The Wake County Board of Commissioners tonight voted for Tara Waters to fill the seat left vacant when longtime public servant Dr. James West passed away on Nov. 18, 2023, at age 79. She was sworn in shortly after the board unanimously confirmed her as the Wake County Democratic Party’s nominee for the District 5 seat.
“I’m proud to carry on Dr. West’s legacy of lifting up our vulnerable residents and helping them gain greater access to the services they need to thrive,” said Commissioner Waters. “I appreciate the trust my colleagues have placed in me, and I look forward serving all Wake County residents with compassion, strength and grace.”
Commissioner Waters most recently served as vice chair of the Wake County Board of Education, where she advocated for more diversity and inclusion training and increasing community engagement. She currently works for the City of Raleigh as the manager of its Volunteer Raleigh program, which aims to connect local volunteers with nonprofits and public organizations who need their support.
“We welcome Commissioner Waters to our board and are excited about the unique experience and perspective she will bring to our work,” said Chair Shinica Thomas. “While we miss Dr. West greatly, we feel confident that she will serve our county with the same spirit and empathy that he did.”
Prior to joining the City of Raleigh, Commissioner Waters worked for Wake Tech’s Human Resources Development team as assistant director and instructional supervisor. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from NC State University and her Master of Public Administration from East Carolina University.