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Ousted Cary Mayor Has No Regrets About How He Governed

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CARY, N.C. — Cary soon will be getting a new mayor. Ernie McAlister will face Julie Robison in a runoff next month.

But Tuesday's election was not so much about who won.

In the 1990's, Cary was bursting at the seams. Roads and schools were overwhelmed.

Glen Lang promised a change.

"I was going to slow down growth," Lang said. "I was going to get the builders to slow down building. I was going to get the schools fixed."

Under Lang's leadership, growth in Cary has slowed tremendously. At one point during the 1990's, the growth rate was as high as 13 percent. It is now under 3 percent.

But as much as the people liked Lang's policies, not everyone liked his style.

"It's pretty much his way or the highway," Councilwoman Marla Dorrel said.

Dorrel is among those who believe Lang's abrasive style created a hostile atmosphere.

"He felt it was, I think, his right and his duty to twist the arms of developers when they came to Town Hall," Dorrel said.

Said Lang: "I'm not the height of smooth. No one would look up smooth in the dictionary and find my picture."

Lang said he accepts the criticism, but added that he has no regrets about how he governed, or campaigned. He didn't spend a dime on his re-election, except for a $10 filing fee.

Councilman Jack Smith pointed out that Lang did not lose by much.

"I think that still says that people respect some of the things he tried to bring to this town," Smith said.

Lang said he is surprised that he did not make the runoff. He believes if he had spent some money and time on his re-election bid, the outcome may have been different.


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