By Melissa Hankins
Courtesy of WBTV.com
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) –
New Governor Pat McCrory knows he’s making people mad. “I already know that during my short tenure here, I’ve already stepped on some toes on the left and right,” he recently said.
And a whole lot of feet in Charlotte. The sting has surprised a lot of locals who expected loyalty from their long-time mayor.
“It’s disheartening that someone that once guided this city in a leadership role as our mayor is now threatening to hold up progress,” City Council member LaWana Mayfield said.
Mayfield was furious when McCrory came to town earlier this month and aggressively panned plans for streetcar. Current Mayor Anthony Foxx said McCrory was threatening city staff, and called his predecessor’s actions alarming.
Two weeks later, when McCrory signed a bill slashing unemployment benefits, Foxx bashed him again, posting on Facebook that the move would make it harder for “170,000 North Carolineans to put food on their table and a roof over their heads.”
When we asked about the tension, Foxx sent us a statement “no one knows better than Gov. McCrory where the telephone number to the mayor’s office is.” McCrory’s office just told us he didn’t mean to sound threatening.
Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at McCrory’s Alma Mater, said, “It doesn’t seem as they are getting all the love out of Raleigh that they expected, so that’s going to be the big issue, I think, for Charlotteans.”
And then there’s the strange struggle at the airport. Charlotte Douglas is owned and operated by the city of Charlotte, but Raleigh lawmakers are making a power grab there, fast-tracking a bill that would transfer control from the Queen City to the state capital.
Foxx says he’s baffled by the move, and went to Raleigh this week to ask them to slow down and study the proposal.
His request was denied.