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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with J. Carlton Fleming, [date unknown]. Interview B-0068. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

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.