Charlotte City Council, stop pretending citizens have a say in rezoning

·4 min read
Rendering courtesy of Ascent Real Estate Capital

Charlotte rezoning

Regarding “Charlotte Council OKs controversial NoDa apartment plans after back-and-forth debate,” (Jan. 20):

I’ve been a NoDa resident for eight years and labored in a grueling, and ultimately unsuccessful, opposition to rezoning of a historic church property on East 36th Street. Here’s what I’d say to others who might face a rezoning in their neighborhoods:

1. By the time the rezoning notice arrives in your mailbox, your City Council rep is already primed to approve it.

2. Council reps think they’re omniscient, intuiting what neighbors want without having to ask.

3. When voicing opposition, homeowners will endure disrespect, patronizing, and gas-lighting from Council and developer.

Charlotte City Council must stop pretending the rezoning “process” is inclusive of residents. And maybe change the city’s branding to something more accurate, like “Charlotte’s Got a Lot ... for Developers.”

Paula Martinac, Charlotte

Charlotte trees

Charlotte should be doing more, needs to do more, to be a steward for the environment.

One example of neighbors coming together to protect our tree canopy is Dilworth’s Community Association. An all-volunteer Tree Canopy Committee has raised money over the past three years to pay to replant almost 100 large street trees in our neighborhood. The City of Charlotte helps replant, too, but with tight budgets, individual efforts make a difference.

In addition to planting trees, we are donating funds and collaborating with TreesCharlotte, UNCC, the N.C. Forest Service and an inner-city neighborhood association in a pilot project to address tree issues in neighborhoods with fewer funding resources.

We need to tap into all of our resources if we are to address our catastrophic tree loss.

Liz Lewis, Charlotte

Sen. Thom Tillis

Regarding “Tillis threatens to resign if Republicans end filibuster,” (Jan. 21):

It’s too bad that Sen. Thom Tillis wasn’t serving in the US Senate from 1969-2014. There have been 161 times during that period that both parties have changed the filibuster to pass legislation when one party disagreed in the Senate. Tillis should resign now, for his stance on voting rights — and making it harder to vote in North Carolina.

Daryl Solomonson, Troutman

End the gridlock

When was the last time legislators actually accomplished anything?

It’s time for all citizens to take control. We need some citizen originated constitutional amendments.

At the state level in North Carolina suggestions could be: 1) Take humans out of drawing electoral districts. 2) Get party affiliation off the judicial ballot.

For Congress, I recommend eliminating the filibuster and that presidential appointments require confirmation with an up-or-down vote within a specified time of receiving them.

William C. Barnes, Charlotte

Evaluating POTUS

There is no constitutional process for recalling a president. Impeachment, yes; recall, no.

So what if during each midterm election for U.S. senators there was something on the ballot that allowed a vote of “confidence” or “no confidence” for the current president’s policies and implementation of those policies?

This would give the president a reading on how he/she was doing and what course corrections, if any, he/she might make. And it would give the voters a midterm voice in America’s future pathway.

Bob Burroughs, Charlotte

Fauci’s salary

Much has been made of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s salary. It is about $434,000. Is that too much?

Look at what Fauci has accomplished in 36 years at a branch of the National Institutes of Health. He led the fight against AIDS and his research in immunology and viral diseases have been groundbreaking. He lectured all over the world. He manages a $6.1 billion department and has been working overtime on COVID.

He is the best in the world at what he does, and if anything he is underpaid. To put it in perspective, 18 million people in the U.S. make over $1 million a year, including CEOs of smaller companies, as well as average NFL and NBA players.

Instead of appreciation for his intelligence, hard work and long service, those opposed to his science-based and sensible advice on COVID have seen fit to impugn his character and salary and to sow distrust in our public health institutions. Needless COVID deaths have resulted from his detractor’s misinformation and resistance to vaccines and masks. That is the shame, not Fauci’s salary.

Vincent Keipper, Concord

University City

The trash in the University City area of Charlotte is atrocious. It is as if the city has given up on this side of town. Trash is up and down U.S. 29 from Harris Boulevard all the way to Concord.

I have even seen mattresses alongside the road. I have lived in this city my entire life. I love this city. It breaks my heart to see this side of town in such disarray.

I just don’t understand how it got this bad. I just feel like the city has forgotten this side of town even exists.

Caroline Bunn, Charlotte