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Resources

It has been 185 days since Raleigh City Council discontinued Citizens Advisory Councils with no replacement. Read More

Key links

We’ve tried to provide links to relevant websites here to help if you’re looking for factual information or perspectives on local politics.

We don’t necessarily agree with some of the perspectives, but figured we should include them.

Please let us know if you have suggestions for sites that we should add.

City of Raleigh government

https://raleighnc.gov/

Wake County government

http://www.wakegov.com/Pages/default.aspx

State of NC government

https://www.nc.gov/

Wake County Board of Elections

http://www.wakegov.com/elections/Pages/default.aspx

WakeUP Wake County

https://wakeupwakecounty.org/

Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town

https://www.chalt.org/

Wake County Public School System

https://www.wcpss.net/schoolboard

How to learn what is going on in the City

The City of Raleigh’s website (https://raleighnc.gov/) is a great resource and much of the information we’re sharing comes right from that source.

One way to find out what’s going on as far as meetings and meeting agendas is to sign up for MyRaleigh Subscriptions, a free, subscription-based service provided by the City. You can choose to receive email or text message notifications about a variety of City topics.

Raleigh’s City Manager Ruffin Hall posts his weekly update here:

https://raleighnc.gov/services/government/city-managers-weekly-report

Your friends and neighbors often post relevant information about local meetings and issues on NextDoor (nextdoor.com).  Anyone can sign up for NextDoor, but it’s important to realize that different neighborhoods have different newsfeeds and not everyone sees the same content.

Former Council member Stef Mendell publishes a weekly listing of City meetings and agenda topics, along with some editorial commentary that you may or may not find useful. This is available on FaceBook and some NextDoor feeds or you can sign up to get on one of Stef’s mailing lists by contacting her at StefMendell@gmail.com

For updates on the local development front, often presented in a humorous way, check out 

https://www.itbinsider.com/

And don’t forget the Triangle’s local media, but do remember that many of these outlets have an agenda and are not as objective or factual as journalists used to be.

Municipal Elections

Raleigh City Council elections are held on the second Tuesday in October of odd-numbered years.  They are technically non-partisan so there are no primaries.  If a runoff is necessary, it takes place on the first Tuesday in November.

Early voting is often an option and the City has provided free bus service on Election Day in years past.

All Raleigh residents who are eligible to vote have the opportunity to vote for the Mayor, two at-large representatives, and one District representative.  (Raleigh currently is divided into five districts, A through E.)

With a total of eight Council members, five votes are required to pass any motions or make any appointments.  The Mayor’s vote is equal to the vote of any other Council member.

Technically serving on City Council is considered a part-time job and is compensated accordingly.  Council members are paid slightly less than $20,000/year including a stipend for cell phone use and car mileage.  The mayor pro-tem and mayor are paid slightly more.

In addition to attending Council and committee meetings, councilors have agenda materials to review in advance of those meetings.  They also have opportunities to meet with staff and with constituents.  Many also attend CAC and other public meetings, and some hold their own town hall meetings.

City Council, Council Committee, and Board and Commission Meetings

Regular City Council meetings are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month in the City Council Chamber in the Raleigh Municipal Building at 222 West Hargett Street.

Evening City Council sessions are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month in the Council Chamber.

City Council Work Sessions are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. on the second Tuesday and 11:30 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month in the Council Chamber.

City Council Budget Work Sessions are held in the Council Chamber.

If you want to attend a meeting in person, parking in the Municipal lot adjacent to the building is free for attendees.  You will be able to get your ticket validated inside.

All Council meetings, including work sessions, and some Council Committee, Board and Commission meetings are live streamed and also archived for later viewing at https://raleigh.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=24  You can also watch some meetings live on Spectrum TV Channel 11.  Often meeting attendees livestream via FaceBook as well.

Agendas and background documents for all Council and Council Committee meetings, as well as many Board and Commission meetings are available at Board Docs https://go.boarddocs.com/nc/raleigh/Board.nsf/Public 

Materials for Council meetings are usually posted on Thursday afternoon before a Tuesday meeting.

Council Committees

https://raleighnc.gov/services/government/city-council-committees

Each City Council member serves on one or more council committees.  The committees typically meet once a month for a deeper dive into issues referred to them by the full council.  They then make recommendations back to the full Council.

Boards and Commissions

Raleigh citizens have the opportunity to volunteer their services to the City without pay on various boards and commissions, including Planning Commission, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, Arts Commission, Parks Board, etc.

For a list of all the boards and commissions, their members, and how to apply, please click on this link:

https://raleighnc.gov/services/government/boards-and-commissions#paragraph–258596

CAC [Note – In a surprise move, the Raleigh City Council voted 6 – 2 to eliminate the CACs at their February 4 meeting.

Every Raleigh resident is a member of a CAC, Citizens Advisory Council

(https://raleighnc.gov/services/community/citizen-advisory-councils-cacs)

The City of Raleigh has 19 CACs, each representing a different geographic region of the city.

Each CAC elects its own officers and decides its own activities and priorities. All CAC meetings are open to everyone; however, you may vote only at meetings of the CAC where you reside. You may attend as an individual or you may represent your neighborhood-based organization at your CAC meetings.

Zoning cases must be presented at relevant CAC meetings and CAC members have the opportunity to vote on those cases.  CAC votes are not binding, but are taken into consideration by City Council.

Raleigh Neighborhood Registry

The Raleigh Neighborhood Registry is the official list of neighborhood-based organizations throughout the city and its extraterritorial jurisdiction. Eligible organizations include groups such as Homeowners associations, Neighborhood associations, Block clubs, Community Watch groups, and Garden clubs. The City’s Community Engagement Division will help you organize your neighborhood for free. If you would like more information, call them at 919-996-4330.

Among many other benefits, organizations on the Neighborhood Registry receive two mailings during an organization’s first year on the Registry and access to City facilities for up to four meetings per year.

https://raleighnc.gov/Community/content/CommServices/Articles/NeighborhoodAssociation.html

Raleigh Neighborhood College

is a great resource for learning how City Government operates

https://raleighnc.gov/Community/content/CommServices/Articles/NeighborhoodCollege.html

Citizens Leadership Academy

Citizens Leadership Academy is a series of classes offered each spring and fall to help you develop your skills as a neighborhood or community leader. 

https://raleighnc.gov/Community/content/CommServices/Articles/CitizensLeadershipAcademy.html

Interactions with Council members

Individual council members will have their own preferences for interacting with members of the public.  Some are very receptive to emails, phone calls, and/or in-person meetings; others are not.  Some council members hold regular or ad hoc “town hall” meetings; others do not.

Another option for presenting your concerns, questions, or requests is to speak either at a Council meeting, Committee meeting, or Board or Commission meeting.  For more information: https://raleighnc.gov/services/government/petition-address-city-council

UDO

The UDO, or Unified Development Ordinance, contains most local regulations concerning the use and development of land and buildings, including zoning, subdivision, stormwater, and natural resource conservation. The UDO was adopted in 2013.

https://raleighnc.gov/business/content/PlanDev/Articles/Zoning/ZoningRemapping.html

The UDO is updated via text changes.

Text Changes

City Council may amend the City Code, or laws of the City, to address new development trends or to correct issues with existing language in the code. These changes are also known as text amendments.

Citizens, City staff and members of City Council can request changes in the City Code. City Council must hold a public hearing before amending the code.

https://raleighnc.gov/business/content/PlanDev/Articles/DevServ/TextChanges.html

Overlay Districts

https://raleighnc.gov/business/content/PlanDev/Articles/Zoning/CharacterPreservationOverlayDistricts.html

The City of Raleigh implements overlay districts in targeted areas to supplement the base zoning districts. Overlay districts are meant to achieve a specific purpose, such as preservation of existing neighborhood built characteristics, protecting public safety and welfare, or conserving natural areas.

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