Commissioners nix public discussion of board candidates to spare feelings; will vote Monday on Heron's replacement | News | Indy Week
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Commissioners nix public discussion of board candidates to spare feelings; will vote Monday on Heron's replacement

Posted by on Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 5:18 PM

As they considered who to appoint to replace former colleague Becky Heron, Durham County Commissioners Wednesday decided they wouldn't talk about the candidates' qualities or qualifications in a public meeting, or rank their favorites, as had been planned. Heron resigned effective Aug. 1 due to poor health.


The commissioners interviewed eight candidates for the job on Tuesday, and before they adjourned, they discussed using time during Wednesday's work session for each commissioner to rank his or her top three favorite choices.

But when the commissioners met Wednesday, they decided that discussing the candidates or ranking them might end up offending some candidates who spent hours preparing for the four-hour interview, during which they answered questions on education, taxation, and other policy.

"I'm a bit uncomfortable trying to rank candidates," Commissioner Ellen Reckhow said. "I would prefer to try to focus on who we want to appoint as opposed to evaluating them. I think they all did a good job."

Chairman Michael Page echoed her concerns.

"I don't want anyone to feel that they were any less qualified than anyone," Page said. "I would feel uncomfortable having a public discussion about any of the candidates. Every candidate answered their questions in their own way. I just think it's a personal decision on whoever you think will best serve this role."

Page then suggested that the commissioners could use anonymous ballots to narrow the pool, but a county attorney noted that the process by law had to be public. At least three of the candidates were in the room during the meeting.

The commissioners finally decided they would vote at a special session beginning at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, and that they would vote until a regularly scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. If the four commissioners were unable to reach a consensus, they agreed, they would try again at their Sept. 26 meeting. The board agreed that if someone were to miss a meeting or be unable to attend that night, they would meet one more time before 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, the deadline by which they may choose an appointee.

If a majority of the board fails to appoint someone, state law requires the county clerk of court to choose the new board member. Attorney Hampton Dellinger and former planning commissioner Wendy Jacobs were the top two choices as leaders from the Durham County Democratic Party were deciding last month on which candidate they would recommend to commissioners. The commissioners are not required to follow the party's choice, which was Dellinger.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News

Twitter Activity


The owners of all the other vacant homes (there are currently 5 on this/our block), are possibly waiting for a …

by Adopter on Is the Durham GOP’s New Headquarters Violating Zoning Laws? (News)

Jim Anthony, who owns the property through an LLC, says above “I figured [the Durham GOP] would take responsibility for …

by obie84 on Is the Durham GOP’s New Headquarters Violating Zoning Laws? (News)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation