Charlotte mayor says airport biggest challenge in first 100 days

by: Erica Bryant Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon has been in office for 100 days.
After 14 weeks on the job, Cannon said it's even more demanding than he expected.
“The most challenging has been the airport,” Cannon said.
He began his tenure with the city in a fight over control of one of its biggest assets.
“Are working together for a common solution and that's made it better. The rapport was is in a place where it wasn't good. Today I think we're in a much better place,” he said.
It's still early, but Catawba College political science professor Michael Bitzer said Cannon's actions have already set him apart.
“I think he's making a deliberate attempt to work with members of the opposite party and also people in Raleigh. So, that's one of his biggest strengths,” Bitzer said.
Bitzer said he'll be watching major decisions ahead.
“I think the big issue with Chiquita will be a real test of his leadership, to make sure that deal stays put,” Bitzer said.
Chiquita's recent merger has many questioning if the company moves, will Charlotte rescind millions in incentives.
Cannon said he's focused on how the merger will impact employment. 
“Global headquarters is one thing. Jobs is another and if you ask me what's more important I’d say with more heavy emphasis on jobs, I want to make sure those jobs stay here and don't go anywhere else,” Cannon said.
Cannon hosted a first-ever mayor's job fair, but he also says his priorities include transportation, global competitiveness and economic development.
So far, he hopes citizens like what they see.
“It’s my hope that they can see that I haven't been twiddling my thumbs but working for their interests,” Cannon said.