Local Politics

Redmond stresses leadership in mayoral campaign

Posted October 4, 2011 7:09 p.m. EDT
Updated October 4, 2011 7:12 p.m. EDT

— Billie Redmond said she leads by example, noting she started her commercial real estate brokerage 30 years ago when few women were in that business.

That background has prepared her to be Raleigh's next mayor, she said. Redmond is competing against City Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane and obstetrician Dr. Randall Williams on the Oct. 11 ballot to succeed five-term Mayor Charles Meeker.

"My focus is on leadership," Redmond said. "It's a critical time for leadership, and I believe, without hesitation, that I am the most uniquely qualified person to bring that leadership to the city."

She has led the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the WakeMed Board of Directors and other civic groups.

"I don't have a political agenda and, quite frankly, believe we will do our best work when we are really focused on what's right for the city of Raleigh and moving her forward," she said.

She has 14 ideas to move the city forward, all of which she says have been vetted as viable. They include having the mayor take an active role in working with the Wake County Board of Education and transforming 306 acres of the Dorothea Dix Hospital property into the people's park of North Carolina.

"What really gets me excited and what I believe we would have a responsibility to our citizens to do is to really look at how we develop the neighborhood and the area around (the Dix property)," she said.

Redmond said she fears complacency could hinder Raleigh's growth unless the next mayor is aggressive in creating new jobs. She said making Raleigh an international competitor is the key, citing software developer Red Hat and energy-efficient lighting company Cree as the Triangle's most prominent examples of businesses that are growing globally.

"We can't keep doing what we've been doing. We can't do the same things. If we do, we won't compete internationally," she said. "We have everything to gain by really being visionary and by really leading for the jobs of the future."