Saturday, 8 December 2012

Charlotte Mayor pressuring colleagues to vote his way?

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV)- There is drama happening on Charlotte city council. At-Large council member Claire Fallon accuses Mayor Anthony Foxx of threatening her politically if she doesn't support the $119 million streetcar project.

"He told me he wanted it," Fallon said. "And that he was not happy with me and that there would be somebody to run against me."

Fallon believes Foxx wants Council member James Mitchell to run for an at-large seat to oust Fallon from her seat next year. Mitchell says he is considering running for an at-large seat but not to seek revenge.

"We run to serve," Mitchell said. "And offer our citizens the best way to run this city forward. If anyone would think that anyone is running to get rid of James Mitchell or David Howard or a Claire Fallon that's not true, and I don't want the citizens to buy into that."

The controversial streetcar project would raise taxes about three percent for taxpayers, that's something Fallon can't support.

"I am not sending anybody over the edge that's on the edge," Fallon said. "And there are a lot of people in this town on the edge, alright. They are up to here with taxes."

Mitchell says the last time the city raised property taxes was back in 2006 and people were pleased with how council spent the money and claims they would be pleased to spend money on a streetcar that would come through their community.

"They have always proven to us," Mitchell said. "You give us something to improve our quality of life, we will support it."

Fallon says she is up for this political fight and will not back down from the mayor.

"This is still a democracy," Fallon said. "I have a right to vote the way I think."

Foxx could not be reached for comment but his supporters call Fallon's claim false.

"That has never been his style," the council member said. "So why would a mayor of Charlotte, who is popular and a tremendous mayor - why would he adopt that style. He believes in collaboration not threatening people."

Currently there are not enough votes on council to make the streetcar a reality. One more vote is needed and it won't be Fallon.

"If heaven came down," Fallon said. "I wouldn't change my mind, and if you know me and my personality - the more you push me the more stubborn I get because I think I am right."

A vote takes place December 17th.


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