New Raleigh City Council Begins With a Spat | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

New Raleigh City Council Begins With a Spat

Posted by on Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 6:46 PM

"Cry 'Havoc!' And let slip the dogs of war!"
Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1

OK, maybe the drama at Monday's Raleigh City Council meeting didn't quite rise to Shakespearean levels.

But the meeting and aftermath were unusually complicated and contentious and may portend a rocky path ahead for Mayor Nancy McFarlane and the reconfigured City Council. With members Stefanie Mendell and Nicole Stewart on board following their election in October, McFarlane faced a rebellion from incumbent members Russell Stephenson, David Cox and others who voted with them.
click to enlarge Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane celebrates her election to a fourth term in office following a runoff election Nov. 7, 2017. - THOMAS GOLDSMITH
  • Thomas Goldsmith
  • Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane celebrates her election to a fourth term in office following a runoff election Nov. 7, 2017.


The first indication was a five-three council vote to bypass the mayor's list of committee chairs and members for one submitted by Cox and supported by Stephenson. In the confusion, at least one media organization initially misidentified the person who had made the motion.
click to enlarge Raleigh City Council Member Russ Stepenson - BY THOMAS GOLDSMITH
  • By Thomas Goldsmith
  • Raleigh City Council Member Russ Stepenson


Member Corey Branch, who said after the meeting that he was ill with a sinus condition, had stepped without being excused, so his vote was counted as a yes under council rules. Dickie Thompson and Nicole Stewart sided with the mayor.

During a break, McFarlane and Stephenson got into a brisk exchange over whether he or Cox had made the motion changing the committee lineup.

Stephenson: "This motion was proposed by David Cox."

McFarlane: "You did propose it!

Stephenson: "I didn't."

McFarlane: "Yes you did; you laid it out".

Stephenson: "No, I did not. David Cox laid it out and made the motion!"

McFarlane: "No, you made the motion."

Stephenson: "I did not make the motion; David Cox made the motion."

McFarlane: "I thought it was you."

Cox texted the INDY later Monday that he had indeed made the motion, which was seconded by Mendell.

Under Cox's list, the new committee chairs remained the same as in McFarlane's recommended slate, but other members were moved around or added to committees.
click to enlarge David Cox - PHOTO BY ALEX BOERNER
  • Photo by Alex Boerner
  • David Cox


The list added Stephenson to the growth and natural resources committee, which often deals with controversial issues such as backyard cottages, and replaced Stewart with Mendell on the panel. On the transportation committee, Cox gets a seat the mayor had designated for Mendell. And on the neighborhoods committee, Stewart replaces Cox.

The list was accompanied by an unsigned, somewhat cryptic explanation of its introduction. Stephenson offered the statement when asked about the new assignments.

"While there may be individuals and groups that are unhappy with the outcome of the 2017 Council election, it is nonetheless the new Council's solemn responsibility to form a working majority that can take effective action on behalf of the entire City of Raleigh, while balancing all legitimate interests in conformance with Raleigh's adopted Comprehensive and Strategic plans," the statement read in part.

McFarlane said she had several conversations with members in an effort to arrive at committee lineups that were acceptable to everyone.

"We've had multiple conversations about it," she said. "I wanted us to have a really good working relationship with each other and with the staff. The staff is the ones who do the work."

Branch caused some speculation when he wasn't present for a key vote, but texted after the meeting that he was indeed sick. How would he have voted?

"I was working on a compromise, so not sure," said Branch, who was unanimously elected vice chair of the council near the beginning of the meeting.

The council's new lineup is being characterized in some quarters as being in favor of slower growth. But that's not likely to change what's happening in Raleigh, McFarlane said.

"Growth is coming," she said.

Tags: , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

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

Comments

I agree with all the comments. The board is and has been controlling everything. Nancy has been a puppet. She …

by Kay Bonquiqui on Breaking: Nancy Errichetti, Head of the Montessori School of Raleigh, Arrested for Allegedly Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse (News)

Most Recent Comments

I agree with all the comments. The board is and has been controlling everything. Nancy has been a puppet. She …

by Kay Bonquiqui on Breaking: Nancy Errichetti, Head of the Montessori School of Raleigh, Arrested for Allegedly Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse (News)

I agree with Momof6. I know some of the teachers that did not have their contracts renewed and they absolutely …

by shocked on Breaking: Nancy Errichetti, Head of the Montessori School of Raleigh, Arrested for Allegedly Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse (News)

I dont know what to say about this school. To be fair they do have many caring teachers. Unfortunately, the …

by Momof6 on Breaking: Nancy Errichetti, Head of the Montessori School of Raleigh, Arrested for Allegedly Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse (News)

School should be shut down and a thorough investigation, by external authorities, undertaken. This school is suspiciously evasive and promotes …

by Montessoriparent on Lawsuit Claims the Montessori School of Raleigh Refused to Act on Allegations That a Teacher Sexually Abused Students (News)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation