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Lately, City Manager, Russell Allen, has been gone from a low-profile to a high-profile city manager. I agree with him on some of the issues he’s speaking out on like the Plensa Plaza. But one result of his new ‘high-profile is he’s got the arts crowd mad at him, the sanitation workers mad at him, millions in cost overruns on the Mayor’s Convention Center to explain and he shot down the bonds for developer John Kane at North Hills because he believes they should only be used (as a sort of taxpayer supported welfare) to develop blighted areas and help resolve social problems.

Why the change in Mr. Allen’s modus operandi? Can it be with all the controversial issues plaguing Raleigh he’s stepping up to take some of the heat for Mayor Meeker? If so, he’d best be cautious – being a piñata is a risky business for a City Manager.

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