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'It begs the question, could we have done it better?' | City councilmembers look back at two terms in office

On Flashpoint, two Charlotte city council members discuss opportunities seized and lost.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In 2017, a fresh batch of millennials was elected to Charlotte City Council and they ushered in promises and potential.   As their second term comes to a close, they have mixed emotions about their time in office.

"I'll have a lot of pride in the work that this group, over the last few terms, has done and under really, really unique and challenging circumstances," District 1 councilman Larken Egleston, said.

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Egleston lost a primary election race in May for an at-large seat on council and finishes his term in September.

He said council made progress on transit, affordable housing, and public safety, but admitted there was plenty of work to do for the next council.

"Those aren't issues you ever really solve. You just keep making progress. And I think we've done that on all the fronts," he said.

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Still, council meetings have been mired in conflict among members in recent years.    

"It begs the question, 'could we have done it better'," District 6 councilman Tariq Bokhari said. 

"I'm conflicted... because I know over the last five years, this council has worked extremely hard," he continued. 

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Bokhari said council stopped working effectively during the pandemic.

"I mean, obviously, every municipal government was learning through that period," he said.

Bokhari is running for re-election.  He said current council missed opportunities to address public safety and transit issues.

"We're not in a better place, we're actually in a pretty bad place," he said.

Charlotte's general election on July 26 is focused on the mayor's office and the city council. 

All seven district seats and all four at-large seats are up for grabs, with both Democrats and Republicans vying for most of them. The full list can be found on pages 8 and 9 of this document.

Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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Contact Ben Thompson at bthompson@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

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