Midtown Raleigh News

Fact-checking attack ads in Raleigh’s District A council race

Wayne Maiorano
Wayne Maiorano

North Raleigh residents have seen their mailboxes stuffed in recent weeks with advertisements from the two District A City Council candidates, Randy Stagner and Wayne Maiorano.

Both sides are distributing attack ads, and like most political campaigns, the accusations aren’t entirely accurate.

Here’s a look at what the candidates are saying about each other and how the claims hold up.

Maiorano: Stagner has no plan to address greenway safety. While it’s true that Stagner hasn’t pushed for more police officers on the greenway, he has made the safety concerns a priority. Stagner helped start the city’s greenway volunteer program, which trains active greenway users to spot suspicious activity and serve as an extra set of eyes and ears for the police department on the trails.

Stagner: Maiorano opposes the city’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan, which governs future development in the city. Maiorano has called for new plans for the city’s future but calls the existing Comprehensive Plan “well done.”

“When I talk about creating a vision and plan for managing growth, I am talking concrete plans for what we want to become as a city and how are we going to get there,” Maiorano wrote in an email. “It only just starts with the Comp Plan; it does not end there.”

Maiorano: Stagner “instigated the firing of the city manager” after a tense exchange about his reserved parking space. Email records show Stagner called for the council to “discuss (Russell Allen’s) future with the City of Raleigh” in January. Stagner has said the parking issue had nothing to do with the firing, which took place four months later and had the support of five other council members.

Stagner: Maiorano was recruited for the nonpartisan race by the Wake County Republican Party. While he’s been endorsed by the Wake GOP and is a registered Republican, Maiorano says the claim is false.

“A group of Democrats and independents recruited me to run against Mr. Stagner,” he said. “It has never been about party or politics for me.”

Maiorano: Stagner voted to fund the troubled Raleigh Business and Technology Center. Stagner joined all seven other members of the council in voting for budgets that included an annual appropriation for the Southeast Raleigh business incubator. The funding was established long before Stagner was elected in 2011, and there’s no indication he or anyone else on the council was aware of financial troubles until the city’s audit was released in July.

Stagner: Maiorano is a “real estate and commercial development lawyer” whose firm “regularly appears before the council.” While Maiorano’s online legal profile shows he represents developers on construction-related legal matters, he says he’s not a land-use or development attorney, and his firm Smith Anderson has only two of 120 lawyers who represent developers before the Raleigh City Council. He compared his situation to that of former Mayor Charles Meeker, who had to recuse himself whenever colleagues at the Parker Poe firm came before the council.