Friday, August 26, 2011

Week in Review and Hurricane Irene

You know life is busy when the nice lady at the Wendy’s drive-thru says, “good to see you again, Don”.

With work, my council responsibilities and a reelection campaign to run, I haven’t had dinner with the family in a week. I can’t thank Lisa and the kids enough for their unwavering support.

Council held a worksession on Tuesday to review and discuss a number of items to include:

• The Western Wake Water Reclamation Facility (WWWRF)

• Aerating a section of Jordan Lake to improve water quality

• Telecommunications Facilities Ordinance Amendments

• Board and Commission Appointments.

Cary has secured all necessary permits and construction will begin on the WWWRF on September 1st. Construction is expected to take three years to complete.

Council also discussed the concept of aerating a portion of Jordan Lake to better improve water quality near Cary’s water intake. The theory is that by improving water quality BEFORE the water goes into the treatment plant, we will reduce the amount of energy and chemical treatment required to treat the water; thus saving Cary water customers money while at the same time improving the environment in and around Jordan Lake. Council approved the concept, but asked for a cost/benefit analysis prior to moving forward.

The council also reviewed proposed amendments to Cary’s telecommunications ordinance that will better incent stealth tower design and installation. This includes reduced set-back and buffer requirements for stealth facilities. The goal is to make it easier and more cost effective to obtain approval for stealth towers than it will be to go through the process for non-stealth towers. Cell companies aren’t stupid (the folks in customer support are a different story, but I digress…). They will choose the past of least resistance that still meets their needs.

I am optimistic these amendments will not only improve the visual landscape in Cary, but will also help cell providers better meet their customer’s needs.

Board and commission appointments were pretty straight forward with no surprises. I serve as the liaison to the Town Center Review Commission (TCRC) and the Parks Recreation and Cultural Resources Advisory Board (PRCR). PRCR Chair, Denny Hoadley and I interviewed a few candidates prior to making our recommendations.

Our council meeting was pretty uneventful with the only notable topics being a public hearing for proposed Land Development Ordinance (LDO) Amendments, Thomas Brooks Park Site Plan Revisions, and a request by councilmember Robison to direct staff to investigate the possibility of working with Wake County and Apex to complete the missing segment of the White Oak Greenway.

I also met with a number of land owners in west Cary to discuss an upcoming rezoning and hear their concerns and suggestions. I am optimistic a compromise can be reached that all parties can be satisfied with.

It’s that time again! Cary Council campaigns are heating up and my reelection campaign is full speed ahead! I attended a number of political events and meet-n-greets over the last two weeks to hear from folks in the community; and to talk about my work on the council and my vision for Cary over the next four years. It has truly been an honor and privilege to serve you on the council and I hope that through my efforts, I have earned your trust and support for a second term. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last four years, but we still have work to do.

For the safety of our citizens, vendors and artists, Cary decided to cancel this year’s Lazy Daze Festival due to Hurricane Irene. It is the first time the event has been cancelled in its 35 year history. While unfortunate, we cannot take chances when the safety of our citizens is at stake.

The town has spent the last week preparing for Hurricane Irene by cleaning culverts, clearing vegetation away from power lines, test running generators and equipment, and making sure we have shelters ready for those in need. Should you experience a non-life threatening emergency, please do not call 911, and instead call the Cary Police non-emergency line at 919-469-4090. Let’s keep 911 available for those who need immediate assistance.

Be smart and stay safe. Possessions can be replaced – your life cannot.

Lazy Daze Cancelled Due To Hurricane Irene

August 25, 2011

For the Safety of Everyone Involved, Cary Cancels Saturday's Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival

Event will not be rescheduled for later this year

CARY, NC – After consulting with local, state, and federal forecasters and emergency management officials, the Town of Cary has cancelled Saturday’s Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival because of the significant potential for unsafe conditions due to high winds from Hurricane Irene. This is the first time the event has been canceled in what would have been its 35-year history.

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our artists, entertainers, guests, volunteers, and workers,” said Town of Cary Festivals Coordinator Joy Ennis, who recalled the August 13th weather-related collapse at the Indiana State Fair that killed seven an injured 40 people. “For over three decades, we’ve built a reputation for providing one of the most wonderful festival experiences in the nation, and with our not being able to meet that standard this year, we’re really left with no other choice but to wait until Lazy Daze 2012.”

Ennis pointed out that, for several reasons, the festival could not be postponed to Sunday or moved to another date entirely. “First, we set up the festival one day before, so with the Hurricane’s effects being here on Saturday, there would be no way to prepare for a Sunday festival. And, if we do sustain damage in Cary, we’ll know that on Sunday, and our first priority will have to be to help our community recover from the storm. As for picking another day later this fall, most of our artists, venders, and entertainers are already committed to other events, so we wouldn’t be able to get them here on what for them would be such late notice.”

Next year’s Lazy Daze is scheduled for Saturday, August 25, 2012. But if you can’t wait for good art until then, mark your calendars now for Cary’s Annual Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival, which will be held on April 28, 2012.

For information about Cary’s arts festivals, search “Festivals” at



Joy Ennis, Festivals Coordinator, (919) 462-3864

Lyman Collins, Cultural Arts Manager, (919) 462-3861

Deanna Boone, Deputy Public Information Officer, (919) 462-3908

Susan Moran, Public Information Director, (919) 380-4240

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Smells Like Town Spirit!

Cary Residents Invited to Nominate the Person With the Most Hometown Spirit in Cary

CARY, NC – The Town of Cary is looking for the most community-minded of all to receive the Town’s Hometown Spirit Award, an annual award that recognizes a citizen who enhances the quality of life in Cary by preserving, promoting and carrying out positive and quantifiable small town community values and traits. Cary citizens can submit nominations now through 5 p.m. on September 9, 2011 using an official nomination form available at Nominations should be submitted to Town Clerk Sue Rowland by email at, by fax at (919) 460-4910 or by mail to Town Clerk, Town of Cary, P.O. Box 8005, Cary, NC 27512-8005.

“The Town Council decided long ago that no matter how large Cary’s population grew, the community would always be called a town, not a city, to reinforce our small town heritage and values. This award is the perfect opportunity to recognize outstanding Cary residents for the role they play in helping keep Cary’s small town charm thriving,” said Town Clerk Sue Rowland.

Cary residents ages 21 and older are eligible for the award. Nominees should demonstrate leadership and integrity and be respected by peers. In addition, nominees should exemplify at least one of the following criteria: helps out neighbors and fellow Cary residents; demonstrates hospitality; promotes and preserves traditional American past-times; shows a concern for preservation and works to preserve traditions and the small-town atmosphere in the community; promotes entrepreneurship through supporting locally owned business; promotes a sense of community in their neighborhood and all of Cary; demonstrates patriotism through promotion and preservation of the country's symbols and dedication to the U.S. military, past and present; and serves the community through business.

The Town Council will recognize all nominees at a reception from 5-6:15 p.m. on November 17, 2011 in the lobby of Cary Town Hall. Immediately following the reception, the mayor and the 2010 Hometown Spirit Award winner, Kay Struffolino, will announce the 2011 winner at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Council meeting.

For more, search “Hometown Spirit Award” at or call (919) 460-4941.

(apologies for the blog title - that's as creative as I can be at the moment)  ;-)