Regarding the Sept. 3 editorial “ The Four Nos” chastising the Wake County commissioners for not attending the proposed League of Women Voters-WakeUp Wake County candidate forums, you conveniently left out some salient facts.
First, you omitted that the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, along with some liberal groups, is engaged in a lawsuit that involves Wake County and has had its legal representatives depose our director of the County Board of Elections regarding our state’s voter ID law. This law includes several reforms such as requiring voters to vote in their assigned precincts and requiring voters in the 2016 elections to show voter IDs. This is significant because the county commissioners passed a resolution in support of these common sense reforms. This creates an inherent conflict and does lend itself to an open and objective debate.
Second, it is hard to cast WakeUp Wake County as an impartial participant in county elections when it has taken several pro-tax stands contrary to the commission and currently has at least two Board of Adviser members seeking public office in Wake County. One of these individuals, Sig Hutchinson, is actively running against Wake County Commissioner Joe Bryan. The group also has at least one other member who is a named plaintiff in another lawsuit involving Wake County.
Third, we have agreed to participate in no fewer than eight bipartisan forums throughout the county so that interested voters can hear from us on how we have managed our budget in a major recession, increased the teacher pay supplement to the highest in the state, created a workable process for a new, meaningful transit plan and worked to prepare a plan for spending almost $1 billion for school construction. We are also addressing the fact that the school system is sitting on an unspent surplus of almost $70 million while asking the taxpayers for more money.
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Our efforts have resulted in Wake County’s once again receiving the highest financial ratings from Standard and Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s. I would find it hard to believe that any candidates are participating in more campaign events than we are, so how is it that we are “limiting public participation”?
Paul Y. Coble
Wake County commissioner, Raleigh
The length limit was waived to permit a fuller response to the editorial.