The Wake Board of Commissioners just wrapped up a 5 1/2-hour public session and went into closed session. The new 4-3 Republican majority elected Paul Coble as their chair for a year, and soon voted 4-3 to rescind resolutions adopted last year (when Democrats were in the majority) opposing school resegregation and affirming that the county’s employee health insurance should cover elective abortions.
The four Republican commissioners — Coble, Joe Bryan, Tony Gurley and new addition Phil Matthews — ignored Democratic efforts to find a middle ground on the school assignment issue. This is the resolution they rescinded. They also went on record in favor of more charter schools as a way of saving money despite the Democrats’ objections that most charter schools —because they’re underfunded and depend on parents’ contributions for building costs and transportation — end up with de facto segregation.
On the abortion issue, Gurley asserted, as he did last year, that a 1981 court case bars local governments from including abortion coverage in their insurance plans, though he conceded that Wake’s plan contained such coverage from 1994 until 2009, when Republicans managed briefly to have it removed by County Manager David Cooke. Democratic commissioners, who then held a 4-3 minority, overturned Cooke’s decision.