Harold’s Blog: Filming the State of Cary Address, Early Voting and More
Cary, NC — This week was mostly taped events but also included a speaking event and a joint meeting.
Monday – State of Cary Address Available Online
I taped part 1 of the State of Cary address. This version will be much shorter than the actual State of Cary.
The taping was all done inside town hall. It had 3 parts that required memorization and several VO’s (voice overs). Each of the memorized parts had me moving and speaking. We did several takes of each of these because of lighting, focusing, background, and me messing up my lines. The outside portion of this address was scheduled for Sunday at, and around, the downtown fountain. Part 1 of the taping took about an hour and twenty minutes.
Tuesday – Cary Matters Taping with Ya Liu
I joined council member Ya Liu in a taping of the Cary Matters program. This segment was an introduction to Ya and talk about her hopes and plans while she is on council. We did the taping in three takes.
Wednesday – State of Cary Presented to TOC Staff
Wednesday morning I gave the State of Cary address to approximately 100 Town of Cary employees in the council chambers. The presentation was also broadcast to other town facilities.
I talked from the same slide deck that I used at the Chamber presentation in January. My message was the same as in January. That is, we are realizing our citizens’ vision outlined in the Cary Community plan which includes preserving the Cary we know and love while at the same time transforming the community into beyond remarkable.
The transformation includes the downtown park and developments, the Fenton, and the mall redevelopment with the multi-sport facility. My presentation was followed by a Q&A that lasted about fifteen minutes. This was the first time I have ever presented to town employees. I hope it won’t be the last.
Thursday – Cary & Apex Councils Meet
I joined the entire council and management staff members at a joint meeting with the Apex council and their management staff in Apex. We had dinner and then briefly introduced ourselves. Then we talked and asked questions of each other.
Apex council members were mostly curious about our experiences with issues related to growth. Both councils can benefit from a strong relationship and learning from each other’s experiences. I look forward to strengthening our bond with our neighbors.
Sunday – State of Cary, Outdoor Portion Taped
I taped the outdoor portion of the State of Cary address. There were three segments taped. The first was walking along Academy Street talking about the economy, the second was talking about the downtown park, and the last was a retaping of the closing using a drone which included a view of downtown and the park. All in all, we spent about an hour taping.
Town Manager’s Report
The town manager, Sean Stegall’s report for this week included:
Early voting for the primary election began at the Cary Senior Center and Herbert C. Young Community Center on Thursday, February 13 and continues through Saturday, February 29.
A high voter turnout is expected. Herb Young is usually the highest-attended early voting site in Wake County; in 2016, over 25,000 citizens voted at this location. The early voting schedule may be found on the Wake County Board of Elections website.
Stormwater IT Workshop
This week, the Town of Cary’s Smart and Connected Communities Program reached a new landmark as a cross-departmental team coordinated by Information Technology developed a scalable and repeatable Internet of things (IoT) architecture that uses our existing technology platforms.
This architecture is initially focused on the visualization and automation of operational processes and notifications around our Stormwater Program initiatives. Town employees will soon be able to receive and review near real-time stormwater level information and share it with regional partners and eventually citizens.
The architecture was designed in a two-day workshop held Feb 11-12 with a cross-functional team comprising multiple Town of Cary departments in collaboration with partners including Green Stream, Esri, Dell Boomi, Microsoft, Salesforce, SAS, and Harvard University.
Once implemented in spring 2020, our technology platforms will collect data from water level sensors and rain gauges strategically placed throughout the Walnut Creek watershed and use it to improve response times, trigger important notifications to Cary employees, and eventually provide predictability and notifications to citizens.
Dynamic Left Turn Intersection
NCDOT’s first-in-the-nation Dynamic Left Turn Intersection became operational earlier today (Feb. 14) at the intersection of Cary Parkway and Tryon Road. This experimental design uses overhead dynamic signs to open and close the outside left-turn lane at dual left-turn lane approaches during pre-determined times of the day.
Doing this should allow for decreased delay and improved operation during non-peak periods when two left-turn lanes are not needed. The Regional Transportation Alliance is the founding supporter of this concept and has placed information on its website. Cary staff will help monitor intersection operations for safety concerns or maintenance needs.
Esports Event in Cary
Cary hosted its first major esports event at Herbert C. Young Community Center, February 7-9. The event attracted 1,108 gamers and spectators from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, Ohio and even Edmonton, Alberta.
Participants competed on 200 gaming computer rigs provided by Lenovo. The doors opened on Saturday morning ushering nearly 400 players and fans to watch teams compete in Rocket League and Street Fighter. Vendor booths, Corner Boyz BBQ food truck, and Ultimate Comics provided mid-day break activities. Day 1 concluded with UNC-CH edging out Duke in a League of Legends grudge match.
On Sunday, staff and volunteers greeted 600 enthusiastic Nintendo Smash Bros and Epic Fortnite supporters. Additionally, TEC hosted the “Girls Got Game – The Panel”, a powerhouse of women in the technology and gaming field, championed by council member Lori Bush.
The tournament wrapped up Sunday night with Team Stinky, made up of participants ages 13 and 14, taking home $2,700 in prize money for winning the Fortnite Tournament. In total, $9,000 was awarded to winners and another $2,000 was split by local charities, Kramden Institute and Triangle Literacy Council. The weekend was made possible by the support of Kramden Institute, Triangle Literacy Council, Jatovi McDuffie, TOURtech, Maestro Productions, Capitol Broadcasting and a collaborative OneCary effort by PRCR, IT, Marketing, Public Works, and Cary Teen Council.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
As a next step in staff’s analysis of the Environmental Advisory Board’s Carbon Reduction Recommendations, the EAB heard preliminary findings regarding Cary’s community-wide greenhouse gas emissions for 2018.
The preliminary analysis showed that 55 percent of emissions are generated by energy used in buildings (commercial and residential), 38 percent by energy used in transportation, 5 percent from refrigerant release, and 1 percent from the gases generated during waste breakdown.
The preliminary findings also estimate Cary’s per capita emissions at 10.3 MTCDE (Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent), which is well below the national average of 17 MTCDE. In Cary, the primary source comes from electricity, emphasizing the importance of the work by Duke Energy and other energy providers.
Next steps include finalizing the baseline work; identifying stakeholders, including citizens, businesses, community experts and staff; and continuing work with other local governments and Duke Energy to collaborate on developing effective strategies for reducing emissions.
Representatives from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) conducted a site visit this week, starting at Fire Administration. ISO visits municipalities on a multi-year cycle and collects up-to-date information about a community’s fire-protection services. By classifying communities’ ability to suppress fires, ISO helps the communities evaluate their public fire-protection services.
The program provides an objective, nationwide standard that helps communities in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment and training for fire protection. By securing lower fire insurance premiums for communities with better public protection, the program provides incentives and rewards for communities that choose to improve public fire protection capabilities.
Cary’s rating improved from Class III to Class I following its last review in 2015. Preparing for this review was truly a OneCary effort with participation that included Public Works, Utilities and Police, as well as the Fire Department. Areas evaluated as part of the rating system include fire emergency operations, planning, prevention, training and equipment; water supply and distribution system; and communications center operations.
Cycling Savvy’s 3-day workshop on March 6-8 will take place at the Herb Young Community Center. The course will consist of three individual sessions:
- Truth & Techniques (classroom session): Friday, March 6, 6-9:30 PM
- Train Your Bike (parking lot skills session): Saturday, March 7, 1-4 PM
- Tour of Cary: Sunday, March 8, 1-4 PM
Space is limited and pre-registration is required. The course cost is $95; scholarships are available. See the Cycling Savvy website for more information or to register.
Cary staff members attended the Professional Sports Venues Safety and Security Summit at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and learned more about Event Day Safety and Security, Crowd Dynamics, Emergency Action Planning, Risk and Threat Assessment and Command, Control, and Communications through various seminars and tabletop exercises.
This conference provides a productive structure to share industry best practices in a collaborative environment. These practices can be applied to Cary’s Sports Venues as well as Koka Booth Amphitheatre, downtown events and other large events in our streets and parks.
Project PHOENIX brings Cary police and apartment managers together to share information, review crime trends and develop strategies for solving problems and reducing crime in and near apartment communities.
Officer Lekisha Branch partners with residents and management staff to become involved in community affairs and tailor services to the unique characteristics and needs of Merriwood. A part of Project PHOENIX since 2011, Property Manager Martha Corral, stated, “The partnership has been a very positive experience. Officer Branch is always ready to answer questions and continually works with us in our community.”
Cary Police Officers Allan Jones and Matthew Cotten, Cary Fire Engineer John Miller and Cary EMS EMT Jennifer DeBrecht were recipients of the American Legion Post 67 Officer of the Year, Firefighter of the Year and EMT of the Year awards on Tuesday, February 11.
Officers Jones and Cotten were recognized for their lifesaving efforts during a June overdose emergency at the Red Roof Inn when they revived a near-death suspect by administering multiple doses of the drug-neutralizing agent, Narcan.
John Miller was honored for going above and beyond both on the job as a tiller driver, honor guard member, and tower rescue and swift water team member, and off the job, as an active member of volunteer organization Mutual Aid International as well as his church.
Jennifer DeBrecht was selected by her peers and supervisors for her life-saving ability and dedication and passion for her patients and co-workers. We are incredibly proud of these employees, honored by their recognition, and grateful for the service of the men and women of Post 67.
Advisory Board Meetings
Mon, 2/17, 6:00 p.m.
Town Hall, Conf. Room 11130
Cary 150 Task Force
Tues, 2/18, 6:15 p.m.
Town Hall, Conf. Room 10035
Thurs, 2/20, 6:00 p.m.
Town Hall, Conf. Room 11130
Get in Touch
Emails from citizens this week included:
- Questions about the multipurpose indoor sports complex.
- A request not to pursue the multipurpose indoor sports complex.
- A request to do everything we can to make the multi-purpose indoor sports complex a reality.
- A request for a skate park in west Cary.
- A request from a middle school student to increase funding for school lunches because they are awful (I explained that the Wake County School board would be a better contact since they are responsible for schools).
- A question about the cost of our recycling program.
Next week’s activities include staff meetings, a tour of the 311 system, a meeting of the Wake County Mayors Association, a meeting of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, a council work session, the last regularly scheduled council meeting of the month, and remarks at the 25th Annual African American Celebration.
Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, February 23rd. 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. Intersection photo by Hal Goodtree. Other photos courtesy of the Town of Cary staff and Mayor Weinbrecht.
I am delighted that Ya Liu joined the Mayor in Cary Matters.
She is a great addition to the Cary Town Council (despite the Mayor and 5 other Council members unwisely endorsing her opponent)