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ChiefJoJo

Don't forget to vote!

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Thanks for that. More people need to be voting in municipal elections, especially those of us who are urban enthusiasts! I voted early the other day and I have a feeling this year the turnout is going to be very very low. Oh yes, and thanks for posting the link for the INDY voting guide.

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Here's the Indy voting guide (hint):

link.

Besides Mayor and City Council in Raleigh, there will be a bond referendum on roads and affordable housing.

A bond referendum on roads? But I thought the John Locke foundation said they pay for themselves!

:rofl:

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In the Raleigh elections, only *ONE* district out of five is even being contested, and there

are only four candidates for 2 at-large seats. Out of those four, only two (the ones the Indy endorses) seem to have ventured anywhere outside of North Raleigh during the whole "campaign".

Do the long hours and low pay make it difficult/impossible to attract multiple candidates?

The lack of debates and candidate forums is equally distressing. With this election being "early" (October instead of first tuesday after the first monday of Nov.) and *no* statewide elections, 10 percent turnout might be optimistic.

It will be interesting to see how the roads and housing bonds fare. The fact that the city has to raise funds to maintain state owned roads could set a dangerous precedent. DOT may see that Raleigh can pay for those roads, so it can divert even more of the collected gas, registration, etc. taxes to areas not paying their share (outer belts/"economic generators" for every city w/ greater than 50K population east of I-95! Hooray!).

The housing bond is also a slippery slope. I live just East of downtown, and for the life of me can't belive $100 million + of investments have been made in the area. But who wants to say they're against the poor/disadvantaged?

Both bonds will do a lot of good for the small tax increase, but of course some people will complain about any tax increase but want to keep their high standard of services... ugh.

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Who are the candidates that promote smart growth, and urban development in contested campaigns? All the information I got was from the News & Observer's special little voting section, and it was not overly helpful.

I found it interesting the Libertarian's (running for mayor) first priority is to stop construction of the convention center. Is that view shared on this board also?

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Check out the link I posted above. Basically, in Raleigh, it's Kekas, Stephenson for Council at Large, and Meeker for Mayor. Also there is the bond referendum for roads and housing.

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Russ is ANTI_DEVELOPMENT people. Go to a planning commission meeting sometime. He is terrible.

What a loss for Raleigh that will be.

There was a real reason he was not appointed to fill the vacancies left

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I read the same thing about that guy, wanting to halt construction on the convention center. He's nuts! We definately don't need a guy like that in office. I don't agree with some of the actions of Mr. Meeker, but i'm darn sure voting for him.

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^^ I echo that about Russ Stephenson. He was one of the loudest foes against the Coker development at Wade and Oberlin. Look where it got us. After that whole episode I've pretty much decided that I don't care if that part of town rots away.

I do have to agree with RS, though, that fees for new houses (that require extensions of infrastructure) should rise. I have lived here my whole life and live in a 40 yr old house. I shouldn't have to pay to make a transplant's house cheaper and more desirable (thus making mine less desirable). Raising the fees might even make people want to move closer intown and build infill more than just extending the outskirts.

John Odom is against raising these fees, but was VERY PRO NORTH HILLS. We had a dogfight with some of the NIMBYs in this neighborhood. The whole thing almost didn't get built. You know what the alternatives were? Conversion of the mall to an outlet mall or demolition and replacement with a big box strip backing up to the beltline with a sea of asphault to Six Forks and Lassiter Mill. UGH!!

I'm keeping tight lipped on Raleighing about politics because it is just too murky for us in our infancy. Now, I love some Libertarian party ideals, but what is this Mayoral candidate thinking? Stop the convention center and make it a park? Is the current Civic Center reopenable? I guess it is but MAN! (I'm shaking my head).

At least he is making a name for himself (what was his name again?) . This field of candidates is about as interesting as watching grass grow, overall.

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I have to say that the main reason I voted for Russ, is the development impact fees. The fact that the council voted only 5-3 to study the idea speaks volumes about the pro-developer stance of several members on the council, including Odom. Our fees are WAY behind all other cities in NC. Time for those that move here to pay for the sprawl they generate.

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Well, it looks like Kekas and Stephenson were elected in the at-large contest. Guess we'll see raised impact fees now? According to the N&O, in the race between Craven and Anderson for District A - Craven is in the lead but it's too close to call.

At least one anti-busing candidate was elected for the school board. It remains to be seen whether a majority will support the economic diversity policy or not.

Both bond issues - affordable housing and roads - passed. Wonder when they're going to start improving Hillsborough Street? It usually takes a while after bonds are approved until they are actually issued and the money becomes available.

I wonder whether it would be possible to hold a bond issue to support the TTA rail system? Or would a tax increase for transit be akin to touching a "third rail"?

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Life just got a lot harder for John Kane (with his North Hills phase II plans) yesterday. :angry:

We all know how a bond referendum on a mass transit system to reduce I-40 traffic a whopping 8% would turn out. However, you can still sleep because given the history of the convention center bond referendums (voted down twice by voters), the City's leaders would "railroad" the thing through anyway, regardless of people's apathy for the wimpy project.

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^^ I echo that about Russ Stephenson. He was one of the loudest foes against the Coker development at Wade and Oberlin. Look where it got us. After that whole episode I've pretty much decided that I don't care if that part of town rots away.

I do have to agree with RS, though, that fees for new houses (that require extensions of infrastructure) should rise. I have lived here my whole life and live in a 40 yr old house. I shouldn't have to pay to make a transplant's house cheaper and more desirable (thus making mine less desirable). Raising the fees might even make people want to move closer intown and build infill more than just extending the outskirts.

John Odom is against raising these fees, but was VERY PRO NORTH HILLS. We had a dogfight with some of the NIMBYs in this neighborhood. The whole thing almost didn't get built. You know what the alternatives were? Conversion of the mall to an outlet mall or demolition and replacement with a big box strip backing up to the beltline with a sea of asphault to Six Forks and Lassiter Mill. UGH!!

I'm keeping tight lipped on Raleighing about politics because it is just too murky for us in our infancy. Now, I love some Libertarian party ideals, but what is this Mayoral candidate thinking? Stop the convention center and make it a park? Is the current Civic Center reopenable? I guess it is but MAN! (I'm shaking my head).

At least he is making a name for himself (what was his name again?) . This field of candidates is about as interesting as watching grass grow, overall.

True, Russ was against The Oberlin at first (Coker Towers--I hate that name), he wanted to work toward a compromise which left a lot of the NIMBYs against him. I know for a fact that he would probably support the 30 story Reynolds buidling. (Let's see) I do like the proposed council but they must be watched and not to fall too much on the NIMBY side. My issue with ODOM was that he continues to support certain sprawl efforts and will fight certain DT projects. I have heard him speak positive on some DT projects but the people who lined his pockets this time around are not DT supporters, they are the opposite. I don't want to see the impact fees go outragous as Odom claimed, but some increase is OK. It may slow the outside building companies coming in and clear-cutting their way across surburbia without checks and balances and feeling the effects. But agaiin, we must watch out for the DT and neighborhood NIMBYs. Like the group that is trying to kill the Liveable streets plan (Has to be Oakwood)

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Life just got a lot harder for John Kane (with his North Hills phase II plans) yesterday. :angry:

We all know how a bond referendum on a mass transit system to reduce I-40 traffic a whopping 8% would turn out. However, you can still sleep because given the history of the convention center bond referendums (voted down twice by voters), the City's leaders would "railroad" the thing through anyway, regardless of people's apathy for the wimpy project.

I don't see how "life just got harder" for John Kane. I see where it may be more expensive, but not harder. If anything, he may have a more urban board. Now he led the way to make this happen, but I don't see this council fighting too hard against this. I could be wrong...

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^ Yes, I agree. Stephenson is anti-sprawl, so I don't see how a "midtown" (infill) mixed use project is suddenly in danger now.

I shouldn't have to pay to make a transplant's house cheaper and more desirable (thus making mine less desirable). Raising the fees might even make people want to move closer intown and build infill more than just extending the outskirts.
It may slow the outside building companies coming in and clear-cutting their way across surburbia without checks and balances and feeling the effects.

Yes, if the impact fees are bumped from about $1.6k (?) per home to $5k per home, you might see fewer sprawling fringe developments and more infill projects, not fewer. The people that move into new developments should pay for the infrustructure that supports it--not existing property owners, a la the latest bond issue for roads. BTW, I would not have voted for it if Hillborough St was not included, as I believe all other projects are outside of the Beltline, which shows again how important this issue is. Our property taxes will be raised, even though most ITB, including myself, won't reap any benefits.

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While Stephenson is against sprawl, he is been a thorn in the side of infill projects, too. Too many infill projects to "too big" for him. You may recall Kane's plans to build two 8-ish story buildings on Six Forks??? You may recall the difficulties the nimby neighbors were allowed to put on Kane???

With that said, I wish Kane had followed part of my proposal to him. If he wanted 8-story office space in two buildings, they should have been on top of what is now Jollys and/or the Q-shack. Elevator access down to a bigger parking deck would have been a snap, and setback wouldn't have been an issue. Kane also should have razed the Lassiter plaze, where Harris Teeter is, and rebuilt it with 7 stories of office space above, wrapping a concealed parking garage. He'll have a hard time getting that kind of density right up on a major artery to which he is drawing heavier traffic loads. (but I still blame RS!! :) Don't be surprised if one day when Meeker decides not to run, RS is the replacement candidate and winner)

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I think/hope this will be a good council for the next two years. 11% turnout is hardly something to brag about, though the repubs' "blame it on the rain" song and dance doesn't address their lack of candidates on the ballot.

I talked to Russ Friday night during the Rally in Raleigh downtown about the Downtown Overlay District.

City staff was going to (did?) recommend changes at Tuesday's Planning commission meeting based on feedback from the surrounding neighborhoods. He seemed to be willing to listen to the neighborhoods and give them what they want. I hope this doesn't evolve into listening to the NIMBYs, but more of a "if the neighborhood wants this *AND* makes sense from a design/impact/whatever stance, then it's ok" thinking.

That and the fact that only Kekas and Stephenson were the only two at-large candidates that seem to truly be at-large, and not council seat #2 for their home districts. I hope the days of 80s-era impact fees are over. The new tax base created by development has not covered the infrastructure costs, and with the "keep taxes low at all costs" policies of the past, older neighboroods, especially southeast raleigh, have been kicked to the poorly maintaned (or non-existant) curb.

The roads bill builds a bridge (figuratively and literally across the Neuse) to Far North Raleigh. Addicted to getting so much in recent years, they feel they deserve the new Falls of Neuse bridge, and to keep those voters appeased, that's what they get. If Wakefield Plantation and the other developments out that way paid a *fair* impact fee, that project would be well underway, if not done by now, instead of taxing the whole city.

I don't think anyone on the new council has an eye on the Mayor's office yet, but that may change in the next couple of years.

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