I'm driving to work today. As usual, there's a pretty big backup prior to reaching a particular business park. Starting a few months ago, a member of the Charlotte police department (or some similar organization) started directing traffic outside this business park. He stands near his truck in the mornings, listening to the radio with his headphones on, pretty much oblivious to the goings on of the world around him.

A couple of weeks ago, Creative Loafing columnist Tara Servatius slammed Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) for their handling of an incident in which a student repeatedly was threatened and attacked by other students. Even after the student's parents went to CMS, the behavior continued.

In a recent article (free registration may be required), a Charlotte car dealership has apparently run afoul of the building code for too much advertising. The company's infraction? Flying four 3-foot by 5-foot American flags on the roof of the dealership. The flags flying on antennas of cars for sale? They have to go too.

It still surprises me that so few people take advantage of an increasingly valuable (and increasingly inexpensive) resource - the Internet! Out of 8 candidates for at-large seats on the Charlotte City Council, only 3 have web sites.

That's right, folks, it's nearly time for more Charlotte election mania. Don't forget to vote on Tuesday, November 4th. If you're still not sure what's happening on the local election scene, check out the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections site. You'll find it surprisingly useful.

This weekend, I was reading an article (which I now cannot find) about the continued delays to the completion of the interstate 485 loop in southeast Charlotte and how people just ignore the fact that it isn't yet open and drive on it anyway.

In the race for those who would be mayor, Pat McCrory held on to get the Republican nomination by a pretty significant margin. For the Democrats, Craig Madans soundly thumped Leonard "Preacher Man" Harris. This means Madans will meet McCrory in November to see who will lead Charlotte for the next two years.

If you live in Charlotte, don't forget to vote on Tuesday. What's that? You didn't know that it was time to vote? Sure enough - the primaries are upon us. It's time to decide who we want to run for various positions in the city government. Yes, we're going to decide, and then in November, we'll get to really decide. I guess you just can't give people too many choices on one ballot. Unless you live in California.

Let me say that again: Charlotte. Has. A. Weak. Mayor.

When I say that, it's not intended as an insult against Pat McCrory. It's a fact. Charlotte is a city that makes use of a weak mayor. This means that the mayor doesn't run the day-to-day tasks of the city. That's a job for the city manager, a position appointed by city council. And speaking of the council: Except in rare occasions of a tie vote among the members (and a few other minor areas), the mayor has no vote whatsoever.

In July of 2000, Mike Jackson wrote a piece for the Charlotte Business Journal about the impending arena vote. At the time, the referendum was a bit of a fantasy, as there was no such referendum on the horizon. As you may already know, the referendum ended badly for those in support of the arena.

The editorial includes several quotes from city councilwoman Lynn Wheeler. Some examples, you say? If the public is not allowed to vote, then we seriously erode the public's confidence in the elected officials and the process. Sounds pretty good, right? Sure it does. Then how does she explain this one? As a council we may have to make that decision ourselves. If there is confidence in the public, and the public is given an opportunity, where is there room for the council to make that decision themselves? The room is when they don't like what the public says.

This was submitted to the feedback sections of both the Charlotte Observer and Creative Loafing...

We hear a story about a 79-year old lady putting having her dog put to sleep because it is too big, and this is the city's fault? Though I'm one of the most vocal opponents of the city on many issues, I don't think this is one of them. The city, or any government, cannot be expected to take care of everything. Many will argue that they shouldn't do much of anything.