Those who have known him in Charlotte, who have worked with him in some of his other jobs in public service around North Carolina, say Ruffin Hall is a nice guy in every way. As Raleigh’s new city manager, he’ll bring some important talents with him from Charlotte, where he has been an assistant city manager.
One of his specialties as the Queen City’s expert on growth has been transportation. Can Hall be the one who unites city and county officials – and state leaders, too – to push for cooperative mass transit (and a Union Station, please)? Can he, in the meantime, work to improve bus service in the Capital City?
And just how will he work to shape growth in a community that is, well, growing?
Raleigh is a glorious place to many, but it has challenges that come up that require of the city manager, a strong figure in the council-manager form of government, some diplomacy and toughness. One recent issue has been well-meaning charities giving out food to the homeless in Moore Square.
Unfortunately, the effort started to overtake Moore Square, a valued park area next to the Marbles children’s museum and City Market and its merchants. The handouts were stopped; the charities were unhappy. The city council balked.
All yours, Mr. Hall.
It also will be interesting to see whether council members, some of whom want a greater role in running the City Hall show, will allow Hall the traditional strong hand of Raleigh’s manager. It has worked well.
Ruffin Hall seems a promising choice, and the North Carolina native knows the territory. This is good.