RaleighMom | Indy Week

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Re: “Councilman Cox Returns Dean Debnam's Campaign Contribution, Citing Dispute With Raleigh

Integrity among politicians? Hopefully he is setting a precedent that others will follow -- one can dream.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by RaleighMom on 08/29/2017 at 10:38 AM

Re: “A Raleigh Family Asks a Court to Stop a Developer from Erecting a 28-Foot Wall Next to Their House

Could not agree more with the comments about needing changes to the City Council .. leadership is top-down, including in cases where Raleigh's Citizens are in direct conflict with Developers. Our leaders, including the Mayor, do not openly support citizens when in conflict with egregious development. They say they do in campaign materials, but meet with them in person and see if they are \ willing to support you publicly over a developer (or landowner selling to a developer). When the Council gives the appearance that citizen input is second to developers' (which is exactly what has been happening for 8 years now) then the Boards/Committees/etc throughout the levels of city planning will also share that view and it will color their decisions, as happened here.

I am fortunate in that I live in District B with a Councilman (David Cox) who DOES publicly support CACs and citizen input, even when it makes him a target for other leaders (aka: the Council Code of Conduct). But that wasn't always the case -- prior to his election my Councilman was John Odom, and Mr. Odom would not lend support to his constituents when we faced an egregious rezoning proposal on top of our neighborhood, ignoring the near 4000 signatures from his constituents arguing against the rezoning. Odom's attitude was mirrored by most of Council (including the Mayor) at the time. Due to their unwillingness to support us, our case dragged on for years. Developers were simply more important than the average citizen, even when we turned out in record numbers to vote at our CACs against the egregious rezoning (I'm sure it has nothing to do with the money being donated by developers to their campaigns, or the fact that many of the Council members and developers/attorneys all move in the same social circles). Yes, the rezoning was ultimately denied after years of organized efforts from the community, and I applaud Russ Stephenson's motion to include reasons for denial (Mr. Stephenson, like David Cox, is a true neighborhood supporter). Luckily, this is an election year and we have a Mayoral candidate who has openly and publicly supported CACs (unlike the Council and Mayor who seem to be leaning toward removing the CACs) and citizen involvement. With that kind of leadership, the air of secrecy and inaccessibility surrounding today's Council will change, as will the direction that the planners/planning committees and boards take.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by RaleighMom on 07/18/2017 at 11:31 AM

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

Having met Mr. Francis, I can say that he fully supports CACs, which is more than I've heard from the Mayor or other Council members who voted for the Community Engagement Board. I believe he will welcome citizen engagement in his vision of Raleigh.

Charles Francis will also be a strong leader, he is not afraid to take action when it's needed. Anyone remember the UDO hearings/debacle, in which people who waited to speak to Council for 4 hours were cut off at what, 10 pm and sent home with the suggestion that they come and speak another day? I heard some people plead their cases saying they had to take off work and drive long distances to get downtown to speak to Council - it was not an easy task to come before the Council and speak again. I also remember that when the Mayor was warned of all the problems of the UDO and begged not to pass it without first Q&A-ing it, she said something to the effect of 'just pass it and we'll deal with the problems later' .. seeming to misunderstand that passing it made it into law. Someone with Charles Francis' leadership and brilliance would have understood the ramifications of something such as passing the UDO without a previous, lengthy review process.

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by RaleighMom on 07/11/2017 at 10:57 AM

Re: “Inside the Guess and Latta Road Rezoning Fight That Has Set a North Durham Neighborhood on Edge

Having been in a similar situation and also called NIMBY, I have to ask why others are so quick to use this term. Shouldn't it be they who are called "YIYBY" (yes in YOUR back yard)? That's what this seems like to me time and again. Smart development vs development for development's sake, that's the crux of the argument and the article misses it entirely. Folks opposing this rezoning are not necessarily anti-development, but there's a real reason to object to development that harms people, and plan development that is beneficial without harm. In our Raleigh case, we stopped the Publix strip mall at the entrance to our neighborhood, and in its place we have approved a Senior Living Center, which brings less traffic than the current zoning would have, and supports the needs of the area long-term. The developer for the Senior Living Center worked with our community to also preserve a large number of trees rather than clearcut as the Publix developer would have done. Smart development is worth fighting for, I hope the Indy can see the difference.

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by RaleighMom on 06/02/2017 at 5:21 PM

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