• Mecklenburg Sheriff Irwin Carmichael is up for re-election next year. And in case you haven’t heard try to guess what he is auctioning off at his Fundraiser Saturday, February 17?  He is having a gun raffle! For the price of $50 a ticket you have the privilege of bidding on an assorted number of guns.  I hear members of the black and Democratic community are appalled.  Word on the Street  says Detective Garry McFadden, star of the true crime show “I am Homicide’ on the Discovery channel is seriously considering a run against Carmichael. Garry has served in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for 35 years.  My prediction if McFadden takes on Carmichael?  A slam dunk win for McFadden,
  • US Senator Robert Pittenger held a fundraiser last week at Del Friscos with US Senator Lindsey Graham as guest speaker. About 50 attended.
  • Mayor elect (at the time) Vi Lyles held a party Sunday to celebrate her election to Mayor, She called it her Election Reception which was held at 3:00pm at FDY Corporate HQ on Wilkinson Blvd.
  • MeckGOP: a very small group of Republicans ( 7 to be exact) met with Dan Barry, the Union County Republican Chairman last week, to brain storm strategy  to increase  the Republican registration and turnout in Charlotte . This was in response  to the total  trouncing for Republicans in the November Charlotte election..  The meeting, as I understand ,was to see what changes could be made.  From what I heard the meeting  was a bust.
  • State Senator and candidate for Mayor Joel Ford: Joel Has been invited to speak at the upcoming North Carolina FreeEnterprise Foundation Annual Leadership Luncheon to be held December 6. He  is to speak to the assembled business leaders by delivering remarks concerning his priorities of the Senate Democratic Caucus and items of interest to the state’s business community.

Charlotte’s new Mayor Pro Tem

As I have been pondering what topic to write about this week, it becomes clear to me that  are so many important subjects on which I have an opinion.  The most timely to me today is the election of Mayor Pro Tem tonight at the swearing in of the new Council and Mayor.  Traditionally, Mayor Pro Tem goes to the top vote- getter of the dominant party. Last year was an aberration because Julie Eiselt who secured the majority vote at large, relinquished the title to Vi Lyles who came in second.  As Julie conveyed to me, she didn’t feel experienced enough then to be Mayor Pro Tem.  After all this was her first run at political office.

However, this year Julie wants the job and since she was top vote- getter one more time, she should have it.  The Mayor Pro Tem position is elected by her City Council colleagues tonight at the dais.  Suddenly , in comes James Mitchell, who came in third at large, vying for the position. He has been jockeying for the appointment and trying to line up votes for himself to serve as Mayor Pro Tem. But he was not the majority vote -getter at large.

I served on the Council with James for six years and think the world of him. I too was caught up in the vote for Mayor Pro Tem four different times, but was only elected once because the Democrats held the majority all but one time. (at the time I was a registered Republican, though I am unaffiliated now.)  And in one instance I was 6,000 votes ahead of the second vote- getter who at the time was Susan Burgess. The one time the Republicans captured the majority and I was top vote- getter at large. Don Reid who was on the Council at the time stated publicly he was going to vote for Al Rousseau, a Democrat, and second highest vote- getter.  At the time of the vote, Don voted for me.  I assume the Republican party got on his case.

City Council.  Let Julie Eiselt be Mayor Pro Tem.  It is rightfully hers and it is the right thing to do.  Ask yourself, does it benefit the City of Charlotte with all the pressing issues the Council faces, to begin this new term with acrimony over Mayor Pro Tem? And even better, make it a unanimous vote.