Local Politics

Webb resigns as Wake County commissioner

Posted September 9, 2010

— Democrat Harold Webb, who had represented east Raleigh on the Wake County Board of Commissioners for seven years, resigned on Wednesday.

Webb submitted a letter to Susan Banks, clerk of the Board of Commissioners, saying that his health had prevented him from serving his constituents full time.

Webb suffered a stroke last September. Since then, he has phoned into board meetings to cast some votes.

"I have enjoyed my years of service to the citizens of Wake County and will continue to advocate for their best interests as a private citizen," Webb wrote.

He was appointed to the Board of Commissioners in 2003 and was elected to four-year terms in 2004 and 2008, representing District 5.

"Although I will certainly miss the day-to-day responsibilities of office, I will cherish and remember with fondness the friends made during my time on the board and the many accomplishments we were able to implement for the better of Wake County," he wrote.

"It's sad he's not going to be able to finish his term," said Tony Gurley, chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

Still, Gurley questioned the timing of the move.

With less than 60 days until the general election, the Democratic Party will be allowed to pick Webb's successor. If he had resigned last week, his seat would have appeared on the ballot in November.

"I think he's allowed himself to be used by the Democratic Party, when I believe it was much better to allow citizens of Wake County to vote on a replacement," said Gurley, a Republican.

Election 1 Republican commissioner questioning timing of resignation

Jack Nichols, a former chairman of the Wake County Democratic Party who is running for a seat on the Board of Commissioners, said the party played no role in Webb's decision to step down this week.

"I can tell you there was no pressure from the Democratic Party," Nichols said. "It was his decision."

Local Democrats meet at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday at the North Carolina Association of Educators Building, at 700 S. Salisbury St. in Raleigh, to nominate Webb's replacement. Under state law, the party has 30 days pick a successor.

The Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association and the Wake County African-American Caucus will hold a candidate forum at 10 a.m. Saturday in the New Science Building Auditorium at Shaw University.

Sources told WRAL News that Raleigh City Councilman James West is a possible nominee for Webb's seat.

The Board of Commissioners has been extremely partisan in recent months, with Webb's absence producing a 3-3 vote along party lines in some cases.

"I would not like to see that happen at all, and I would like to ensure that does not occur," Commissioner Lindy Brown said.


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  • debnamdavis Sep 10, 2010

    Im sure that can be a stressful position. Regardless of his political preference...he served, he had a stroke, he resigned. Wish him well & squash all the negativity. We all are human and we make mistakes. Being a democrat, bad timing or what ever...the man stood for what he believed in...wrong or right...thats usually what we all do.

  • luvbailey Sep 9, 2010

    Just saw Tony Gurley "complaining" on the 6 o'clock news about the timing of the resignation - Webb's resignation now allows the party to name his replacement, instead of having an election to fill the seat. How ironic. Don;t forget it was Gurley who took advantage of the timing of Betty Lou Ward's "nature's call" to get himself elected Chair.

  • jbarron4950 Sep 9, 2010

    You're exactly right ezLikeSundayMorning. Mr. Webb has been improving since he had his stroke. He had hoped for a full recovery and has continued to serve through whatever means he had available. He ultimately resigned because he couldn't be physically active the way he thought he should have been in that position. He moved out of the way prior to the coming election and had he not resigned, he would have been re-elected. He could have been selfish, but he was not. I have heard all of the comments about what he should have done and I can tell you first hand that he knows himself better than most of you ever will. Unless there is a special election, someone will be appointed to finish his term and that will in no way affected the 2012 election as someone tried to imply previously.

  • jbarron4950 Sep 9, 2010

    timbo 2.0, if you want to correct me, you need to first find out if I an in error. Please read the following and the next time you want to correct someone, I would suggest that you atleast consult Webster.

    un·ques·tion·able adj \-ˈkwes-chə-nə-bəl, -ˈkwesh-\

    Definition of UNQUESTIONABLE: not questionable : indisputable

    — un·ques·tion·ably\-blē\ adverb

    Examples of UNQUESTIONABLE
    a person of unquestionable integrity
    His influence on modern art is unquestionable

    I think I said unquestionable. I think you questionable!!!!!

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Sep 9, 2010

    He was elected in 2008 and had a stroke in 2009, when he resigned made no difference in his election. He did the best he could hoping his helth would improve enough. I hope his health has been and continues to improve, but he's probably right that a year is long enough.

  • jbarron4950 Sep 9, 2010

    jbarron4950...Nice, Bio on Mr. Webb, but the fact remains, he's still a Liberal. That's all "Don't like" said. He didn't challenge his character, service to the country, or anything else. Chill out a little.....freddie cadetti 72

    It's still a stupid thing to have said and I don't need to chill out. I just hate ignorance when it's so blatant.

  • lncmomma15 Sep 9, 2010

    Liberal!, smiberal! Mr. Webb is a human being first! I can't believe that people don't want to wish him well. He has served Wake County and his Raleigh community well. Good Luck Mr Webb!! Thank you for being so strong!

  • Pseudonym Sep 9, 2010

    This had to have been a difficult decision for Mr. Webb. Whatever his politics, it always shows class and character when you care enough about your constituents to make sure they get the best representation possible, even if it means saying goodbye.

    Best wishes to Mr. Webb.

  • Raptor06 Sep 9, 2010

    "Then maybe Wake County could back to actually accomplishing something without obstructionists block the path of progress." Flipoffafriendtoday

    During my time in federal and military government duties, I've always learned that a person designated as an "obstrutionist" is normally a term associated with the writer's politics or definition of words like "progress," not the targeted peron's actual performances. Big spenders are normally individuals who spend money on things the writer doesn't like, but those same writers have no problem spending the same amount of money on their favorite projects. Money spent is always money spent.

  • bombayrunner Sep 9, 2010

    Good he is willing to step down like this. No matter what his stance, we are all Americans and should put everything aside and wish him well. Wish you good luck and health, sir! Joe Republican.