City Council To Elect New Mayor Next Week -

City Council To Elect New Mayor Next Week

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The Charlotte City Council will choose a new mayor on April 7, at 6 p.m. Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes put forth the motion at Monday night’s special meeting, and the resolution passed unanimously.

“A number of council members have expressed an interest in providing some time between tonight’s legal discussion and any votes,” said Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes.

“This is one of the more important decisions that we will make, and each of us needs to have the opportunity to reflect, to talk with potential candidates and to talk with constituents."

No candidates were announced on Monday night.

The meeting was called after former mayor Patrick Cannon resigned following federal corruption charges. The meeting lasted less than 20 minutes.

The meeting began with a prayer by District 2 Councilman Al Austin.

“The eyes of the world are watching,” he said.

Despite the wishes of many protesters who gathered inside the Government Center, there will be no special election.

City Attorney Bob Hagemann outlined the process for selecting a new mayor prior to Barnes’ motion.

To be eligible a candidate must be at least 21-years-old, reside within the city’s limits and be a registered member of the same political party as the person being replaced in this case a Democrat.

Hagemann was also clear that the Council’s choice would not be an interim mayor.

“State law does not recognize an interim mayor,” Hagemann said.

The mayor will serve out Cannon’s term, which ends after the Nov. 2015 municipal election.

Monday night's meeting was the group's first since Cannon's arrest and resignation.

An empty chair, in the middle of the city council chambers, where former Mayor Patrick Cannon used to sit. The irony of that vacancy was not lost on Councilwoman Vi Lyles.

"To see that seat empty," Lyles said, "is so symbolic of what has happened in the past week."

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