Editor’s Note: In the original version of this post, Hill’s answer to the third question was listed incorrectly. It has been corrected.
District: City Council, District C
Occupation: Researcher at North Carolina State University
City of Residence: Raleigh
Why should your constituents elect you?
Well, because for far too long the property rights of the citizens of Raleigh have basically been disregarded and I’m someone who is a staunch property rights and natural rights champion. They should vote for me if they want to protect their property. They themselves are their property, though not only the property that they would buy, but protect themselves from the policies of a government that might be too intrusive.
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?
I don’t know that the City of Raleigh necessarily needs to work better with the state legislature. I’m not sure why they would need to work together. I don’t think the state should be handing down policies to the City of Raleigh. I think that the citizenry of the City of Raleigh should be organically manifesting policies that are being implemented within their city. I don’t really think that the City of Raleigh working with the state legislature gets done anything on behalf of the citizens of Raleigh. But it certainly gets things done on behalf of governments who are big business.
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?
Well, I think lowering obstacles to entrepreneurship by the citizens. I think that basically removing certain – I’ll give you an example if I can. I think the city of Raleigh adheres to United Nations Agenda 21 – sustainable development – all that jargon. I think it’s hurt the citizens of Raleigh in the sense that while some of the managed growth might be seen as beneficial, the growth that certain individuals might want to achieve is hindered by a lot of the policies. I know that there’s a – I don’t remember the gentleman’s name – but there’s a man who owns a restaurant in Raleigh and also owns some property downtown. He was trying to have an organic garden there, and the city of Raleigh blocked him from down so. I think that as far as – how we could manage the growth of the city is a question that should be left to the citizens of the city. As a representative of those citizens for District C, I would like to have the government kind of step out of their way as opposed to trying to act as someone who can bestow this or bestow that on the constituencies.
What do you think are the best and worst decisions made by the Council these last two years?
Where do I start? Let’s see, I think there’s been a couple times where the City of Raleigh has unanimously voted to continue to add toxic waste to the water. I think that’s a bad policy decision. I think spending over $200,000 dollars a year to add the hazardous toxic waste products of Potash Corporation to our city’s water supply. Hundreds of studies conducted worldwide have shown the practice to be harmful to health. I think it shows a lack of understanding on behalf of the Council at large, and a lack of true leadership on behalf of anyone in the Council. Because everyone is simply following what they believe is the policy handed down by the Department of Public Health and Human Services, which is to fluoridate the water – even though the fluorides they add are the hazardous toxic waste products of the largest phosphate manufacturer in the world. I think that’s a horrible policy. I think that a lot of the quote un quote “sustainable development” kind of policies the Agenda 21 smart growth – whatever buzz word they are currently using — I think a lot of those policies really need to be re-thought. I think that the City of Raleigh should think a little bit more locally and a little less globally.
Raleigh voters will decide whether to approve bonds for a transportation plan. Do you support the bond? If so, what would be your priorities?
I would want to know what the transit plan is. I know that they’ve been talking a lot about light rail. I honestly don’t know enough about it to say whether I would support the bond or not. I think if the citizenry of Raleigh voted for that, and there was a clear-cut plan in place that wouldn’t detrimentally impact the property rights of the people within the city, I think that’d be a huge consideration. I’m not really sure because I know with the transit plan, for example, you would have certain people who, say, have owned a bit of real estate in the city for, you know, decades. Their property rights would be impacted by whether or not this particular rail line goes through here, or whether they want to have Capital Boulevard widen this way. I understand the need for infrastructure changes and evolution of a city as it grows. At the same time, I would be very hesitant to move in any direction toward a transit plan without at first being well-apprised of how and whose and why property rights are being violated in the city. I think that that, you know, the comprehensive plan needs to be very well articulated in how it would protect the property rights of the people who actually make up the city.