"Southeast Raleigh politics heats up early"

"Next year's local political races are getting an early start in Raleigh.

Though filing for October's City Council elections doesn't open until summer, one Southeast Raleigh resident has launched his campaign for the District C seat held by Eugene Weeks.

Lent Carr, a longtime Christian minister, was upset when the council bypassed him and several other candidates and appointed Weeks to the seat this year. He also was outraged by City Manager Russell Allen's plan to reorganize top-level city staffers rather than hire a replacement for former Assistant City Manager Lawrence Wray, who retired Dec. 1. The plan is supposed to save public funds and is expected to have little resistance from the council.

In an e-mail message announcing his candidacy, Carr compared Allen's plan to the Wake County school board majority's attempt to eliminate busing based on socioeconomic diversity in favor of neighborhood schools. Carr called Allen's move an "attack" on Southeast Raleigh, even though Allen shifted many of Wray's responsibilities to other staffers.

Carr also accused James West, who held the council seat for 11 years and has been a popular District C advocate, of "throwing Southeast Raleigh under the bus." West started the Southeast Raleigh Assembly and helped foster the popular African American Cultural Festival.

No word on whether Weeks will try to keep his seat."

Putting News & Observer's Story-line In Perspective

While it can reasonably be said that Dr. Carr was incensed and disappointed in the sole regard to the method utilized by council to "select" Weeks to District C's seat; it can equally be said that hundreds of voting citizens of Southeast Raleigh was likewise infuriated, and expressed the same with respect to council's selection process to ultimately seat now Councilman Weeks. Indeed Council's policy in replacing a former sitting Council Member is wrong-headed and convoluted to the overall fairness of submitting to the will of the people. Such policy should in the interest of justice be repealed. Dr. Carr has vowed; "if elected to District C, I will move to have City Council's egregious "prejudicing-selection-process-policy" repealed and reformed."

In a democracy it is the PEOPLE who Elect their respective representatives, not a panel of "Elected" Council Members who otherwise was elected by other Districts within the Municipality. I believe that when former Councilman James West announced his resignation from District C's post, there should have been some sort of special election remedy available whereby the VOTING PEOPLE of District C would been permitted to cast their individual vote to whom they would have desired to represent their best interests at council.

As I vividly recall, Mayor Charles Meeker also agreed with this process in which Dr. Carr espouses in selecting a replacement for an individual Council Member who resigns when he remarked on the day of the selection of Weeks to the Council, October 5, 2010:  "The citizens of District C should be the ones making the appointment to replace James West as District C’s City Council member; however, according to the City of Raleigh Charter, the appointment must be made by the Raleigh City Council." See: 
City Council's Official Minutes. Certainly there should remain no ambiguity as to the legitimacy of this evinced argument, nor the flawed and otherwise unfairness such selection process has wrought upon District C's Election prospecting of choice and the deserving people of Southeast Raleigh.

A Brief Recap of Lent Carr's Opposition to City Manager Allen's Proposal To Eliminate Lawerence Wray's Recently Resigned Position

As your 2011 City Council candidate I would be remiss if I did not speak out on this potential "African- American- Achievement- Set- Back" for Southeast Raleigh. I cannot and will not blindingly ascribe to the non-sequitur notion evinced by City Manager Allen's reasoning in suggesting the elimination of this distinguished Southeast Raleigh's City Office position as was held by Lawerence Ray is primarily proposed in order to cut the City’s budget. The reasoning is quite axiomatic to me: "decrease the already limited City power in which the predominately Black Southeast Raleigh's citizenry possess."

It is equally disheartening to know that Democratic Mayor Charles Meeker has gone on record as saying he thought such elimination of said post is "reasonable!" Mr. Mayor, as a politician who have seemingly fought against the Board of Education's re-assignment policy recently, it baffles me how you can call this attack on Southeast Raleigh "reasonable" in any respect. In my view this move will of course strip Southeast Raleigh of 37 plus years of wheeling any meaningful power in the City Manager's Office, and secondly, will grant City Manager Allen a full dictatorship blessing from City Council should they ratify this slap in the face to District C.

Likewise, other council members have also gone on record in support of Allen's proposed agenda. However, it is to be expected of some of those Council Members, especially since they do not represent District C. But to my disbelief, former Council Member James West who served the people of Southeast Raleigh for 11 years came out in support of this new proposed model as well; stating" he supports Allen's efforts to consolidate staff positions. But West said Wray's work educating residents and getting them involved in government affairs should continue under the new model." By supporting Allen's new model to eliminate this position, I can only muster up one thought with respect to Mr. West: "he's thrown Southeast Raleigh under the bus."

Though it is expected that Council Member, Eugene Weeks, who presently represent District C following James West's resignation of said seat will be my opponent in the bid for District C's Council Post in 2011; I would pray he show some courage, intestinal fortitude and vision for the future of Southeast Raleigh's socio-economical advancement by standing up to Council and Allen, and vote NO to the proposed elimination of this important post held by Lawerence Ray. If there were ever a time in which he could exemplify his independent thinking and decision making leadership since taking office on the City Council's Panel, this is the time. It would be a disappointment if Weeks treated this issue like that of Chavis Parks.

I, like Bruce Lightner disagree with this proposed elimination, and could not in good conscientiousness support Mayor Meeker or any other Council Member for that matter in any of their future political plights should they ratify this wrong-headed proposal by Allen. This has been the overall stance in which my supporters and constituent base has taken on this matter. Therefore, I/We would vehemently urge council to vote "no" on such a proposal with respect to eliminating Lawrence Ray's recently retired Asst. City Manager position.

To follow Dr. Lent Carr's Bid for City Council follow the following link:


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