Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

What the city could do to start rebuilding trust

It’s very simple: drop its attempts to justify the secret vote to raise taxes to fund improvements at privately-owned Bank of America Stadium and for other not-identified-at-the-time economic development projects. Whether the city had the legal right to do what it did is now entirely beside the point.

Openness reduces the potential for corruption. Poorly-designed public policy, like having powerful public officials determine which taxi companies get to pick up fares at the airport or holding no-advanced notice secret votes to raise taxes on politically-disfavored groups to fund in part TBD projects, breeds pay-to-play politics and bribery. As long as the city defends what City Council did on Jan. 14, 2013 and reserves the right to do that sort of thing again, it is de facto saying that city government remains for sale.

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