Charlotte businessman warns of perils of one-party rule in U.S. urban hubs

by WorldTribune Staff, November 25, 2018

The personal finance website WalletHub recently released its rankings for the worst big cities in the United States. Of the 150 cities ranked, 15 of the bottom 16 are currently run by Democrats and have been for decades.

‘The Queen City is still attractive to business, with a skilled workforce, great amenities and a can-do attitude. But we haven’t had balance in our elected governing bodies since 2007, when we last elected a Republican mayor.’

“Democrats who’ve run these cities cling to the notion that government spending can conjure up private growth by ‘investing’ in all manner of bureaucratic programs to alleviate any ill in society,” Charlotte, North Carolina businessman Frank Dowd wrote in a Nov. 25 op-ed for the North State Journal.

“So taxes must go up to pay for these government interventions in the private economy that seek equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity, resulting in an unbroken string of failures despite good intentions.”

Dowd, chairman of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company, a 117-year-old manufacturer of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings with seven plants around the nation, fears that Charlotte is quickly headed in the same direction as the cities at the bottom of the WalletHub rankings.

“Is this the future we want for Charlotte? Right now, the Queen City is still attractive to business, with a skilled workforce, great amenities and a can-do attitude. But we haven’t had balance in our elected governing bodies since 2007, when we last elected a Republican mayor,” Dowd wrote.

The 2018 midterms reinforced Democrats’ hold on Charlotte. Dowd noted that Democrats have a 9-0 majority on the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners and were unopposed in winning district attorney, sheriff and clerk of superior court races. Charlotte’s city council also has a Democrat mayor and a 9-2 Democrat majority.

“As it currently stands, our local governing bodies are free to raise taxes and increase spending without so much as a speed bump of opposition,” Dowd wrote. “The sweep of the county commission will have an immediate impact as the board is getting ready to oversee a ‘countywide tax revaluation that is expected to send property values soaring,’ according to The Charlotte Observer. And over the summer, the city council approved a 1-cent property tax hike that included raises of 3 percent or more for the city’s 8,000 employees. The tax increase was on top of fee hikes of $23 for water, $9 for storm water and $7 for trash pickup.”

Dowd concluded: “We have our glaring problems like any other major metropolis, but the answer to those problems does not lie in limiting ideas and potential solutions to one side of the aisle. I just hope when we look back a decade or more from now that Charlotte does not end up on the dubious list of once-vibrant cities run into the ground by one-party rule.”

See WalletHub report.


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