Harold’s Blog: Thanksgiving Week 2021

Cary, NC — This week’s activities were very limited due to Thanksgiving.

Celebrating Mayor Byrne’s 20 Years of Service

Monday I talked briefly to the town manager about an RTA conference.

Tuesday I attended the retirement ceremony for Fuquay Varina mayor John Byrne who served for 20 years. The ceremony started outside with the unveiling of the new name for the town hall building to be the John Byrne building.

Once inside, several speakers spoke and presented gifts to the mayor. Gifts included a flag flown over the Capital from Congressman David Price and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from NC Secretary of Transportation Eric Boyette on behalf of the Governor.

Other guests included Congresswoman Deborah Ross, Fuquay commissioners, and several Wake County Mayors. There were at least a couple of hundred people in attendance. All were treated with a slice of cake and speeches that lasted a couple of hours.

Town Manager Report

The town manager’s report included the following:

Sean’s Message

Thanksgiving happens to be my favorite holiday of the year, and I hope you will be able to enjoy time with your family as I will mine. I am incredibly grateful to our Public Works employees for making this a Christmas like no other in downtown Cary – complete with another menorah.

Next year, to add to all of the displays we will add a Kwanzaa ornament to the items. We are already receiving wonderful comments from families who are enjoying the new lights and displays. I hope you can come by Thanksgiving weekend when most things should be fully lit.

Take care,


Public Safety Report

There are four active cases among town employees bringing the total since the pandemic began to 171. Town employees have a vaccination rate of 89%. Wake County is now in a high transmission rate.

Veterans Day Observance

On Nov. 11, Council Member Jack Smith and Council Member Ya Liu, along with other elected officials, honored Cary’s Veterans through a program at the Veterans Freedom Park.

The event included representation from all service branches, along with music from the Old North State Brass Band. A proclamation from the Mayor was read and keynote remarks were given by special guest speakers Master Chief Curtis Leary from the American Legion and Gunnery Sergeant Jeff Sherman from the VFW.

Lunch for the Brave

On Nov. 5, Council Member Jack Smith, along with Cary staff and volunteers, honored 134 veterans. The route through Town Hall Campus was lined with balloon towers, American Flags, homemade signs created by Teen Council, as well as a fire truck displaying a giant American Flag.

The participants received a party favor bag in addition to their hot lunch. Along the path they were entertained by the Town of Cary Band, Cary Christian School Choir and numerous volunteers and staff cheering them along.

Hometown Spirit Award Winner

Sarah Martin was announced as the 2021 Hometown Spirit Award recipient at the Town Council meeting on Nov. 9.

Prior to the announcement, a reception was held at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center and the Mayor honored each of the three finalists, Sarah Martin, Carla Michaels, and Barry Mitsch. Click here to learn more about the award recipient.

Congresswoman Ross Visits Cary

Mayor Weinbrecht, Council Member Lori Bush, and staff hosted Congresswoman Deborah Ross on Friday, Nov. 12, at the Cary Arts Center.

Congresswoman Ross received presentations regarding downtown initiatives and took a tour of the park. In honor of Cary’s 150th anniversary, she presented to the town a US flag that flew over the United States Capitol.

Recognition at Chinese Lantern Festival

Volunteers from Cary’s nine Council-appointed volunteer advisory boards were invited to attend this year’s Sneak Peek Event at the Chinese Lantern Festival on Nov. 16.

Prior to “flipping the switch” to signify the beginning of the Chinese Lantern Festival, Mayor Weinbrecht recognized all current and outgoing advisory volunteers from the stage.

District Open Houses

As part of the redistricting education effort, citizens attended district open houses in District C and District A.

While there, citizens learned about services offered by the Town, including fire, police, and Cary it Green. District D and District B open houses will be held on Dec. 2 and Dec. 4. For more information, please visit townofcary.org/redistricting.

Cary Officers Graduate from West Point Leadership Program

On Nov. 16, Sergeant Travis Gresham and Corporal Ken Hutchison graduated from the 32nd cohort of the West Point Leadership Program (WPLP).

Conceived by Methodist University’s Center for Excellence in Justice Administration, the West Point Leadership Program is a challenging 16-week leadership course designed to inspire leaders to develop an informed, systematic, and dynamic approach to leading in police organizations.

WPLP is an adaptation of the third-year course PL300 Military Leadership completed by all cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Game of Hands

On Nov. 7, Cary Action Sports hosted the Legend League: Game of HANDS between Ryan Nyquist and Matty Cranmer.

A game of HANDS is similar to a game of HORSE in basketball, one rider performs a trick and if the other rider cannot match the trick they get a letter, first one to spell HANDS is out. This was the largest gathering ever at the facility with over 300+ spectators and riders.

Bike Safe NC Class

On Nov. 19, Cary Police assisted the Morrisville Police Department with their inaugural Bike Safe NC class. Officers from surrounding departments taught the motorcycle safety course to several riders.

This one-day course consisted of classroom lectures and evaluated motorcycle rides. Instructors provide valuable feedback on ways students can improve their motorcycle riding abilities.

Old North State Storytelling Festival Returns to Cary

In early November, the Old North State Storytelling Festival returned to The Cary Theater.

This unique event brought national and regional tellers to the stage, and the festival was presented by the North Carolina Storytellers Guild in partnership with the Town.

Upcoming Meetings

Hybrid Cary150 Task Force Meeting
Mon., Nov. 29
6:15 PM

Hybrid Senior Advisory Board
Wed., Dec. 1
2:00 PM

Virtual Neighborhood Rezoning Meeting
Wed., Dec. 1
6:30 PM

District D Open House
Thurs., Dec. 2
5:30 PM

Mayor’s Mailbox

Emails from citizens this week include:

  • A complaint that a business is requiring masks (they have that right)
  • A concern about safety on Morrisville Parkway
  • A complaint about garbage overflowing at Oxford Apartments on the Village Green off Maynard near Cary Town Boulevard
  • A request to remove a dead squirrel from a sidewalk
  • A request for a proclamation
  • A thank you for ending the mask mandate
  • A request to “encourage adult members of your community to share life lessons with students so we can learn how to live meaningful lives and be less depressed”
  • A comment about a property on Walker Street that has had issues with upkeep

Next week’s activities include staff meetings, Cary’s Hanukkah Menorah Lighting, Speaking at First Responders Breakfast, CAP Appreciation Dinner, a meeting of the North Carolina Metro Mayors, a Habitat build, and the Cary Christmas Tree Lighting.

Well, that is all for this week. My next post will be on Sunday, December 5th. Although I have Facebook and Twitter accounts those are not the best means of communication with me. Please send all Town of Cary questions or comments to [email protected] and email personal comments to [email protected].

From the blog of Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht. Images from the Town of Cary.

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