Wake County school board member Chris Malone has his swan song from the board this week before moving over to the state House to take his new seat.
During Tuesday's board meeting, Malone looked back at his tenure on the board, gave some advice to his colleagues and thanked them and staff for their help. He also acknowledged the members of the audience who've often come to the meetings in the past three years to criticize his positions.
"It’s been three good and, I think, largely productive years, tumultuous years," Malone said. "If you remember when I first got on the board, during my very initial speech during swearing in, I said that we’d live in interesting times. And I think this time that I’ve spent on the board has been very interesting.
I think we’ve done a lot for the county. We’ve tried to do, I think, each of us, the best we could do for our constituents. I decided that when I came here the thing that I would do, and try to do the best, was to make sure that I listened, that I was responsive, and I think I did a fairly good job on that. Always can do better I’m sure."
Malone said his door at the state House will always be open.
Malone thanked his fellow board members.
“I have found that I respect everybody here a great deal, had good working relationships," Malone said. "I think that we’ve done a lot of good.”
Malone thanked the public.
"Thank you to the people who would come regularly to the board and speak their mind and let us know what they thought," Malone said. "It was always informative and occasionally entertaining.”
Malone gave some final advice to the board on what he said would be a "bittersweet" departure.
"My only suggestion is to take the slow approach on assignment going forward and be sure to listen to each other and work together as best you can, which I’m sure you will," Malone said. "I’ll miss you all.”
Malone received a plaque from school board chairman Keith Sutton thanking him for his service. Sutton also gave board member Kevin Hill a plaque for his service as board chairman, saying many of the same words he had said about Malone.
Several of the other board members also thanked Malone for his service.
“You will be very missed my friend and your humor, sometimes whether it was intentional or not, was always appreciated," said board member John Tedesco. "I’m sure you will serve us well in the General Assembly and remember us all well here. When it comes time for us to need a few extra dollars, you know I will be coming to bug you. “
Board member Deborah Prickett said Malone will continue to represent Wake County, just at a different level.
Board member Jim Martin said he appreciated Malone's candor.
"We haven’t always agreed, but then again neither would any two people." Martin said. "But I’ve really appreciated the candor that we’ve been able to have in a lot of conversations. I know that you and I can sit down and talk and have a very frank and honest conversation.
And we may not walk away agreeing, but I think we usually walk away respecting each other and I do appreciate that. We’ll see you in the House. I’ll come down on occasion."