City Council Candidates Face Off at REBIC Forum

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Mayoral candidates Edwin Peacock III (R) and Patrick Cannon (D) offer their take on real estate & development issues at the REBIC Candidate Forum

Candidates for Charlotte Mayor and City Council faced off last Thursday at the REBIC Candidate Forum in SouthPark. Hosted by Piedmont Natural Gas, the event gave real estate professionals to hear the candidates’ positions on zoning, development permitting and other issues critical to our industry.

Mayoral candidates Edwin Peacock III (R) and Patrick Cannon (D) both said they would take steps to improve the relationship between the City and the North Carolina General Assembly, with Cannon saying he was already considered by many legislators to be a councilman who would put aside partisanship to get things done. Peacock took aim at the contentious, yearlong process by which the current Council approved its budget and Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), saying he would have opposed the controversial streetcar project that was originally included in the package. Mayoral candidate James Mitchell (D) was unable to attend.

The CIP was also a point of contention in the debate between ten At-Large candidates for City Council. Incumbent council members David Howard, Michael Barnes and Beth Pickering all said they supported the approved budget, although Pickering admitted struggling with the decision to raise taxes. Councilwoman Claire Fallon said she was also concerned about the tax increase, and said she adamantly opposed the streetcar, fearing it would ultimately be paid for out of property taxes. All three Republican At-Large candidates in attendance said they would oppose any future tax hikes if elected, and fight to reduce city spending.

The Republican candidates vying to replace current council members Andy Dulin and Warren Cooksey in Districts 6 and 7 were all in agreement that city spending was out of control, the streetcar was unnecessary and the plan approval process needs serious improvement. With policy matters essentially off the table, the debate focused on the qualifications of each candidate to serve in office.

REBIC will be announcing our endorsements for the September 10th Primary Election this Thursday morning, August 29th. You can read the candidates’ responses to our survey HERE.

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