Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Mayor, City of Charlotte

Duties and Responsibilities The Mayor, elected every 2 years, presides at City Council meetings and officially represents the City at special ceremonies and events. The Mayor is generally responsible for the execution of local laws. The Mayor does not have a vote at City Council meetings unless there is a tie vote. The Mayor Pro Tem, elected by a vote of the City Council, assumes all duties, powers and obligations of the office in the Mayor's absence. Together the Mayor and City Council are responsible for establishing the general policies under which the City operates. These include: Appointing the City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk and members of various boards and commissions Enacting ordinances, resolutions and orders Reviewing the annual budget, setting the tax rate and approving the financing of all City operationsAuthorizing contracts on behalf of the City
  • Candidate picture

    Vi Lyles (Dem) Mayor

  • Candidate picture

    Kenny Smith (Rep) Commercial Real Estate Broker

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

What is your experience, including your 3 most important political/civic accomplishments in the last 5 years?

What can you offer to Charlotte as Mayor that your opponents can’t?

The city has committed to adding 5,000 units of affordable housing in the next 3 years. What are your long term plans for adequate affordable housing?

As Charlotte keeps growing, what components of the city infrastructure most need attention? How would you address it?

How should the City support the Opportunity Task Force recommendations?

What plans do you have to improve public safety in Charlotte, beyond extra police officers?

What’s your position on subpoena power for the Citizen Review Board for police discipline that received complaints about police conduct? Why?

How can the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools improve their support of each other?

What should Charlotte be doing to attract new jobs, particularly for young people?

Current occupation Mayor Pro Tem; Retired Assistant City Manager of Charlotte
Campaign email
Twitter @ViLyles
Three important accomplishments are: writing the "Community Letter", developing an apprenticeship program to create jobs, being elected Mayor Pro Tem to lead the Council to action on our commitments
Experience and collaboration. I am the only candidate that has over 30 years working in city government as a budget director, I know how the money is raised and spent. As a collaborator, I have a working relationship with the council and know how to move things forward.
I believe in working with the non-profit, private sector, and our faith communities to create greater investments. Together, we need to refurbish established properties, increase vouchers and focus on building in every corridor. The City must also step up and use the resources we have allocated to move now.
Housing and transportation. We need to maintain our commitment of providing 5,000 affordable housing units over the next 3 years. We need to identify and make a priority our hotel homeless. Transportation options need to become more accessible-I support an east to west connector, I led on rerouting the bus system, we need to take a regional approach in the future of transportation.
We need to be innovative, building partnerships with our faith and community organizations, the business and private sector to expand our ability to provide more affordable housing units. We need to build transportation that connects every corridor to create opportunity. We need a new approach.
I believe we need to take a holistic approach to public safety, addressing the larger issues such as lack of housing, inadequate jobs, and increased economic divides. Then examine the way we are policing and put more officers in neighborhood hot spots to establish relationships. We can do this by using data analytics on our current policing. We can build opportunities and improve public safety.
I support the Citizen Review Board and continue to advocate for the General Assembly to grant subpoena power. We need transparency to rebuild trust between law enforcement and our communities and the Citizen Review Board helps us in this process.
For the City, I am committed to creating a plan, like we used to reduce our chronic homeless to reduce hotel homeless. Identifying those families living in hotels and getting kids into stable housing will increase their ability to succeed. Also, currently the City and County partner for after school programs, I am in favor of continuing that partnership to help kids have outlets of opportunities.
We need to promote our public/private partnerships. The role of a Mayor is to build an energy around Charlotte that shows we are welcoming and ready to attract young people in the current market. If we continue to invest throughout our city in public transportation, expand broadband accessibility we
Position/philosophy statement Charlotte desperately needs to focus on our shared priorities, not the issues that divide us.
Current occupation Commercial Real Estate Broker New South Properties of the Carolinas, LLC
Age 44
Campaign Phone (704) 609-3261
Campaign email
Twitter @KennySmithclt
Aside from being a husband, father and commercial real estate broker, I have been proud to serve our community on the Charlotte City Council since 2013. 
Charlotte deserves better and my opponents have been responsible or complicit with the direction our city has headed for the past two years. As Mayor, I'll refocus our city on good jobs, better wages, safer streets and smarter infrastructure. 
I am the only candidate that has outlined a comprehensive plan to address this important issue. I believe we must do four things; create a land trust, leverage private and nonprofit investment, increasing city bonding for housing and prioritize unit goals over dispersion. This challenge can be met.
I will refocus our priorities on the issue that our city can control. Mayor Roberts has been more focused on fighting the political issues of the day in Washington DC than addressing the needs of Charlotte. Smart infrastructure, including quality streets and safe bridges, will be a top priority of mine as Mayor. 
The city provided substantial support and resources to the Economic Opportunity Task Force. The results of the study provide a strong catalyst to create real economic throughout Charlotte. As Mayor, I will work hand in hand with community leaders to see recommendations implemented.
Crime is out of control in Charlotte. It's making our families less safe and our city less attractive to tourism and economic investment. As Mayor, I will give our police the resources they need and participate in a productive dialogue with people from all over Charlotte. CMPD is currently needs to fill 244 positions. I will focus on issues that have led to lack of officer retention.
I supported the council's legislative agenda which called for subpoena power for the Citizens Review Board. I also think it is imperative we appoint a qualified board capable of analyzing complex cases.
I believe we can streamline services to reduce cost on taxpayers but to also make our city more user friendly. As a commercial real estate broker, I see every day how we can streamline areas like code inspections and permitting.
We need a leader focused on bringing people together and embracing growth, innovation and technology, not fighting the latest divisive political fight in Washington DC. I will refocus our city's efforts back on promoting high tech, good paying jobs. logo


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