CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Governor Pat McCrory visited the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center Wednesday morning to speak with reporters. He was just feet away from where he spent 14 years meeting with Charlotte City Council as mayor of Charlotte.
“I did a lot of work in this room; it brings back a lot of fond memories,” said Gov. McCrory.
McCrory says he’s encountered a far different culture in Raleigh.
“I was hoping to come right into Raleigh, create new policy and vision, but the fact of the matter is the first thing we have to do is fix the broken operations.”
Instead, he said his priorities have evolved to reforming the Department of Transportation, Department of Commerce, Medicaid, the State Personnel Act and Tax system.
McCrory said the recent report that NASCAR track owner Bruton Smith was considering moving the “Bank of America 500” race from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Las Vegas is a perfect example of the need for commerce reform. He compared it to the Panthers’ request for money for stadium upgrades.
“One sports team asks for something. One industry asks for something. We have no strategy in this state on recruiting and retaining business. We're developing that strategy right now."
In the past, McCrory has avoided opining on a bill in the General Assembly that would transfer control of Charlotte Douglas Airport from the City of Charlotte to a regional authority. He continued to stay neutral on the issue, but seemed to show a preference to let Charlotte handle the issue and not Raleigh.
“I want to let the Charlotte leaders do that before I express my opinion on this issue,” he said, “The main thing I think that needs to be done is keep the politics out of the airport.”