WEBCommentary Contributor

Author: Jim Kouri
Date:  April 17, 2008

Topic category:  Other/General

Charlotte Mayor McCrory and His Miserable City

by Jim Kouri

When Forbes Magazine released their list of the 10 most miserable cities in America, Charlotte's Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory couldn't come up with a better excuse than "I think they need drug testing at Forbes."

Conservatives in North Carolina say that reaction is vintage McCrory -- if he doesn't like what someone says or writes, he slanders them.

Forbes Magazine is known for its lists on wealth and performance in a number of economic categories. On their list of the 10 most miserable cities, McCory's Charlotte ranked 9th.

While McCrory accused Forbes' staff of using drugs, his friend and supporter Moira Quinn called them insane for listing Charlotte.

Quinn, a McCrory supporter, went on to claim that all the reasons Forbes said made Charlotte a miserable city, are in fact the reasons why people live there. She claimed that the Forbes people and their "Uptown" ilk are out of touch.

The criteria for being listed on Forbes' list is a misery score based on commute times, income tax rates, Superfund sites, unemployment, violent crimes and weather.

In explaining why Charlotte made the miserable city list, Forbes offered the following:"The biggest surprise on our list is Charlotte, N.C., which is ranked ninth. Charlotte has undergone tremendous economic growth the past decade, while the population has soared 32 percent.

"But the current picture isn't as bright. Employment growth has not kept up with population growth, meaning unemployment rates are up more than 50 percent compared with 10 years ago. Charlotte scored in the bottom half of all six categories we examined. It scored the worst on violent crime, ranking 140th. ...

"As home to banking giants Bank of America and Wachovia, Charlotte could see an uptick in unemployment, thanks to the problems at those banks."

What troubles political observers the most is that none of Charlotte's  Southeast peers made the list, including  Atlanta and Nashville. Other similar sized cities such as Austin, Kansas City and Fresno, also did not make Forbes' list.

What appears to upset observers the most is the fact that the number one city on Forbes' miserable list is Detroit -- a city that's been torn apart by violence, crime, corrupt city officials and a large gang population.

To make matters worse, the latest Cost of Government study by the John Locke Foundation. found that – for the seventh year in a row – Charlotte leads North Carolina with the highest per capita local tax burden. At just over $2,400 a year it is some $350 higher than the next highest city, which is Chapel Hill.

While during his bid for the Republican nomination for governor Pat McCrory is atempting to wear the mantle of a conservative, the fact is that experts are estimating the size and cost of local government will actually double in the next 10 years.

One conservative observer quipped, "Dysfunction, high taxes and big government are worn as a badge of honor by Charlotte's mayor and city officials."

Jim Kouri
Chief of Police Magazine (Contributing Editor)

Biography - Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.

Copyright © 2008 by Jim Kouri
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