News & Opinion

5 Things to Know: Braxton Winston Voted Mayor Pro Tem

...and four more stories from Sept. 4-10, 2022

The new Charlotte City Council stands behind the dais.
Charlotte City Council is sworn in. From left: New rep Marjorie Molina, incumbent Renee Johnson, incumbent Dimple Ajmera, returning rep James ‘Smuggie’ Mitchell, incumbent Braxton Winston, returning rep LaWana Mayfield, Mayor Vi Lyles, new rep Dante Anderson, incumbent Malcolm Graham, incumbent Tariq Bokhari, incumbent Victoria Watlington, and incumbent Ed Driggs. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

Braxton Winston Voted Mayor Pro Tem at Swearing-In Ceremony

The new Charlotte City Council was sworn in on Tuesday night and Braxton Winston was voted in as Mayor Pro Tem unanimously, becoming only the second person to ever receive the honor after not receiving the most votes of any at-large candidate in the majority party in the preceding election.

Dimple Ajmera, who received 709 more votes than Winston, received the support of multiple prominent leaders, including former mayor Harvey B. Gantt and former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl, in the lead-up to Tuesday’s vote. But when it came time to vote, she turned down the opportunity to have a motion heard in her favor. 

Returning at-large rep LaWana Mayfield was the loudest in opposition to top vote-getter Dimple Ajmera getting the nod for Mayor Pro Tem, tweeting in late August, “I will NOT support any person who I have watched lie, manipulate & play politics.” 

Following Tuesday’s vote, Ajmera tweeted, “This has been a difficult decision for me. As the top-vote getter, I have earned the overwhelming support throughout the city … There is a time and place for everything though. We must realize whether to lead or help someone else lead in a unified voice.”

Dimple Ajmera speaks in the foreground while Braxton Winston smiles behind her while sitting at the dais.
Dimple Ajmera (left) explains why she was declining a motion to make her Mayor Pro Tem during Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony. Braxton Winston is seated next to her. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

“Without our unity and collaboration, we can’t be at our best and strongest for the people of Charlotte. We can’t govern with closed doors,” she added, “And I’m going to help [Braxton Winston] lead as our next MPT.” 

If you’re interested in getting to know more about the two newest reps, meaning the only two who are serving their first terms, check out our Nooze Hounds interviews with District 1 rep Dante Anderson and District 5 rep Marjorie Molina

Parking Remains Free on Weekends … For Now

While residents have long been accustomed to free parking in Uptown on weekends, a new plan to begin charging drivers today has been put on hold, according to a tweet from the city of Charlotte on Friday.

“While Saturday metered parking was to start on Sept. 10, it will be implemented later next year as part of an overall review and action plan for on-street parking and curb space management,” the official city Twitter account wrote. 

Metered parking was already increased from $1 to $1.50 in July, with an extension to Saturdays planned for today. The increase in fees is meant to be dedicated to resurfacing activities.

“The action plan will help us better manage curb space to serve all users in growing and highly dense areas of the city,” the city tweeted on Friday. “Expect more information over the coming months about the parking action plan and public engagement opportunities.”

New South End Development Renderings Released

Development firm Portman Residential announced its latest South End project Thursday: 2161 Hawkins, which will run adjacent to The Line, another of Portman’s projects that opened this summer. Sycamore Brewing, currently located where the new development is slated to go, will reportedly move right across the street to The Line.

A rendering of 2161 Hawkins, connected to The Line by a skybridge. (Photo courtesy of Portman Residential) 

As for 2161 Hawkins, the development will include 293 luxury units and 25,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The two developments will be connected by a skybridge.

Man Shot by Concord Police Dies in Hospital

The Charlotte man who was shot by police officers at Concord Mills mall on Aug. 31 has died. Dominic Jeter, 23, was the suspect in a shoot-out that reportedly broke out during a chase through the mall after police responded to a call about three men stealing a credit card.

Concord Police Chief Gary Gacek said in a statement on Tuesday that Jeter fired multiple shots at two police officers during the chase and the officers returned fire, hitting Jeter. He was taken to a Charlotte hospital and died sometime over the weekend. Two other suspects who were allegedly with the man have been arrested.

Monkeypox on the Decline Locally

In recent weeks, the number of newly confirmed monkeypox (MPX) cases decreased by nearly 68% from the highest point to date in Mecklenburg County, according to a release from Mecklenburg County Public Health on Friday.

“These improvements are encouraging, and we are cautiously optimistic,” stated MCPH Director Raynard Washington in the release. “However, MPX is still here and we must continue diligently working to identify any active infections, vaccinate those at greatest risk, and ensure people are hearing our message of caution and care.” 

(Graph courtesy of MCPH)

The MPX vaccine criteria was also expanded this week, which will allow more people to be vaccinated. On Friday, MCPH announced plans to hold two MPX clinics today. Appointments can be made by calling 704-336-6500 and a limited number of walk-ins can be accommodated for those who meet the eligibility criteria only. 

  • Sept. 10, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at the NW Health Department, 2845 Beatties Ford Road
  • Sept. 17, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at the SE Health Department, 249 Billingsley Road

“MCPH will continue our role to protect the community. I am incredibly proud of our team for their tireless efforts day to day as well as for creating additional opportunities for the public to receive the MPX vaccine,” Washington stated.

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