Two try to unseat McFarlane as Raleigh mayor
Posted October 7, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Mayor Nancy McFarlane faces two opponents Tuesday as she seeks re-election to a second two-year term leading Raleigh.
McFarlane said the next few years must be about quality growth for Raleigh, which is among the fastest-growing cities in North Carolina.
"It's really all those things that come with growth – water supply, transportation issues," she said.
She has spent recent weeks pushing a $75 million city transportation bond referendum that's also on Tuesday's ballot.
Her opponents, however, say City Hall leaders need to do more.
Venita Peyton, who is making a third attempt at the mayor's seat, said she is concerned about what she calls the city's continued neglect of east Raleigh.
"Some people look at (ZIP code) 27610, and they see food stamps, older people, things that can't possibly happen here," Peyton said. "We have almost nothing over here. We may have to go the route of North Hills and get private people to come in and invest in this area because the city of Raleigh doesn't seem to be interested."
McFarlane said that, while most developers want to be downtown, she recently asked city staff to look into adding indoor park facilities to struggling shopping centers in east Raleigh.
"If that's something we can do to drive more traffic, get more eyes there, then that may help return the retail, and that can help," she said.
Political newcomer Robert Weltzin calls city leaders out of touch. Raleigh is a thriving city, but he said more money should be spent on improving emergency services and aging infrastructure.
"I think Raleigh deserves visible, effective leadership," Weltzin said. "We need to go back to the basics. The water and sewer lines downtown need to be replaced, and no one's talking about it."
McFarlane said the city is working on a plan to replace and expand Raleigh's sewer system.