1. Why are you running for city council?
Editor’s note: there was an error with the recording that cut off the first part of Woodhouse’ response to this question. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to follow up, we are printing the portion of the answer which we do have.
I am a Raleigh native. I am concerned about issues that would impede the progress of Raleigh continuing to be the outstanding city that it is. That’s my motivation for running.
2. What is the biggest challenge currently facing the city, and what would you propose to do about it?
The City of Raleigh has a $2 billion debt. That is unacceptable. That is not responsible government. The city needs to address how it will pay down that debt, reprioritize its spending habits and practice them.
3. A text change ordinance was recently passed restricting sidewalk dining, was this the right move? Why or why not? What kind of balance should be struck between revelers & residents?
I oppose the sidewalk curfew. The sidewalk curfew was a complete overreach by the city and the city council. Establishment owners will tell you that it’s already had an economic impact on their revenue — as much as 23 percent lost from the weekend before the curfew was implemented to the week that it began. It needs to be rethought. On one hand, the City of Raleigh is asking that risk-takers open establishments in downtown Raleigh to attract a crowd to make it [Raleigh] more vibrant.
On the other hand, the city has now implemented obstacles that interfere with those business owners and establishments from being fully successful. We are seeing economic harm come from it [the ordinance]. These are responsible business owners, pub and establishment proprietors. They want a good relationship with customers in downtown and are going to act responsibly. They are more than able to police themselves.
4. Raleigh has ended up on a lot of Top Ten lists in recent years. Why do you think that is?
We have a climate conducive to where people want to be: long springs, long summers and a small change of season. Geographically we are three hours from the mountains and three hours from the coast. We have three outstanding Division I universities which provide education opportunities and resources. Economically, that along with state government anchors Raleigh down and maintains stability. It offers a platform for success. Plus, southern hospitality goes a long way.
5. Council is currently considering a rezoning case that would remap a significant portion of the city. Should this be approved as is, with changes, or not at all? Why or why not?
First, we need to press pause and get more citizen input. I attended the Raleigh City Council’s hearing concerning the UDO where there were a couple hundred irate citizens who had every right to be irate because the City had poorly communicated to the affected neighborhoods and communities. Subjecting one-third of the city to rezoning may look good on paper but in practice it was implemented poorly.
We need to learn how this would affect citizens before we make any final decisions. Also, parenthetically, the current Raleigh City Council moved to put a vote after the Oct. 6 election. This seemed a bit cowardice. They need to either make a decision now on how to proceed or let the new Raleigh City Council make decisions on the UDO. I prefer the latter. It seems they want an in-between solution which isn’t fair to the citizens of Raleigh.
6. What is the best and what is the worst decision made by city council over the past two years, and why?
The worst decision was to put the UDO system out without communicating properly to the Raleigh citizens nor getting public input, especially from those who would be affected. The best decision they made was to concede that point and hold additional hearings allowing citizen input.