Sunday, May 30, 2010
Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx on the Art of Governing
Link to May 30 Charlotte Observer "In My Opinion" column by Tommy Tomlinson, "In library crisis, mayor relies on 'art of governing'."
Excerpt: I asked Foxx why he's making his stand on libraries, and not schools or parks - areas the county plans to cut even deeper. Foxx's great-aunt was a librarian at the Main Library, and he used to go there on Saturday mornings. But he went to public schools and uses public parks, too. It's not personal. Again he says: "This conversation didn't start with me."
But one of the arts of governing is putting yourself in a place to succeed.
Let's play it out. There are three likely outcomes: The county votes no and kills the whole deal; the county chips in but the City Council opts out (which would require overriding Foxx's veto); or a deal gets done.
In the first two, Foxx can say he tried to do the right thing - and, by the way, it wasn't his idea in the first place. In the third, he can say he made the right thing happen; he was the first to step up and open the city's wallet.
Also, libraries are a safe issue - there's no deep anger as there is regarding the schools - and $2 million for the libraries can make a big difference.
Maybe there's an angle I'm missing, but this seems like a no-lose deal for the mayor. My guess is, his heart is in the right place. But it's always dicey to figure out a politician's heart, and anyway the real measure is the ability to get things done.
In the next couple of weeks we'll get a handle on how well Anthony Foxx is learning that art.
Mayor Foxx [
Mayor supports financial help for library. (5/27/2010)
County budget: Oh, yeah, this is fair. (5/25/2010)
Bailout proposal not gaining traction. (5/23/2010)
Library trustees vote to close 4 branches. (5/20/2010)
Mecklenburg County tightens its belt. (5/20/2010)
County manager cuts $14.7 million from library budget. (5/18/2010)
2010-11 Mecklenburg County budget to be unveiled today. (5/18/2010)
North Carolina woman plans on "going straight to the top" to keep Charlotte libraries open. (5/16/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg officials ask local municipalities for $3 million contribution. (4/30/2010)
Library Board chair speaks out. (4/25/2010)
County commissioners seek ways to ease library cuts. (4/23/2010)
Mecklenburg County needs to reduce $85-90 million deficit. (4/16/2010)
County manager takes library board to task. (4/10/2010)
Libraries now open fewer hours. (4/6/2010)
"Save Our Libraries Sunday". (3/29/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg users owe average of 55 cents in fines. (3/27/2010)
Library announces new hours for branches. (3/26/2010)
Library Board applies a Band-Aid to its bleeding system. (3/25/2010)
Follow-up on Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board vote. (3/25/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board votes to keep all branches open. (3/24/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board presented with 2 budget-cutting alternatives. (3/24/2010)
More and bigger cuts looming on horizon. (3/23/2010)
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System Rethinks Closings. (3/22/2010)
A New Day is Dawning in Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. (3/21/2010)