Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx is mayor no-more. He stepped down Monday afternoon to become U.S. Secretary of Transportation and spoke briefly to a roomful of supporters and city staff. Longtime City Councilwoman Patsy Kinsey was appointed mayor in his stead.
"You may disagree with the methods and means, but there can never be a disagreement that I love this city and I've worked my tail off to make it everything it can be," said Foxx.
After a standing ovation from supporters and a personal cheer from the Silver Foxes cheerleading squad, Foxx spoke without notes for 20 minutes, starting with a Bible verse about love.
"You know it was love of this community that motivated me to seek out city council at a time when the city was actually riding pretty high and I saw some cracks that I felt like we needed to address," said Foxx.
In his seven and a half years as a city councilman and then mayor, Foxx says he addressed those cracks – making Charlotte's streets safer, investing in the city's aging infrastructure and working to bring neighborhoods together with transit.
He urged the city council to "stay the course," thanked voters for electing him, then formally resigned.
Foxx had barely slipped out a side door with his family before the city council named his replacement: five-term Democratic councilwoman Patsy Kinsey.
Kinsey has pledged not to run for mayor this fall. She says it made sense for someone on the council to step in for Foxx.
"To bring someone in for five months that maybe doesn't have that background - hasn't been working with all the various issues - it would be a little unfair," says Kinsey. "I have been around a little while, so I feel like I have a decent handle on the issues."
Those issues include a spat with state lawmakers who want to remove the Charlotte airport from the city's control.
The city council is now accepting applications for someone to temporarily fill Kinsey's 1st District council seat – which she hopes to be re-elected to in November. Meanwhile, she becomes only the second woman to serve as mayor of Charlotte.