Councilman: Raleigh city manager not fired over parking space - WRBL

Councilman: Raleigh city manager not fired over parking space

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Some claim Councilman Randy Stagner used an issue about council members' parking spaces to try and convince the council to get rid of City Manager Russell Allen. Some claim Councilman Randy Stagner used an issue about council members' parking spaces to try and convince the council to get rid of City Manager Russell Allen.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A Raleigh city councilman is fighting back at his critics after coming under fire for complaining about council members' parking spots.

Earlier this year, emails from Councilman Randy Stagner to City Manager Russell Allen came to light asking Allen why reserved parking spots at city hall were not being properly protected from space-stealers.

"I came out one night, [Councilwoman] Mary-Ann Baldwin's spot had been encumbered. I came out the next night, my spot was encumbered. And my question, if you go back to the original email was, 'Are these reserved or not?' It was a policy question," Stagner explained.

Some have claimed Stagner used this particular issue to try and convince the council to get rid of Allen, but Stagner claims that is not the case.

Just weeks later, on April 17, City Council voted not to renew Allen's employment contract. At the time, City Council did not address why it decided not to retain Allen.

"Clearly issues for constituencies are the most important thing. Parking spots aren't important at all," Stagner said when asked if parking spaces are the most important issues to council members.

Stagner said the controversy has been a "concerted effort" and "I don't know why." As an elected official, all of Stagner's work-related emails are public record along with all city emails. This internal squabble was clearly not meant to be public though.

Since his emails were published, Stagner has reportedly received complaints from voters concerned the City Council is wasting time on frivolous issues, such as their own parking privileges.

Stagner said the issue has been "blown out of proportion." Still, City Council did spend more time on the issue however, voting to keep the signs for members who want them.

When asked what voters should take from controversy, he replied, "I gave up my parking spot -- didn't care about it."

Stagner says although the emails have received a lot of attention, there are just as many emails in his inbox detailing the hard work he is doing for the voters.

Last week, City Council named current city Chief Financial Officer Perry James as Raleigh interim City Manager.

In Raleigh's council form of city government, the city manager is the day-to-day manager of city affairs, and the position reports to the City Council. The city manager is critical to the budget process, which is currently ongoing.

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