Local News

Slow Growth, Newcomers Dominate Cary Council Ballot

Posted August 8, 1999

— People who head to the polls in Cary this fall may not recognize all the names on the ballot. The town has been flooded with new residents and many of the people planning to run in local races are newcomers, too.

It is one of the most crowded fields ever in Cary -- 16 candidates are vying for four spots; all but four of the candidates are newcomers to Cary politics.

Politics have become anything but friendly in the Town of Cary. Now three members of the Cary Town Council, including longtime Mayor Koka Booth, want out, opting not to run for re-election this fall.

"It's very adversarial now. Every decision, no matter how trivial, can be, it seems, like it's pro-growth versus anti-growth," says council member Richard Burton.

"I think a lot of the incumbents have read the handwriting on the wall," says council candidate Nels Roseland.

Slow growth candidates dominate the field, seeking open council seats in Cary. The question is, with a number of slow growth measures passed the last two years, has the council done enough already to unclog roads and control development?

"We've taken baby steps with respect to growth management in Cary, but there's still a lot more that Cary can do," says Roseland.

Meanwhile, Glen Lang, the Cary council member who fanned the flames of anti-developer sentiment, faces accusations he was once a builder as he prepares for his mayoral run.

"This was politically motivated. It's fine. People, all the politics we've seen on television over the last year to two years, I think that the voters understand what's going on here."

Lang explains he became a stockholder in a building business several years ago when he says he loaned a friend who was a contractor $30,000. The friend could not repay the loan so Lang got part of the business.

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