Politics & Government

August 29, 2014

Raleigh’s Crowder gets digital doppelganger on Twitter

City Councilman Thomas Crowder has become the first Raleigh elected official to be parodied on Twitter.

City Councilman Thomas Crowder has become the first Raleigh elected official to be parodied on Twitter.

Someone recently launched an account called @ThomasChowder, which describes the longtime Raleigh leader as “wearer of black, lover of municipal rules, defender of taxes and regulations, bane of Big Foodtruck.”

The account pokes fun at Crowder’s recent votes, including his opposition to a seven-story student apartment building approved for Hillsborough Street. “Tall buildings have no place in modern society #BringBackQuonsetHuts,” tweeted “Chowder.”

The parodist also linked to a recent News & Observer article about Crowder’s efforts to enforce a ban on front-yard parking. “Scofflaws beware,” the tweet said. “Mattress tag removers are next. #DontTestMe”

Until now, it seems Twitter parody accounts have been reserved for state officials. Handles like @PatMcCrony (the governor) and @ElevatorQueen (Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry) have amassed thousands of followers. Raleigh-specific parodies tend to be of inanimate objects like the modernist Oakwood house, the Peace Street bridge and the Fayetteville Street CVS Pharmacy.

Some aren’t amused by the Crowder parody. The North Raleigh Coalition of Homeowners Associations tweeted Friday that the account is “insulting,” and the group criticized the city planning department for following Chowder from its official Twitter presence.

Rojano retiring early

Wake County Human Service Director Ramon Rojano will retire next month after seven years with the department.

Rojano had planned to retire later this year, but moved up the date because of family matters, he told colleagues in a letter.

Earlier this year, the department was dealing with a troubled transition to the NC FAST system, which caused frustrating delays in the delivery of food stamps to clients. Deputy County Manager Joe Durham said that Ramon and his staff have made improvements.

The county has named longtime Human Services employee Regina Petteway as interim director. Petteway came to work for the county in 1993 and has served as assistant health director and director of community initiatives.

The department provides public health, job training, child support, housing, transportation and social services. It is the county’s largest department with more than 1,400 employees.

School policy update

The Wake County school system is considering paying the N.C. School Boards Association $24,900 to help revise the school board’s policy manual.

The NCSBA has offered to review and revise Wake’s policies and to fit them into the association’s policy manual. It would be a two-year process which would result in the renumbering and revising of Wake’s 410 existing policies.

The impetus for the proposal is Wake school board policy 1500, which says the school board “periodically shall hold a review of its operations and procedures.” School officials said a review hasn’t been done for several years.

NCSBA had offered three options of $12,500, $24,900 and $29,900. Wake school administrators backed the middle option, with several school board members saying they support the idea at a committee meeting this week.

“The cost is very appropriate,” school board member Bill Fletcher said. “The necessity of doing the review is absolutely there. It’s clear we need to do that.”

The proposal will be presented to the full school board for approval.

Poltical events

• N.C. Supreme Court candidate Judge Robert Hunter and Jeanette Doran, on behalf of N.C. Court of Appeals candidate Judge Paul Holcombe, will speak to the Republican Women of Cary and Southwestern Wake on Thursday at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. Check-in and social time is 11:30 a.m., with lunch at noon. The cost for the lunch is $20. RSVP to Sue Rousselo at RWCSW123@GMAIL.COM
• The Wake Democratic Men's Club will hear from several Democratic candidates for local office on Monday, Sept. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Downtown, 320 Hillsborough St., Raleigh. Guest speakers include Wake commissioner candidates Sig Hutchinson, John Burns, Jessica Holmes, and Matt Calabria; Wake sheriff candidates Willie Rowe; Wake clerk of court candidate Sam Bridges and Wake County District Attorney candidate Lorrin Freeman. Doors open at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m. Please make your dinner reservations no later than Thursday, Sept. 4, by email to WakeDMC@mail.com. Dinner is $20 for members of the club and $23 for non-members.

Compiled by Colin Campbell, T. Keung Hui and Martha Quillin.

Got a tip, item or coming event? Fax Triangle Politics at 919-829-4529, or send e-mail to metroeds@newsobserver.com. Send items by noon Thursday.

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