by: Jim Bradley Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Dan Clodfelter officially became Charlotte's new mayor at a noontime oath inside the Government Center.
Clodfelter was appointed by the City Council Monday night to fill the unexpired term of Patrick Cannon, who resigned two weeks ago after being arrested on federal corruption charges.
"I've gotten here by a very unusual path," Clodfelter told a nearly full meeting in Uptown.
He pledged to help the city shake the grip of scandal caused by Cannon's arrest.
Clodfelter said regaining the public's trust will take time but is achievable.
"It's slow and steady and a constant talk to each other and the community about what is important here," Clodfelter said.
In a one-on-one interview with Eyewitness News, reporter Jim Bradley talked to Clodfelter about some of the major issues facing city government.
Clodfelter said he supports the controversial streetcar project underway in Uptown and expects that over time it will spur redevelopment for the communities along the route.
On the city's battle with the North Carolina Legislature over who should control the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the new mayor said he sides with the city.
He said he hopes to work for compromise.
"There are a lot of things up for discussion that I think address the state's concerns so I hope somewhere there's a meeting point between the two," Clodfelter said.
One area where Clodfelter may not be involved concerns Duke Energy's proposal to move toxic coal ash from its ponds near Mountain Island Lake to Charlotte's airport.
As a practicing attorney and partner in the firm Moore and Van Allen, Clodfelter could have a potential conflict of interest.
"The company that's making the proposal to partner with Duke (Energy) at the airport -- if that proposal were to go forward, I would recuse myself on that matter because our firm is involved with that company," he said.
For now, Clodfelter said he's ready to get to work "grappling with stuff, asking questions and learning everything" he can, hoping to move Charlotte forward to a future without scandal.