Under its council-manager form of administration, the citizens of Cary elect a seven-member Town Council, including the mayor. Four of the seven Council members are district representatives chosen by voters within each geographic district. Two council members and the mayor are at-large representatives elected Town-wide. Cary elections are held in odd-numbered years. The council members’ four-year terms are staggered so that voters fill three or four of the seats every two years.
The elected Town Council creates a vision for the community by setting the policies, goals, and direction of the government including adopting necessary laws. The Council also appoints three staff members: the Town attorney, the Town clerk and the Town manager.
As the chief executive officer for the government, the town manager implements Council’s policies and oversees all government operations. The manager advises the Council on all issues, proposes the annual budget, and coordinates the work of all municipal staff not appointed by the Council.
The Town of Cary is committed to being open, transparent and accessible, also known as "Sunshine" in government.
North Carolina has two Sunshine Laws to promote transparency in government: the Open Meetings Law and the Public Records Law. These laws give the public the right to attend meetings and to access documents deemed a public record.
To raise Cary citizens' awareness of their rights under Sunshine laws, the Town has information on its website with information on how to access public records and a calendar that displays Town meetings.
Other information includes:
- Public records policy: On February 8, 2007, the Town of Cary became one of the first local governments in North Carolina to adopt a comprehensive public records policy that articulates specifically how the Town will support Sunshine laws.
- Agendas & Minutes: Since 1997, the Town has posted Council meeting materials on the Web for everyone to access anytime.
- Sunshine Week: The Town of Cary celebrates national Sunshine Week each year in March. Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote the importance of open government and freedom of information.
Susan Moran, APR
Public Information Director