Name as it appears on the ballot: Nancy McFarlane
Party affiliation, if any: Unaffiliated
Campaign website: www.nancymcfarlane.com
Occupation & Employer: Pharmacist, President & CEO, MedPro Rx, Inc
Years lived in NC: 27
Given the current direction of Raleigh city government, would you say things are generally on the right course? If not, what are the specific, major changes you will advocate if elected?
I think that generally, we are on the right course.
If you are a candidate for a district seat, please identity your priorities for improvements in the district if you're elected.
What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective as a member of City Council? If you've identified specific issues above, what in your record has prepared you to be an effective advocate for them?
I have served on City Council for 4 years. During that time I have been chair of the Comprehensive Planning Committee and served on the Budget and Economic Development Committee. I am a good consensus builder and have a proven record of standing up for environmental issues.
How do you identify yourself to others in terms of your political philosophy? For example, do you tell people you're a conservative, a progressive, a libertarian, or what?
I am independent and have a progressive philosophy. I am more interested in practical problem solving than partisan ideology. I have spent years working hard for the things that are important to me. I spent years working for the schools to address issues such as funding and equity. I was the HOA president for my neighborhood and worked against storm water and silt runoff damage to our streams and lakes. I am a strong supporter of environmental issues and have strengthened storm water regulations for construction sites. I have worked with both the Upper Neuse Riverkeeper and the Yadkin Riverkeeper regarding watershed and pollution issues.
The Independent's mission is to help build a just community in the Triangle. If elected, how will your service in office help further that goal?
As a pharmacist, I come from a background of helping people. As a city councilor, I have learned a great deal about the wants and needs of our community. I understand how the decisions made by public officials impact the lives of individuals, and how we can make the community better for us all. I am an independent voice for all of the citizens of Raleigh.
Please address the following major issues in Raleigh:
Is the city's debt load too high? Or does the fact that Raleigh retains its AAA bond rating indicate that the debt load is manageable for our city our size?
No, our debt load is not too high. We have one of the lowest debt per citizen ratios, which is part of the reason we have a AAA bond rating.
Is the property tax rate too high? Too low? Or about right?
No one wants to pay taxes. Raleigh has the lowest property tax rate of any major city in North Carolina.
The proposed Clarence Lightner Public Safety Center is stalled. Should it be built? If not, what should be done to meet the city's facility needs for police, fire and emergency operations?
We have a need that needs to be addressed. Our emergency operations are currently at capacity and are the most critical. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed, not used to play politics.
What other major capital projects, if any, do you want the city to undertake in the coming years?
We must address our emergency services needs. We also must keep ahead of our infrastructure needs, such as water (supply, pipes, treatment), transportation (road maintenance, bus service and expanded services), police and fire services
Do you support the transit plan for Raleigh and Wake County developed by Triangle Transit and the committee of Wake mayors? Do you support taking the 1/2-cent sales tax for transit to Wake County voters in the next two years? If its on the ballot, do you expect to support or oppose its passage?
I will support it when we finish it! And yes, I will support the 1/2 cent sales tax. With our expected growth, we have to provide transportation options that will protect our quality of life issues such as clean air and water and our ability to get around.
Raleigh has two bond issues on the ballot in October, one for transportation projects and the second for affordable housing. Do you favor or oppose their passage?
With the state hospital closing, what is your vision for the 306-acre Dorothea Dix tract? Should it all be a destination park someday? Should development be allowed on part or all of it?
I do not support selling off Dix property for development. I would like to see Dorothea Dix saved as a park for generations to come. We will never have another opportunity like this again,
Regarding the health insurance benefit provided to city employees, should elective abortions be included or excluded for coverage? Please explain your answer.
The city should provide the same health coverage that any other large employer does. We should not pick and choose what is and what is not covered.
Regarding health insurance and other benefits provided to city employees, should the partners of LGBT employees be offered the same access to benefits as married spouses?
As a pharmacist, I understand the difficulties that people without health insurance face. Many people, married or single, no matter what their sexual orientation, face the same problems. We need to have an equitable system for all people, where they have the same availability to good health care no matter who they are.
If there are other issues you want to discuss, please do so here.
The primary focus right now is the economy. We will come out of this recession on the strength of small businesses. I have presented a small business initiative to council. It starts with a small business office in city government. There needs to be one point of contact that can help guide anyone wishing to start a business, or having problems with an existing business, that needs our help. Government is here to help the citizens. There are many good organizations that can provide resources, but we need to be a central point of contact for all of them. We also need to provide information about navigating the city system, especially permitting, so citizens are informed as to what to expect when starting a business. After that office is established, I would like to identify the best way to look at best practices and gather information from small businesses in the area to focus on how city government can help.
To learn about other candidates' stances on the issues, read their 2011 Candidate Questionnaires.