Mitchell Resigns From Charlotte City Council; Reflects On Two Decades Of Service

CHARLOTTE, NC – There is now a vacancy on the Charlotte City Council after an abrupt resignation from Councilman James Mitchell. 

“It was a pleasure being a cheerleader for Charlotte for a long period of time,” said Mitchill during a post meeting interview. 

After two decades of service to the city James “Smuggie” Mitchell will no longer be a councilmember at large. 

“I love this city probably more than I did myself,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell resigned on Monday to work full time as the president of RJ Leeper Construction. The company has several city contracts including the convention center renovation and the airport terminal expansion. 

“The opportunity was too great to take a 30 year minority owned company and continue the legacy,” said Mitchell. 

Mitchell leaves behind a long legacy of economic development. The city underwent major changes during his tenure. 

“Keeping the Panthers here for 10 years, building the Charlotte Knights baseball stadium, you know, Northlake Mall, now Eastland Mall. We finally got a developer that is going to redevelop that 69 acres,” explained Mitchell.

With success, comes failures and regrets. Mitchell says two things in particular stand out. The first being the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott and the protests that followed. 

“I think as a leader, I did not handle that very well. I remember running for reelection. I apologized to the citizens and said, “give me another opportunity,” said Mitchell. 

Mitchell says he also took the loss of the CIAA Tournament personally. 

“We had it here for over 13 years. It generates over 50 million dollars economic impact to our community,” said Mitchell.

Above all, Mitchell says he’s dedicated to serving people and he plans to continue shaping Charlotte’s future from a different seat. 

“I can impact Charlotte in a different way. I can hire people and offer them more than $15 an hour. Our workforce development model is what the city is considering right now,” said Mitchell.

The council will appoint a replacement in the coming weeks. Mitchell says there is a short list of five candidates. He says he would prefer one of the three African American women who are up for consideration to fill his seat.