Politics & Government

Judge calls summit on Wake election maps

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing Tuesday to discuss how to carry out an appellate ruling that declared the state legislature’s maps for Wake County Board of Commissioners and school board to be unconstitutional.

In an order Wednesday, U.S. Chief District Court Judge James C. Dever III asked attorneys for the plaintiffs, the Wake County Board of Elections, the State Board of Elections and Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore to appear in his Raleigh courtroom next week.

Dever said he wants to hear when the State Board of Elections can submit new Wake election maps that can be used in the Nov. 8 election. State election officials have told Dever they don’t have the software or expertise to draw new maps but would do so if directed by the court.

Dever also wants state legislative leaders to tell him when they can submit “illustrative maps” that could be used to help draw new election districts. Berger and Moore had told Dever that the General Assembly wouldn’t be able to adopt new Wake maps this year but could provide examples.

In a prior order, Dever had told election officials and legislative leaders he was prepared to draw new Wake maps if neither group did so.

Dever also acknowledged in his new order that the plaintiffs want him to reinstate the maps that the school board and commissioners adopted in 2011 before they were replaced by the General Assembly.

Colonial Inn takeover

The town of Hillsborough has begun legal proceedings to acquire the former Colonial Inn by eminent domain.

The town has placed a $250,000 deposit with the Orange County Clerk of Court, which is the estimated fair market value of the 177-year-old structure at 153 W. King St.

The owner, Colonial Inn LLC, has 120 days to respond. If it doesn’t challenge the filing or accept the deposit, title for the property would then transfer to the town.

Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said the town is following three principles.

“First, the primary goal is simply to see that this historic landmark in our community is preserved for future generations,” he said. “Second, that we make decisions regarding the property based on solid information rather than sentiments. And finally, that we treat all parties fairly and respectfully as we move toward that goal.”

The town is considering transferring ownership to a public-private partnership, which would pay for an estimated $3 million in renovations to the decayed structure.

Political events

▪ State Auditor candidate Chuck Stuber will speak to the Republican Women of Cary and Southwestern Wake on Thursday, Aug. 4, at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. Check-in and social time is 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch at noon. Lunch costs $20. RSVP to RWCSW123@gmail.com

Compiled by T. Keung Hui and Mark Schultz

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