In his State of the County address delivered Monday, November 19, 2012, Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Paul Coble discussed the economy, future planning and the status of Commissioners’ priority areas in 2012.
“Our number one goal was maintaining the property tax rate at 53.4 cents,” said Coble. “I’m proud that we were able to keep that rate for the fourth straight year. Not only that, we were able to increase funding for our highest priorities: education and public safety.”
Coble cited Wake County’s focus on the principles of efficient, effective government and the goals that reflect the County’s intentions to keep a long-term perspective. He continued by emphasizing several other issues that highlight the County’s progress in 2012, including:
- Economic development – For September 2012, unemployment for Wake County was at 7.0%, down 1.4% since September 2011. With the combined efforts of Wake Technical Community College, the Wake Economic Development Program and the Raleigh Chamber, the county has been able to attract and keep jobs. High tech companies Net App, Red Hat and Citrix have committed to a major presence in Wake County and will soon add several hundred new jobs.
- Wake Technical Community College bonds – Earlier this month, county residents voted in favor of $200 million in bonds for Wake Technical Community College. These bonds will support job training and education for students at Wake Tech. Student enrollment is predicted to grow 50% in the next six years.
- Improvements in public safety – The County increased support of criminal justice facilities and public safety. An expansion of the Wake County Detention Center on Hammond Road was commemorated in April. The new Justice Center will open in the next year with 18 new courtrooms and potential for additional expansion. Construction is underway on the new Bay Leaf Fire Station which will serve residents in the northern part of the county.
- Improvements to behavioral health services – Wake County partnered with Durham County to launch Alliance Behavioral Healthcare to provide behavioral health services. The county approved an agreement with the University of North Carolina Health Care Systems, who will manage services at the Wakebrook Campus in 2013.
In conclusion, Coble, who finished his second year as chair, thanked his fellow commissioners and County staff for their support during his leadership tenure. The Board of Commissioners elects a chair and vice chair each year for a one-year term, beginning at the first meeting in December.
Watch the 2012 State of the County address.