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Wake County Board of Commissioners District 5

Wake County is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners. The Board enacts policies such as establishment of the property tax rate, regulation of land use and zoning outside municipal jurisdictions, and adoption of the annual budget. Commissioners represent districts and are elected at the same time, at mid-term elections, to serve 4-year terms.

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    James West

Biographical Information

What is the most important issue the County Commission will have to address in the next term? (Allow a Youtube answer, or text, or both)

What is the most effective role the county commission can play in improving the local schools? What policies or funding will you suggest when elected?

What policies will you proposed to improve the economy of your county?

What policies would you propose to improve the quantity and quality of social services in your county?

Contact Phone (919) 389-5633
email address
The three most pressing issues are to (1) strengthen and sustain a strong economic base for business and attract good jobs especially in low income areas of our county; (2) strengthen the resilience of youth and families in vulnerable communities by improving public safety, health and wellness and a better quality of life through adequate affordable housing; and investing in our public schools and keeping our community college strong. I will continue to use my training and professional experience as a change agent to use a participatory approach to develop a logical step-by step approach to continue to accomplish our eight strategic goals, to enhance board effectiveness and staff readiness to address change, and realize our vision.
Wake County is required by law to fund a capital program for the school system. The seven year plan will provide more predictability and sound planning to meet these increasing school needs. Approximately, 54% of the county's budget goes to public education. Due to Covid-19 and major cuts made at the county level this and next year, there was no tax increase on the voters. Finally, I believe our taxpayers will support our school needs if we communicate the value and demonstrate accountability.
The county’s economic strength and vitality can be attributed to excellent forward thinking, planning and implementation and utilizing the best growth management practices. PLANWake is a ten year comprehensive plan to guide Wake County to a more desired future. The development and implementing of sound infrastructure and funding policies to address such growth issues such as transit, affordable housing, displacement and job opportunities along transit routes. I would build a strong and vibrant local regional citizen advisory structure for greater citizen involvement and accountability.
As a Wake County Commissioner, I am elected by our board to be responsible for two of our seven strategic goals..Community Health and Social and Economic Vitality in Vulnerable Communities. Human Services which consist of Public Health and Social Services and is the largest department of Wake County government and serves more than 170,000 citizens. Through the seamless partnership with social services, greater collective impacts are being realized in collaboration with Social Services and other partnerships with poverty and unemployment in our low income poverty census tracts in Wake County. Our quest to improve community health and wellbeing throughout the county, we recently established a new public-partnership called Live Well Wake.