Monday, November 12, 2007

Cary Voters Have Spoken Out for Managed Growth with Election of New Mayor

"It truly is a victory for all of Cary," said Harold Weinbrecht, 51, a SAS software programmer and newly elected Mayor. "Not only a victory for those of us who care about a balanced way to approach growth but a victory for those of us who want to be heard. We wanted a voice."

Now Weinbrecht will lead the suburban boomtown of about 123,000 people between Raleigh and Research Triangle Park, where the techie rode a tide of discontent about the effects of rapid growth in the Triangle's third-largest city.


Growth seems sure to slow somewhat in Cary, where all the winners Tuesday favor slowing development to a more manageable rate while roads, schools, parks, and water and sewer catch up.


Even Cary's most pro-growth candidates acknowledged that development of big tracts surrounded by established neighborhoods will remain a hot issue as "doughnut holes" fill in and the town begins to reach its outward limits. The issue inflamed residents this year near the intersection of Davis Drive and High House Road, where the Town Council approved large mixed-use projects in the geographic center of town; some of the irked residents got involved in the election campaigns. The election results suggest that large-scale infill development will get closer scrutiny.


Widening roads and building parks are popular in Cary, and all of the winners rated them a high priority. Several also highlighted a core infrastructure project the town can't long delay: building an expensive sewage treatment plant with Apex and Morrisville.

In the end, the voters had the final say on growth policy. And they gave Weinbrecht four years -- and a friendly council -- to pursue his vision for Cary.

Matthew Eisley, Staff Writer,

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