by: Sarah Rosario Updated:MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. —
Mecklenburg County and Charlotte city leaders said the recent corruption arrest of former mayor Patrick Cannon will not affect Charlotte's growth.
It comes a day after City Council members announced plans to delay the vote to pick his replacement to next week.
At Tuesday’s annual business climate meeting it was a first opportunity for several local Charlotte leaders to address the business community after former Cannon's arrest. And the message was clear: Charlotte is not a pay-for-play city if you want to do business here.
"What happened last week is so shocking because it is so out of the ordinary,” said Bob Morgan, president and CEO of the Charlotte Chamber.
"I work for the politicians, but they hire me as city manager for my professionalism and that's what I'm obligated to perform without political favor," said Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee.
With Morgan and the city and county managers leading the meeting, several comments were made about the importance of maintaining city integrity.
Leaders said the new mayor will have a huge opportunity.
"I think they have an opportunity to portray a certain image and sell our image to others,” Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said.
Owners said the recent political scandal doesn't change their perception of Charlotte's business community.
A Chamber survey shows business owners are satisfied with the cost of doing business and expect sales and jobs to increase this year no matter who takes over as Charlotte mayor.
Carlee said bribes aren't needed for businesses to get things done in Charlotte.
"If you’re not getting help let my office, or the council office know. We’re not going to give you favoritism but we're going to give you good customer service," Carlee said.