Peacock Statement on City/County Consolidation-Composition of Governing Body

Charlotte City Councilmember Edwin Peacock has released the following statement concerning possible City-County consolidation:
“Recently, Mayor Foxx & Chairman Roberts have suggested that the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County should reconsider consolidating our governments.

I will be making a motion at this evening’s meeting regarding the subject of the composition of the governing body of a consolidated government be placed on our February 14, 2011 business meeting agenda.

The City of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County’s previous efforts to address the subject of City & County consolidation have ultimately resulted in a number of combined functions such as police, planning, purchasing, parks, public utilities etc. None of these recent efforts, however, have addressed a core issue: the composition of the governing body.

Article 20, Chapter 153A of the N.C. State General Statutes establishes a process for the subject of consolidation and the creation of a governmental study commission. However, it does not address the composition of the governing body.

It seems to me that our body as a whole should address the questions I’m listing below. I do not think it can be outsourced to one of our Council committees, a study commission, or to an outside consultant. It must be first dealt with directly by the bodies themselves.

For our meeting on the 14th, I propose we have an open discussion on the following questions:

Name of the Body and the Leader’s Title?

What would be the name of the body? For example, it could be called the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Council.

What would the title of the leader of the city/county be? Would it be Mayor of Charlotte / Mecklenburg or would it be Chairman of the Charlotte / Mecklenburg County Council?

Would the leader be elected by all of the residents of Mecklenburg? Alternatively, would the leader determined by a vote of the members of the Charlotte Mecklenburg County Council?

Would the leader’s term be two years, four years or longer?

Would the office be partisan or non-partisan?

Would the leader be full-time or part-time? If full-time, would we have a strong mayor form of government or a city / county manager form of government?

Office of Council / Commissioners?

How many members would be elected to the body? Currently we have 11 members of the City Council plus a mayor and 9 members of the Board of County Commissioners.

Will Council/Commissioners positions be part time or full-time?

Will Council/Commissioners terms of office be two years, four years, or longer?

Will the members run on a partisan or non-partisan basis?

Will members hold staggered terms of office or concurrent terms of office?

Will the body be comprised of a combination of district and at-large representatives or would the body be comprised of exclusively district or exclusively at-large representatives?

How many members would serve at-large?

How many would serve as district representatives?

Would district representatives be voted upon only by voters in their district or voted upon by all the voters in the county?

While this is not related to the composition of the governing body, it could be an important question. What would be the role of the other six towns in Mecklenburg County in a consolidated government?

Again, I’ll be asking for your support for this motion to be placed on our February 14, 2011 business agenda. Thank you for your consideration.”