Charlotte, North Carolina, Downtown

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In a break with tradition, the Charlotte City Council rejected the top votainer and named the second-place finisher as the next Mayor Pro Tem. And, yes, votainer is a word I have invented and am promoting to replace the awkwardly cumbersome “top vote-getter.”

For almost three decades the Charlotte City Council has named the top votainer in the At-Large election to the post of Mayor Pro Tem – except on two occasions. But last night the Democrats passed over the top votainer, Dimple Ajmera, to name Braxton Winston as the Mayor Pro Tem. Why? Nobody will really say.

Also, Councilman James “Smuggie” Mitchell was sworn-in despite questions about whether his presence on the Council is illegal. Mitchell says he owns 25% of a local construction firm named RJ Leeper. As a minority-owned business, the company gets City contracts worth millions of dollars. State law seems to prevent Mitchell from being on the body that awards those contracts. Mitchell refused to address the matter with reporters after the swearing-in ceremony.