Volume 16, Number 2
Both Mayor Vivian Jones and Commissioner Jim Thompson filed Friday, declaring they are both seeking the office of Wake Forest mayor for the next four years. They each paid $50 to start their candidacy after noon Friday, the first day of the 21-day filing period.
Two people filed Monday for the two open commissioner seats: Thad Juszczak and John Van Ness. The Gazette will have more information about them next week. Commissioner Margaret Stinnett said last week she will not seek a fourth term, and Thompson has chosen to vie for the mayor’s office rather than seek a second term.
“I am excited about staying in my job as mayor as we work on some of the initiatives we have begun,” Jones said Tuesday in an e-mail. “The Smart City ideas I have discussed with UNC professors and their “living lab” approach which they want to use in Wake Forest will help us use technology that is available to improve our services. Also our Technology Advisory Board is going to be an important resource – they have the knowledge and are enthusiastic about helping us.
She added, “We also will be implementing the Wake Transit Plan and I know there are people here who are looking forward to having more frequent service that will be available to us now. Technology and transportation are two things we need to continue working on. It is an exciting time! I believe I have the passion, the time, and the relationships to keep us going forward. And in the midst of all this growth, we must keep our downtown vibrant; this helps us maintain that charm that makes Wake Forest the best!”
Thompson sent an email saying, “I am running for mayor because I can offer a different perspective to the position that would better lead the town into the 21st Century.
“When we had the opportunity to hire a new town manager (replacing a manager who had been employed with the town over 20 years) it was amazing to witness the transformation within the walls of town hall and throughout the town. Wake Forest now has a chance to do the same with its elected leader. Mayor Vivian Jones has served the town of Wake Forest extremely well and has been an amazing ambassador. However, it is time to bring a new approach to leading our town.
“There are four key areas that I would focus on as mayor of Wake Forest – Economic Development, Infrastructure, Transparency and Healthy Living.
“If you’ll visit my website – www.electjimthompson.com – you will learn more about those pillars of my campaign. Additionally, through your local media and social media, you will hear more about my goals and vision for the town of Wake Forest.”
The filing fee for the office of Wake Forest mayor is $50 and it is $15 for commissioners. The only requirements are that candidates be registered voters and live inside the town. There are no voting districts in Wake Forest so the top two candidates for commissioner seats will be elected.
The nonpartisan Wake Forest town elections follow a staggered schedule with the mayor and two commissioners to be elected in 2017, three commissioners to be elected in 2019. Officials are paid; the mayor’s salary is $10,000 and the commissioners are paid $8,000 each.
All you need to know about political signs
In a timely way, the Town of Wake Forest published the laws and ordinances about the placement of political signs.
“Temporary political signs advertising candidates or issues are permitted. A combination of state law and municipal code regulates how political signs may be displayed within Wake Forest.
“State Statute 136-32 regulates political signs on state-owned roads. This law permits campaign signs in the right-of-way of the state highway system according to the following criteria:
- Signs in the public right-of-way should not be erected more than 45 days before the election and must be removed within 12 days after the election.
- State law (applicable to State right-of-way) requires that signs be placed no less than three feet from the edge of the pavement of the road or more than 42 inches above the edge of the pavement.
- No signs may obscure motorist visibility at an intersection or be larger than 864 square inches. Also, no sign shall obscure or replace another sign.
- No campaign sign should exceed six square feet in area or 42 inches in height.
“Wake Forest’s Unified Development Ordinance regulates how political signs may be displayed within Wake Forest. It applies the following standards to town-maintained streets and private property:
- Such signs shall not be illuminated.
- Political signs shall not be located on any trees, utility poles, publicly-owned property or within a public street right-of-way, except within NCDOT right-of-way as listed above.
- Such signs may not exceed 4 square feet in area and 4 feet in height if freestanding.
- Political signs may be displayed during a period beginning with the established filing date for an election and concluding 15 days after the election. In the event of a runoff election, political signs for the candidates involved may remain on display until 15 days after the runoff election.
“Signs placed on private property:
- Require the permission of the property owner;
- may only be posted after the election filing date;
- must be removed within 15 days of the election;
- may not exceed 4 square feet in area and 4 feet in height;
- shall not interfere with visual clearance along any street or at any intersection.”