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Fixing A Conflict Plagued Process

Great piece from the News and Observer on our Democratic primary this month.

When one side must plead for money and the other must tax for it, conflict is inevitable. The pleaders are apt to feel disrespected and the taxers often feel the political pressures they face are not acknowledged. That conflict has come to an especially bad pass in this commissioners primary. Portman is a fine commissioner who wants to fix the process that Evans feels disrespects the school board’s judgment. Evans has the knowledge and background to improve that process on the commissioners’ side.

Evans would be an asset to the Wake commissioners, but Portman already is. Given that standoff, the nod must go to the incumbent.

News and Observer, April 26, 2018

Read the complete article, “Wake Democrats split by a school funding system that invites conflict.”

May 8: The Democratic Primary Election

In just a few years, this board of commissioners has done more for public education than has ever been done in our county. In the video below, teachers and school staff put the issues of the campaign into clear focus and provide the context voters need. Please, take two minutes to hear from some of our dedicated teachers who understand the big picture and appreciate all that Wake County taxpayers are doing to better fund our schools.

Our community has never been more generous in its support for teacher and students.

Voters on May 8 don’t elect anyone. We just pick the strongest team to compete in the fall—when all voters decide who will lead our county. Democrats just won control of the commission, after years of Republican control, in 2014

I hope we can retain that leadership position to build on the accomplishment made in the last few years.

Watch the video and see what these educators think this election is all about.


Former School Board Member Sets Record Straight

In a letter to the News and Observer, Jacqueline Jackson (a former School Board Member) sets the record straight.

As members of the Wake County community, we should be grateful for and celebrating the progress our county commission has made in the face of such a difficult task. As an educator, I certainly appreciate it and hope that the citizens of this county will take this knowledge with them to the polls and vote to retain our present hard working and dedicated commissioners.

Jacqueline F. Jackson
Former member of Vance County Board of Education

Sierra Club Endorses Erv Portman

Today, the Sierra Club endorsed Erv Portman for Wake County Commission. From their statement:

. . .the Sierra Club has endorsed your candidacy in the Wake County Commissioner race in appreciation of your demonstrated commitment to protecting the environment. . . . Our endorsement sends a message of your strong support for the environment and your proven track record in environmental issues.

Sierra Club Capital Group

Wake County Mayors Support Erv for County Commission

Wake county is rural and urban, cities and farms. Wake’s leaders are Republicans, Independents and Democrats.

They don’t always agree on every issue, but a majority of our leaders agree that Erv Portman is their choice for Wake County Board.

Our mayors are trusted to run our cities and towns, and they know we need more solutions and less politics in local office. That’s why they Support Erv Portman for Wake County Board District 4 – elected countywide.

Join those who know firsthand:

  • Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears
  • Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles
  • Knightdale Mayor James Roberson
  • Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane
  • Zebulon Mayor Bob Matheny
  • Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht
  • Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams
  • Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones
  • Fuquay Varina Mayor John Byrne

Explore the site to learn what a vote for Erv as county commissioner does for us all. Vote for Erv on May 8.

Elementary school student works on homework.

Fundamental School Funding Reform

When I ran for County Commission in 2016, I promised to work toward a multi-year school funding plan. Longer planning would reduce budget fights, toxic blaming, and, instead, focus on accomplishment.

I’m happy to say the entire Board of Commissioners has adopted this as one of the top goals for 2018. For too long our community has watched an annual March Madness. Not college basketball, but a recurring fight between the school board and county commissioners.

Each year the needs exceed the funds available. An annual budget fight does not serve our students, teachers, or taxpayers well. We can do better. We will do better.

Our plan calls for a simple three-step approach to improve school funding:

  1. Fund every student, based on actual—not projected—enrollment.
  2. Allow for an annual adjustment to the per student amount to cover inflation offset by productivity.
  3. Remain open to improvements and consider increased funding with a clear proposal from the school board showing costs and benefits of the plan.

Clarity of the costs and benefits—and ensuring existing resources cannot be reprioritized—will be key to any additional investments by the county.

This simple and straightforward plan eliminates much of the annual confusion. Which, in turn, allows our leaders to focus on improving Wake County schools for our students.

Change that better serves the entire community.

With this plan, our county is committing to increased funding as we grow. Funding becomes more predictable and can be planned for in a responsible way. Just like we all plan our family’s budget: Carefully and with thought about what we can afford to do.

This plan helps our school board better plan how they can manage our schools, prioritize needs, while respecting our communities ability to pay for all of our growing needs.

It’s the responsible thing to do, and sure beats the annual fights we have all lived through for decades. Working together we can better serve our students and teachers for decades to come.


Erv files for re-election on the Wake Board of Commissioners


In 2014 Wake Voters elected a new County board. In 2016 I was elected to join that team. Since then we have accomplished a great amount in our effort to make Wake county one of the best places to live in the nation.

  • The promise was better funding for schools, the result was an increase from $327 million in 2014 to $430 million in 2018 for a 32% increase in annual support for our public schools. (26% per student)
  • The promise was better teacher pay, the result has been a 41% increase in the local supplement over the state pay scale, bringing Wake county teachers to the highest paid in the state, and near the national average. More to do here but a good start.
  • The promise was better planning for growth, the result is a rolling 7 year construction plan to add $2.1 billion in new and renovated schools for the future. Annual local funding in construction is up 50% over 2014. Never before has our community done more for our school system.
  • The promise was a new transit plan, the result is a countywide vote to make it a reality, and the implementation of expanded bus service and the development of bus rapid transit.
  • The promise was parks and open space to protect the natural beauty of this place before it’s is lost forever to development. The result is an active parks and greenway long range plan and the funding of several new parks and critical greenway connections to allow our citizens active recreation and a natural way to stay healthy and enjoy the outdoors.
  • The promise was to focus on citizens most in need, and the result is the completion of the counties affordable housing plan, and a real commitment to support more affordable housing options.
  • The promise was new jobs and the results is a vibrant community with great new employers opening up right here in Wake County. Each year we are cited by experts around the nation as one of the best places to live in all the nation.

By every measure we have much to be thankful for.

As one of seven commissioners I understand the stewardship responsibility you have placed in me. I promise to you that I will always do my homework, review all the facts and details, question every proposal and be sure all options are considered before we spend your money. I will be responsive to your needs and listen to all.  In the end I will only support those requests that will leave a legacy we can all be proud of.

That’s the job, leave it better than we found it.

I hope you agree we have been good stewards, and I hope to retain you support to continue to serve all of Wake county as one of your county commissioners.


Erv Portman

Thank You for your support in this election




November 8, 2016

5:47 pm

Cary, North Carolina

The ads have been run, the issues discussed. As this race draws to a close this evening, I want to say that running for public office is an honor and a privilege.

I want to thank Mr. Kenn Gardner,  for also running a professional campaign .


Once again those of us in local office can show that politics need not be nasty nor disrespectful. On the contrary it should help to inform the public on the issues, and the public can inform the candidates of the solutions.  In doing this we all learn and see more clearly what needs to be done.


I look forward to learning the decision made by the voters of Wake County this evening. I appreciate the support I have received from so many in our community. We have a great place here in Wake County and I know we all share the desire to take care of it, and be sure we grow better not just more crowded.



Erv Portman





The INDY Endorses Erv


Wake County Board of Commissioners, District 4

Erv Portman
erv-front-porchKenn Gardner and Erv Portman have both served on the county commission. Only Portman deserves a return trip.

Portman’s short stint on the commission—a year lasting from 2011–12, when he left to run for state Senate—came at a time when it was controlled by Republicans. Portman fought for public transportation improvements, and since leaving the commission, he’s spoken out for better funding for schools.

Gardner, an architect by trade, served eight years on the board and stresses bipartisanship, something he believes is lacking on the unanimously Democratic board. But Gardner opposes the transit referendum and also supported the legislature’s gerrymander of county commission districts, which was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court.

We don’t love the idea of unanimous Democratic control, either. But on the merits, Portman is the best choice.