Triangle Politics

Cary looking for volunteers to help plan its future

November 23, 2012 

Cary is searching for 30 residents to represent all the town’s demographics and interests in a massive planning project.

The town says the Committee for the Future is a chance to put a mark on Cary. The panel will guide the Cary Community Plan, a two-year, $900,000 update of the town’s long-range plans. Ultimately, the update will dictate how each area of town should be developed, and how the town should handle topics such as affordable housing and historic preservation.

“This is a whole new thing for Cary,” said Town Planner Scott Ramage. “The goal is that any resident in Cary … should be able to look at the committee and see at least one person they identify with.”

Committee members must be residents of Cary or its extra-territorial planning jurisdiction, or they may work in Cary, own property in Cary, or represent an organization with a Cary presence. Applications will be accepted through the end of the month.

To apply or learn more, go to or call 919-469-4082.

Raleigh set to pump up Ironman

The Raleigh City Council agreed this week to devote $15,000 from its contingency fund for a national Ironman race expected to bring 2,500 athletes to the city next year.

The amount prompted some head-scratching from Councilman John Odom, who wondered why Ironman should get special treatment above dozens of other road races held in Raleigh each year.

Ironman brings national prestige and is “not your typical road race,” replied Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin.

True enough, these athletes are not typical. They will swim, ride bikes and run through parts of two counties. The June 2 event marks Ironman’s first North Carolina competition.

“There’s not been a single city that’s ever not renewed, because it has been so beneficial,” said Councilman Bonner Gaylord.

The Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau are each putting up $25,000 toward the Ironman race.

Youth movement on Wake board

Cary businessman Erv Portman, making his last appearance as a member of the Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday, expressed hopes for a new era of bipartisanship on the panel, along with an allusion to the youthfulness of his successor, Caroline Sullivan.

“Caroline will represent a new generation in Wake County, and I think that’s a healthy thing,” said Portman, 57, a Democrat.

A Triangle Politics analysis shows that the average age of the board’s members will slip from about 61.6 to an even 60 with the addition in December of Sullivan, 46, who was elected Nov. 6.

Just for the record, other board members and their ages, in ascending order, are Tony Gurley, 56; Paul Coble and Joe Bryan, both 59; Phil Matthews, 63; James West, 68; and Betty Lou Ward, 76. However, party has proved more relevant than age as members line up on big-picture issues, with senior members Ward and West, both Democrats, campaigning strongly for a school-construction bond referendum during the last campaign.

Political Trails

State Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby will speak to the Republican Women of Cary and Southwestern Wake on Dec. 6 at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. Social begins at 11:30 a.m. followed by the luncheon/program at noon. The special holiday lunch is $30. RSVP to Lisa at 919-303-8870. For more information:

Got a tip, item or coming event? Fax Triangle Politics at 919-829-4529, or send e-mail to Send items by noon Thursday.

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