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Raleigh council responds to magazine criticism

Posted July 8, 2013

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— After being criticized in a national magazine, Raleigh City Council members were divided Monday over how to respond.

A column in a recent issue of Governing magazine stated that the council was "overdoing hands-on government" because it fired longtime City Manager Russell Allen.

"It's just one person's opinion in a magazine in a little column," Mayor Nancy McFarlane said. "I mean, I'm sure that people read it, but would you really put that against the strength of what this city is and how well-known we are?"

Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said, however, that she worries about the column's impact in Raleigh's search for a new city manager.

"I think we need to show from our actions and our words that that's not the case," Baldwin said. "I think just sitting here and doing nothing tells people, 'Well, maybe it is.'"

City officials said they hope to name a new manager by October.


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  • Frank Downtown Jul 10, 2013

    Ouch! Nancy did it hit a nerve?

  • boylan99 Jul 9, 2013

    "I love an enthusiastically hands-on local government!" ILoveDowntownRaleigh

    That is why you have a City Manger, Planning Board, etc which Raleigh has. The City Council needs to be thinking about and solving the big city issues we have and will continue to have. Not do things such as extensively discuss the color of a new bldg which this Council loves to do. If that is their passion they need to go back to the Planning Board not the Council.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Jul 9, 2013

    Councilors: I would suggest that you not worry about this magazine article.

    To declare that a city's council is "overdoing hands-on government"? What an absurd charge. Any candidate who is put off by that kind of journalistic fluff doesn't have the mettle to run the City of Raleigh. Indeed - you might want to consider asking applicants if they have read the article, and what they think of it.

    I love an enthusiastically hands-on local government!

  • ladyliberty1885 Jul 9, 2013

    Oh hey, it's Mary Ann Baldwin - the same one who let her dog pee on the NCGA as a 'statement'. Still stayin' classy, I see.


  • venitapeyton Jul 9, 2013

    What's the rush to hire before the October election? And why would any professional city manager want to get hired by an (possible) outgoing council?

  • boylan99 Jul 9, 2013

    What's ironic the biggest micro manager of the entire Council, Thomas Crowder, is the one most upset by being called out about it.

  • gammasandi Jul 9, 2013

    could not afford to keep him...

  • andy2 Jul 9, 2013

    The city council is to thank for the article. I think this pretty much started over parking space. The pettiness and defensive responses from the council and the mayor are ridiculous. Children.

  • archmaker Jul 9, 2013

    boylan99 hit the nail on the head. they need to focus on big city issues instead of micro managing things like trying to design each new building in raleigh from the council chambers.

    as for the comments on moore square - the city tried to fix it but forgot to involve the right people. they held a design competition to remake moore square but the winning design couldn't be built because it involved building elements which the actual owner of moore square (the state of north carolina) would not allow.

  • Common_Sensey Jul 9, 2013

    "And yet they can't fix one tiny plot of dirt downtown (Moore Square) to keep the prostitutes, beggars and drug dealers out..."

    Yep, it seems after decades of exponential growth while retaining that "small town feel", Raleigh is looking more and more like the typical mid-sized city. Just sad...