Local Politics

New Wake commissioners to hit ground running

Posted November 30, 2014 10:20 p.m. EST
Updated December 1, 2014 5:23 a.m. EST

— Four new Wake County commissioners will be sworn in on Monday, and they plan to immediately focus on two key issues.

“We heard the voters in November and what they said is they want to move forward on public education, start working with school board,” Sig Hutchinson said. “They want to move forward on transit.”

Hutchinson, along with Matt Calabria, Jessica Holmes and John Burns, defeated opponents Joe Bryan, Phil Matthews, Rich Gianni and Paul Coble, respectively, in last month's election. The entire Wake County Board of Commissioners will be in the hands of a single party for the first time in recent memory.

Incumbent Caroline Sullivan is looking forward to discussing transit options with citizens, including the possibility of a rail system.

“A week from tomorrow, we'll have our first transit meeting and hopefully we'll have a lot of public involvement and comment,” she said.

Hutchinson said commissioners plan to meet with Wake County Board of Education members in the near future. Relations between the two boards have been frosty in recent years as they bickered over education spending and control of school construction and maintenance.

Much of the upcoming discussions will center around funding, but Hutchinson acknowledges that commissioners don’t have all the answers.

“We're just starting with those types of issues, and the first step from the public school perspective is sitting down with the school board, listening to them and developing a long-term plan,” he said.

Hutchinson said all perspectives will be heard, even with the board of commissioners being all Democrats.

“Every voice will be heard and every view will be represented as we move into 2015,” he said.