CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Three Charlotte City Council members applauded the choice for Anthony Foxx as Transportation Secretary Sunday, saying it can only help the Queen City.
“I think it's great news for the city of Charlotte,” said Republican Andy Dulin. “I would prefer having a Charlottean sitting at the table with the President, side-by-side discussing issues, than have somebody away from our community.”
Democrat Patsy Kinsey echoed that sentiment.
“We're awfully involved in transportation issues right now,” Kinsey said, “so I hope it would help us move forward with transportation plans.”
As Transportation Secretary, Foxx would oversee departments like the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Currently, the Charlotte area is undergoing construction projects for I-485, a light rail extension, and a cross-town streetcar.
Of local transportation issues, the debate for control of the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is the hottest right now.
A bill in the state House and Senate would transfer control of the airport from the city, which started it, to an authority made of appointees from Charlotte and surrounding counties.
"It will be very interesting to see if it does indeed help us slow it down a little bit," said city council member Andy Dulin.
Council members like Dulin have lobbied state lawmakers to slow down progress of the bill so that the authority idea could be studied more closely.
"This might just put a little bit of push behind that," said Dulin. But Dulin also said he doesn't believe Foxx will use his new post to "twist arms" over the issue.
Council member Claire Green Fallon is a little more direct, when referring to state lawmakers' efforts to create an authority.
"I think if they're very smart, they'll think about it again and hold back," she said.
She questioned whether Foxx's authority over the FAA would give him a say in the airport issue.
She also implied that state lawmakers might now regret disagreeing with Foxx about the authority.
"I kinda think they made a little mistake being so rigid?" she said, with a questioning tone.
And while Kinsey also hopes having Foxx in the Transportation Secretary post would slow down the airport authority bill, she said only time will tell.
But overall, she is pleased for Foxx and for the city.
"It never hurts to have someone from Charlotte or your hometown or community in a position like that," she said.