Local Politics

Power shifts among Wake County commissioners

Posted December 6, 2010

— There’s a shift in power for the Wake County Board of Commissioners, as newly elected members took the oath of office, moving from a Democratic-controlled board to a 4-3 Republican majority.

The board, now led by Former Raleigh Mayor Paul Coble, who was elected chairman at its meeting Monday, and newly elected commissioner Phil Matthews, named vice chairman – reversed a number of county policies approved by the previous board.

In a vote along party lines, the board voted 4-3 to reverse a change in county policy that allows taxpayer dollars to be used to pay for abortions for county employees. That policy was approved in March, when the Democratic majority voted to reinstate health coverage for elective abortions.

The board also voted 7-1 (with Commissioner Stan Norwalk against the measure) in favor of reversing a measure passed by Democratic commissioners in April to "express their deep concern over any attempt to re-segregate Wake's public schools."

Some worry that Republicans rescinding the resolution will send the message that they are for segregation, but Republicans say it was essentially a meaningless and politicized measure in the first place.

Also brought back in a vote by the board Monday is a requirement that the Wake County Public School System Board of Education give quarterly reports to commissioners on the “purpose and function” of budget projects. Democratic commissioners did away with that rule in January.

The board also approved a plan to improve the Davie Street parking deck across from the Raleigh Convention Center.

Republicans won all four vacant seats in November’s election. The new majority takes over in tough economic times. County Manager David Cooke said departments would be asked to make more reductions.


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  • simracer68 Dec 7, 2010

    Sounds like Wake Co may be on the way back to being a place to want to live again...Sounds also like this new board is on the right direction to get things done. And yes, Republicans are the ones called in every few cycles to clean up the Dems' tax-and-spend messes that lead us nowhere, typically, but deeper into debt with no measureable positive takeaways from their frivolous and superficial feel-good policies.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 7, 2010

    Do you guys even live in Wake County? You're probably like that Barber character in Durham. Protesting with the NAACP about Wake County. If you don't like our progress, MOVE!

  • jtd1969 Dec 7, 2010

    I agree RoadRunner, gonna get bad..

  • rroadrunner99 Dec 7, 2010

    Have any of you ever heard that old saying " It can go from bad to worse"? Sit back and watch, You're gonna want to see this...

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 7, 2010

    raleigh1983, last I checked there isn't a wall around Wake County. You're welcome to leave.

  • raleigh1983 Dec 7, 2010

    Just the beginning of sad times for Wake County.

  • Z Man Dec 7, 2010

    geosol - This is perfect!!! Right wingers never learn, do they? They were elected on campaign promises to work on fixing the economy, but the first things they do is try to appease their far right whacko base on extremist social issues. Keep it up kids, and you'll get the reward from the voters that you so richly deserve. Again.

    Right wingers never learn? How many dems have we sent to prison? And you keep voting for them?!?!?! Mike Easly just got away with a WHOLE bunch of improper use of his office for personal gain problems because of a technicality. Right wingers never learn? Yea, right.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 7, 2010

    Da,da,da,DA,Da... I'm Lov'in It!

  • applesmith Dec 7, 2010

    Same old faces that have been on the political scene for years here in Wake County. These people are not in these positions to help people. They are very self serving and to some extent power hungry. Politicans give the perception that "HEY I'M HERE TO HELP THE GENERAL WELL BEING" thats a load of stink. People need to wake up and start taking care of there own. Because goverment does not put your well being first and foremost on its agenda. Does not matter which party controls what. Same song and dance different director!!!!!!

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Dec 6, 2010

    I hear both Norwalk and Ward are going to retire early! Alright Repubs, and it's just day one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!