The conversation grew testy Monday during a typically clubby work session of the Wake County Board of Commissioners.
Commissioner James West, a former commission chairman, was asking seemingly routine questions about funding for community projects when Sig Hutchinson, the current chairman, asked West to be recognized by the chair before continuing to ask questions. West appeared surprised, then angry, saying that during his term as chairman, he had never required commissioners to be recognized again before continuing to ask questions during work sessions. (For context, members ask the chair to be recognized each time they speak during the more formal regular board meetings.)
Hutchinson said members should be recognized for each question to ensure a smooth meeting and to make sure everyone is given a chance to speak.
“I think I’ve been as respectful as anyone,” said West, a former Raleigh City Council member who was appointed to the commission in 2010, elected to his seat in 2012, and re-elected in 2016.
Hutchinson, elected in 2014, repeated his request. West declined the chance to speak further on the issue. “Don’t call me out again,” West said to Hutchinson.
Hutchinson suggested that West and he continue the conversation after the meeting.
“There’s nothing to say,” West said.