County Commission candidate Rich Gianni was unanimously appointed Monday to Commissioner Gurley’s vacant seat, but got a bit of a scolding by Commissioner Betty Lou Ward because he didn’t vote in last October’s election.
Gianni was the Wake County Republican Party’s nominee to replace Gurley who resigned in February to take a job in Gov. Pat McCrory’s office. Gianni will be running for the District 3 spot against Democrat Jessica Holmes in November.
Ward approved Gianni’s appointment, but expressed concern that he didn’t vote in last October’s election, which included an $810 million school construction bond. Ward said that she’d like Gianni to explain why we didn’t vote.
“This is a free society,” said Board chair Phil Matthews, adding that his actions are reflective of his duties as a Commissioner.
“I think voting is a very important part of being a County Commissioner,” Ward countered.
Gianni will be sworn in on at the next regular meeting April 21.
Potential Brier Creek School Property Raises Questions
A proposed future school site in western Wake County is raising questions because a portion of the property is located in Durham County.
Funded by the 2013 school bond, school officials are considering purchasing the 22-acre site in Briar Creek for about $2.7 million. The purchase requires approval from the Board of Commissioners.
Assistant Superintendent for Facilities Joe Desormeaux said the Briar Creek area has experienced rapid growth in the past 10 years, but it’s been a difficult place to find an appropriate property for a school.
The fact that a portion of the property is in Durham County presents some challenges, but County Attorney Scott Warren said that as long as the school building itself is situated in Wake County, he doesn’t foresee any problems. According to conceptual plans, part of a driveway and a stormwater device would be located on the Durham portion of the property.
“I think this is a legal use of money,” Warren said.
Commissioners did not vote on the proposal; it requires a second reading.
“This may be the first going outside the county,” Ward said. “But I don’t think it’ll be the last.”