Local news Roundup: Controversy over Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative hire; Scarborough medical leave; mask rule changes possible; CMPD plans to reduce crime

A controversy continues this week in the hire of the new Racial Equity Initiative Executive Director. The person chosen to take the role is the target of a fraud investigation in her previous organization. There’s plenty of finger pointing about who is responsible for making the decision — we’ll discuss that and comments the mayor made about whether or not public funding is involved in the initiative.

Mecklenburg County cCommissioners voted to place Commissioner Ella Scarborough, who has been absent from commission meetings for several months, on medical leave. She’ll continue to receive pay, and someone will be named to take her place. We’ll talk about what led to the action by the commission.

Mask rules are beginning to change around the country, and those changes may be coming soon to Mecklenburg County. Our mask mandate could end as soon as next week. We’ll discuss what might be on the way for the lifting of restrictions.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police laid out its plan to reduce crime in 2022 this week. We’ll talk about its priorities.

And, LaMelo Ball is an All Star. We congratulate the 20 year old Hornet player on being the fourth youngest ever to be selected for the NBA All-Star Game.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and all the week’s top local and regional news on the Charlotte Talks local news roundup.


Hunter Saenz, WCNC Reporter
Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time”
Katie Peralta Soloff, reporter for Axios Charlotte
Steve Harrison, WFAE’s Political Reporte

Mary C. Curtis: Charlotte City Council Approves $2.7 Billion Budget

At its Monday meeting, Charlotte leaders approved next year’s $2.7 billion budget. Included are efforts to cut down on crime and funding for the arts as the city tries to come back after a year of COVID lockdown. Also, pay raises bring up salaries that had ranked low among comparable cities in the country.

WCCB Political Contributor, Mary C. Curtis is breaking down the budget for 2022 fiscal year and why you should care.

It’s called accountability, but only for some

OPINION — When I was a little girl growing up in West Baltimore, my parents (especially my mom) gave me some truth along with the love. “You will have to work twice as hard to get half as far,” they told their working-class African American child, schooled as they had been in life’s challenges. They also warned about what everyone on my side of town knew: There was little to no room for error because folks like us seldom got the benefit of the doubt.

This was not to discourage me — far from it. It was to prepare me. Better to know what the deal was upfront.

They did not live to observe the spectacle of the president of the United States and members of his family get away — for now, at least — with all sorts of dishonest doings, things an African American president and his family would have been marched across the White House lawn in cuffs and shackles for. Things anyone in my neighborhood would have been tossed under the jail for even thinking about doing.

Local News Roundup: Reaction to Comey Firing, Parents Weigh In on CMS Map, Crime on the Rise

Carolina senators react to the firing of the FBI director. Charlotte-Mecklenburg parents give the school board feedback on the student assignment plan. Violent crime figures are on the rise. Mike Collins and our reporter roundtable discuss the week’s news.