Betty Lou Ward, James West: ‘Prudent management’ top priority among commissioners

February 25, 2014 

In response to the Feb. 17 news story “GOP aims to hold majority on board”: It is necessary to address the inaccurate information provided by Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Phil Matthews, who was quoted as saying that if Democrats took over, “it wouldn’t take long to see the fund balance start drying up, taxes going up and we might even lose our AAA bond rating.”

Since 2000, there have been two Democratic majorities and two Republican majorities on the board. The county has earned the AAA rating every year.

The county’s fund-balance policy was adopted in 2011 and has been adhered to every year. Prior to that, the county had a negative fund balance six times, in three years of a Republican majority and in three years of a Democratic majority. Three of the last four property-tax increases have occurred under Republican majorities.

Last spring, the current board unanimously approved the school system’s building program that included another tax increase. Matthews is either uninformed on board history or is intentionally misleading the public.

We are determined to move forward with the school building plan approved unanimously by the Board of Commissioners, the school board and 58 percent of Wake County voters.

The historically prudent management of this county is our top priority – no matter who wins the next election.

Betty Lou Ward

James West

Caroline Sullivan

Raleigh

The writers are Democratic members of the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

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