Mecklenburg County Commissioners decided Aug. 2 to kick the burden of financing Major League Soccer to Charlotte, by offering to hand over Memorial Stadium and the Grady Cole Center.
Commissioner Jim Puckett proposed the deed alone should be the county’s contribution to bringing a pro soccer team to Charlotte, giving the city a chance to make a deal with investors. The motion included a commitment to finishing park projects associated with the 2008 park bond.
After giving remarks about the need for Charlotte to field a MLS team, Ella Scarborough was among five commissioners voting in favor of Puckett’s motion, which caused confusion and friction among the board.
Here are my takeaways from the bickering:
• Puckett handled the soccer handoff masterfully – Puckett’s idea, which he credited to Scarborough, framed the handoff of Memorial Stadium and Grady Cole Center to Charlotte, which has more expertise in the pro sports realm. He called it a compromise.
• Scarborough is not fit to serve as chairwoman – Scarborough has served on the city council from 1987 to 1997 and as a county commissioner since 2014. She has forgotten more about governing than many people could ever know. But forgetting is the problem.
She gets lost in the process of running meetings. Something as simple as identifying speakers takes much longer now. So did the soccer vote.
They took the soccer vote at least three times, because Scarborough seemed confused about what to do.
• Trevor Fuller comes off like a sore loser – Fuller was a far superior chairman than Scarborough in terms of running a meeting and helping citizens understand what the board was doing, but he rubbed Republicans the wrong way.
When he was ousted from chair a few months ago, they alluded to him not sharing information before meetings. Puckett accused him this week of talking with Major League Soccer officials in the fall.
Both of those instances, Fuller blamed politics when his side didn’t have the votes.
Justin Vick is editor of South Charlotte Weekly.