City Smart: Primary voting results to Doppler radar legislation

City Smart: Primary voting results to Doppler radar legislation
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3 Important Things

  • Primary Voting Results. The winners of the Democratic primary for city council at large are Vi Lyles, James “Smuggie” Mitchell, Julie Eiselt, and Claire Fallon. They’ll face off against Republican nominees Pablo Carvajal, John K. Powell, Jr. and David Michael Rice in the general election. In the Democratic primary, Jennifer Roberts won the majority vote, but did not get the required 40% of votes necessary to secure the nomination, so she’ll face current mayor Dan Clodfelter in a second primary on Tuesday October 5, 2015. Whoever wins the second primary will compete in the general election against Edwin Peacock, who won the Republican primary. The general election will be held Tuesday, November 3.  Early voting for the general begins October 22 and runs through October 31.
  • New Incentives. The Jobs Development Incentives Grant program has been stalled since March when it ran out of money. A new agreement reached on the incentives program will allocated up to $10 million every six months in tax incentives for companies to relocate to North Carolina. It also added an industry wide exemption of sales tax on jet fuel, replacing a provision that capped taxes on jet fuel at $2.5 million per airline that was set to expire next year.
  • Budget. After historically long delays, the North Carolina legislature finally passed a budget last week. Gov. Pat McCrory signed the budget into law Friday morning. The state budget for the next two years has some interesting tax and fee provisions, with a general shift of collecting revenue from  sales tax instead of from income tax. The budget gives a one-time bonus of $750 to teachers, continues to fund teacher assistants at current levels, and increases the number of “opportunity vouchers” – or money to spend on private school tuition. It also failed to extend the renewable energy tax credit.

2 Happy Things

  • Charlottean Lauren Palmer, with the help of her network of family and friends, collected over 400 pairs of sneakers to send to Syrian refugees. After reading a blog post about a three year old Syrian boy who died while his family was fleeing, Palmer decided to do something to help. The blog suggested connecting with Greek volunteers who were providing clothing and toiletries for refugees arriving by boat on the island of Lesvos. Sneakers for men, women and children were listed as the greatest need. The drive ended September 14, but Palmer says she’ll likely plan more projects to help out in the future.
  • There’s some good news on the voter turnout front. In 2013 only 6.7 percent of Charlotte voters turned out to the polls for the primary election. This year, that number is slightly higher at 8.73 percent. Is 8.73 percent turnout “good”? No. But it’s better than 6.7 percent.

1 Random Thing

  • Charlotte is the nation’s largest metropolitan area without a National Weather Service Doppler radar facility. The closest one is in Greer, S.C., approximately 70 miles away. The problem is that the further you get from the facility, the less accurate the Doppler is at picking up weather forming closer to the ground. Sen. Richard Burr and Rep. Robert Pittenger have introduced companion bills that require the Secretary of Commerce to operate and maintain a Doppler radar facility within 55 miles of a city with a population over 700,000. Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Alma Adams have joined as co-sponsors.

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