After one final round of wrangling, Raleigh City Council members said this week that theyre done talking about a possible switch to four-year terms.
The decision ends, for now, a debate that has continued off and on since 2008. There has been no outcry from constituents to change the current two-year setup, Councilman Bonner Gaylord said.
If we hear from them at a higher level that this is important, then I think we should move forward, Gaylord said. Absent that voice, I think were making a biased decision about our own job descriptions.
Councilman Thomas Crowder said if residents wanted longer terms, theyd let it be known, just as activists in Southeast and Southwest Raleigh rallied for greater representation on the council 40 years ago.
We dont know what the citizens are totally thinking, but if they did think the city was moving in the wrong direction, we would see them come forward like they did in the 1970s, he said.
Crowder called on his colleagues to put it to bed, a suggestion that drew grudging agreement from Councilman John Odom, a proponent of four-year terms.
The votes are not here, Odom said. I suggest we move on.
Raid results in new policies
Police Chief Chris Blue said Chapel Hill is building on the lessons learned 10 months ago in the raid on a vacant downtown building.
A slew of new and amended policies stemming from the November raid were released this week. The policies cover media communication, Special Enforcement Response Team deployment, and police responses to peaceful demonstrations and other large-scale incidents.
Police, armed with assault rifles and led by SERT officers, charged eight people with misdemeanors after the raid. The self-described anti-capitalist occupiers had taken over the Yates Building, a former car dealership on West Franklin Street, and spread word of their plans to open a community center there.
The sight of police pointing weapons at peoples heads divided the community and set off an investigation and months of talks about the use of force.
Blue said the comments were hard to take sometimes but also were supportive of the tough job police perform in a college town. A Community Policing Advisory Committee and outside consulting firm helped fine-tune the information and develop policies reflective of the community, he said.
I think the true test of an organizations mettle is not necessarily the response to a situation but what you do with that information afterward, Blue said.
Parties get Centerfest booths
Politics will be represented at next weekends Centerfest, the Durham Arts Councils revived downtown street fair.
The Durham Peoples Alliance, a progressive political-action group, has reserved space for a booth. So have the Durham County Democratic and Republican parties, and the Triangle Green Party.
According to the Centerfest roster, the Triangle Greens are an accredited local of the N.C. Green Party, which is trying to get state recognition as an official political party.
• Democratic candidates Lisa Baker, Charles Malone, Erv Portman and Caroline Sullivan, and Wake County party Chairman Dan Blue III will appear at a precinct meeting and rally Saturday afternoon at the Rotary Shelter in Ritter Park, Lochmere Drive, Cary. The event starts at 3 p.m. and is open to the public.
Compiled by Matt Garfield, Tammy Grubb and Jim Wise
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