CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mayor Anthony Foxx reassured supporters of the controversial Capital Investment Plan and streetcar extension that he's still fighting for both proposals Monday, suggesting he doesn't have one foot in Washington D.C. ahead of his confirmation hearings to be U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
"I'm two-feet into the work we're doing as a council. As I've said for more than a year, more than two years, there's nothing more important to the city than figuring out this capital budget," Foxx said.
Both the streetcar project and the capital plan were key priorities of Foxx's agenda in his second term, but when the two proposal go up for a vote before city council next month it's not clear if Foxx will still be in Charlotte. No public schedule has been announced for his confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill.
On Monday, new city manager Ron Carlee unveiled the city's new operating budget for 2014/2015 and a slightly modified Capital Investment Plan. The $800 capital plan focuses on infrastructure around Charlotte, and was bitterly debated by council last year, finally ending in gridlock. At the time, a main sticking point was the streetcar extension.
Carlee announced Monday the streetcar extension was removed from the capital plan, and would be funded and voted upon by a different source. He expects to present a proposal for the streetcar next week.
City council will then vote separately on the operating budget, C.I.P., and streetcar extension in early June, whether or not the mayor's leading the way.
"I hope he can. But you know, he has a higher calling now. So we'll see what happens," said council member Patsy Kinsey.