CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte’s City Manager is trying to keep the city running as Council members look dangerously close to not being able to meet the budget deadline at the end of the month.
There were a lot of gritted teeth around the table at Thursday afternoon’s City Council budget workshop as Council members tried to agree on the big projects they want done and how they’ll pay for them.
“I see people who have their feet in cement and don’t give a darn other than to cast aspersions. My god,
I’m so angry I can’t even speak…to get something done for everybody,” said Claire Fallon.
A new member, Fallon is one of six who on Monday night voted against the City Manager’s budget proposal.
That proposal included almost $1 billion in capital improvement projects and a property tax increase of 3.6 cents. Fallon worries Charlotteans can’t afford more taxes.
“I want to do what’s best for Charlotte and people are hurting,” Fallon said.
Longtime Democratic Councilman Michael Barnes also voted against the plan, saying he’s not a fan of the $120 million streetcar project.
But Democrat Luwana Mayfield says a tax increase is the only thing that makes sense.
“Not investing in our city infrastructure is not an option,” she said.
The City Manager is preparing for the worst, worried the Council members won’t agree on a budget on time.
“We will have to have a deliberate plan in place in order to keep it from shutting down,” Walton said, adding this has never happened before. “Never, never .This is a once-in-my-career phenomenon.”
The Council members gave themselves a deadline of Monday at noon to make sure to get any proposed changes to city staff. They are legally required to pass a budget by June 30.