Reminiscent of Harold Hill in “The Music Man,” Republican mayoral candidate Billie Redmond sees trouble in River City, er, Raleigh, though she’s been a little less specific than Hill in describing the source — in Hill’s case, it was the addition of a pool table to the billiard parlor. “Trouble with a capital “T” and that rhymes with “P” and that stands for …”

We’ll await more details from Redmond on the exact cause of the trouble in Raleigh, and whether she thinks a boys band is the answer. But it must be some terrible, terrible trouble for Redmond to start her campaign with a promise to “take Raleigh back.”

Back to what? (Or from whom?)

The headline writer at the N&O thought Redmond was talking about the business community taking Raleigh back, but that seems pretty clearly to have been a mistake. She couldn’t have been referring to business, because business was never out.

On the other hand, you will recall that it was the mayor, George Shinn, who owned the billiard parlor in River City. And if Raleigh’s in similar trouble, it must be Mayor Charles Meeker’s doing, since he’s been in charge — working hand in glove with the Chamber of Commerce — for the last 10 years.

No, if Redmond is talking about taking Raleigh back, she must mean taking it back from Meeker, a Democrat, and restoring the Republican leadership that he ousted, leadership in the form of Mayors Tom Fetzer and Paul Coble.

Aah, lovely days they were, under Fetzer-Coble, when you could park anywhere in downtown Raleigh without worry, because even the panhandlers wouldn’t be seen there.


Now, East Raleigh neighborhood leader Mark Turner asks the question, what is the terrible problem that awaits Raleigh if it isn’t taken back? Turner is backing City Councilor Nancy McFarlane for the mayor’s job. “It seems to me,” Turner writes on his blog, “that Raleigh is doing just fine, thank you very much. Raleigh has topped so many best-of lists in the past few years that I’ve lost count.”

Then he lists them, and concludes with the observation that McFarlane’s been on the team that put Raleigh atop so many charts, while Redmond’s involvement in city government is