Bonner Gaylord (I)

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Age: 33
Occupation:General Manager for North Hills
Website: www.bonnergaylord.com

How long have you lived in Raleigh?
All of my life, except for college, when I lived in Chapel Hill.

Why have you decided to run for office?
I would like to continue to serve this city and help to make this city an even more fantastic place than it already is. I was born here, grew up here, and have been provided a lot of op­portunities by the city, and I feel that it’s incumbent upon me to try to give back and make a difference here. I also enjoy the opportuni­ty to help improve Raleigh.

What do you think are the three biggest issues the city of Raleigh faces? In 30 seconds or less, how would you address those issues?
Continued growth. We’re a booming area, and we need to address how to manage that growth in the smartest way possible.

Transportation, since we’re growing so quickly. We need to figure out how we’re going to get around and how we’re going to not become an area with over-congested traffic.

Next would be qual­ity of life: make sure that we provide opportunities for activity, and that we protect the safety of our neighborhoods.

What do you think are the best and worst decisions the city council has made?
I think the best deci­sion that the city coun­cil has made is the implementation of SeeClickFix, which I was able to get unanimous sup­port for at no cost to the city, providing addition­al services and being a leader na­t ionwide in the way that we de­ploy that sof twa re , so I think that’s prob­ably the best.

I still don’t agree with the way that we ap­proached the budget and cutting needed infrastruc­ture as opposed to cut­ting recurring expenses in order to meet our budget shortfall.

What do you think is the most important issue facing your district and how do you plan to address it?
I think the issues the city at large faces, growth, transportation, and neigh­borhood quality of life, are the same issues that my dis­trict faces. My district is a very large district and is a growing district, and very keenly deals with the chal­lenges of growth as it has continued to grow rapidly, so they’re particular­ly impor­tant in my district.

What do you think the city should do to house its public safety functions?
I think that we need to come up with a plan that provides the public safe­ty needs for the city, and does it in a way that is dis­tributed, so that it doesn’t require everything to be built at once and it doesn’t require a massive and ex­pensive singular structure. I think it should be placed at the southeast side of downtown where econom­ic development, public in­vestment, and public safety resources are most needed.

How do you feel about impact fees?
I think that we need to treat impact fees in a fair manner. I think that to de­termine a fair contribution of what impact fees need to be paid based on the true impact and based on the inherent benefits. Growth brings challenges and ben­efits, so we need to weigh those in establishing fair impact fees.

What ideas do you have for public transportation in Raleigh? I think we need to have a holistic approach. We can’t neglect any portion of our transit approach, but I do think increased pedestrian and bicycle facilities are extremely critical, and moving forward with a robust transit infrastructure is necessary for managing our growth, for economic development, and promoting our city to prospective employers and employees who would like to move here.

How do you think the City of Raleigh should plan to meet its future water needs?
It needs to be a two-fold approach. We need to continue to search out the most cost-effective ways of providing additional wa­ter resources, while also creating a culture of con­servation to lessen the in­cremental impact of our growing city.

The city has been given a million dollars to use for anything it wishes. How do you think the money should be spent?
I would want to take care of some of the folks who are left without the re­sources to deal with their losses from the tornado first, and then if there is anything left over, I always love seeing more sidewalks and bicycle facilities.

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