Charlotteans worried about the effects of consolidation
Charlotte residents, used to good government, were worried that consolidation into the ward system would overly politicize city policy.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with J. Carlton Fleming, [date unknown]. Interview B-0068. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- BILL MOYE:
Some of the people who were opposed said that very thing. They'd be in a
meeting at some club perhaps debating somebody who was for the charter.
. .On some very technical points. This might be some junior executive
that was loaned more or less as in the United Appeal campaign, and he
might be very much for consolidation, but when it
came down to a specific point he just wasn't very clear exactly what
effect this particular document would have . . .
- J. CARLTON FLEMING:
One other thing in the interest of historical accuracy for the purpose of
what you're doing. I think the electorate here was very concerned about
the move from at-large elections to district elections or the ward
system as it has been called. That seems like a rather bad connotation.
I guess that's one of the things that concerned the electorate. We've
had reasonably good government here in Charlotte in the time I've been
here. I've been here since 1953. We've had generally honest, capable
government. Decent sort of people on the city council and the County
Commission. I think some people were concerned about what might happen
in a ward situation, particularly in a black area or a low-income area
where political influences purely and simply through the purchase of
votes, to just put it right on the table, might have some very harsh
consequences. That you might have substantial representation on a
legislative body that would be composed of individuals who really
wouldn't have either the good of the community or their district at
heart but would be just more or less bought politicians, Bought by
somebody else who could afford to buy them.