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TMCNet:  Charlotte Mayor Foxx jabs opponents in annual address

[February 04, 2013]

Charlotte Mayor Foxx jabs opponents in annual address

Feb 04, 2013 (The Charlotte Observer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- In his most pointed annual "State of the City" address, Mayor Anthony Foxx on Monday criticized opponents of Charlotte's streetcar and stalled capital investment plan.

Foxx called on the Charlotte Chamber to do more to support the plan, which originally totaled $926 million and required an 8 percent property tax hike.

"I got letters from the Chamber to support baseball. I got no letters to support the capital plan," said Foxx, a second-term Democrat.

Foxx also stoked his quarrel with Republican Gov. Pat McCrory over the controversial streetcar project.

Foxx repeated his complaint that McCrory inappropriately weighed in on local politics last week when he suggested Charlotte should not move forward with the streetcar as Foxx proposed in his capital plan.

"Opposition to the streetcar is based on 'smoke and mirrors,'" Foxx said. He suggested critics don't support the project because of the type of neighborhoods and business corridors it would ultimately serve.

Foxx said the city can no longer grow through annexation and has to grow internally by investing to improve all neighborhoods.

The battle over the capital plan will likely continue in budget talks that start Thursday. That fight has made the past year the hardest year of his political life, Foxx said.

Foxx and council members have been unable to agree on a plan. Thursday's retreat will be their third attempt to find consensus since early summer.

Harrison: 704-358-5160 ___ (c)2013 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.) Visit The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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