News&Observer: North Carolina legislators take aim at ‘arrogant’ cities

From the Raleigh News&Observer

Even in a state that has grown increasingly urban, North Carolina cities are on the defensive, fighting to keep prized assets and local control against a legislature that appears intent on taking them.

Three cities – Charlotte, Asheville and Raleigh – face the loss of signature assets. Small towns, like bigger cities, fear significant revenue drains. …
“It has been an amazing array of bills that add up to more restrictions on cities and on urban counties to govern themselves,” says Ferrel Guillory, a political analyst at UNC Chapel Hill.

Like the General Assembly itself, the urban struggles reflect North Carolina’s demographic and political changes.

… Despite having a governor in Republican Pat McCrory who was the longtime mayor of the state’s largest city, some GOP members are openly wary of cities.

“There is a definite feeling that cities have too much power and want to control everything,” says Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican who chairs the influential Rules Committee. “Cities are getting too big and too powerful. We have to look after counties.”

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