Looking out the window as he gave his state of the city address, Mayor Meeker noted the four cranes hovering over his $221 million convention center, his $20 million downtown hotel and his $40 million underground parking lot. (News and Observer; 1-23-07).
Then the Mayor proposed building a 28 mile adventure trail along the banks of the Neuse River – for a million dollars a mile. Will the Mayor’s spending spree never end?
The last time the Mayor’s Dix Hill Task Force met, he ended up in a tussle. The Mayor wants the city to buy Dix Hill and develop it for $40 million. Greg Poole, a leader of a group wanting to turn Dix Hill into a park, instead, said the Task Force’s guidelines would end up ‘developing most of the site and creating a much smaller park on the unusable parts of the property along Rocky Branch Creek and on top of an old city landfill.’
“All they would give us as a park is wetlands and a landfill,” he said (News and Observer; 1-23-07). Another critic added, “It [Dix Hill] certainly shouldn’t be turned into a strip mall…”
That sounds like an odd criticism of Charles Meeker who, running for reelection two years ago, treated developers like a plague of locusts.
It appears, when it comes to development, Mayor Meeker has a double standard. There’s one standard for the rest of Raleigh and another for downtown which includes handing out tax-subsidies, passing bonds, and granting exemptions from regulations.
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