Champ Claris

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Robert “Champ” Champion Claris
At-large contender
Age: 31
Address: 1328 Palace Garden Way
Hometown: Born in Chapel Hill, grew up in Wilmington.

How long Have you lived in Raleigh?

Eleven years

What brought you to Raleigh?

To be at N.C. State. I came to join the Wolfpack.

In two to three sentences, please share something that you believe the City of Raleigh does well.

I think Raleigh does a great job of being diverse and bringing people in from all walks of life. Raleigh does a good job of encompassing all age groups and socio-economic backgrounds. It’s just a really vibrant city and I think it’s got kind of a buzz when you come into Raleigh.

In two to three sentences, please share one thing that you believe the City of Raleigh could improve upon or change.

Well, at the moment I think the City of Raleigh, the council at least, needs to keep in better touch with the taxpayer and the citizen. I believe some of their recent decisions have shown that they can be a little out of touch with the everyday citizen.

In two to three sentences, please share your position regarding public transit in the City of Raleigh.

I think public transit has a lot of room for improvement in Raleigh. I think, most importantly, we need to start with things we can control at the moment, and that mean basic street repair, light signals, that kind of thing. As far as the bigger picture, I think light rail is going to be a big part of Raleigh and I think it’s a good that it’s going to be left up to the citizens to vote on that.

In two to three sentences, please share your position regarding growth management in the City of Raleigh.

I think our Comp Plan does a great job of planning our future growth. I think that walkable urban pods like North Hills and Cameron Village are fantastic things and I think they are doing a great job of doing their best to curb sprawl.

In two to three sentences, please share your position regarding crime control in the City of Raleigh.

Crime control is actually one of my big issues. I think that public safety should be one of our top priorities and something that we should not skimp on no matter what the economy is doing. Public safety is a huge piece of the quality of life equation and I think that we need to do a better job of retaining and recruiting and improving morale in our police and fireman.

Now, we would like to hear your position on two issues that were not previously mentioned, but that you think are important to the voters in the City of Raleigh. You tell us the issue and then give us two to three sentences about your position on the issue.

I want to accentuate the public safety. That, from the very beginning, was a big issue for me. I have lived near southeast Raleigh in a neighborhood called Woodcrest for the last couple years and before that I was downtown. I’m concerned when I look at the news every day and it seems more and more we’re having murders and violent crime and it seems like that’s on the rise. I want us to nip that in the bud sooner than later. And perhaps improving morale of our police would go a long way to doing that. Obviously they’re having trouble with that, with the budget today.

I am extremely pro local business. I think our council and our city government and our city staff in general need to do a better job of promoting our local businesses, the people who are taking the risks to make Raleigh a better place.

What would you say is your guilty pleasure?

Well, I’ve got to say I spend a ton of time watching syndicated sitcoms. I am a Frazier, Seinfeld, King of Queens fanatic. And beyond that, British comedy. I mean, you name it, I’m a TV guy. I really am. And if you talk to my fiancé, that is probably the thing I do too often, too much of.

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