The label “Midtown” fits comfortably now on Raleigh’s North Hills area, though it may have seemed a stretch when it was first introduced.
Its chief presence in elective office is council member Bonner Gaylord, who’s running for a fifth term. Gaylord works as general manager of the former shopping mall known as North Hills, which was somnolent when businessman John Kane took it over, reimagined it, and expanded it into a roaring success. With donations from Kane and other major players, Gaylord has assembled a staggering campaign chest of nearly $180,000, more money than he could possibly spend. He’s citing affordable housing, jobs, and transportation as the chief responsibilities of city government.
Gaylord’s principal opponent is Stef Mendell, a retired international communications consultant. Mendell wants the city to innovate, using proceeds from the sale of city property and tax incentives to bolster affordable housing, while considering tax abatement to help people stay in their homes. She’s also talking about finding solutions to challenges such as stormwater runoff and the scraped-off houses and oversize replacements that are changing Raleigh’s older neighborhoods.
Gaylord’s done a decent job, and his substantial campaign fund indicates he may be eyeing a move up the ladder in 2019, should McFarlane not seek another term. But we think it’s time for a new voice to speak out for Midtown neighbors. Mendell fills the bill.