Wake County Schools

Wake school board chairman will likely not seek re-election

Posted August 26, 2010
Updated August 27, 2010

— Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta said Thursday that he is 95 percent sure he will not run for re-election when his term ends in November 2011.

"I am a retired guy. I would like to look for happiness out there," Margiotta said.

Margiotta has made deciding votes in favor of the district’s controversial proposal to move away from a decade-old policy of busing students for the purposes of diversity toward a policy of community-based student assignment.

He held a minority position on the board for years, before a pivotal election last fall changed the balance of power. The new majority elected him chairman as one of their first acts in office.

“The busing policy intended to help the economically disadvantaged, but it has not,” Margiotta said during a speech to the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

Before he finishes his term, Margiotta believes he can oversee the change and move toward higher graduation rates for low-income students.

Margiotta thinks his district, which includes Apex, Cary and Holly Springs, would elect someone with his same ideas.

Margiotta will likely step down Margiotta will likely step down

In fact, he thinks the current majority on the board, will gain two more seats from minority members in the next election.

"I would say Kevin Hill's seat and (Anne) McLaurin's seat," Margiotta said.

McLaurin told WRAL News on Thursday that she does not agree with Margiotta's prediction.

"I am surprised to hear him say that," she said.

McLaurin's district includes south central Raleigh.

"I don't think my district is supportive of Mr. Margiotta's policies or the way he does business," she said.

McLaurin thinks that people who have rallied against changes in student assignment will rally again at the polls.

"I think people are interested in getting out for this election and the next one," she said.


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  • Remy Aug 27, 2010

    Trix - I hear ya. It has certainly changed over the years. My parents still live in Cary as well. When we moved there, the pop was about 7k. Pretty unbelievable for us long timers that it is now about 120k. Have a great day.

  • TrixRidesAgain Aug 27, 2010

    Thanks for the invite, Newday...what's for supper? LOL...I graduated from Cary HS and my mom still lives in Cary, so it's all good. I moved away for about 20 years and was shocked at how upscale little Cary had become. The truth is I see more of the elitist attitude from the most newly arrived than with the people who have been there since Cary ended, for all intents and purposes, at MacGregor Downs. I came back in 2002, lived in Apex and Holly Springs until two years ago, so I do know the area fairly well. It just used to be a really nice little town and now, not so much. You hear people talk about covenant restricted communities? Cary strikes me as a covenant restricted city. I guess I like things just a little less homogenous and more accepting, that's all.

  • Remy Aug 27, 2010

    "Anyone who believes that there is not the merest whiff of elitism in Western Wake either has never spent time there or actually lives there and breathes in the rarefied air and can't see the forest for the trees. I remember when the Kildaire Dairy barn was near the corner of Maynard and Kildaire Farm and you could still smell the cows! " trix

    He actually lives in a rural area with a pool, but a median value home. Please don't group all western wake as elitist as is certainly is not. I also remember KF barn and the cows and lived very close to that, but within KF you can buy a condo for under 70k. I invite you to visit us sometime and see that all of western wake is not as you described. Most of us are actually very friendly.

  • raleigh1983 Aug 27, 2010

    Its also very clear to see that Margiotta has been the primary cause of the taxpayers being forced to spend extra money on security for the board meetings, changing locations for the new northern high school, a search firm for a new superintendant, etc, etc, etc and now he's bailing out when the financial rowing gets tough. He stated on camera several weeks ago that he wanted to find a rock to hide under when asked about next year's budget shortfall. Thanks Ron - for absolutely nothing.

  • TrixRidesAgain Aug 27, 2010

    Did anyone notice, a couple of weeks back, that RM granted an interview, on camera, as he lounged by his backyard pool? LOL...to me, that was very telling. Get on camera and speak sincerely about the disadvantaged while having warmed oil rubbed in poolside. Anyone who believes that there is not the merest whiff of elitism in Western Wake either has never spent time there or actually lives there and breathes in the rarefied air and can't see the forest for the trees. I remember when the Kildaire Dairy barn was near the corner of Maynard and Kildaire Farm and you could still smell the cows! What would all of those SUV driving suburban divas do with that? All the White Barn candles and Febreze would never cover that up.

  • raleigh1983 Aug 27, 2010

    Thank goodness. Perhaps Margiotta will also return to his homeland and take Tedesco and Goldman with him where they can rule over some other kingdom.

  • mpheels Aug 27, 2010

    "He could have avoided dividing the communities by FIRST developing a plan, then voting."

    That is one the most intelligent comments I've seen on GOLO with regard to WCPSS. Of course, if the board had worked on the plan first, they would have learned that the years of redistricting were due to rapid growth. Diversity was only a secondary factor in deciding where students would go when they were already up for reassignment.

  • fishon Aug 27, 2010

    Say it ain't so, Ron!

  • Remy Aug 27, 2010

    I live in and grew up in Marg district, and I completely agree with Garnerwolf. Marg has no idea how people are going to vote. How can even determine what someone's midset is going to be a year from now, once his "plan" is implemented? People may see it's not all it's cracked up to be. Hard to say now since there really is no plan. Marg seems to make statements that do not show him in the best light. If the vote were today, I would be voting for another candidate. If he does not run again, I would certainly look for someone that can see both sides. It does not have to be an either/or situation.

  • Garnerwolf1 Aug 27, 2010

    I've "personally experienced" it as well. And I disgree with you. It's certainly not "blatantly untrue" from my experience. But that by no means indicates I believe that everyone in those towns feels the say way - that would be ludicrous. But the majority of the complaints about "diversity" out of the western wake crowd have very, very little to do about 'what is best for the kiddies'.