Gov. Pat McCrory introduced three high level appointments today, including former Durham City Council member Thomas Stith, who will be his chief of staff.
This was McCrory's first formal news conference since the week of the November election.
When the Republican was asked about outgoing Gov. Bev Perdue's moves to lease the Dorothea Dix property for a park and appoint a state Supreme Court justice, McCrory said, "She's the governor." While he said he would have liked to have had more input into the Dix decision, McCrory said, "I'm all for the park."
Asked about policy issues, McCrory said his team was working with the Perdue administration but did not have specific policy prescriptions yet.
"We're at the 10,000-foot level," he said.
Asked specifically about an issued that could lead to group home residents with mental illness and older people being treated for Alzheimer's to lose Medicaid funding, McCrory didn't offer a specific answer. In the case of the patients with Alzheimer's, between 3,000-to-4,000 could lose their group home placements on Jan. 1, five days before McCrory official takes office and will have to deal with the problem.
"We're talking to the Perdue administration," McCrory said. "Thomas (Stith) is speaking a lot of their chief of staff who has been very cooperative...I'm working working very closely with (House Speaker Thom Tills) and (Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger) at this point in time. I also might add, as governor elect, I'm already working on economic development issues. We're working already on trying to recruit businesses...So I'm working with the current Secretary of Commerce right now and spending an enormous amount of my time on those issues because that's my major priority."
After the formal news conference, McCrory was asked as he walked out of the room about a nonprofit that will hold an inaugural event for him and has been raising money by advertising events to which the governor will be invited. Officials with the Foundation for N.C. say they will be a nonpartisan issue research organization, but one likely to be friendly to McCrory's ideas.
"I'm just not engaged in that," McCrory said when asked about the group. Pressed for whether he had any involvement with the group, McCrory said, "It's a group that's going to hopefully help fulfill goals that I'm interested in."
Asked specifically if he was working with them, McCrory said, "Other people – I'm working on this," indicating the transition work, "That's what I'm working on."