Queen City Has No Mayor After Patrick Cannon Resigns - What's Next?
By Archith Seshadri, Digital Journalist - bio | email
MAYOR RESIGNS For those who knew and worked with former mayor, Patrick Cannon, it's been a whirlwind of a day. His colleagues say they are shocked, surprised and in disbelief at allegations of corruptions and bribery. Cannon turned in his resignation to City Manager Ron Carlee Wednesday evening. The resignation coming after FBI agents issued a warrant to search Cannon's office at the Government Center earlier in the afternoon. Here's a brief timeline of events after Cannon was arrested on federal charges:
TIMELINE Wednesday, March 26
12 p.m. - FBI agents issue warrant to search Mayor Cannon's office at the Government Center
4:30 p.m. - City leaders and councilmen address issue and how city will be impacted
7:30 p.m. - Cannon turns in resignation to allow city to conduct its business
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT Since Charlotte operates as a council/manager form of government, the city council can appoint a new mayor from one of the seated positions. There are 4 at large members, and 7 district members. The city manager and mayor are also part of it but their seats are not counted. Now, mayor pro tem Michael Barnes will preside over council meetings but is not the mayor of the city. So while Barnes will take on some responsibilities, and may be chosen by the council, he still continues his role as mayor pro tem. The mayor's role is to officially represent the city and preside over meetings. So as of Wednesday night, the city of Charlotte has no mayor. But the Board of Elections says it doesn't really impact the public as much but more so public perception.
NO ELECTION There will not be a special election to fill the mayor's vacant seat. In July 2015, potential candidates can throw their names in a hat for the mayoral race. The primaries will take place in September. The newly elected mayor would be announced after the November general election.
PREVIOUS RESIGNATIONS Last summer, Mayor Anthony Foxx resigned to become the US Secretary of Transportation. A few weeks later, the council appointed Patsy Kinsey as interim mayor.
CANNON'S ELECTION Patrick Cannon and James "Smuggie" Mitchell ran against each other in 2013 early on. Cannon then beat out Edwin Peacock and won the November election and started his role in December. He recently celebrated 100 days in office. Earlier this year, Cannon said his goal was to bring jobs and international companies to set up shop in Charlotte. But now, developers and businessmen say this turmoil could hurt the city's business.
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