Triangle Politics A weekly look at the local political scene

Raleigh councilmen plan town hall meetings

March 28, 2014 

Two Raleigh City Council members are launching town hall meetings for issues affecting their districts.

Wayne Maiorano, who represents North Raleigh’s District A, and Eugene Weeks of Southeast Raleigh’s District C announced the initiatives this month but haven’t set dates.

“We’re going to do three town meetings over the next several months where we’ll be able to address issues of importance to District A,” Maiorano said.

Weeks said his meetings will be similar. “I think Councilor Maiorano has been reading my mind, because I’ve come up with the same conclusion,” he said.

In District A, potential topics include future water and sewer needs, stormwater management, traffic and transit, and the Six Forks Road corridor study. Weeks expects his meetings will address sidewalks, streetlights, economic development and the New Bern Avenue corridor study.

Councilman Thomas Crowder has held similar meetings monthly for years in Southwest Raleigh through the District D Neighborhood Alliance. And the always high-tech District E Councilman Bonner Gaylord has been working on a series of online video forums with constituents.

Sutton: No need for lobbyist

Wake County school board member Keith Sutton is not recommending that the board hire a lobbyist this year.

Last year, the board hired Theresa Kostrzewa in what would be a successful campaign to lobby state legislators to not pass a bill that would have transferred school construction authority to the Wake County Board of Commissioners. But Sutton, chairman of the school board’s government relations committee, said he doesn’t think a lobbyist is needed when the General Assembly reconvenes in May for the short session.

Sutton said at Monday’s committee meeting that the board should continue to have a legislative affairs liaison to help monitor what’s going on in the General Assembly. Last year, the board paid $25,000 to Courtney Crowder to be the liaison.

Wake was the only one of the state’s 115 school districts to have a lobbyist at the legislature last year, according to Leanne Winner, chief lobbyist for the N.C. School Boards Association.

Justice system forum

Durham candidates for district attorney and contested District Court judgeships can make their cases in an April 10 forum sponsored by the Durham County Bar Association and 14th District Judicial Bar.

The forum, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in courtroom 4D of the Durham County Courthouse, is open to the public.

District attorney candidates are Brian Aus, Roger Echols and Mitchell Garrell.

In judge races, Stephen Storch opposes incumbent Pat Evans; Aminah M. Thompson and Fred Battaglia are challenging incumbent Nancy Gordon; and Mark J. Simeon and Henry Pruette are challenging incumbent Doretta L. Walker.

Judges James T. Hill, Marcia Morey and Brian Wilks are running unopposed for re-election.

Political events

• Phyllis Craig-Taylor, dean of the N.C. Central University School of Law, will be the guest speaker at Durham Democratic Women’s next public meeting 3 p.m. April 6 at Southwest Durham Library, 3605 Shannon Road.

• The East Wake Republican Club will hold a debate of Republican U.S. Senate candidates 7 p.m. April 11, at Hephzibah Baptist Church, 1794 Wendell Blvd. in Wendell. Dinner for $10 is served at 5:30 p.m., followed by the debate. For tickets, go to

Compiled by Colin Campbell, T. Keung Hui and Jim Wise.

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