Triangle Politics: A weekly look at the local political scene

Triangle Politics: Raleigh council salutes Stagner

Staff writersNovember 22, 2013 

Raleigh City Council members said their farewells Tuesday to departing Councilman Randy Stagner, who was attending his last full council meeting.

Mayor Nancy McFarlane presented a plaque to Stagner, who lost his bid for a second term to political newcomer Wayne Maiorano. “He certainly was a model of customer service,” McFarlane said of Stagner, who succeeded her as the North Raleigh District A representative. “He spent more time answering constituent emails … and finding the root of problems and trying to correct them.”

Councilman Bonner Gaylord was among several who echoed the praise. “It was clear he worked extremely hard for his constituents,” Gaylord said.

For his part, Stagner called on city officials to continue his work.

“I would ask that the initiatives that I’ve begun on their behalf continue to make their way through our local bureaucracy, especially Sandy Forks Road and stormwater issues,” he said. “Most of the folks who live in our city aren’t in this room. Help them to make government work for them.”

Fuquay-Varina hires new town manager

Adam Mitchell will become the new town manager of Fuquay-Varina.

Mitchell, who will begin his new job Jan. 6, will come from Ayden, a town of about 5,000 in Pitt County where he was been town manager for 10 years. He replaces Jon Barlow, who resigned in July.

Mitchell earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from East Carolina University and completed the UNC School of Government Municipal Administration Program, according to a news release from the town of Fuquay-Varina.

Fuquay-Varina received 30 applications for the job, according to the news release. Eight candidates were interviewed.

“During the process, it became crystal clear to everyone that Adam Mitchell was the right candidate to lead Fuquay-Varina into the future,” Mayor John Byrne said in a statement. “Adam understands the challenges that Fuquay-Varina faces as a fast growing town, and he also understands the direction this Board wants to take in the future.”

Mitchell will receive an annual salary of $130,000.

Two announce candidacy for Wake offices

Next year’s Wake County elections are months away, but two people have already announced their candidacies.

Raleigh lawyer Matt Calabria said this week he will run for the District 2 seat on the Wake County Board of Commissioners. That seat is now held by Phil Matthews, a Republican.

Calabria, a Democrat who lives in Fuquay-Varina, is an associate at the law firm of McGuireWoods, where he represents individuals and companies in commercial law, including contract, tort, insurance, product liability and landlord-tenant litigation. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he served as student body president during his senior year, and earned his law degree from Duke University.

Four county commission seats, all now held by Republicans, will be open during next year's elections. Candidates can begin filing Feb. 10.

Meanwhile, veteran sheriff’s deputy Willie Rowe has announced he is running for Wake County sheriff.

Rowe, a Democrat from Raleigh, will run for the seat now held by Donnie Harrison, a Republican. Rowe, 53, took early retirement in April after 28 years in the sheriff’s office to make the run.

Rowe retired as a major. He worked in various posts in the Drugs and Vice Unit, the Criminal Investigation Division, the Special Operations Unit and the Patrol Division.

Rowe, who announced his candidacy in October, said he’d push for increased patrols, more community interaction and early intervention to prevent at-risk young people from getting involved in crime.

Kids Voting Durham holds mock election

Kids Voting Durham is holding a party Saturday to honor the 6,000 Durham youngsters who cast votes in its mock election for mayor and City Council.

It’s also an anti-litter event: Kids (under 18) who bring in at least one leftover campaign sign from public property get their names in a drawing for a $100 prize.

The Political Sign Roundup and Celebration runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Durham Athletic Park (old ballpark) parking lot.

This year, Mayor Bill Bell won re-election in the kids’ vote, but the two contested council elections turned out the opposite of the adult vote: youngsters elected Omar Beasley and Pam Karriker over the adults’ choices, Eddie Davis and Don Moffitt.

Compiled by staff writers Colin Campbell, Sarah Nagem, Martha Quillin, T. Keung Hui and Jim Wise.

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