If you have an opportunity to meet with the new mayor of Apex, you will probably feel his energy before you see his face.
Jacques Gilbert is not your typical politician. As a matter of fact, before he ran for mayor his wasn’t a politician at all, he was a captain in the Apex Police Department.
When he granted The Carolinian an interview he could hardly make it to his office to speak with us because everyone in the Town Hall wanted to say good morning and shake his hand. He seemed more like a celebrity than a newly elected mayor.
Affectionately known to many as ‘‘Cap,’’ Gilbert has been impacting lives in his hometown for 30 years. Perhaps that is the reason he is such a popular person. It could also be the reason he won the top seat in the town with no prior political experience.
Mayor Gilbert sat down with The Carolinian, just nine days into his new role, to share his excitement and vision for Apex.
“I am a man of faith. I believe God has called me to do this and I’m going to carry out the mission,” Gilbert says.
Gilbert has watched the Town of Apex grow from a population of 3,000 to just short of 62,000 currently.
“This town is attractive to a lot of folks. They moved to the Town of Apex because we got that ranking in 2015 as ‘The No. 1 Best Place To Live In America.’ With that we have a lot of people trying to get in the door, and rooftops are going up everyday. I think we have 23 people per day moving to Apex.”
Apex is not immune to the growing pains of other cities in the Triangle. There are infrastructure challenges that come with rapid growth. Gilbert says that by increasing communication between the town’s government and the citizens the growing pains can be handled gracefully and without great complication.
Gilbert is committed to the ideal that, ‘‘the Town of Apex is a name. Behind that name are people.’’
One of his priorities is affordable housing. Gilbert understands that there have been many people pushed out of Apex because of a lack of affordable housing. That knowledge doesn’t sit well with him.
Gilbert is born and raised in Apex. That is a great rarity in many Triangle towns these days. His stake in the community may be higher than some others simply because of his roots.
The goal for Mayor Gilbert’s tenure is to make sure that Apex is welcoming to everyone, and that their young people have a place to which they can return.