New Charlotte mayor Clodfelter set to preside over first city council meeting

by: Paige Hansen Updated:

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CHARLOTTE —

Charlotte's new mayor will preside over the city's first business meeting Monday following the arrest and subsequent resignation of former Mayor Patrick Cannon. Dan Clodfelter was sworn in last Wednesday, and Sunday night, council members told Eyewitness News, they are ready to move forward.

"The new mayor is going to have a collaborative tone," Michael Barnes, Charlotte's mayor pro tem said. "He's said that from the beginning."

Barnes says he is looking forward to getting back to business and is glad the city moved quickly to replace Cannon.

"It is our job to move on. The city can't stop, the world doesn't stop," Barnes said. "We have to figure out how to do the work of the people of Charlotte."

Clodfelter is Charlotte's fourth mayor in a year. Included on the agenda for his first meeting tomorrow are items related to the largest capital project in Charlotte's history, the LYNX Blue Line, which is being extended from where it ends now in Uptown, to the UNC Charlotte campus in the University area.

"It's going to be transformative for Northeast Charlotte," Barnes said. "It's going to have a tremendous economic impact on the entire city. It's a big deal."

It’s an issue Barnes says Mayor Clodfelter, a state senator until last week, should be well-versed on since the state is a 25 percent partner in the project.

One item on the packed agenda Monday night is a public hearing for a controversial environmental law.

Right now, real estate developers can pay money to avoid cleaning up the pollution they generate.

Channel 9 first reported the issue two weeks ago – which is when the environment committee decided to ask the city to extend the fee for another six months. They also want the city to see if there are other options.

The city uses all of that money to clean up pollution at other sites, but some people say that isn't enough.

City leaders believe the mayor is the right person to help smooth out any issues that could come up.

One of the biggest items on the agenda deals with public transportation. City leaders want to make it easier for people to leave their cars at home as they will be discussing the Lynx Blue Line.

They're set to approve construction contracts to start extending it.

Right now, the Blue Line stops in uptown but the construction would extend it to the UNC Charlotte campus in the university area.

Leaders are calling this one of the largest projects in Charlotte's history.

Mayor Clodfelter dealt with this project while he was a state senator and some say that's an added benefit.

Also on Monday night’s agenda is new safety equipment for the police department.

Mayor Clodfelter did not return calls Sunday. Council member John Autrey told Eyewitness News, like Barnes, he is also looking forward to getting back to the business of the city. Autrey says, nothing on Monday's agenda was delayed or held up because of Cannon's resignation.