Friday, January 23, 2015

The mayor's view: Transit funding (the dilemma), a more diverse city, and more

Local dignitaries at a 2012 ceremony for the Blue Line Extension. Then-Mayor Anthony Foxx, now U.S. Transportation Secretary, is at right. (Photo: Mary Newsom)
Charlotte Magazine's Greg Lacour has posted a meaty Q-and-A interview with Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter, in which the mayor discusses the city's dilemma on transit funding, what's different about being mayor vs. being in the N.C. Senate (where Clodfelter served 1998-2014) and what's different about Charlotte compared to when he was on City Council (1987-93).

The questions hit heavily on the problem the city and county face in funding any expansion of the Charlotte Area Transit System. (For more background, see this PlanCharlotte.org article about remarks Clodfelter made in  September, "Mayor: Transit sales tax funding may be at risk.")

Among his other remarks to Lacour, Clodfelter had an interesting analysis of state transit funding -- or the lack thereof. He suggested that the state would be disinclined to pay any more for mass transit projects (for the first two legs of Charlotte's light rail, the state paid 25 percent of the cost) regardless of which party is controlling state government. Why? Because statewide transportation needs are great, and gas tax revenue is lagging. Add that up and it's difficult to fund anything, he said.

On a more political note, although Clodfelter isn't saying for sure he's running for mayor, he also recently gave an interview to Qcitymetro.com. Here's that interview

(At-large Charlotte City Council member Michael Barnes this week hopped into the mayor's race, joining Democrats Jennifer Watson Roberts and fellow at-large City Council member David Howard. To date, no Republican has emerged as a likely candidate. But filing isn't until this summer, with the primary in September.)

1 comments:

karin lukas said...

but isn't gas tax revenue a short term issue?

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