Posted on May 27, 2014 at 5:36 PM
Tuesday, May 27 at 6:24 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter jokes that he's working 48 hours a day lately, part-time as mayor and full-time as an attorney.
NBC Charlotte’s Dan Wagner sat down for a one-on-one interview with Mayor Clodfelter, the city’s 57th mayor, who says he’s loving his job.
Six weeks after his swearing in Clodfelter is settling into the 15th floor mayor’s office overlooking uptown Charlotte, a city that has become bigger and more diverse since he served on city council more than 20 years ago.
“The real priority is on keeping all parts of the community connected to one another and feel like they have a common membership in this place we call Charlotte,” he says. “That’s a harder job now in a city of 800,000 people than it was in a city of 300,000 people.”
Part of Clodfelter’s mission is to make sure the east and west sides of Charlotte get their due, and he says business owners along the Independence Corridor are in suspended animation.
“I really think we have to continue to push the state to complete the project because people are not going to make decisions about what to do with their property with that uncertainty hanging over them.”
The arrest of now former Mayor Patrick Cannon on public corruption charges has been hanging over the city. But Clodfelter maintains it hasn’t distracted him or city employees from getting work done.
Mayor: “The scandal has not been the focus of any of that.
DW: At the same time, the city has been asked to produce a lot of different documents and information and that has to be a lot of work for the city?
Mayor: It is a tremendous amount of work. Fortunately, the city attorney’s office is managing all that work and I know they’re very busy.”
Public appearances are part of the job for Clodfelter. His predecessor Patsy Kinsey was the first mayor to ride in Charlotte’s gay pride parade and Clodfelter says he welcomes diversity.
Mayor: “If we cut off or reject any segment of the community, then we’re not taking advantage of all the resources we have in the community.
DW: Do you feel comfortable with the idea of gay marriage?
Mayor: It’s fine with me. I voted against the gay marriage amendment. I didn’t think it should have been put on the ballot. I think it’s going to get repealed sooner, rather than later too.”
Speaking of the ballot, when Clodfelter took over, he said he wouldn’t run for mayor next year. Now, he’s not so sure.
“I’m still trying to get my feet on the ground in the job,” he says. “I might. But again, that’s a long time in the future.”