Triangle Politics A weekly look at the local political scene

Raleigh gives thumbs-up to RTP vision

November 9, 2012 

The unveiling of Research Triangle Park’s new master plan Friday prompted a flurry of comments on Twitter from Raleigh leaders who applauded the focus on mass transit and mixed-use development.

“No more single use office park. Hello 21st century,” tweeted Raleigh planning director Mitchell Silver.

“Mixed use, land efficiency, new development model for #RTP. Housing, retail, transit critical. Goal: CREATE JOBS,” added City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin.

The new approach at RTP mirrors Raleigh’s own emphasis on a more compact, walkable, transit-friendly city.

The city’s comprehensive plan envisions 60 percent of new growth in downtown, seven growth centers, 12 transit-oriented centers and roughly 40 mixed-use community centers. The City Council is hashing out a unified development ordinance, or UDO, to ensure developers stay true to the vision.

Not to be outdone, the Greater Raleigh Chamber took to its Twitter account Friday to share in the good feelings: “Big things happening at @TheRTP! Exciting times!”

Durham council seat open

Durham is looking for a new city council member for Ward 3, after Mike Woodard resigned at a council work session Thursday, two days after winning the District 22 state Senate seat.

After congratulatory applause, Councilman Eugene Brown handed Woodard a bottle of red wine.

“Based upon the current makeup of the state Senate, you may need this,” Brown said.

Woodard, a Democrat going into the Republican-dominated legislature, looked at the label.

“Based on the current makeup – this says it’s only 13.5 percent alcohol,” Woodard said.

Woodard’s resignation is effective Dec. 31. The remaining council members will elect a successor to serve out the last year of his term in January. Anyone interested in the seat has until noon Nov. 30 to apply.

Application information and forms are available from the city clerk’s office: 919-560-4166 or by email at ann.gray@durhamnc.gov.

Goldman, Tedesco seeking work

A couple of Wake County school board members need full-time jobs after losing their campaigns this week for statewide office.

Board member Debra Goldman posted on her Facebook page Wednesday that she’s searching for a full-time job and asked people to “please let me know” if they could help. Goldman was the Republican nominee for state auditor.

Board member John Tedesco, in an interview Wednesday, said he’s looking for a full-time job after going through his life savings as the Republican nominee for state schools superintendent. He said the financial situation might cause him not to run for reelection to the school board next year.

If they had won, they would have received annual salaries of $124,676. Instead, both are stuck with school board stipends of $14,838 a year because the job is officially considered a part-time position.

3 join municipalities board

The Triangle has three new members on the board of the N.C. League of Municipalities, the organization that looks out for the interests of city and town governments.

Clayton Mayor Jody McLeod, Cary Town Council member Jennifer Robinson and Eleanor Green, human resources director for the town of Apex, were recently appointed to the board at the league’s annual meeting.

They join Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams, Zebulon Mayor Bob Matheny and Raleigh attorney Tom McCormick on the board.

Got a tip, item or coming event?

Fax Triangle Politics at 919-829-4529, or send email to metroeds@newsobserver.com. Send items by noon Thursday.

Compiled by Matt Garfield, Jim Wise, T. Keung Hui and Richard Stradling.

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