Monday, January 04, 2010

Foxx makes his moves

Sorry about the lengthy hiatus, faithful readers. Vacation happens, thank goodness. Meantime I've been stashing away tidbits for you.

Foxx makes committee announcements: I don't think the Big O had an article on this, but in mid-December Mayor Anthony Foxx announced the City Council committee assignments. This sounds like City Hall inside-baseball, but City Hall watchers know they matter. Committees can speed up issues, stall them or sometimes make them disappear. Here's where having a Democratic instead of a Republican mayor changes the landscape. Notice the committees with the most influence over policies and ordinances that affect growth, development, transportation, etc.:
- Foxx has split Economic Development and Planning (aka ED&P and formerly chaired by Republican John Lassiter). The new ED committee is chaired by Democrat Susan Burgess. Transportation (formerly chaired by Foxx) is now Transportation and Planning, chaired by new Democratic council member and former Char-Meck Planning Commission chair David Howard.
- Environment continues to be chaired by Republican Edwin Peacock III, but the committee now has a Democratic voting majority: Peacock, Dulin and Democrats Burgess, Howard and vice chair Nancy Carter. (Republican Warren Cooksey leaves the committee.)


No Butts Uptown? Coming to uptown (unless they're already there – it was too cold today to go check): New cigarette disposal urns on waste receptacles on uptown sidewalks, courtesy of the City of Charlotte's Solid Waste Services. See photo at right. This, of course, is sparked in part by the new ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, effective Jan. 2. The city notes that it picks up thousands of cigarette butts daily from sidewalks and streets, and those butts are not biodegradable. When they wash into storm drains and then into the creeks they release toxic chemicals into the water, such as arsenic, acetone, lead, toluene, butane, cadmium, etc. So stow your butts, smokers.

Enviro-artist to stick around: Environmental artist Daniel McCormick, whom I wrote about here (and check the cool video link there) – who created the art at Freedom Park – has had his residency at the McColl Center for Visual Art extended through January. He and other collaborators are working on a proposal to keep him here for six months to design a “master plan” for three years of artists/sites along the Carolina Thread Trail.

Wilmore wins magazine kudos: Southern Living magazine declared Wilmore and South End among the South's Best Comeback Neighborhoods. I was on vacation but the City Council voted down the rezoning for the Wilmore church on Dec. 21. (And I am here to report, courtesy of chef and hostess extraordinaire Susan Patterson of the local Knight Foundation office, that the devil's food cake featured on the cover of the December issue was as delicious as it looked.)

17 comments:

diggndeeper said...

I guess Mary is going to led the this Foxx lovefest. Nothing will go wrong with this city for the next 4 years unless it is the fault of the Republicans.

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Anonymous said...

The cigarette disposal urns are actually pretty nice looking. Hopefully, they were relatively less expensive than the bus shelters.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully you are now back. Do you think the CO could do a story on the Golden Leaf program in Raleigh? Millions of dollars intended for business growth and health care cost related to tobacco are being spent on pet projects for friends of politicians. Please do a little digging.

Sam said...

What, no mention of your time at Haaaavard? Now that's a first.

Anonymous said...

Mary, are going to look into the political contributions of the people associated with DesignLine to Mayor Foxx? The Floyd’s and Glosson’s gave 20K alone and that is just 2 employees and their spouses. If you look at employees and board members it is almost 20% of what he raised. I know that you made a big deal out of Developer money to Lassiter so I assume this would bother you just as much - since DesignLine supplies Busses to the City and Makes Trolley Cars (hot topic during the election if you recall)


Just wondering?

LAC

J said...

diggndeeper - Fortunately, our council and mayor are elected to 2-year terms, so there's a chance to correct these errors in 2011.

And things will be no different than before - the Observer has always found Republicans at fault for everything no matter who is in power. The Observer probably believes it is only due to Republican evil that the Panthers only won half their games.

tozmervo said...

Was there any specific reason cited for moving "Planning" from being paired with "Economic Development" to "Transportation"? The implication is that infrastructure is more directly involved with planning, which seems to be a noteworthy change in the frame of mind of city.

Also glad to hear about Daniel McCormick. It's great when such a mundane and otherwise utilitarian thing like water drainage can be given such thoughtful treatment. We've come a long way from the days of trying to culvert all of our water into underground concrete bunkers and hoping for the best.

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Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm sorry but what, or who is the Big O? I smell a the typical liberal newspaper writer here. God please deliver us a conservative writer to this newspaper!

Anonymous said...

... to paraphrase "you get what you pay for"..."you also get what you vote for"....

Keep voting Democrats in, taxes and spending will be your reward.

Anonymous said...

So Mary, Please explain how Foxx was paid to campaign for Mayor, via a bogus $100,000/yr DSS job invented by Democrats for his wife. Also how did the County Commission review and approve of this hiring, and ONLY after his election AND Foxx himself getting a dubious job with a bus company which does business with the City does Mrs. Foxx find she ought to resign to focus on family.

Anonymous said...

Are you feeling the love?

Anonymous said...

Wow... So many hateful people here. They're bordering on conspiracy theorists. Just what did Mary Newsom write to cause such a reaction?

She was merely reporting on Foxx's committee assignments and how, because he is a Democrat, he has (like you'd expect a politician would) appointed folks from his own party to the committee chair positions... therefore "having a Democratic instead of a Republican mayor changes the landscape.

Geez... What does the Observer have to do to please these teabagers? Welcome to the decline of civil American discourse.

Republicans ESAHAT Moon said...

"Wow... So many hateful people here."

Actually, it appears there is probably just a couple, one of whom repeatedly hides behind the Anonymous tag to diss Mary. Makes it look like more folks have nothing constructive to say, other than to bash Mary.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but do we think smokers are going to look for and then squash their cigs in these little receptacles attached to the downtown trash cans ? and the refuse employees then take how much time at how much per hour to dump these ? can we just tax cigarettes at a more realistic tax rate please ?