Share Raleigh Endorses Mayor Nancy McFarlane for Re-Election
Paul Fitts is knowledgable about real estate, property rights and the housing issues that Raleigh is facing. Mr. Fitts is committed to short term rental freedom and he would make an excellent leader for the city on the issue. Unfortunately, his campaign does not have the resources or infrastructure that the other candidates in the race do.
Mayor McFarlane has been an advocate for finding a balance on the issue of short term rentals. She has worked over the last 3 years to find a solution that will make Raleigh a better place to live, work and visit while also protecting the integrity and character of our neighborhoods. Where the mayor has struggled is getting her colleagues on council to agree to a compromise. Here’s hoping that if voters elect her to another term as mayor that she can find common ground once and for all. She has our endorsement and our support in that effort.
(Note: Charles Francis did not participate in the Share Raleigh survey and has taken no public position to our knowledge on the issue of short term rentals. Though we cannot evaluate his position on the issue, we are concerned about a candidate for Raleigh’s top job who is inaccessible and seemingly not engaged on all of the important issues the city is facing.)
Share Raleigh Endorses Miller and Ward for City Council At-Large
Stacy Miller is energetic, affable and open-minded. Among all council candidates, he seems best poised to bring a perspective to the table that will advocate for ways to leverage technology to improve the quality of life of Raleigh’s citizens. He understands the opportunity that short term rentals can represent in making Raleigh a better city. Mr. Miller also understands the need to adopt reasonable regulations to protect our neighborhoods and allow them to thrive. He is our top choice for city council at-large.
Zainab Baloch supports the recommendation of the city’s Short Term Rental Task Force. She understands the importance of short term rentals to Raleigh’s future and she supports a measured approach to legalizing this use within the city. Ms. Baloch would be an improvement on many current incumbents on city council.
Robb Ward has the experience and expertise related to real estate and housing issues to be a leading voice pushing for short term rental freedom on the council. The current council has too often felt like an echo chamber in need of a disruptive force from the outside who could shake things up. We believe Mr. Ward’s fresh perspective would be invaluable as an addition to the current council and that is why he has our endorsement.
While Miller remains our top choice, any of the other three candidates mentioned above would be a vast improvement on the current incumbent, Russ Stephenson. Councilor Stephenson has not only been hostile toward short term rentals but he has been completely uncompromising and not open to an honest dialogue about the issue. He is standing in the way of progress for Raleigh. We recommend replacing him with a new voice.
(Note: Rob Axtell has made some positive public statements about short term rentals. He did not complete the Share Raleigh survey so we do not have enough information to fully evaluate his candidacy.
Nicole Stewart did not participate in the Share Raleigh survey and has to our knowledge taken no public position on the issue of short term rentals. While we cannot evaluate her on her position on the issue, there is cause for concern that her campaign that is billed as being focused on citizen engagement is not hearing all of the voices within the city. A careful curation of what voices can be heard in the city is a malady that too often has afflicted the current council and it is a mistake that should not be repeated.)
Share Raleigh Makes Endorsements for City Council Districts
Alex Moore is diligent, determined and prepared to offer new leadership on city council. His background in real estate and expertise on housing issues are needed in city leadership right now. He is also committed to finding a solution on short term rentals that includes reasonable regulations. He has our endorsement.
Neither candidate answered the Share Raleigh survey which concerns us about the level of engagement that voters can expect from their District B representative. We do find it ironic that the lone computer scientist on council is doing more to prevent the city from leveraging technology for the good of the city than anyone else in city government. There is no single force preventing progress for Raleigh who has been as effective as Councilor Cox. We cannot recommend his re-election.
Crash Gregg has some innovative ideas about how Raleigh could leverage short term rentals to combat the affordable housing crisis our city is facing. He also recognizes that hotel rooms remain in too short of supply for the city right now. Mr. Gregg would be a valuable voice on the council on this issue.
There is likely not a candidate for city council this year that understands the property rights at stake with short term rentals than Olen Watson. We wish that all candidates and council members had considered their philosophy about liberty and the role of city government in restricting freedom as deeply as Mr. Watson. His voice and approach is desperately needed in this conversation.
Councilor Corey Branch has in the past voted against a ban on whole home rentals. Though he has not been an overly vocal advocate for short term rental freedom, he has approached this conversation with welcomed care. We understand that this is a complicated issue and the effects of short term rentals can have disparate impacts in different areas of the city. If voters choose to re-elect Councilor Branch, we hope to work more closely with him on this issue. Because of his demonstrated commitment to a rational approach to short term rentals, we also endorse him.
Neither candidate responded to our survey. We make no endorsement in this race but we do note that Councilor Kay Crowder has been a roadblock to progress on short term rental legalization and has been unreceptive to any conversation that could lead to a compromise on the issue. We expect better from our elected officials.
Stef Mendell understands the importance of short term rentals and the role they will play in Raleigh’s future. We find her to be engaged and thoughtful on the issue in a way that many current incumbents are not. Though she supports some regulations that we do not find to be reasonable nor necessary, she would represent a marked improvement on a number of incumbents. Unfortunately for her, she is running against Council Bonner Gaylord.
Councilor Gaylord has the unique combination of experience, expertise and vision that we believe can help push forward the cause of short term rental freedom. He has been a vocal advocate on this issue and the idea in general that technological advancement can lead to a better quality of life for Raleigh’s citizens. We appreciate and value his leadership on city council. He has our full endorsement for re-election.