City Council to Consider Changes to How it Awards Contracts

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Monday Charlotte City Council could make big changes to the way it awards contracts. Some members want to give the City Manager the power to allocate up to $500,000 without council approval.

Opponents worry it could lead to less transparency in government.

Right now, anything above $100,000 must get City Council approval first.

District six representative Tariq Bokhari supports the plan.

“This is something that’s not out of the ordinary. Every private sector company pretty much has levels of authority all the way down to a manager, all the way up to the CEO,” Bokhari says.

The city says right now half of council’s consent agenda is taken up by items under $500,000. Removing those items would cut red tape, speeding the process by four to six weeks.

Council member Braxton Winston released a video opposing the change.

“It puts the efficiency of government and the efficiency of business as carrying more weight than the need for the people of Charlotte to have oversight over the way that their tax dollars are spent,” Winston said in the video.

Members of the group Safe Coalition NC have also raised concerns. They worry the change could lead to more spending on military-style police equipment.

Council member Bokhari suggests putting in an exception to force those type items to come before council for approval.