Raleigh City Council newcomer Wayne Maiorano got the committee assignments he wanted Tuesday night as Mayor Nancy McFarlane doled out positions for the new council term.
Raleigh’s five council committees, which meet twice a month, are where the city’s heavy lifting gets done. The full council refers complex issues to committees to hold public hearings and in-depth discussion. Much of the recent Moore Square food-handout debate, for example, was handled within the law and public safety committee, with a final vote taken by the full council.
Maiorano’s predecessor, Randy Stagner, was a close ally of McFarlane’s and got three key committee posts when he joined the council in 2011 – law and public safety, comprehensive planning, and budget and economic development.
In an email to the mayor last week, Maiorano, a Republican, said he’d like to join law and public safety.
“It may prove beneficial to have an attorney on the committee,” he said. Improving safety on Raleigh’s greenway system was one of his campaign promises.
Maiorano will also serve on the technology and communications committee and the public works committee.
“District A (North Raleigh) certainly wrestles with water issues, and public works will be an important place for that,” he said. “I am looking forward to helping both our city and our council in any way I can. The mayor has determined where I best fit.”
Councilman Russ Stephenson, a close ally of McFarlane’s, will take Stagner’s place on the budget and economic development committee. Councilman Eugene Weeks will join the comprehensive planning committee. Other assignments and committee chair posts will remain the same.
Also on Tuesday, the council voted unanimously to put two veteran councilmen in the mayor pro tem role – the leader who fills in whenever McFarlane isn’t present.
District B Councilman John Odom, a Republican who first joined the council in 1993, will hold the position for the next year. In December 2014, District D Councilman Thomas Crowder, a Democrat who has served since 2003, will begin a one-year stint in the role.
The council first split the mayor pro tem’s term in 2011, when a disagreement erupted over whether to appoint Weeks or Stephenson. The compromise put each man in the role for one year – a model the council opted to repeat.