When Wayne Maiorano campaigned for a seat on the Raleigh City Council in 2013, he said he wanted to host town hall meetings if he got elected. The idea was to hear what residents had to say in District A, which spans much of North Raleigh.
Maiorano is making good on that campaign promise. He has spent the past year hosting meetings that allow residents to get an inside look at what informs the council’s decisions.
On Wednesday, he hosted his sixth meeting since he took office in 2014 to talk about the upcoming budget process. It was held at the Anne Gordon Center for Active Adults on Spring Forest Road.
“I want to be able to be in a more intimate setting where people aren’t under the spotlight and can ask questions,” Maiorano said.
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Maiorano challenged former Councilman Randy Stagner for the District A seat, raising about $50,000 for his campaign. It was the second-highest amount raised that year, behind Mayor Nancy McFarlane’s $148,000 campaign.
During his campaign, Maiorano promised residents that he would keep them involved in the city’s affairs. At the time, he was openly critical of the council’s decision to hire a new city manager behind mostly closed doors.
He said more stakeholders, including citizens, should have been involved.
But Maiorano’s campaign wasn’t only built on criticism. He mentioned his desire for town hall meetings.
“I said it because I believe it’s important,” he said. “I’m doing it because I believe it’s important.”
He said the meetings have helped him get a better sense of residents’ issues in North Raleigh. Some people have expressed concerns about stormwater. District A is largely in the watershed area of Falls Lake.
Since gathering input from residents, Maiorano has asked city staff to take a comprehensive look at stormwater policies, which is an ongoing effort.
Gerry Coleman, who has lived in District A for 23 years, said he appreciates the immediate answers he can receive at Maiorano’s town hall meetings. He’s attended two of them.
“It’s called representative government and how I know who represents me,” he said.
Maiorano said his goal is to hold one town hall meeting every three months.
“I think they’ve been well-received,” he said.