Raleigh mayoral candidates look to keep city thriving
Posted October 6, 2011 8:10 p.m. EDT
Updated October 7, 2011 7:27 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The three candidates running for mayor of Raleigh tackled questions ranging from the economy to public safety during a debate on Thursday evening. Questions were received via Twitter.
Candidate Billie Redmond, a real estate executive, said she wants to see private investment take a leading role in moving the city forward.
"We don't need the city to create jobs. Let our people do it," Redmond said.
City Councilwoman Nancy McFarlane, an independent, said it is bold moves by city leaders that bring the investment.
"Sometimes the city has to step up and kick-start that infrastructure," McFarlane said.
Another Republican aiming for the mayor's seat, obstetrician Dr. Randall Williams, wants to see private and public work together.
"When we bring financing and development to Raleigh that floats all boats," Williams said.
The three are vying to succeed five-term Mayor Charles Meeker, who recently announced his support for McFarlane.
In addition to selecting a mayor, voters in the Oct. 11 election will also be asked to approve or deny issuing $40 million in bonds to pay for transportation projects like street paving, sidewalk repairs and walking and biking trails and another $16 million to build and renovate affordable housing in the city.
If both bond issues are approved, they would add $17 a year in property taxes for a median-priced $188,000 home.
McFarlane and Williams favor the bonds.
"We need to support the bonds to help sidewalks and bus shelters," McFarlane said.
Redmond citing the poor economic climate is against them.
"Are we going to make decisions right now before we really know what the economy is going to look like even in the next six months to a year?" Redmond 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.