Local Politics

Williams hopes to deliver for Raleigh as mayor

Posted October 5, 2011 6:39 p.m. EDT

— Dr. Randall Williams has delivered more than 2,000 children, many in other parts of the world as a volunteer on humanitarian missions. Now, he says, he wants to deliver for the people of Raleigh by listening and building coalitions.

Williams, a Raleigh obstetrician, will battle City Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane and real estate executive Billie Redmond in the Oct. 11 election to see who will succeed five-term Mayor Charles Meeker.

"Politics is probably, by nature, divisive, but I think that governing, by nature, should be collaborative. I just really believe that," Williams said.

Creating new jobs in Raleigh has to be the priority of the next mayor, he said, and that entails having new ideas and reaching out to others.

"A quality the next mayor has to have is the ability to work well with others, whether that be with the City Council, the city staff, the public sector or other governmental agencies and municipalities in the state," he said.

The private sector must lead the way in economic development, he said. That will allow Raleigh to maintain existing services without raising local property taxes.

"It's not just one thing. It's a lot of different things and a lot of different people working," he said. "A lot of it's controlled by the private sector. It's having them allocate resources – maybe more than the city does – (and) making (regulatory changes) so it's easier for them to do that."

Each of the three mayoral candidates wants to preserve the pristine 306 acres of the Dorothea Dix Hospital property as a park, but Williams, who serves on the state Board of Public Health, has a vision that accounts for North Carolina's need for mental health facilities.

"I don't think it's fair for us, as people living in the community, to say, 'Gov. Perdue, you just give us that land, and good luck with mental health,'" he said. "I certainly appreciate her situation that she could use some of that land to sell off to help fund mental health."