District: City Council, District C
Occupation: Retired military and retired educator
City of Residence: Raleigh
Incumbent: Yes, 2 years and 9 months
Why should your constituents elect you?
My constituents should re-elect me because I’ve had successful rate in trying to get things done in my district, which is the southeast Raleigh district. And everything that’s been brought forth to me and other things that I’ve felt that needed to be done in my district, I have appealed and tried to get successfully passed on some of the things that need to be done to increase the quality of life in southeast Raleigh.
Many issues taken up by the state legislature have a direct impact on Raleigh. How can Councilors work better with the state legislature on those issues?
Well, there’s a whole lot of them. When you’re talking about environment, when you’re talking about transit, when you’re talking about building permit audits and different things, I feel that those are some of the things that should stay with the city and the municipalities. We know more about what we can do within our city than the state legislature would know. Even when we’re talking about roads and different things, even though they are supposed to be given funds from it, for the infrastructure on our roads and things, they’re holding up funds on it. So that affects us. I think that taxes might balance out a little bit, but some of the things that when we talk about environment, we talk about pollution and different things, these are some of the things that the city would know more about as far as what happens within our lakes and different things surrounding our cities.
Raleigh continues to grow at a good pace, which affects everything from our water quantity to our infrastructure. How do you feel Raleigh can become more proactive about managing that projected growth?
By having a vision on what we are going to do and project how the growth would be going in the city of Raleigh. We can be more proactive by having some of the plans already in effect and also talking about things we can do as we continue to grow. As we see, I think we’ve got about 3,000 people moving into the Raleigh area monthly, so we need to be ready to accommodate these people. Our quality of water, from our transit, from our road constructions, from our schools, from our services that we’re due to our citizens, we need to be ready for that. And “proactive” would be having a vision right now on what we can do as growth continues in the City of Raleigh. Bottom line is, it’s the service to the citizens that we need to be on top of.
What do you think are the best and worst decisions made by the Council these last two years?
Well, some of the best decisions that were made by the Council in the last two years would be as we approve for our – let’s see, to put this in the right term – when we talk about our clean water, our storm water management, how we talking about now what a big decision was to go ahead and be proactive about some of the changing of our water pipe and sewage lines that are 70 to 75 years of age. That would be one. As we try to push more and more to get the County Commission to approve the transit referendum bond, and we’re still trying on that, but that is something we have not stopped doing.
As we increase, as the economic recession changes around, getting more of the buildings, more of the things that we need here in the City of Raleigh that were on the hold while we were having that economic downturn. But these are some of the things we’ve been – it did not stop us from recruiting, and still trying to get buildings in here. And we have been successful with Red Hat, PNC and Now Center. So we are getting more companies to come into the city of Raleigh, and those are feathers in our hat. Then as we get more and more, as they say, number 1 and number 2 and number 3 by different papers and magazines, these are some of the feathers in our hat to let people know we still believe in the quality of life for all citizens in the City of Raleigh. And we are steadily moving forward to make sure that we satisfy our citizens. And one of the ones is that we still maintain our top Triple A bond rating for the city of Raleigh – that is definitely big.
Raleigh voters will decide whether to approve bonds for a transportation plan. Do you support the bond? If so, what would be your priorities?
All right, I wholeheartedly promote the transportation bond that is coming up on the fall ballot. First of all, because we’re only talking about $75 million. When the numbers were crunched on what we need to do on our roads and things in the City of Raleigh, it’s almost a billion dollars. So we’re only actually $75 million to start with some of the projects that’s been out there. And really, when you’re talking about the projects that are out there, there’s been many in my district.
So I will be supporting it because as we talk about the New Bern corridor and also what can be done, this is one of the roads into gateway into the City of Raleigh, that’s been needing work for 20 to 30 years. That is on that bond. To widen up, as we look at transportation – and plus, we need transit along on that road, that is one of the highs of ridership in the City of Raleigh.
Second, to widen Poole Road, which has been out there for 7 to 8 years. That is on that bond. And I agree that something needs to be done. The second phase of Phase C of Rock Quarry Road needs to be completed. It was in the original road bond 7 years ago. They just completed one part of it. Now they need to move forward with the other part because the traffic count in most of those areas is 30,000 to 50,000 cars. These are ones that have been neglected for a while and we need to do something now because as the growth continues, that means the road conditions and the roads need to be there.