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Business growth high priority on council members’ agenda: Democratic majority could be ‘solid lock’ (access required)

By Austin Light CHARLOTTE — Mayor Anthony Foxx was sworn in on Monday, together with new members of the Charlotte City Council. With former Republican Mayor Pat McCrory out of office and an 8 to 3 majority on the council, the Democrats have little opposition. Council Member Andy Dulin, a Republican, said officials have no excuse not to get work done quickly and build relationships with leaders in Raleigh. “In reality, at 7 to 4 (Democrats to Republicans) on the last council, the Democrats could do whatever they wanted to anyways,” Dulin said. “Now at 8 to 3, and a Democrat mayor, it’s a solid lock. They can do what they want, but it’s my job to hold them accountable.” Ted Arrington, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, said any strategic change to the council makeup is relatively small, since for the past few years they’ve had the numbers to override the mayor’s vetoes. In fact, little has changed about the council, since nine of the 11 members were re-elected and some ran without opposition. “You don’t have enormous change in terms of personality,” Arrington said. “Most have served before. We’re just waiting to see how Foxx will differ as a leader. … We’ve had a long time to get used to McCrory.” Council Member Nancy Carter said she believes Foxx’s leadership will be “tremendously different” than McCrory’s, and she means that in a good way. “[Foxx] reaches across boundaries and enjoys involving others,” Carter said. “That’s a crucial difference and I think it will have a great impact on the way the council is utilized.”

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