Public Conversations

Public Conversations is an ongoing series of community forums designed to convene Charlotte-area residents for discussion of timely and relevant topics.  Our goal is to create comfortable settings that encourage a stimulating and enlightening exchange of ideas.  By organizing these Public Conversations, WFAE intends to serve as a catalyst for community dialogue.  Participants are encouraged to engage in conversation with a cross-section of community representatives, expert panelists, and with each other.

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Local News
1:43 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Patrick Cannon To Be Sentenced Today

Former Mayor Patrick Cannon arrives at the federal courthouse for his sentencing.
Credit Tasnim Shamma / WFAE

Tuesday morning Patrick Cannon will be sentenced in federal court. The former Charlotte mayor admitted earlier this year to taking more than $50,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents.

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Public Conversations
7:00 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

The State Of Public Education

As the new school year gets underway, this community forum explored the changing climate for public education in the Charlotte region. Panelists addressed recent moves to raise teacher pay and discussed the future of student achievement standards and Common Core guidelines. The forum also examined the role of charter schools, their successes and challenges to date in the Charlotte area, and the outlook for charter programs.

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Transportation
5:06 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Mooresville Residents Sign Petition To Stop I-77 Toll Lanes

Audience members signed petitions to Governor Pat McCrory requesting the cancellation of the widening project.
Credit Jonathan Cox/DavidsonNews.net

Construction on I-77 toll lanes between Charlotte and Mooresville is expected to begin next year. More than 120 people came out to Mooresville to learn about the lanes and sign petitions to stop the project. The meeting was organized by the group Widen I-77, which is against the toll lanes.


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Public Conversations
1:23 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

The State Of Public Education

Credit dcJohn / Flickr/https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

September is here, and I’ve been hearing those big yellow school buses making their early morning rounds in my neighborhood.

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Local News
10:09 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Charlotte's $2.1 Billion Budget, Made Possible Through Big Sales Tax Collections

Several council members didn't make the meeting in which the city adopted a new budget.
Credit Michael Tomsic

The Charlotte City Council on Monday night adopted a budget that increases the city’s spending about 7 percent without raising property taxes.

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WFAE Talks
3:13 am
Mon April 28, 2014

WFAE Talks Common Core, Water Pollution, And More Water Pollution

North Carolina lawmakers move to take Common Core education standards off the books. Greg, Lisa and Ben also discuss WFAE's latest Public Conversations forum, What's In Our Water? Plus, the reason environmentalists are so upset with Governor McCrory's coal ash proposal.


Public Conversations
7:00 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

What's In Our Water?

Mt. Island Lake, the source of Charlotte's drinking water.
Mark Rumsey

At WFAE's Public Conversation on "What's In Our Water," reporter Ben Bradford opened the community forum by presenting an overview of the Catawba River Basin including the lakes that provide Charlotte's drinking water supply, threats to the regions water quality, and the water treatment process.

View slide presentation to accompany introduction. (Attached as PDF.)

This Public Conversation offered perspectives from Charlotte and Mecklenburg County water quality and water treatment officials, the local Riverkeeper organization, and the real estate and building industry. The discussion covered topics from water quality monitoring and government regulations, to concerts about the pollution from coal ash stored near North Carolina rivers and lakes. 

Moderator:
Lisa Miller,
WFAE reporter

Panelists:
Richard Gaskins, executive director at Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation
Barry Gullet, director at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities
Joe Padilla, Executive Director; Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition
Rusty Rozzelle, Water Quality Program Manager; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Stormwater Services

 

Local News
6:40 am
Thu April 3, 2014

A Rundown Of Who Could Be Charlotte's Next Mayor

City council will vote on Monday to fill the empty mayor's chair.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

The race for the next Mayor of Charlotte will be decided by 11 votes. No the fix is not in for our next election. Only members of the city council will be able to vote for the person who will fill out Patrick Cannon’s term. That vote is expected on Monday.


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Local News
6:00 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Charlotte's Next Mayor On Tonight's Council Agenda

Tonight, Charlotte City Council may have an answer to this question – who is the next mayor of Charlotte?

But no matter what happens at tonight's meeting, Council will undoubtedly try to reassure the public the city is moving on from former mayor Patrick Cannon.


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Politics
9:57 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Carlee: Charges Against Cannon Don't Represent How City Runs

City manager Ron Carlee announced on Thursday afternoon that city council members will hold a special meeting on Monday evening to plan out how they will replace former Mayor Patrick Cannon.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

Charlotte city government officials are now dealing with the aftermath of former mayor Patrick Cannon’s arrest and resignation. Charlotte could have a new mayor as soon as Monday.

Charlotte city council will meet on Monday evening to layout a timeline, possibly consider candidates and vote. City manager Ron Carlee held a press conference Thursday afternoon, in which he said the charges against Cannon don’t represent the way the city operates. 

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