Triangle Politics: A weekly look at the local political scene

TriPol: Wake school board candidates to appear at public forums

From staff reportsSeptember 7, 2013 

With the election a month away, voters will get a chance to hear from some Wake County school board candidates at a series of public forums starting Monday.

Voters will choose board members in four districts – 1, 2, 7 and 9 – on Oct. 8 and will decide whether to support a $810 million bond issue to fund school construction and repairs.

The forums are sponsored by WakeUP Wake County, the League of Women Voters of Wake County, Western Wake Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Youth Organizing Institute, El Pueblo and Congregations for Social Justice. The forums are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., starting with a half-hour bond information session. Here’s the schedule:

• District 9: Monday, Sept. 9, Covenant Christian Church, 2911 Southwest Cary Parkway, in Cary.

• District 2: Thursday, Sept. 12, Garner Performing Arts Center, 742 West Garner Road, in Garner.

• District 7: Thursday, Sept. 19, St. Francis of Assisi, 11401 Leesville Road, in Raleigh.

• District 1: Thursday, Sept. 26, Wake Chapel Church, 3805 Tarheel Club Road, in Raleigh.

The groups also will hold a forum for candidates for Raleigh city council and mayor on Monday, Sept. 16, at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. Registration is not required but encouraged. To RSVP and for more information, go to www.wakeupwakecounty.org.

At least two school board candidates, Deborah Prickett in District 7 and Matt Scruggs in District 2, say they will not attend the forums.

Prickett declined to say why; Scruggs says he had a previously scheduled campaign event the night of the District 2 forum. He and his opponent, Monika Johnson Hostler, will appear at a forum sponsored by the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Star Theater, 123 East Vance St., starting at 7 p.m.

Women’s group offers guide

The League of Women Voters of Wake County also has put out an online voters guide for the Wake County school board races.

Voters can type in their address at www.vote411.org/ballot to get a personalized guide. It will include the text for the school bond issue and, if they live in one of the districts with school board races, the side-by-side responses from candidates to issue-related questions.

Board member Deborah Prickett was the only one of the eight candidates who doesn’t appear in the guide. Prickett said her lack of participation was accidental.

Scouts visit lively council chat

A group of Boy Scouts got an earful when they attended Tuesday’s Raleigh City Council meeting to work on their latest merit badge.

Most of the evening meeting consisted of comments from the public, giving people a three-minute soapbox to address whatever was on their minds. Some were angry about no-parking signs on their street, while others were upset about the use of fluoride in the city’s drinking water.

The young men might have been a bit troubled by one man’s assertions that fluoride – added to the water supply to promote dental health – is a chemical weapon similar to those believed to have been used in Syria.

Councilman Randy Stagner acknowledged that possibility at the end of the meeting. “The last time we had a group of Boy Scouts here, I had a concerned Boy Scout that wanted to know what our water treatment system was like,” he said.

So to add to the civics lesson, Stagner offered to take the boys on a tour of the city’s E.M. Johnson Water Treatment Plant. Chances are the tour will offer a different, less dramatic view of fluoride.

Political Events

• Cary is collecting questions from residents to candidates for town council and the Wake County school board who are participating in the Cary Community Candidate Forum on Sept. 18. The deadline for questions is Sept. 10.

Send them by email at questions@caryvotes.com; U.S. mail at Attn: Cary Forum/NC Center for Voter Education, 3933 Arrow Drive #101, Raleigh 27612; by phone at 919- 783-8811; by fax at 919-783-8855; at Facebook at www.facebook.com/ncvotered or on YouTube at www.youtube.com/ncvotered.

Anonymous questions or questions from non-Cary residents will not be accepted. For details, visit www.caryvotes.com.

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 T. Keung Hui and Colin Campbell.

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