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Heated words exchanged by Wake County school board members and county commissioners

It's not an understatement to say that today's joint meeting of the Wake County school board and Wake County Commissioners got heated.

School board members accused commissioners of slapping them in the face and putting a school bond issue in danger by asking for changes in state law in who owns schools and how the school board is elected. Commissioners countered that the board’s actions have already cost the public’s trust and that unless the changes are passed that a badly needed bond won’t pass this fall.

“It’s a sad day when we’ve gotten to the point where we seem to enjoy not working with each other,” said Commissioner James West, a Democrat.

Also during the meeting, four of the school board member across party lines indicated that it might be better to wait until 2014 to have a bond. They cited issues such as the short time frame to get the details done, the challenge of getting public support and the acrimony with the commissioners.

UPDATE

Click here for the article on the joint meeting.

Republican Wake County Commissioners criticize school board

The bad blood continues to flow between the Wake County Board of Commissioners and the school board.

As noted in today's article by Martha Quillin, Republican commissioners accused the school system of misleading taxpayers about its fund balance. The GOP majority also tabled approval of a land purchase for a northeast Raleigh middle school and accused the school board of engaging in politics in wanting them to approve buying the former YWCA building in Raleigh.

GOP commissioners said they were speaking for the taxpayers. But Democratic commissioners said Republicans were endangering development of the next school bond issue and harming relations with the school board.

Wake County Commissioners discuss school issues Tuesday

You might have been wondering whose meeting you were attending on Tuesday as school issues came up at the meetings of the Wake County school board and county commissioners.

As noted in today's article, commissioners voiced their concerns about the school system proposal's to add unarmed private security officers to every elementary school. As noted in today's article by Josh Shaffer, school board members reacted to the school issues that the commissioners were voting on as part of their 2013 State Legislative Agenda.

All this suggests a rocky road ahead as they work together on the bond issue and school funding.

Joe Bryan on reestablishing and restoring the relationship between the Wake County school board and county commissioners

Joe Bryan talked about restoring the relationship with the Wake County school board fresh off his election today as the new chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners,

Bryan was elected chairman in a 4-3 party line vote with all the Republicans voting for him and all the Democrats voting for Betty Lou Ward. In a similar 4-3 vote, Phil Matthews was re-elected vice chairman over James West.

Bryan acknowledged how strained relations have become between the school board and commissioners in the past year. He'll likely be working with Keith Sutton, who is expected to be elected the new school board chairman on Tuesday by the Democratic majority.

"I see the biggest challenge that we face personally is trying to reestablish, to restore our partnership wit the Wake County Board of Education and to in fact bring about a successful school bond issue for this coming year," Bryan said during his acceptance remarks.

1354563855 Joe Bryan on reestablishing and restoring the relationship between the Wake County school board and county commissioners The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County Commissioner candidates differ on school bond and firing of Superintendent Tony Tata

Not surprisingly, the recent firing of Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata and the possible 2013 school bond issue came up at Thursday's forum for candidates for county commissioner.

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, the Republican candidates criticized Tata's firing while the Democratic candidates said it was the Democratic board majority's prerogative. They also differed on the need for a bond issue.

Republican candidates Paul Fitts and Dale Cooke called it a "colossal" mistake to fire Tata.

1349431265 Wake County Commissioner candidates differ on school bond and firing of Superintendent Tony Tata The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Janes West running unopposed for Wake County commissioner

Wake County school board members know for sure at least one of the county commissioners who will be elected this fall.

The filing period closed today with no Republican filing to run for Commissioner James West's District 5 seat. West is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. He's the first person running in an uncontested race for Wake County commissioner since 1994.

West, who was appointed to the board of commissioners in September 2010 to fill a vacancy, has said the school system will remain one of his priorities.

In District 4, Republican Dale Cooke will oppose Democrat Caroline Sullivan. In District 6, Democratic incumbent Betty Lou Ward will run against Republican Paul Fitts. The races are countywide even though the candidates must live in their district.

Wake County Commissioner Erv Portman running for state Senate

Erv Portman has become the third Wake County commissioner to seek higher office this year.

Portman announced today he's filed for the state Senate seat now held by Republican Richard Stevens, who isn't seeking another term. Portman's candidacy means he's giving up the chance to run for the seat on the commissioners that expires this year.

Portman, a Democrat, was appointed last year to fill the opening caused by Stan Norwalk's resignation.

James West warns about dismantling school system

Raleigh City Councilman James West spoke out about the changes going on in the Wake County school system on Tuesday after being tapped to take the vacancy on the Wake County Board of Commissioners,

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, the leadership of the Wake County Democratic Party tapped West to replace Harold Webb, who resigned last week. It's pro forma for the commissioners to confirm West's appointment on Monday.

"We have a world-class school system compared to other school systems throughout the country," West said in his acceptance speech. "We certainly don't want to see the school system dismantled."

Wake County Commissioner Harold Webb resigns

Wake County Commissioner Harold Webb has resigned and he's doing so in a way designed to limit the potential fallout for Democrats at the polls this year.

Webb's resignation comes within two months of the Nov. 2 general elections. The timing of his resignation means that the Wake County Democratic Party will appoint Webb's replacement to serve through the rest of his term, which runs through 2012.

If Webb had resigned earlier, his seat would have gone on the November ballot. You've already got all three Republican commissioners and Democrat Lindy Brown seeking reelection.

UPDATE

Thomas Goldsmith is reporting that Raleigh City Councilman James West is the likely successor to Webb.

Tedesco asking community leaders to join task force

Wake County school board member John Tedesco has approached several African-American leaders to be a part of the economically disadvantaged student performance task force.

Tedesco said he's contacted several people, including Raleigh City Councilman James West, Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association President Daniel Coleman and the Rev. Patrick Wooden, the pastor of Raleigh's Upper Room Church of God in Christ. He said he's been asking people who are leaders and who represent a broad section of the community.

Tedesco said he has not asked the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, to participate on the task force. Both men have had a war of words over the new school board majority's plan to end the diversity policy.

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