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Raleigh mayor endorses McFarlane to succeed him

Posted October 3, 2011

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— With Raleigh municipal elections just eight days away, outgoing Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker announced Monday that he is endorsing City Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane to succeed him.

McFarlane is running against real estate executive Billie Redmond and obstetrician Dr. Randall Williams.

"I've been watching this mayor's race very closely, as you can imagine, and Nancy has been running an outstanding campaign, reaching out to all groups, listening to everyone and running a very positive campaign – the kind of campaign the whole community can be proud of," Meeker said, adding that he believes McFarlane is behind the "key issues" of parks and greenways, sustainability and maintaining an active downtown.

All three candidates have said that jobs and the economy are key issues facing the city but have also mentioned the importance of managing growth, transportation, land use and housing.

McFarlane has served on the City Council since 2007. She is a pharmacist and president of Med Pro Rx, a specialty pharmacy focusing on chronic illnesses.

She has touted her work to protect the quality of life and environment in Raleigh as a member of the City Council's comprehensive planning and budget and economic development committees.

She has lived in north Raleigh since 1984, is married and has two daughters and a son.

"I have worked closely with (Meeker) the last four years and really with citizens and neighborhood concerns even before that. To have his faith in me means a great deal," McFarlane said after Meeker's endorsement Monday.

Redmond is chief executive of Coldwell Banker Commercial TradeMark Properties, one of the largest commercial real estate companies in the Triangle. She also is a former chairwoman of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

She said Monday that she has "tremendous respect for Meeker," even though she did not get his endorsement.

"Mayor Meeker's not on the ballot. He's not running this time, and what's really important (is that) this is a campaign of choices," Redmond said. "The three candidates running for mayor are very, very different – different in leadership style and different in approach to the job of being the mayor."

At a forum in September, Redmond said she would draw on her management experience to lead Raleigh into a mode where the city can grow and create private-sector jobs. She says she would look for new ways to generate funds and focus on the future.

"I love what the city has done recently," she said. "The focus on the debt for me has been about future planning."

Williams, an obstetrician and gynecologist, says he is appreciative of what Meeker has done for the city, but he feels a change is in order.

"I think the situation has changed. I think clearly that Charles and my view of government is probably different. I think Charles is very much more government-centric in terms of planning and growth and all of those things. I would depend much more on the private sector," he said.

At the September forum, Williams said that new revenue should come from people moving to or creating jobs in Raleigh. He said he would make future spending decisions based on each unique circumstance.

"I guess my training as a surgeon is that you take each situation and that you look at the data and make your best assessment," he said.

Early voting ends Saturday. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the voters in the Oct. 11 election, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held Nov. 8.

Meeker announced in April that he would not run for a record sixth term, saying that it’s time for him to pass the baton to a new city leader with new energy and vision.

When he closes out his fifth term as Raleigh’s mayor in December, Meeker will tie the late Avery Upchurch, who served the city from 1983 to 1993, as Raleigh's longest-serving chief executive.

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  • dwntwnboy Oct 5, 2011

    "a convention center that sits empty most of the time"- someone hasnt done their homework. There are events EVERY day- sometimes as many as 3-5 events a day. Now, not all of them are open to the public, many of them private events for organizations. Just because YOU dont hear about what's going on, doesn't mean it sits empty. There is very rarely a day without some sort of event or meeting taking place in that building- we needed a new convention center badly- had you even been in that dump that passed for one before? Downtown is thriving compaired to when Meeker took office, the amphitheatre is doing well and there are about 30 concerts there a year that wouldn't be held at Walnut Creek because they wouldn't be able to afford to rent that much space, it fills a void and brings yet MORE business into downtown. Meeker has done a wonderful job for EVERYONE in Raleigh, not just his "liberal friends".

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Oct 5, 2011

    "Compare Raleigh of 2000 to Raleigh 2011, Meeker has done an amazing job as Mayor. - Bill Brasky"

    Let's look at what Meeker hasn't accomplished since 2000:

    1) they took away garbage disposals and then they gave them back.

    2) they took away pine straw from landscaping

    3) Meeker built a convention center that sits empty most of the time and will never make money, event though the people of Raleigh voted against it.

    4) Water bills are twice what they were in 2000.

    5) Property taxes have significantly increased.

    6) Numerous new fees including the stormwater fee.

    7) Meeker built a downtown amphitheater that wasn't needed because we already have Walnut Creek.

    8) Meeker spent a fortune on several failed attempts to revive the downtown because nobody except Meeker and his liberal friends go downtown.

    etc.........

    It looks like Meeker's biggest accomplishment is making the people of Raleigh poorer through increased taxes and fees.

  • Bill Brasky Oct 4, 2011

    Compare Raleigh of 2000 to Raleigh 2011, Meeker has done an amazing job as Mayor.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Oct 4, 2011

    Meeker endorsing McFarlane is a great reason to vote against McFarlane.

  • dwntwnboy Oct 4, 2011

    Just like congress or anything else- just because you want to do something- like say public transportation- doesn't mean it can get done. I would have LOVED to see more transportation options, but as it is, Meeker did a fine job for his time in office. The McLaurin bashing was done for no reason other than people didn't know the truth about who was related to whom and what business practices are used. Does it matter who owned the land BEFORE the city/county purchased it? They would have STILL purchased it. Those decks make a LOT of money for the city and county.....hint- that's money going INTO the city/county coffers, not OUT.

  • Equinox Bandingo Oct 4, 2011

    And don't forget the title of the article is "Raleigh mayor endorses McFarlane to succeed him"

  • Equinox Bandingo Oct 4, 2011

    from the downtown boy - If we had better public transportation, you wouldn't have to worry about parking your gas guzzler now would you? Blame those that stifle effective public transport rather than a strong local business that provides jobs to hundreds of people.

    Mayor Meeker has been in office for the past 10 years... do you think he might have been able to do something about our public transit in that length of time?

  • Equinox Bandingo Oct 4, 2011

    Do the downtown boys know who sold the land for the decks to the city/county/etc ??

  • downtownNtheknow Oct 4, 2011

    Thanks dwntwnboy for trying to set the record straight. Nancy McFarlane is running for mayor. She is no kin to Mayor Meeker or his wife, school board member Ann McLaurin. And Ann McLaurin is of absolutely no kin to the McLaurin family that owns and operates McLaurin Parking! Get your facts straight folks before knocking a family you don’t even know!

    And dwntwnboy is correct, McLaurin does not own a single parking lot or deck. They manage properties for owners, and most policies, including parking rates, are set by others, not by the McLaurin’s. And for those who may have gotten a boot on their car before, one question: did you pay to park or were you parking illegally? Already know the answer. Take some responsibility for yourselves folks and you’ll have a much more enjoyable life!

  • OpenM1nd Oct 4, 2011

    Vote for Billie! :-)

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