Triangle Politics: A weekly look at the local political scene

TriPol: Raleigh seeks input for city manager hire

From staff reportsJune 14, 2013 

Raleigh City Council wants to hear from residents as it starts looking for a new city manager.

They’re asking residents to fill out a three-question survey and submit their thoughts online or by mail before 5 p.m. Wednesday. The survey asks what qualities residents want to see in the new manager and what questions candidates for the job should be asked. The council also wants residents to identify the most important challenges the city faces in the coming years.

The survey is available at raleighnc.gov.

Council members also plan to poll city employees with additional questions, according to an email from City Councilman Russ Stephenson.

Current City Manager Russell Allen was fired in April and leaves at the end of the month. The search for a replacement could be contentious: The council spent more than eight hours behind closed doors before agreeing to name Chief Financial Officer Perry James as interim manager.

They recently set an October deadline to have a hire in place before council elections.

Garner goes to All America final

The Town of Garner sent a delegation of about 40 to Denver for the finals of the All America City competition held by the National Civic League.

A wide variety of representatives will make a presentation about the town and respond to questions and answers from a panel in an effort to be among the 10 cities named an All America City out of 20 finalists.

The competition has been held every year since 1949; no city from the Triangle has won the title since Durham in 1983. Wake County hasn’t had a winner in 38 years. The theme is honoring military and veterans; Garner completed its grass-roots-funded, $500,000 Veterans Memorial this spring. The project features prominently in the towns bid.

‘Fire sculpture’ to be relocated

While several contractors said Cary’s controversial “fire sculpture” couldn’t be moved, one now has stepped forward. Bryant Industrial Crane & Rigging will tow the 11-foot clay tower a quarter-mile, at a total cost of $28,000, to its final resting place in an empty, town-owned lot.

The sculpture, created for $40,000 by a Danish artist in a fiery fall ceremony, has divided Cary, with many calling it an eyesore. The move will bring it from a prominent downtown location to a future park site. A public art grant will fund half the move.

Officials scolded for behavior

Wake County’s top two governing bodies didn’t come off in a good light during this week’s debate about a new state bill changing how and when Wake school board members are elected.

Several legislators brought up the turmoil between the school board and county commissioners, saying they need to be the “adults” in the room. State Rep. Darren Jackson, a Knightdale Democrat, noted that members of both bodies were insulting each other during a February joint meeting.

“You’ll be absolutely embarrassed about how they behaved,” Jackson said. “Name-calling, talking over each other. It’s absolutely embarrassing.”

Jackson was unsuccessful in persuading his colleagues not to pass the school board election bill, which is now state law.

Political trails

Dale Folwell, assistant. Secretary of Employment Security, will speak at the monthly luncheon of the Wake County Republican Women’s Club at the N.C. State University Club, 4200 Hillsborough St. Social begins at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch for $19 at 11:45. RSVP no later than Monday to 1wcrwc@gmail.com or online at www.wakerepublicanwomen.org.

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 Andrew Kenney, Kyle Jahner, T. Keung Hui and Colin Campbell.

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