizens and we celebrate our diversity with many cultural events.
The next four years will be a crucial time in Cary. We will be challenged with infill and redevelopment projects. We will need to continue to incorporate more technology, continue to improve transportation and transit, provide the highest quality of service, foster strong neighborhoods, protect our environment, and provide extensive, and high-quality parks and cultural resources. We must make sure to keep partisanship out of local government. It will take a strong, caring, and dedicated mayor to make these things a reality. I have proven to be that leader during the last twelve years. With your support I will continue to lead Cary to do amazing things in the future. I humbly ask for your support on October 8th.
What are your top three priorities and how will you accomplish them?
It is extremely difficult to narrow down all we plan to accomplish in three priorities.
- The biggest priority will be to implement the Cary Community Plan created by our citizens. It has chapters that we consider in all decisions we make including live, work, shop, engage, move, serve, and act. It also has chapters on specific areas such as downtown, eastern gateway, Carpenter, and Green Level. We must follow this plan unless there is a clear, compelling reason to deviate.
- Implementing transformative projects in the next four years is key. Some of those include the downtown park, redevelopment of downtown, redevelopment of Cary Town Center, development of the Fenton, creation of new parks especially in west Cary, and significant transportation and transit improvements. These projects will require passing of the bonds this fall if we are to do them in the next four years. Maintaining and improving our citizen’s quality of life during implementation of these projects is a must.
- Remaining a non-partisan board is essential if we are to continue to be successful. There is no place for partisan politics on the local level. I promise to do all I can to continue to keep our board professional, respectful, non-partisan, and totally committed to Cary citizens.
Give us a brief bio and tell us about your relevant experience
At first glance, Harold Weinbrecht seems like just another person from Cary. He’s a husband and a father, and he holds down a full-time job (in software, of course). He teaches Sunday school and loves to play tennis and run.
What makes Harold Weinbrecht just a little bit different from the rest of the men in Cary is that he’s also the Town’s Mayor. But in Harold’s family, even being Mayor isn’t so unique; Mayor Weinbrecht’s uncle was former Mayor Fred Bond. Clearly, service runs in Harold’s family.
A native of Augusta, Georgia, Harold has spent most of his life in Cary, coming here first as a child with his family then later as an adult while attending N.C. State University. Since their marriage in 1987, Harold and his wife, Belinda, have lived and raised their two daughters in Cary. And over these many years, Harold and his family have stayed in Cary because of its charm and sense of place, its natural beauty and its people.
Wanting to keep Cary the wonderful place he’s called home for so long, Harold became active in politics in 1997 when he helped start a website called Citizens for Balanced Growth where he wrote about Town government meetings and issues. It was during this endeavor that he discovered that there were many people interested in the same things as he: a slower growth rate; a stronger focus on roads, parks and schools; and an increase in communication between citizens and their government.
In 1998, Harold was chosen as the first chairman of the Town Council’s newly formed Information Services Advisory Board, and in 1999, he was named to the Town’s Planning and Zoning Board.
Harold ran and was elected to the Cary Town Council for the first time in 1999 as an At-Large representative.
Then, and now as Mayor, Harold believes that the role of local government is to maintain a high quality of life for its citizens by providing crucial infrastructure and valuable amenities. And then as now, faith, family and hard work are the things that keep Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht grounded and in touch with the real issues Cary citizens face each day. Mayor Weinbrecht remains committed to managing growth, and he also believes in an open government where citizens have a strong and relevant voice.
Number of terms served on Town Council (including current): 1999-2003 (first term); 2007-2011 (second term); 2011-2015 (third term); 2015-2019 (fourth term)
Other political offices and/or appointments held, now or in the past: Cary’s Information Services Advisory Board (chair), Cary’s Planning and Zoning Board, Wake County’s Growth Management Task Force, Past President of Wake County Mayors Association, Current Chairman of the CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Executive Board)
Read more in the Candidate 2019 series.