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Re: “The INDY Endorses Nancy McFarlane for Raleigh Mayor

NEWS / NEWS / RALEIGH
Raleigh Votes to Establish a Community Engagement Board, Which Critics Worry Will Take Power Away from Citizens Advisory Councils
Posted by Thomas Goldsmith on Tue, May 2, 2017 at 5:57 PM
After vigorous discussion, Raleigh City Council members agreed Tuesday to form a community engagement board but punted on how it would work and exactly what it would do.

The proposal for the community engagement board ran into opposition from council members who preferred the existing, sometimes freewheeling citizens advisory committees that were established in the 1970s. Raleigh has nineteen CACs that represent geographic areas of the city.

Were not trying to dis the CACs, Mayor Nancy McFarlane said after the meeting. None of this is set in stone. Fundamentally, we are trying to empower people.

After discussion, members agreed on a 53 vote to establish the CEB, leaving details about how it will function to be developed in a future work session. Council members David Cox, Corey Branch, and Kay Crowder voted against setting up the board. Cox and Branch were worried that the CEB would take power away from the CACs.

I dont have an issue other than the CEB being the voice of the committees, said Branch, whose district has eight CACs.

Before the vote, the board heard from a task force it set up in September to answer questions about the best way to receive input from people in Raleigh on development and other issues. The nine-member task force, led by A.J. Fletcher Foundation director Damon Circosta, compared community input organizations in forty U.S. cities to make its report. Its recommendations include expanded notice of zoning changes and additional levels of communication between the council and grassroots organizations.

In making comparisons with similar groups in other cities, task force members asked about their funding, structures, use of technology, relationship with governing bodies, and role in rezoning cases.

Cox, whose profile rose during several north Raleigh zoning disputes, argues for a continuing role for the CAC network.

Its citizen-led and citizen-directed, he said after the meeting. Now we are replacing it with a governmental board. What is the mission? Where are the checks and balances?

Many CACs have faithful memberships and have been outspoken and sometimes successful in opposing new development. Cox said he worries that developers interest will have a stronger voice under this new method of getting citizens take on zoning changes.

McFarlane argues that the groups fail to represent a broad enough range of Raleigh residents opinions, citing a survey that showed low levels of citizen involvement in CACs.

We have four-hundred-and-seventy thousand people in Raleigh and about five hundred people who take part in CACs, she said. Some people dont have time to go and would rather connect electronically.

My comments:I keep hearing that McFarlane has backed off this topic but that is just whistling in the wind. McFarlane twisted arms to get this vote passed including threatening other City Council members to not back them in the municipal Elections. She and Bonner Gaylord are extremely pro-development. The people who attend the CAC meetings are watching out for their neighborhoods. They may not be great in numbers but they care about whaT HAPPENS IN THEIR CITY, THAT IS WHY THEY ATTEND.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Meredith de la Vergne on 09/22/2017 at 8:12 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Dickie Thompson for Raleigh City Council District A

I have never received any info about his accomplishments that benefit residents in his district nor has he ever responded to my emails! Why would I vote for someone who doesn't really represent me, but votes 99% of time with liberal City Council and Mayor who are constantly raising taxes! We need someone who will truly serve the people and limit spending!

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Deb Brantley on 09/21/2017 at 6:36 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Edward Yerha for Cary Town Council At-Large

I invited the INDY Editorial Board on a tour of Cary to see the carnage wrought on trees in the downtown area, in the medians of our boulevards and parkways, and in our commercial parking lots.

The offer was not accepted. This keeps the record of Mr. Yerha's endosers at 100% of those citizens, officials, and organizations who have not availed themselves of a tour.

It's very hard to win a game if one's opponents refuse to show up.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by GeoMcD on 09/21/2017 at 10:59 AM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Steve Schewel for Durham Mayor

Steve Schewel has done a l lot for the city of Durham. However he was also under Bill Bell's leadership when the city underwent rapid gentrification and a lot of Durhamites got displaced. He is talking the 'talk' a little late, did he not foresee the issues with displacement and address them? He also voted and upheld the big police Fortress spending, the 71 million to get it built. thus dividing the black side of town against the white side of town. While he's done a lot of things, having him in office would be akin to having a "Bill Bell lite". Durham needs a total change from the old regime. And Pierce freelon is that change.

7 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by Kingcent on 09/21/2017 at 7:19 AM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Mark-Anthony Middleton for Durham City Council Ward 2

Rooks won't vote for money for parks, won't support rail transit, and now this:

"Rooks is floating a nave idea to enact a five-year moratorium on downtown development."

I think the PA got snookered. Middleton is a better choice.

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Durham451 on 09/20/2017 at 10:17 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Steve Schewel for Durham Mayor

Steve Schewel is the mayor Durham needs. Great endorsement!

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Durham451 on 09/20/2017 at 10:12 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Nancy McFarlane for Raleigh Mayor

This is really a mess. We need to get behind one candidate.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by heatherstao on 09/20/2017 at 4:44 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Dickie Thompson for Raleigh City Council District A

"Pro-business"? He was the lone vote against allowing earlier liquor sales on Sundays!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Amy Genovesi Howard on 09/20/2017 at 4:18 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Stef Mendell for Raleigh City Council District E

A look at Gayord's voting choices is all you need to know that the fox has been guarding the henhouse. Great to have a good alternative on this seat.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Elliot Nelson on 09/20/2017 at 3:43 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Corey Branch for Raleigh City Council District C

"stressing the need for economic development and better policing in southeast Raleigh, as well as addressing the dearth of grocery stores in the area and access to transportation."

What has Branch done specifically to address these issues? What are his proposals? This information is missing from his campaign website.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Amy Genovesi Howard on 09/20/2017 at 3:40 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses David Cox for Raleigh City Council District B

Bright and analytical, high integrity, truly represents his constituents. Enough said.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Elliot Nelson on 09/20/2017 at 3:33 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Russ Stephenson and Nicole Stewart for the Raleigh City Council At-Large Seat

If you will actually watch the videos of city council meetings you will see that the fact is that Mr. Stephenson is one of only two council members that consistently attempt to protect neighborhoods and individuals and is consistently outvoted by the "developer" side of the table. Yes, he has received donations from developers. Those developers also donate to any other candidates they think have a chance. They have done this for many years, before Stephenson was on the council , as they believe in trying to work both sides of the street. Stephenson has not created a big splash like the mayor and some council who pushed publicity-worthy projects. Instead he has concentrated on actually researching the issues and educating himself on the topics on which he votes. He is constantly having to correct the misinformation stated by the other council members who show that they spend little time and prefer to "trust the staff" and go along with their developer friends. He is also constantly out in the community attending events and listening to residents about their needs and problems. That is rare among the rest of the council and a tough job for an at-large member.
Ill take the candidate that does the does the daily grind of a workhorse over a once-in-a-while show pony any day.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Elliot Nelson on 09/20/2017 at 3:25 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Russ Stephenson and Nicole Stewart for the Raleigh City Council At-Large Seat

Ms. Leanna; Great comment - I would also like to see diversity and young blood in City council. I have met and heard Ms. Zainab Baloch. she seems to be very energetic and gives many meaning full solution to the city issues. We need some one who can bring change and understand Raleigh resident issues from heart and brain and not for his/her own financial benefits. I will definitely vote for her as one of my choice.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by wade harris on 09/20/2017 at 3:04 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Corey Branch for Raleigh City Council District C

You need to interview citizens from his district instead of interviewing him about what he has "accomplished". You need to look at the problems he has getting out into the community to listen to his constituents. It is unfortunate that those with full time jobs and families have little time for the demands of the council, but it is a reality and a problem for Branch.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Elliot Nelson on 09/20/2017 at 3:03 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Nancy McFarlane for Raleigh Mayor

"But Francis's critiques of Raleigh's quality of life seem misplaced. The mayor's team frequently touts a poll that found that 91 percent of Raleigh's residents rated the city's quality of life as good to excellent. People are moving to the city in droves, businesses are flourishing, taxes are reasonable, if rising. " Accoridng to whose survey and surveying whom? Many lower income people do not have a means to read or respond to surveys. Many are too bitter to partcipate in such superficial activities. Anyone who has been paying any attention at all knows that it is the upper echelons who are thrilled with the turn Raleigh has taken, but those who are the most vulnerable have been forced from their homes and have no real opportunities at businesses like Citrix. They have had much promised, and little delivered.

16 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Elliot Nelson on 09/20/2017 at 2:51 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Russ Stephenson and Nicole Stewart for the Raleigh City Council At-Large Seat

Mr. Stephenson is a nice enough guy and apparently a good architect, but IMO has been wholly unimpressive throughout his overlong tenure on Raleigh's City Council. Quick, try to think of a major accomplishment of his... In any case, 12 years is more than long enough for anyone to serve effectively in a policy-making position.

The Council needs new, more diverse blood. Miller and Stewart would be great additions with different perspectives from each other and from the rest of the City Council. That's who I'm voting for at-large, and I encourage others too as well.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Leanne Sigmon on 09/20/2017 at 2:43 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Russ Stephenson and Nicole Stewart for the Raleigh City Council At-Large Seat

Mr. Glenwood, it is not copy and paste - it is directly from his profile on face book. Also, you are incorrect about your assessment of Mr. Stephenson - he has experience in exploiting Raleigh citizens by favoring big general contractors to enhance his profitability as a business owner. It is all about $ not having warm heart for people living in SE Raleigh or any other part of Raleigh. )

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by wade harris on 09/20/2017 at 1:51 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Mark-Anthony Middleton for Durham City Council Ward 2

In Rooks' PA questionnaire he refuses to share which president, governor or US senate candidates he supported in 2012, 2014 or 2016. Other candidates had no trouble with this question. Further he says he wouldn't vote to raise taxes to pay for park improvements, doesn't think rail is important now for Durham and doesn't take sides on recent rezoning cases when asked to do so. Those do not qualify as progressive stances.

14 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Frank Hyman on 09/20/2017 at 1:04 PM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Kay Crowder for Raleigh City Council District D

In my opinion, Crowder is basically running uncontested, so I am disappointed that the Indy is endorsing her. Obviously, I am more disappointed that Crowder is basically running uncontested. It doesn't really give voters in her district much of a choice.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Autumn Elizabeth Racine on 09/20/2017 at 10:57 AM

Re: “The INDY Endorses Nancy McFarlane for Raleigh Mayor

McFarlane shows a blind spot for community involvement, not only with her mis-steps with trying to eliminate the Citizen Advisory Councils (CACs) but also with her lax oversight and misuse of the city's two Business Improvement Districts, both tax-funded and both largely unaccountable -- and absolutely free to follow their booster/good-old-boy empire-building agendas while the average citizen is overlooked. If it's been too long a run for Bonner Gaylord, it's been too long a train ride for McFarlane. Methinks she's going deaf.

18 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by citizenshame on 09/20/2017 at 10:38 AM

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