Charlotte mayor calls airport control issue 'cloud of uncertainty'

by: Jim Bradley Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A month and a half into his term as mayor of Charlotte Dan Clodfelter said he's settling in. 

"I'm saying, 'Oh, yeah, I remember this,'" he said. 

Clodfelter spent several years on Charlotte City Council before moving on to the state legislature.
 
But all of that changed in March when then-mayor Patrick Cannon was arrested on federal bribery charges and resigned.  

Within days Clodfelter was appointed mayor and since then he's been trying to steer the city away from the scandal. 

"We will continue to talk about the things that are the city's goals, the city's priorities and the city's objectives.  As long as we continue to stay focused on that and that's what we talk about, I think we'll be fine, " Clodfelter said.

Instead of scandal, Clodfelter said there are many more important issues he's focusing on. 

One of them is the ongoing controversy with the state legislature over who will control Charlotte's airport. 

Last year, Republican legislators backed a plan to take control away from the city and replace it with a new airport commission. 

The status of that group is in limbo because the Federal Aviation Administration and the courts have failed to rule on whether the airport commission can legally assume control.

Clodfelter said he believes a negotiated compromise with the state is a better course of action. 

"We're having some private conversations just to try to see if we can identify some common ground," Clodfelter said.

He admits he has yet to find that common ground.

"I think it's a cloud hanging over our heads -- a cloud of uncertainty," Clodfelter said.

Still, seven weeks as Charlotte's mayor has left Dan Clodfelter optimistic about the city and its employees. 

"They've not let this derail them.  They've not let this send them into a tailspin.  They've remained focused on mission, focused on task," he said.

Clodfelter said City Council members need to do the same. 

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