Local Politics

McFarlane to focus on smart growth for Raleigh

Posted December 6, 2011

— Before presiding over her first Raleigh City Council meeting Tuesday, Mayor Nancy McFarlane said she wants to get the entire city involved in building toward the future.

"We’ve been very lucky with people in the past wanting to be included in local government, but I think that’s incredibly important that we reach out. I want us to look at ways to communicate better," McFarlane said. "It’s a big city and it stretches far, and I want everyone, no matter where they are in the city, to appreciate all of the different things we have here."

After serving on City Council for four years, she said, she wanted to succeed five-term Mayor Charles Meeker to continue working on issues like planned growth, protecting the Falls Lake watershed and improving transit options.

"I really felt sort of an obligation to see the city continue on that path," she said, adding that she also wants to find ways to help small businesses flourish in the city.

A native of Washington, D.C., she said she's seen firsthand how growth and traffic can get out of hand. So, getting ahead of transportation and development issues will be key for her.

"With growth, we have to seize the opportunity to build the city we want," she said.

Raleigh City Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane McFarlane focuses on smart growth for Raleigh

A pharmacist and mother of three, McFarlane said her climb to the mayor's office began three decades ago as a volunteer for PTAs and her homeowners association.

"(I've) been involved in the community all my life, and this is just a bigger piece of community involvement for me," she said. "It really is a chance to serve the public. To me, that’s really what local government is all about."


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  • dwntwnboy Dec 7, 2011

    "Don't forget the restaurant that Meeker and the city subsidized.Not a proper use of city funds."- why not? Many landlords (especially on retail property) chip in with upgrades and renovations to make the space more attractive to future tenants- just like Raleigh did with this property (a CITY owned building). The city makes it's money on the back end of the taxes and rent the space brings in- seems like a wonderfu use of "city funds" to me. It was a million in renovations, not like the city went into business with the owners- just acting like any other landlords.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 7, 2011

    "There are a few publicly funded buildings and they have laid the stage for huge amounts of private businesses to spring up all around them. - bill0"

    Don't forget the restaurant that Meeker and the city subsidized.

    Not a proper use of city funds.

  • bill0 Dec 7, 2011

    If you don't live or work downtown, it is hard to appreciate the incredible changes that have happened in the last 10 years. Hopefully McFarlane keeps us on a similar path. The difference between downtown from 2000 to 2011 is just night and day.

    Re: private investment. There is no such thing as private investment without public infrastructure. Nobody would be building in North Raleigh unless the city wasn't providing roads,sewer, schools etc. Same goes for downtown. There are a few publicly funded buildings and they have laid the stage for huge amounts of private businesses to spring up all around them.

  • artist Dec 7, 2011

    I think the downtown is pretty cool-looking.

  • dwntwnboy Dec 7, 2011

    "Meeker wasted a bunch of money on the downtown including the failed convention center"- while the Convention Center itself may not turn a profit (yet)- it has MORE than met it goal of bringing in conventions and groups to offset the cost in the extra taxes generated by the full hotels and restaurants downtown. If not for that "waste" as you call it, we wouldn't have had the NHL All Star game here last year- that brought MILLIONS into town and showed off Raleigh to an international audience that is STILL talking about what a wonderful time they had and what a nice place Raleigh is- you can't buy that kind of advertising for a city. The CC is also a VERY busy place- most days having between 2-4 events. Just because YOU don't like or attend events there does not make it a waste. It WAS needed- the old CC was dark and outdated and couldn't hold the size conferences and shows that Raleigh wanted to attract as a major city in the south.

  • rand321 Dec 7, 2011

    Raleigh and its growth are going to cause a lot of problems. I would hope McFarlane and the council would focus on projects and approval that the private sector or the market will want, but at the same time not allow them to increase taxpayer expenses to bring transporation and services to them.

  • Bill Brasky Dec 7, 2011


    I never agree with you...but today is different and I totally agree with you on this topic.

  • Proud Airman Dec 7, 2011

    McFarlane should start by taking a hard look at Police Chief Harry Dolan's behavior. Getting rid of him will potentially save the city a fortune in lawsuits.

  • Bill Brasky Dec 7, 2011

    "Another Washington DC native, Like Lord Mayor Meeker.
    See any pattern ?
    Remember now, the Gub'mint knows what's best for you....."

    She's lived in Raleigh for 30 years. Read her biography.

  • Bill Brasky Dec 7, 2011

    "Smart Growth" is a key word for socialism. No cars. Hi density housing. Everyone has the same thing. Which is nothing. No choice. No freedom."

    The big laugh of the day...Thanks