Former school board member replacing Dr. West as District 5 Commissioner

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Thursday, January 4, 2024
Tara Waters Serves Wake Co. as District 5 Commissioner
ABC11 sat down with Waters where she detailed how she stepped into this role

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- With just over 24 hours on the job, New Wake County Commissioner Tara Waters is already working on ways to better serve the county and those communities in her district including Southeast Raleigh, parts of Garner, and Knightdale.

ABC11 sat down with Waters where she detailed how she stepped into this role; one she didn't initially seek out.

"It certainly was not something I had anticipated," she said. "We were so fortunate to have Commissioner West serve in his role. We all admired him; his dedication to the community is something that really spoke to our hearts. And when the opportunity became available to fill that position, I didn't immediately have interest. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought about the opportunity to have even greater impact."

Waters shared areas in the county that need more support.

"When I look at particular issues that are important, I am certainly passionate about helping our children, particularly children in foster care. We definitely have a crisis in this community as we need to increase support," said Waters. " Also, I am also very interested in supporting members of the disability community and families who are experiencing homelessness and also affordable housing across all of our municipalities."

Waters said she will continue to focus on education and leading with an equity lens.

"Any time I have a chance to support equity initiatives, whether that's equity around education or health care or housing, those are really important areas that we need to be intentional to make sure that there's access across the board," she said.

Waters was appointed to the Wake County School Board in March 2022 to serve District 4, which also includes Southeast Raleigh. Voters elected her to that position several months later in November, where she went on to serve as the Board's Vice Chair.

Last Month, the Wake County Democratic Party Executive Committee nominated Waters to fill the Wake County Board of Commissioners seat left vacant following the death of longtime public servant Dr. James West.

This week, the Wake County Board of Commissioners confirmed her appointment, and she was sworn in as the new District 5 Commissioner.

"Being able to bring the experience from the Board of Education over to the Board of Commissioners just means the increased ability to help improve outcomes for all of our neighbors and to ensure that everyone has access to a great quality of life," said Waters.

She will serve the remainder of former Commissioner West's term. As Waters starts her new role, she will also begin campaigning for the March primary.