CHARLOTTE – Speaking for the first time as a county commissioner, Susan Rodriguez McDowell told the community that she’s ready to help lead a new day for Mecklenburg County.
Rodriguez McDowell and her eight colleagues on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners took the oath of office and gave brief remarks on Dec. 3. The new board consists of nine Democrats, including four newcomers. George Dunlap will serve as chairman.
During her brief remarks, Rodriguez McDowell recognized outgoing Commissioner Bill James, thanking the Matthews resident for 22 years of service. She also expressed her desire to move the county forward.
“I pledge that I will be present, I will listen to all sides, I will engage and I will care,” she said. “I will give my undivided attention to the real needs of District 6 and work with my fellow esteemed commissioners to address the struggles of our communities and improve the quality of life for all of Mecklenburg County’s residents.”
Rodriguez McDowell, of Charlotte, represents the district that encompasses Matthews and Mint Hill. Pat Cotham, Trevor Fuller and Ella Scarborough serve as at-large members that represent all districts.
Fuller said he’d like the opportunity to continue working on issues such as economic opportunity, universal pre-kindergarten, early childhood education and the HIV epidemic.
Cotham addressed the need for the county to work collaboratively with leaders from the city, towns and school board on issues like affordable housing, student achievement and mental health.
They also addressed taxes.
“You can count on us to carefully set a tax rate for this county whether it’s in a revaluation year or not,” Fuller said. “We’ve done it in a steady and conservative way for all of the six years I’ve been on this board, and I have no expectation it will be any different under this board.”
Cotham told colleagues that homeowners and renters are nervous about the potential of a tax spike with revaluation around the corner. She urged commissioners to keep taxes low.