City Council vote could allot more time to find a mayor

City Council vote could allot more time to find a mayor

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by DIANA RUGG / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @DianaRuggwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on March 29, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 30 at 12:05 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte City Council's vote Monday for a new mayor, may be to give themselves more time to choose one.

Council member Patsy Kinsey told NBC Charlotte Saturday that some board members are still reeling from former mayor Patrick Cannon's arrest Wednesday on federal corruption and bribery charges, and don't want to be rushed into choosing a new mayor.

Kinsey said some council members have asked the city attorney to put a process in writing for them to follow.

By law, the council must vote on a candidate who is the same party as the departing office-holder.  Cannon is a democrat. 

It would take six votes to elect the next mayor.  The person appointed would serve out almost an entire term, since Cannon was in office for less than four months. 

Kinsey said Saturday she believes the only option that would have six votes right now is taking more time.

"It's in the best interest of the community not to rush into it," said Kinsey.  "I don't think we're ready."

Kinsey is familiar with the process herself -- she was appointed mayor after Anthony Foxx left the office to be U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

She said she would serve again if asked.  Others getting a lot of attention are former City Councilman James Mitchell, former County Commission Chairwoman Jennifer Roberts, and State Senator Dan Clodfelter.

Both Kinsey and City Councilwoman Claire Fallon said they are being flooded with calls and e-mails about suggested choices.

"I've gotten a number a number a number of e-mails about certain people; I've gotten calls about other people," said Fallon.

Many of them are about Roberts or Mitchell, and she doesn't see either as a strong candidate.  Her vote would go to State Sen. Dan Clodfelter.

"I think he is a very bright man, he's very prestigious, he was a council member, he knows the rules back and forth, and he's a very strong leader," said Fallon. "And at this point, that council needs a strong leader."

Roberts has already garnered grassroots support from a group that set up a twitter feed called @MayorRoberts -- as well as a facebook page and a petition on the website change.org. 

"I think she has just a genuine appeal to all people, regardless of party," said Joanne Spataro, one of the campaign's organizers.

The group is not affiliated with Roberts, but Roberts responded on twitter that she was honored to be considered.

Mayor Pro-Tem Michael Barnes has said he is not interested in the job.  Barnes has three small children and a law practice, and said he would be too busy to devote the appropriate amount of time to the office.



 

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