Category: City Government (page 1 of 14)

Meet City Councilor At-Large Candidate, Matt Tomasulo

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The City of Raleigh will hold elections for Mayor and City Council on October 6th.

Matt Tomasulo is a candidate for one of the two at-large City Council seats currently held by incumbents Mary Ann Baldwin and Russ Stephenson.

The DLA asked Matt a series of questions.

Here are his answers:

What factors need to be balanced in providing for downtown Raleigh’s growth as a vital, sustainable, creative environment for both residents and businesses?

Raleigh is a great place to live, to work, to play – but we can’t stand on the sidelines – we need to continue to challenge ourselves and keep moving Raleigh forward.  I believe we can only do that with a city government that truly listens to its citizens.  From speaking with residents, too many people feel disconnected from our city today – but they don’t have to be.  For the past 5 years I’ve been traveling around the country, building a nationwide movement called Walk [Your City] that connects people to their communities, street by street and block by block.  I learned that improving a city doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive – you just have to listen, to learn, to adapt. You just need the courage to take risks and approach challenges creatively. Continue reading

An Interview with City Councilor At-Large, Mary Ann Baldwin

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The City of Raleigh will hold elections for Mayor and City Council on October 6th.  In the at-large city council race, incumbents Mary Ann Baldwin and Russ Stephenson will face Matt Tomasulo and Craig S. Ralph.

This blog will include interviews with each candidate, with answers published as they are received.

Mary Ann Baldwin is an at-large member of City Council, having served since 2007.  The DLA asked Mary Ann a series of questions.

Here are her answers:

What factors need to be balanced in providing for downtown Raleigh’s growth as a vital, sustainable, creative environment for both residents and businesses?

Raleigh’s population will double in the next 20 years. To be prepared, we developed a new comprehensive plan beginning eight years ago. It outlines our vision, goals, strategies, and tactics – covering everything from density to sustainability to creativity. It also identifies eight growth areas, one being downtown.

We need to balance the fear of growth with the reality; the concern about density with the alternative (sprawl); the development of high-end housing with the creation of affordable housing; and the desires of downtown residents with the needs of thriving businesses, coupled with the expectations of visitors and tourists. These are complex issues – not a sound bite. I have to commend the Glenwood South Neighborhood Collaborative, which has done a good job working together as a community, bringing together residents and merchants to talk and even disagree. Being adversarial accomplishes little; being sensitive to other people’s desires, listening to all sides and acting with a good heart is the key to success. It’s all about balance and compromise.

We also have to strive for a better retail mix using strategies and incentives to meet residents’ needs; respect and celebrate the historic and African-American neighborhoods that surround downtown; and create open space, new parks and greenway connections to ensure a great quality of life. Continue reading

An Interview with ‘District E’ City Councilor, Bonner Gaylord

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The City of Raleigh will hold elections for Mayor and City Council on October 6th.  Bonner Gaylord has served on the City Council since 2009 and is seeking re-election.

Bonner’s challengers for the District E seat on the City Council are DeAnthony Collins and Edie Jeffreys.

The DLA asked Bonner a series of questions.  Here are his answers:

 

What factors need to be balanced in providing for downtown Raleigh’s growth as a vital, sustainable, creative environment for both residents and businesses?

Raleigh is a growing, prosperous city, and to maintain that growth and prosperity, we have to balance our economic development with protecting quality of life. I don’t think this has to be an oppositional balance. In fact, I think the two go hand in hand. All of the economic development initiatives in the world won’t attract people if the quality of life doesn’t make them want to stay. As a city councilor, I have listened to people in the public, private and educational sectors to make sure Raleigh was doing all it could to help them thrive. The revitalization of Raleigh’s downtown has provided a boost to our whole city and we should keep working to make it an area where people can live, work, dine and entertain themselves. Continue reading

An Interview with City Councilor At-Large, Russ Stephenson

200px-RussStephenson12The City of Raleigh will hold elections for Mayor and City Council on October 6th.  In the at-large city council race, incumbents Mary Ann Baldwin and Russ Stephenson will face Matt Tomasulo and Craig S. Ralph.

This blog will include interviews with each candidate, with answers published as they are received.

Russ Stephenson is an at-large member of City Council, having served since 2007.  The DLA asked Russ a series of questions.  Here are his answers:

What factors need to be balanced in providing for downtown Raleigh’s growth as a vital, sustainable, creative environment or both residents and businesses?

The many factors to be balanced are found in our draft Downtown Vision Plan. Emphasis should be on (1) adopting the Downtown Plan (2) setting priorities among the many Plan goals and then (3) take clear actions to implement the prioritized goals. (1-3) = putting Vision before Action! Continue reading

Meet ‘District D’ Candidate, Ashton Mae Smith

Ashton Mae Smith

Ashton Mae Smith

District D encompasses the downtown Districts of Glenwood South, the Warehouse District, and a portion of the Fayetteville Street District.  There are two candidates running for the council seat this year.   This Blog will include interviews with each candidate, starting with Ashton Mae Smith, followed by candidate Kay Crowder next month.

The DLA asked Ashton a series of questions.  Here are her answers.

What was your inspiration for running for City Council, and what gaps do you fill in that aren’t being met now?

I decided to run for City Council because I have a vision for Raleigh’s future as a world-class city, and we’re at a cross-roads as to how to get there.  I grew up in Raleigh, and have had a chance to watch us grow up. The demographics in our city have changed considerably with our growth — the average age of Raleigh residents is 32 — and it’s important for the Millennial generation to have an active role in how we’re building our city. I’m already active with some of our largest areas of opportunity, including transit planning and affordable housing planning, and I serve as the board chair for the City of Raleigh Museum. Add in a background in real estate and the skills I’ve learned working for a bootstrapped start-up that was acquired by Citrix, and I think I bring a unique perspective to Council.

It’s natural that as a city grows, more decisions need to be made that affect more people. As a city, we’ve got to find a way to use metrics and data to guide decisions that match our collective goals.

Raleigh is and should be an inclusive city — diverse and welcoming — like District D. We have great neighborhoods and vibrant businesses thriving side by side, and it’s a balance we must maintain as the city grows. We must continue to manage this growth with the necessary transit and infrastructure improvements so that both businesses and residents can thrive. We must attract and retain the people and businesses who recognize what an incredible place this is to live and work, while ensuring development scales appropriately and integrates into our existing communities. Continue reading

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