2017 Advocacy Principles and Legislative Agenda
January 5, 2017
Voters elect council members to decide significant municipal issues in the public interest. Every municipality has unique issues that need to be addressed in the context of that community. The maintenance of effective municipal authority and flexible, local control allow Cary Town Council members to make decisions that effectively and efficiently meet the unique needs of their citizens.
Responsible and sound management of Town of Cary resources requires stability and certainty with regard to revenue sources and require a variety of revenue sources to reduce volatility. Approximately 25 percent of the Town’s revenues are from sources outside its direct control. Local sales taxes, state sales taxes on utility services, beer and wine tax, and Powell Bill are all examples of important Town revenue sources that are outside of direct municipal control. These state-collected local revenues are important to the fiscal health of the organization and any changes should not decrease local revenue or keep it from growing over time. Regional revenues should be shared equitably.
Burdensome and expensive legislative, regulatory or administrative mandates to perform functions or activities should not be enacted without adequate local authority, flexibility and financial resources for development, implementation and maintenance.
The Town of Cary provides its growing population with water, sewer, transportation, police and fire protection, solid waste, parks and recreation, cultural amenities and other services. To continue providing the services that our residents expect, the town must have the continued authority and flexibility to make management, human resource, financial and operations decisions in ways that most efficiently and effectively meet the needs of the organization and the community.
Every community is unique and needs the authority to maintain the standards that the community desires. Cary residents value the quality of life they have chosen by locating in this community and expect their town government to make decisions that maintain the appearance that first attracted them to the community. Local decisions should be made locally.
The Town of Cary is committed to being good stewards of its finite natural resources by preserving and protecting the environment. Environmental laws and regulations should be evidence-based, feasible and equitable, and standards should be outcome-based, not process-driven. Cary should have the flexibility to meet environmental outcomes in the most effective way.
Ensuring that Cary remains an attractive, economically-viable community that continues to attract new business and maintain the quality of life expected by residents as it continue to grow over the next 25-35 years requires long-range infrastructure planning including water resources, wastewater facilities, transportation and land use. To achieve these goals, it is necessary to maintain a measure of control over development in areas designated by the county for municipal services, typically through a county-granted extra-territorial jurisdiction. In areas where the Wake County Commissioners have granted ETJ, the town has the responsibility to establish zoning and enforce the Land Development Ordinance. The primary benefit of ETJ is to ensure that development occurs in a planned, orderly way and that the Town is prepared to provide services when they are needed. If the Town of Cary is not able to adequately plan for infrastructure needs and service provision, future roads, greenways, and utilities may never be constructed, yielding inefficient and incomplete systems that are not only inadequate to serve existing and future growth but which are also more costly.
High quality transportation infrastructure is critical to moving the people, goods and ideas that keep the state and local economy strong and enhance our quality of life. Transportation needs, however, continue to grow across the state, including in Cary and Wake County. The Town maintains 472 miles of local roads in Wake and Chatham Counties, providing transportation to our neighborhoods and connections to thoroughfares. Cary also maintains sidewalks and walking paths, bikeways and a public transportation system. Flexibility in using transportation revenues allows the Town to put available resources toward the most pressing needs. NCDOT maintains the thoroughfares which are used, not only by Cary citizens, but are transportation routes that provide connections across the region. Adequate state funding should be provided for data-driven, regional transportation needs including congestion mitigation and maintenance of the state roadway network.
2017 NC Legislative Agenda
- Seek a local bill to authorize the Apex Police Department to serve Apex High School students while the school is located in Cary due to major renovations
- Support legislation that provides an option for municipalities to move their elections to even-numbered years
- Support legislation that promotes small cell wireless infrastructure while retaining municipal control over the development process, rights of way, and other Town property
- Support legislation to protect Jordan Lake as a drinking water supply
- Support buffer rules consistent with local conditions
- Support changes to the Iran Divestment Act to streamline administration