Wake County mayors are bailing out of Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker's proposed committee of lawyers and educators that would review Wake County's developing student assignment plan.
As noted in today's article by Sadia Latifi and Ray Martin, at least three Wake mayors have changed their minds about joining and several more are on the fence. Meeker has only gotten assurances of three of the county's other 11 mayors that they'll stay on the committee.
“After having learned more about it, it’s clear that it’s not going to be a community-based group that’s going to look at the plan,” Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly said. “[To evaluate the plan] is the responsibility of the duly elected Wake County Board of Education.”
Mayors Dick Sears of Holly Springs and Ronnie Williams of Garner also have decided not to participate. They join three other mayors– Cary’s Harold Weinbrecht, Rolesville’s Frank Eagles and Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones - who declined an invitation earlier this week.
Meeker said he’ll stay the course for now, despite the diminished numbers.
“Naturally, it would be better to have more mayors,” Meeker said. “People from each town would obviously look at their own area first, but we’d still be looking at the whole plan.”
Meeker also said if only a few mayors participate, they might appoint more than two members of their community.
Mayors John Byrne of Fuquay-Varina and Harold Broadwell of Wendell also previously said they would participate. But both said Thursday that they’re confused by the composition and mission of the committee and that they need more information about how the group would work before appointing citizens from their towns.
Meeker has still got the support of Knightdale Mayor Russell Killen, Morrisville Mayor Jackie Holcombe and Zebulon Mayor Bob Matheny.
“I don’t want this to be a contentious sort of thing,” Matheny said. “I don’t have a grudge against the school board, but … I think citizen input helps.”