Cary, NC — This was a holiday week for some, but not for me. But the holiday did make for a light week.
Monday, I met with the town manager and deputy town manager to discuss a variety of current issues including the golf course noise ordinance exception, the council/staff working retreat debriefing and the upcoming budget.
A College in Cary?
Later on Monday, I met with a representative of the Cary College Foundation who is trying to start a four year college in Cary. Some interesting points presented included:
- Cary is the only municipality of the largest seven without a college or university.
- There are twenty municipalities of less than 18,000 residents with colleges.
- Cary is in an ideal location and has opportunity for redevelopment.
- Projections from the Department of Education show a 15% increase in North Carolina high school graduates and a 13% increase in degree-granting institutions.
- The Cary College Foundation wants to create a four year, regionally accredited, non-profit, residential college for approximately 1500 students.
- The college will have a blend of liberal arts combined with experiential and immersive experiences.
- The college is looking for a deep network of partnerships that have co-ops, internships, research, service learning, and public sphere pedagogy.
- The goal is to have a liberal arts core combined with focused professional development that integrates the college with the Town, businesses and non-profits.
- Why Cary? The town has a history with education – first public high school in North Carolina.
- Cary also has a unique network of businesses, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and government offices to partner with a college committed to preparing its citizen-scholars.
- A college in Cary would create hundreds of new, long-term jobs; support existing businesses and the community; attract new businesses; and offer cultural and athletic events available to the public.
- The economic impact of a Cary College, roughly the anticipated size of Meredith College, would contribute $431.8 million to the local economy.
Our meeting concluded after about half an hour. We agreed to talk again in the future.
Tuesday, I gave about a thirty minute talk with questions and answers to a group of about two dozen business people in the Cary Leadership class.
My remarks included the council and its authority, my specific duties, the excellence of the Cary town staff, the great partnership with the Cary Chamber, jobs, the economy, town accolades and downtown. I answered questions which included the development process, the legislature, diversity and greenways.
On Saturday, I had the honor of opening the downtown farmers market.
A Good Speech
Here is an excerpt from my remarks:
Just a few days ago, we marked the start of Fit Cary Month. It’s an initiative we’ve celebrated annually since 2007, when Cary was first designated a North Carolina Fit Community. Throughout the month of April, we put our focus on the hundreds of free or low-cost fitness and wellness opportunities available to our citizens.
With 30 public parks and natural areas, a 70-plus mile greenway system, and 15 special use facilities, it’s easy to have an active lifestyle in Cary. But an active lifestyle must have the support of a wholesome, healthy diet. In Cary, we can afford citizens the opportunity to go farm to fork thanks to the Downtown Cary Farmers Market.
As simple as that sounds, I know it takes very special green thumbs to grow the kinds of produce everyone sells here. It’s more than a talent; it’s a blessing. And each of you here is a blessing to Cary. And for us health nuts, we’re pretty lucky to have Cary to call home. But I know it takes more than luck to yield a successful harvest.
With that said, I want to end with an Irish blessing for our dozens of vendors:
May the rains sweep gentle across your fields,
May the sun warm the land,
May every good seed you have planted bear fruit,
And late summer find you standing in fields of plenty.
Thank you all for supporting healthy eating. With your help, we’ll keep Cary a place to Get Fit, Be Fit and Stay Fit. Without further delay, I hereby declare the Cary Farmers’ Market open for the season and wish you all a bountiful 2015!
Emails from Staff
Emails this week included a building update from the Homebuilders Association.
The report included:
- Wake County single family permits were down 7% during the past 12 months.
- Cary single family permits were down 13% during the past 12 months.
- Cary and Morrisville had the largest declines for the month.
The information provided included all Wake County municipalities, Wake County and Angier.
Emails from Citizens
Emails from citizens this week included:
- A complaint about people running businesses out of their homes,
- A complaint about the Mayton Inn’s height
- A request to fund the redesign of the Carpenter Upchurch and Morrisville Parkway intersection
- A request to oppose fracking (we do and have been)
- A request to change DOT’s schedule to repave Carpenter Upchurch Road
- A concern about the proposed Lake Drive Extension
- A concern about the traffic flow at the Cary dump
- A request for more tiny homes in Cary
Get in Touch
Next week will be my annual trip to Augusta, Georgia to work at the Masters Golf Tournament. This will be my 37th year. If you plan to be there and are on hole 17, drop by and say hello.
As a result of my trip, I only have my one-on-one meeting with the town manager scheduled for Monday on my calendar.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, April 12th. 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.
From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht. Photo by Jessica Patrick.