Triangle Politics A weekly look at the local political scene

Raleigh council considers nixing newspaper legal ads

February 1, 2013 

Raleigh City Council members are looking to modernize how they get the word out about development hearings, possibly dropping newspaper ads.

Raleigh is working on a sweeping revision to its development code, and leaders are tweaking the public hearing process. An analysis of numerous notification methods showed that newspaper legal ads don’t work as well as other options – but they’re required by law.

“It’s probably the most costly notification we provide, and it’s not very effective because not very many people read the legal notices in the newspaper,” senior planner Travis Crane said.

Councilman Randy Stagner suggested the city ask state legislators to exempt Raleigh from the legal ad requirement, “not that we don’t love newspapers,” he said.

The Johnston County town of Clayton made a similar request in 2011, aiming to move notices to its website, but the town’s state senator refused, saying the print ads were important to residents who didn’t have Internet access.

Raleigh already puts all of its notices online, but city planners say that gets less attention because residents have to seek out the information. They’re looking to add advanced software to help residents sign up for targeted electronic notices. Durham already has the technology, Crane said.

‘Authentic voice of Cary’

The town of Cary this week hosted the first meeting of the 35 people who will be the “authentic voice of Cary” as the town government maps decades of coming growth.

The group will meet up to 24 times as it steers “Imagine Cary,” the town’s new comprehensive planning effort.

Among the better-known faces making introductions at the downtown Cary Arts Center was Howard Manning, director of Dorcas Ministries. Jo Ann Hines Duncan, a 42-year Cary resident and an English teacher at Cary High School, also is on the panel.

The youngest was Pooja Jooshi, 15, a sophomore at Raleigh Charter High School.

Wake’s top Republican

Wake County Republican Party Chairwoman Susan Bryant is backing a former school board candidate to be her successor.

In this week’s issue of the Wake GOP e-newsletter, Bryant announced she won’t be seeking another two-year term as chair. She said the job “requires high energy, creativity and new ideas,” and that after her two years, “you’ve received all I have of all those things.”

“It’s time for new leadership, and personally, I hope you’ll support our enormously energetic First Vice Chair, Donna Williams, to be the next Chair,” Bryant writes.

Williams unsuccessfully ran for the school board in 2011. That year, Democrats swept all five school board seats on the ballot to regain the majority.

Political Trails

• Durham Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell will deliver the city’s 11th annual State of the City Address from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Monday in the council chambers at City Hall. The regularly scheduled City Council meeting will follow immediately.

• Keith Sutton, chairman of the Wake County School Board, will speak to the Wake Democratic Men’s Club on Feb. 11 at the Clarion hotel in downtown Raleigh. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. RSVP to awdellingerjd@yahoo.com.

Compiled by Colin Campbell, Andrew Kenney and T. Keung Hui.

Got a tip, item or coming event? Fax Triangle Politics at 919-829-4529, or send e-mail to metroeds@newsobserver.com. Send items by noon Thursday.

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