Charlotte city manager retires after 33 years with the city

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

Loading
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Charlotte city manager Curt Walton retired Friday as planned.

He spent 33 years with the city and the last five as city manager. Many praise him for steering the city through the recession with few cuts and without raising taxes.

He admits he was nervous, especially in 2008, when Wells Fargo took over Wachovia. Walton thought Charlotte would lose a lot of jobs.

"That was my biggest fear," he said.

That didn't happen. Three years later, Charlotte hadn't just survived, it was hosting the Democratic National Convention. Walton said he hopes the Democratic National Convention means more Fortune 500 companies moving here, like they've been doing to Denver since that city hosted the DNC. He also thinks the city could land another major event.

"Whether that's a Super Bowl, whether that's a NATO conference, a G8, the Olympics have been discussed, but, I think, that would be way down the road if that's in our future," he said.

But forget the glamor of hosting a major even or wooing big business. Walton seems just as hopeful City Council will agree on a long-term list of construction projects, something council has been struggling with since before June.

"Just because it's contentious, it can't just go away," he said.