Issues facing Raleigh
Raleigh has been growing its tax base for years (more people moving to town than ever) and in the process is still averaging a budgetary loss of $100M Annually. This is unacceptable. As a mortgage professional we know better than any of our opponents the responsibility and potential danger of debt. A Triple A bond rating is great, but it doesn’t tell people that you’re paying debt down. With continued infrastructure problems (roads and water lines crumbling) we need to focus on needs versus going into debt for roundabouts and potted plants in the middle of the road.
Our Debt servicing is now matching Public Safety as an expenditure in our annual budget. That’s the equivalent to having two mortgages on the same home. This is not acceptable. Better decisions now create a better future for us all.
2. Public Safety
Our Police and Fire professionals FINALLY received a “raise”…..6 years after we stated as a city council candidate that they needed to be paid more. This is (again) a continued trend of poor decision making due to an ideology in the City Management and political policy. We have seen the starting salaries of city tree planters and the starting salaries for Raleigh Police. There shouldn’t even be a salaried tree planting person when that should be a class project for high schools.
Our City Fire and Police professionals are FORCED to live in other towns because our “leaders” have felt it necessary to barely acknowledge their AMAZING efforts to protect and serve. As Mayor and City Council memebers these professionals will ALWAYS know that we stand with them and will work harder for them.
3. Using what we have to the maximum potential
For too long we’ve focused on “Downtown” and literally neglected the city as a whole. We are all Raleigh. From Rock Quarry to Trinity, from Wakefield to Tryon and all points in-between.
We know it sounds “sexy” to bring an MLS stadium to downtown, but having a stadium that would be difficult to get to for all others (driving to a bottlenecked area, hard to find parking) and that only seats 20k people doesn’t make sense. What we have now is a great City partnership with NCSU. We should look at using potential new stadium funds to up fit Carter Finley with some moderate retractable seating, that would also house 50k people. Thereby bringing more events to an underutilized stadium and freeing up space downtown to create more living area. More people living downtown daily creates a greater economic impact for businesses than a stadium used 15-20 times annually.
Carter Finley should also be the site of a bowl game. Raleigh is an excellent host city and we have plenty of sports fans would love to have that 1 more game to go to every year. Remember more events means more hotel usage, more restaurant business and more visitors to view our area as a potential place to live.
4. Affordable Housing
We would also like the chance to work with builders and developers to target underutilized and underdeveloped properties to create more mixed use and better residential opportunities at reasonable costs. The last time the government put their touch on making home ownership “a right”, we suffered a financial crisis. To avoid that let’s target underused areas and reduce redundant red tape to develop suitable housing for all.