Politics & Government

August 22, 2014

Raleigh mayor, husband sell pharmaceutical company

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and her husband have sold their specialty pharmaceutical business to a Michigan-based company.

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane might now have a bit more time on her hands. Last month, she and her husband sold their specialty pharmaceutical business to a Michigan-based company.

The McFarlanes have operated MedPro Rx in Raleigh for 12 years. The company is now owned by Diplomat, which describes itself as “the country’s largest independent specialty pharmacy.”

“Diplomat’s focus on providing consistent, high-touch patient care matches our own approach for MedPro Rx patients,” Ron McFarlane said in a news release from the company. “We are pleased to know that the care of our patients will continue to meet the quality standards our patients know and rely on.”

Diplomat CEO Phil Hagerman said he bought the Raleigh company to “expand our existing specialty infusion business and to increase our presence in the mid-Atlantic and Southern regions of the country.”

Nancy McFarlane could not be reached for comment Friday. It’s unclear what role the couple will play in the combined company.

‘Nobody can question this’

Wake County school board members were overwhelmingly positive about the draft 2015-16 student assignment proposal on Tuesday, but new board member Zora Felton may have gone a bit overboard in her praise.

“This is very, very impressive,” Felton said during the work session. “There is nobody that can question this logic. Nobody can question this.”

“Don’t say that,” school board member Jim Martin quipped as he drew laughter from the entire board. “New board member.”

Student assignment changes have typically drawn heated complaints over the years.

Felton, who was elected to the board in October, drew more laughs when she qualified her earlier remarks to say “not many people.”

Town weighs inn’s future

Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens isn’t talking, but some preservationists are pushing eminent domain as a way the town can wrest control of and resurrect the its historic, but decaying, Colonial Inn.

The town’s Historic District Commission rejected owner Francis Henry’s request to tear down the 175-year-old inn on Aug. 6. He has 30 days to appeal, during which time the mayor doesn’t want to tip the town’s hand.

State and national constitutions require governments to offer “just compensation” for seized property. An appraiser determines the value, or the price the land could fetch if sold in the current market.

A jury trial is possible but not a right, said Charles Szypszak, a professor at UNC’s School of Government. Both sides can seek a trial, but their attitudes often change when the legal bills show up, Szypszak said.

“People generally settle, and both sides walk away equally unhappy,” he said.

Governments must still prove there’s a public use or benefit before seizing property. Preservation North Carolina executive director Myrick Howard said the Colonial Inn’s place in Hillsborough and state history could be used to support that argument.

The state office’s designation of the inn as a building of statewide significance in 2003 adds more weight. Normally, local Historic District Commissions can only delay a demolition for 365 days, but the proposed demolition of a building with “statewide significance” can be denied.

Political events

• The Wake County Taxpayers Association will hold a debate Thursday for Republican and Democratic candidates for the Wake County Board of Commissioners. Donna Martinez will moderate. The debate begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Barbecue Lodge, 4600 Capital Blvd., Raleigh.

Compiled by staff writers Colin Campbell, T. Keung Hui and Tammy Grubb.

Got a tip, item or coming event? Fax Triangle Politics at 919-829-4529, or send e-mail to metroeds@newsobserver.com. Send items by noon Thursday.

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