George Farthing | Indy Week

George Farthing 
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Re: “Mayor McFarlane Will Not Be Turned Away from Democratic Party Events, Spokesman Says

How about any event the candidates appear, there is a half hour debate followed by Q&A with the audience? I.e., "How many stories and/or opinion pieces have you planted with local media this year, including pieces about your opponent and/or Raleigh citizens?" But in all seriousness, I would have no issue with the candidate not on the agenda attending Sunday's event, if she agreed to a substantive debate with her opponent. In turn, Mr. Francis is welcome to attend any event scheduled with Ms. McFarlane, provided he agrees to a debate also.

What do you say, Perry?

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by George Farthing on 09/08/2017 at 5:06 PM

Re: “Raleigh Mayoral Candidate Charles Francis Has the Democratic Party’s Endorsement But Is Raking in GOP Bucks

I'm sure both candidates have interesting donor lists. On the surface, reporting on who contributes to political campaign is a reasonable and fair story and has been written a million times.

If the idea was to plant doubt about Charles Francis as a "real Democrat" it might work. I trust Indy readers are smarter than that. And let's be honest. To be a complete, accurate and fair story, Indy would have presented the bigger picture of Ms. McFarlane's campaign, to include GOP donors from past campaigns and this year's election. The story mentions McFarlane supporters Charles Meeker and Deborah Ross, prominent Democrats, and Brian Fitzsimmons. It includes a quote from the candidate, "I'm proud of the continued support I have from many Democrats across the city." That's fine, and no doubt true. But wait! What Indy failed to report is any of the McFarlane GOP supporters.

Let's take a look then. Ms. McFarlane's campaign donors who are registered Republicans include Jim Anthony, Ed Fritsch, Prentiss Baker III, Dick Daugherty and Ann Goodnight. Interestingly, John Odom is a campaign donor as well. Everyone knows John Odom is a lifelong Republican; he voted GOP in last year's primaries before suddenly changing to unaffiliated (likely after supposedly being recruited by an elected official in Raleigh to run in this year's council race). I should be clear I have no issue with any of these people, their politics, or who they donated to in this election. It does seem that in perhaps attempting to question Charles Francis's Dem bona fides, Indy ignored the other side of the story. Why?

So the question is, will Indy now do analysis and report on GOP donors (and development interests) who have contributed to the McFarlane campaign?

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by George Farthing on 08/23/2017 at 10:05 AM

Re: “Raleigh Elections May Turn on Whether the City’s 19 CACs Can Really Represent 460,000 Residents

Interesting and relevant topic, but more interesting that the News & Observer has knowingly and willfully ignored this issue, as Indy has made citizen engagement an important election topic. That said, it isn't difficult to figure it out, even obvious really. So many questions around all of this, particularly media coverage (or lack thereof). Trust that Indy will continue to report on the topic of citizen engagement and CACs and how this relates to this fall's election.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by George Farthing on 07/28/2017 at 8:19 PM

Re: “In a Mid-Century Raleigh Neighborhood, New Mansions Are Built So High They Block Out the Sun

Too often when things like this happen that are detrimental to property owners and neighborhoods, the city points a finger at growth as if to say, "We can't help it!" If elected officials (and in this matter, the Board of Adjustment) would simply live up to the City Council mission statement, we'd manage growth responsibly versus the anything goes approach too many favor.

http://www.raleighnc.gov/government/conten…

Here's the first four statements from the council mission statement...how's that working out for this family?

-We are a 21st Century City of Innovation focusing on environmental, cultural and economic sustainability.

-We conserve and protect our environmental resources through best practices and cutting edge conservation and stewardship, land use, infrastructure and building technologies.

-We welcome growth and diversity through policies and programs that will protect, preserve and enhance Raleigh's existing neighborhoods, natural amenities, rich history, and cultural and human resources for future generations.

-We lead to develop an improved neighborhood quality of life and standard of living for all our citizens.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by George Farthing on 07/21/2017 at 10:58 AM

Re: “McFarlane’s Attempt to Overhaul CACs Might Be a Big Issue in Raleigh’s Mayor’s Race

It's well and good for elected officials to state support for CACs after they voted May 2 to approve a report with recommendations that include the eventual eradication of CACs (as the article reports). Since May 2, there's been quite a bit of verbal gymnastics -- committing that CACs will be part of the proposed two-year process on citizen engagement, for example. Well, that's not a commitment that CACs will remain a critical component of citizen engagement at the end of the day, when this process concludes.

It would be a simple matter for Council to begin repairing the self-inflicted damage of May 2. That is by voting on August 15 to set aside the task force recommendations which include: "The complete system of CECs is intended to be a second generation of the CAC system in place currently" The full report can be downloaded at the city's web site here: http://www.raleighnc.gov/content/CorNews/D… The above quoted statement appears on the bottom of page 3.

Council members can either continue to issue flowery but ultimately meaningless statements of support of CACs, or they take an affirmative stand once and for all. How about it? The next council meeting is one month from today on August 15. Council has an opportunity to clear the confusion and uncertainty following the May 2 vote, and should demonstrate leadership we've yet to see on this important issue. Whatever the position, let's hear it: Do members favor the proposed government-directed Citizen Engagement Board that oversees Citizen Engagement Councils, or citizen-led CACs? It's not a difficult question.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by George Farthing on 07/15/2017 at 8:31 AM

Re: “Raleigh Mayoral Candidate Charles Francis Calls Mayor McFarlane 'Aloof, Disengaged'

https://twitter.com/WhalerCane/status/8845…

Perry, it's July 15. On July 10, you indicated via the above tweet that you would reply on whether council will vote Aug. 15 to set aside the May 2 vote as regards the task force recommendations on CACs. Specifically, Councilor Stephenson's written statement at the July 5 council meeting that reads, "...set aside elements of the May 2nd vote that conflict with the Mayor's other June 6th statement that 'every member of this City Council understands and values the important role the CACs have had and continue to play in citizen engagement.'"

On June 6 the mayor made a statement of support for CACs. On July 5 Councilor Stephenson presented a statement in support of CACs. This week you committed that CACs "are absolutely to be included" in the citizen engagement process.

Citizens understandably are weary of words, however affirming they may sound. We want a commitment that CACs will not only be part of the two-year process as you've stated but that there's assurance that CACs will remain a critical component of citizen engagement FOLLOWING this process (unlike the task force recommendations). I hope the August 15 City Council meeting doesn't include just another conciliatory statement with no real meaning or commitment. After all this time, words no longer suffice. It's time for leadership.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by George Farthing on 07/15/2017 at 7:39 AM

Re: “Raleigh Mayoral Candidate Charles Francis Calls Mayor McFarlane 'Aloof, Disengaged'

Thank you for the insight, Perry. Given the council vote was two-plus months ago and there have been several council meetings since that time, I trust you would concede that what you have written here is clearer than anything that has happened since the May 2 vote. So, questions remain.

I will take you at your word as regards the May 2 vote and that it did not equal full approval of the entire report and recommendations of the Citizen Engagement Task Force. I hope you can clarify things further. On June 6, the mayor made a statement about CACs that the N&O cited in two opinion pieces June 7 and 21, which was that CACs will continue. Here's the conundrum: at the same June 6 meeting, more than 20 CAC advocates voiced their concerns with the task force recommendations and called on council to support and strengthen, not replace CACs. No one corrected them that night in a manner such as you have stated here. As indicated here already, the N&O and Indy Week reported the same meeting differently. And let's be real, on June 21 the N&O labeled CAC advocates as "the loudest" "neighborhood activists" "with an agenda." See http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/opn-co… At best regarding the May 2 vote and aftermath it is terribly confusing.

While your comments on CACs are appreciated, since May 2 none of the five councilors who voted in favor of the task force recommendations has spoken publicly and unequivocally that CACs will remain part of the citizen engagement process. I.e., the task force recommendation for "second generation CACs" -- Citizen Engagement Councils -- that replaces the current system is no longer on the table. Can you say now if that is or is not so?

Councilor Stephenson's written statement at the July 5 council meeting proposes that council set aside the May 2 vote as regards CACs. At its August 15 meeting, will council therefore vote on Councilor Stephenson's July 5 statement to set aside the May 2 vote and state clearly, on the record, that Citizens Advisory Councils will remain a key part of citizen engagement in Raleigh? I trust it's not too much to ask for City Council to set the record straight. After all May 2 to August 15 is 105 days. Surely Raleigh City Council can answer a simple question like this in that time?

18 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by George Farthing on 07/10/2017 at 8:03 PM

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