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Mayor Lang's Tactics Provoke Miner Tantrum

BY Sarah Lindenfeld
by Sarah Lindenfeld on 3/31/01.

Last week, state Rep. David Miner, a Cary Republican, laced into Cary leaders for persuading Sen. Wib Gulley, a Durham Democrat, to introduce several bills for them, mostly requests for permission to charge developers various new impact fees.

"He (Mayor Glen Lang) can't get anyone in the Wake delegation to introduce these bills, so he gets a Durham senator," Miner said. "This is extremely unprofessional, sloppy and at the very least disrespectful. It's a classic case of how you don't do business around here."

Asked whether he would support the bills, Miner replied, "over my dead body."

Lang seldom runs from a fight, and this week he fired back.

First, he said, Gulley represents a slice of Wake and because there was a deadline to meet and no one else stepped forward, Gulley was a logical choice. Second, Lang said, Miner showed little interest in helping Cary with the bills. Gulley, but not Miner, showed up at a dinner at which the Town Council presented the local delegation with its legislative wish list. (Miner said he and Lang had a separate, two-hour meeting).

"What David is doing is trying to raise property taxes on existing Cary citizens," said Lang, a Democrat. "If we can't charge impact fees for things like police substations and fire stations that the newcomers make necessary, the money has to come from somewhere. David apparently views this through a home builders association perspective and thinks it should be paid for with property taxes."

Rep. Jennifer Weiss, a Cary Democrat, introduced several of the bills in the House this week.


Political Scorecard:

Decision time: Richard Bostic said this week that he won't run this year after all to represent District E on the Raleigh City Council.

He had been mulling a second run after incumbent Marc Scruggs Jr. said earlier this month that he was pulling out. Bostic lost to Scruggs and Parker Call in the 1999 race in the district.

Bostic said he wants to spend time with his wife and 12-year-old son. And he will continue to work on some civic groups. Bostic is a member of the city's parks, recreation and greenways advisory board and chairman of the Glenwood Citizens Advisory Council.

"There's always a next time," Bostic said.

Scruggs has thrown his support to Philip Isley, a Raleigh lawyer. Former council member Geoff Elting also says he will run. Lee Clyburn, senior vice president with Grubb & Ellis/Thomas Linderman, is considering running. Filing for the October council election doesn't start until July 23.

Reassignment without representation? Davis Drive Elementary School parents in Cary who are upset over their children's reassignment to Weatherstone Elementary School are asking for the American Civil Liberties Union's help to reverse the Wake school board's decision.

Their complaint, filed Monday, says that parents in school board Chairman Bill Fletcher's district, which includes most of Cary and Morrisville, aren't being represented because school board policy prevents the chairman from voting unless there is a tie. The letter notes that since board member Wray Stephens resigned Feb. 12, there are now only seven board members other than Fletcher - and so no way for a tie to happen.

The complaint from Mark Campbell, whose wife says the couple are supported by other affected Davis Drive parents, asks the ACLU to represent Fletcher's district in court to try to cancel all decisions made since Stephens' resignation, which includes reassignment. The reassignment plan was approved 5-1 and, though Fletcher didn't vote, he publicly said he supported it.

A different vantage point: Usually, Charles R. Walker III sits behind the big table in the Raleigh City Council chambers as vice chairman of the Planning Commission. But on Tuesday, one of his firm's clients was on the other side - and its proposal got a swift "no" from fellow planners because it didn't meet the city's overall development guide.

The Planning Commission voted 10-0 to recommend that the council deny a request to replace residential uses with commercial ones in the master plan for the Neuse Crossroads development east of Capital Boulevard in Northeast Raleigh. The city's Comprehensive Plan calls for homes in the area.

Walker, who works for Elam, Todd d'Ambrosi, an urban planning and landscape architecture firm, was listed as the contact for the case, but a colleague presented it to the commission. Walker recused himself from the vote, following normal procedure when commission members are involved in zoning cases.

Walker chalked up the vote to a misunderstanding about "what could and couldn't be there." And the plan will get another chance when the council considers it Tuesday.


Political Trail:

- U.S. Rep. David Price, a Chapel Hill Democrat, holds his live monthly call-in cable TV show at 7 p.m. Monday. The hour-long show airs on Channel 24 in Raleigh; Channel 23 in Durham, Chapel Hill and Pittsboro; and Channel 60 in Cary and Garner. To ask a question, call (800) 849-0632.

- Andy Finlayson, the new chairman of the Wake County Republican Party, will speak to the Wake Republican Men's Club at noon Tuesday at Sam's Restaurant, 3050 Wake Forest Road in Raleigh. Lunch is $ 10. To RSVP or for more information, call Tim O'Connell at 772-0875 or e-mail

- Wake commissioners Chairman Michael Weeks and commissioners Herb Council and Kenn Gardner are scheduled to speak to the Raleigh chapter of N.C. Citizens for a Sound Economy at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Velvet Cloak Inn, 1505 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh. They will discuss the budget request from Wake schools that could require a 5-cent property-tax rate increase.

- U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, a Lillington Democrat, is the keynote speaker at the Young Democrats of North Carolina state convention Friday and next Saturday at the Durham Convention Center. For more information, call Kennedy Godette, the new president of Durham County Young Democrats, at 544-8900.

- The John Locke Foundation, a Raleigh-based think tank, will have a breakfast at 7:30 a.m. April 10 at the Brownstone Hotel,1707 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh. The topic is the state and local budget and tax situation.

- Triangle Growth Strategies, a local nonprofit, will hold a public forum at 10 a.m. April 14 on Neal Coker's proposed $ 220 million development at Oberlin Road and Wade Avenue. The forum will be in the gymnasium at Jaycee Park, 2405 Wade Ave., and will feature several experts from N.C. State University and UNC-Chapel Hill.


Triangle Politics is a weekly look at the local political scene. Got a tip, story idea or an upcoming political event? Fax Triangle Politics at 829-4529, or send e-mail to and


Politacally Speaking:

'Not that beef stuff.'

- Nick Tennyson

Durham Mayor explaining his bet with College Park., Md., Mayor Michael Jacobs, who stands to get 5 pounds of Tar Heel barbecue if the Terps beat Duke tonight in Minneapolis.