Mary Rakestraw

by Yes Weekly Election Coverage

Residential address: East Avondale Drive (map)

Incumbent or challenger? Incumbent

Age: 63

Campaign website or blog: (link), Facebook (link)

Endorsements: Conservatives for Guilford County, Joe Guarino and Rhinoceros Times

Occupation and employer: Retired agent/broker, Prudential Carolinas Realty

Previous electiveexperience (including election campaigns): Greensboro City Council, 2007-present (at large, 2007-2009; District 4,2009-present); Guilford County Commission, 1996-2004

Civic and volunteerexperience (including service on city commissions and boards): Currently serves as city liaison to the Piedmont TriadCouncil of Goverments, Friends of the Library Advocacy Committee, GuilfordCounty Agricultural Advisory Board, Summit House Board of Directors, Red CrossBoard of Directors, NC Association of County Boards of Social Services StateBoard, Courtwatch Advisory Board, Sunday school teacher at First BaptistChurch, Housing Partnership Coalition board member; member, Kiwanis Club ofGreensboro; Paul Harris Fellow, Crescent Rotary Club; Leadership Greensboro;Other Voices; adopted a 5th grade class at Cone Elementary

Education (highest degreeattained and name of institution): Certificatein French, University of Brussels

Party registration: Republican (nonpartisan election)

Where were you born? Reidsville

When did you move to Greensboro? 1969

Paid consultant workingon campaign: Bill Burckley

Campaign manager: Undetermined (as of July 15)

Treasurer: Phyllis P. Gibbs

Doyou favor or oppose reopening the White Street Landfill for household waste,beyond the small amount of sewer sludge currently accepted? Briefly explainyour position.

Isupport use of the White Streetlandfill.

Wheredo you stand on the “strong manager” form of city government and why? The citymanager is one of our employees.

Theworking relationship between council and manager has been a good, working professionalrelationship. To my knowledge there has not been an effort to change this.

Shouldthe city of Greensboroplace more or less emphasis on maintaining a healthy water and sewer fund toplan for future growth? Why or why not?

Wehave a healthy fund balance. We have a strong capital program with projects inplace.

Thecity’s tax base has remained flat for the past two years in a row, and theforeclosure crisis continues unabated. As a member of city council, how wouldyou balance the need to fund services such as police patrol, fire protectionand park maintenance that citizens care about with the reality that the revenuepicture remains bleak?

Wehave maintained police and fire protection as well as library services. We willcontinue to spend the taxpayers’ dollars wisely.

Doyou believe that city staff deserves council support to implement a program tospend federal grant money to improve the energy efficiency of residences andbusinesses, or does this program warrant additional oversight from council?Briefly explain your position.

We voted that this funding should be available city-wide.The council will receive updates in order to keep our constituents alerted todevelopments.

Howwould you assess the value and effectiveness of Greensboro’s Rental Unit Certificate ofOccupancy program, which is now prohibited by state law?

Thestate has a plan that we should work with.

Howshould the impasse over management and operation of the Greensboro Farmers CurbMarket be resolved?

Thisissue has reached a resolution.

What,if anything, should be done to resolve racial tensions, and to enhanceprofessionalism, integrity and fairness within the Greensboro PoliceDepartment?

Ibelieve that Assistant City Manager Michael Speedling and Chief Miller are workingto address these concerns.

Whatwould you change about Greensboro’sland use patterns if the decision were yours to make? Please answer thequestion in terms of places people live, work and shop, in terms of the modesof transportation people use to get from point to point and the vitality ofneighborhoods and commercial corridors?

Peoplechoose where they wish to live on the basis of affordability, transportation,their desire to be near their jobs, schools, churches and friends. We may needto look at bus stops so that waiting passengers can be protected from theelements.

Whatis Greensboro’sgreatest asset? What is Greensboro’smost pressing problem?

Ourlocation as it deals with highways, airports, and other modes oftransportation. Our most pressingproblem is unemployment which is why we must keep water fees and property taxeslow in order to be competitive when recruiting employers and maintain presentbusinesses, large and small.

Articles about this candidate:

Taxes and spending: Where Greensboro City Council candidates stand (link)

Greensboro primary: District 4 analysis (link)

Mayoral challenger Perkins swamps incumbent Knight (link

2011 primary election endorsement & voter guide (link)

Wade, Knight make no apologies for landfill decision (link

Candidate profile: Mary Rakestraw (link)

Vendor selection in landfill decision questioned (link)