EASTERN WAKE COUNTY — Despite a heavily partisan campaign season, Wake County District 1 commissioner candidates, Republican incumbent Joe Bryan and Democratic opponent Sig Hutchinson, want to focus on similar county improvements.
Education and large projects that will positively impact the lives of eastern Wake County residents, like creating a better county-wide transportation system, are at the top of both Bryan and Hutchinson’s lists, but that’s where the similarities end.
Hutchinson and Bryan both agree the county needs to do more to help with public education.
But the two have different ideas of what that help would look like.
Bryan said he would like to see the community focus on achievement goals and giving students and teachers adequate space to learn and teach.
The latter part of that goal was supported by the 2013 school construction bond referendum, Bryan said. The Wake County Board of Education is also working on a strategic plan commissioners are willing to support. That support will not neccesarily translate to money.
Before the county dedicates money to schools, Bryan would like to see the school system tap into its fund balance, or savings.
There has been debate over how much money is actually available, but Bryan said it’s “significant.”
“(Money from the fund balance) needs to be invested to improve our school system prior to asking the public,” he said.
Hutchinson said at the core of the various issues with education is a strained relationship between the current board of commissioners and the school board.
“The current county commission has a very poor working relationship with the school board which is really compounding difficulties that we’re currently having,” he said.
The county Board of Commissioners has a Republican majority while the Board of Education has a Democratic majority.
Read the full Eastern Wake County article here.