Local Politics

Cary Mayoral Candidates: 2 Approaches, 1 Goal

Posted October 3, 2007

— Two men want to be Cary's next mayor.

Incumbent Ernie McAlister is going for his second term, but SAS programmer Harold Weinbrecht plans to give him a run for his money.

The debate between Cary's two candidates for mayor comes down to one who promises to stay the course and one who promises a change in approach.

“Looking forward, I pledge to stay focused on Cary’s most pressing needs,” McAlister said.

“As mayor, my priorities will be set by my constituents,” Weinbrecht said.

Weinbrecht said Cary residents can’t stop talking about growth and how it's handled. Census results show Cary is Wake County's fastest growing town.

“I think right now we’re not doing an adequate job of managing our growth, providing adequate road capacity and adequate school seating,” Weinbrecht said.

McAlister said growth is what drives what he calls Cary's healthy economy.

“I think we have proven that growth pays its way as folks move in here and begin to pay taxes and drives developer investment,” McAlister said.

Both candidates said they support developing downtown with careful public investment to spur private business. They disagree on the kind of leadership Cary has seen.

McAlister said if voters re-elect him: “They’ll get a mayor they’ve had the past four years who listens to their concerns and has responded to their concerns.”

The current mayor's point of pride is where his opponent attacks him the most.

“Because he’s taken a hands-off approach in certain issues, he’s basically shut citizens out of the process, and one of the things I’d like to do is get citizens involved in the process,” Weinbrecht said.

Weinbrecht has criticized McAlister for accepting tens of thousands of dollars from developer groups. McAlister said he "makes no apologies" for accepting support from people who help build the town of Cary.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • jgirl5830 Oct 4, 2007

    I agree with Lyle, we all understand growth in Cary is inevitable but Earnies approach is going to destroy the main reason people moved here. His pompous ad on TV is a disgrace to himself and shows his true colors. Good bye Earnie, its time for something else.

  • Lyle Oct 4, 2007

    I've only lived in Cary for 2 1/4 years, and glad we found the home we dreamed of, but we are one mile north of Davis/High House where massive growth is about to explode. Bot roads are already speedways and traffic will increase dramatically. We bought in Cary for what it was, not so much for what it's becoming. Read the story again, and explain what "developer investment" is. They buy, they build, they profit, they move on. There is no investment for anyone but the developers and people like the current mayor. Time for a change. Go Harold!

  • tarheelgirl07 Oct 4, 2007

    Ernie has hired an Economic Development Director to focus solely on bringing businesses & investment (see tax revenue for infrastructure) to Cary. He wants to revitalize Historic Downtown Cary, & also supports the Arts & what makes Cary unique - not just strip malls & box stores. As a NATIVE Cary resident, I think we have to concentrate on smart growth, & having developers pay for or donate green space is the way to maintain Cary's beauty & parks system. I WILL NOT "go up the road" to Raleigh to enjoy amenities that Cary should have of its own. Also, just sticking our heads in the sand & ignoring growth trends as Weinbrecht would like to do. BTW, try actually attending a Council meeting yourself.

  • I know some stuff Oct 4, 2007

    It is alleged, that at a council meeting, Ernie was heard to say that he'd love to see massive high rise buildings in Cary, a 'skyline' to be proud of.
    Re Elect Ernie...and you'll see MORE congestion, More pollution, a major LOSS of the character of Cary. Once ruined, it's gone forever.
    Recent TV ad's from 'Ernie' badmouthing Harold....shows you his character. Why doesn't he spend the money to SAY The Good things he plans to do ('cuz he doesn't plan to do good for people, just him & his buddies). Instead, he plays the Dirt Game. That mentally says it all, IMO.
    Vote Harold. Thanks.

  • Sumo Vita Oct 3, 2007

    Yes, Ernie "ClearCut" McAlister is definitely the developers' stooge.. he's had his pockets well padded, time for him to go!

  • dws Oct 3, 2007

    Harold is the man!

  • miketroll3572 Oct 3, 2007

    Got the same call myself. Not voting for the mayor again. Don't like whats going on in cary right now so it's time for a change!

  • peace and joy Oct 3, 2007

    The current Mayor is playing dirty politics - I got a phone call last week from an "objective" survey that proceed to tell huge lies about Weinbrecht when I said that was who I was voting for! Shameful but totally typical of King Ernie...
    Check out some humorous videos (and for god's sake VOTE!!)