Ron Carlee


Former Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee says state lawmakers had racial motivations in 2013 when they tried to transfer control of Charlotte-Douglas International Airport from the city to a regional authority.

Speaking Wednesday on Charlotte Talks, Carlee told host Mike Collins that he believes the General Assembly was trying to undermine then-Mayor Anthony Foxx, who is African-American.

Julie Rose / WFAE

For the last three years, Ron Carlee has served as Charlotte’s City Manager, responsible for running the day to day operations of the 16th largest city in America. Carlee’s contract expires in March. Carlee announced Wednesday night that he won't seek a new contract, although it's unclear if he would have been offered one.

Charlotte’s City Council appears no closer to a consensus on how to fill a hole in the city’s budget deeper than in any year of the recession. City Manager Ron Carlee has proposed a complex mix of expense cuts and fee increases. But a key part of his plan hinges on raising property taxes while lowering a garbage fee that homeowners pay—it’s a complex scheme that hasn’t gained traction with the city council. The council once again debated that and other parts of Carlee’s plan Monday for more than an hour without obvious progress. Mayor Dan Clodfelter called a halt.

Tom Bullock / WFAE News

Monday night was an open mic night of sorts at the Charlotte City Council. It was the public’s chance to have their say on the city manager’s proposed budget. It includes an increase in property taxes and cuts to city services. 

There wasn’t a flood of angry protesters lamenting cuts to the city’s 311 service last night. In fact just eight people spoke to the council last night. The speakers broke down into one of three categories.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

Charlotte city council members expressed mixed feelings about city manager Ron Carlee’s proposal to raise property taxes as part of the solution to the upcoming budget deficit.

Charlotte Tosses Out 'Pay-As-You-Throw' Trash

May 5, 2015

Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee Monday night recommended raising property taxes as part of his plan to make up for a large city budget gap. Carlee told City Council the bump of almost 2 cents per $100 of property value would bring in enough revenue to cover the cost of Charlotte’s residential trash service. So what does that mean for the “pay-as-you-throw” trash plan under deliberation last year?

City Manager Ron Carlee has recommended the Charlotte City Council raise property taxes, as one part of a multi-faceted solution to deal with a budget gap larger than in any single year of the recession. But most homeowners would actually pay less, Carlee says.

Tom Bullock / WFAE

Despite a growing economy, the city of Charlotte is facing a $21.7 million budget gap. City leaders say it’s bigger than anything they dealt with during the great recession. Tonight, City Manager Ron Carlee will lay out his plan to fill that gap when he proposes his budget before the city council.

Earlier this week the city of Charlotte released what’s known as the Van Laningham report. It takes its name from the outside lawyer who investigated the firing of Crystal Eschert, an arson investigator who was officially terminated for what the city saw as an insensitive Facebook post in the aftermath of the Fergusson, Missouri riots.

Eschert says the real reason she was fired was retaliation for alerting a member of the Charlotte City Council to what Eschert saw as shoddy renovations at a Charlotte Fire Department building.

It also raises questions about how the city handled the firing of Eschert. WFAE’s Tom Bullock sat down with Charlotte City Manager, Ron Carlee, to ask about the report and what comes next.  

City of Charlotte

Last fall, Crystal Eschert became the first city employee officially fired for violating the city’s social media policy. Eschert was working as an arson investigator at the time. She believes she was fired for being a whistleblower.

Tuesday, city officials released an independent review of the incident they say proves there was no retaliation against Eschert.

But the findings of the 60-page report are nowhere near that clear cut. It’s an indictment of a culture of fear and intimidation at the Charlotte Fire Department. And raises questions about whether she was fired for cause.