Charlotte Mayor calls special city council meeting to 'consider taking action' on hosting RNC

Charlotte Mayor calls special city council meeting to 'consider taking action' on hosting RNC

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Mayor Vi Lyles called a special meeting of the Charlotte City Council for Monday July 16 to discuss the 2020 Republican National Convention.

Lyles says the purpose of the meeting is to consider taking action regarding hosting the 2020 RNC.

The action would be based on the Republican National Committee awarding Charlotte with the convention.

Charlotte city council member Braxton Winston confirmed via tweet that the council had been called to vote on the RNC in the meeting.

WBTV has learned from multiple sources that there will be six "yes" votes at Monday's meeting.

Word of the meeting first came Tuesday, the same day that Mayor Vi Lyles, a Democrat, published an editorial in the Charlotte Observer reaffirming her support for hosting the event.

Lyles' editorial was published amidst growing outcry from some Democrats, including at least two city council members and former Mayor Jennifer Roberts, who said the city should not host the event.

Ed Driggs, a Republican city council member, said he has been in support of bringing the convention to Charlotte since the city decided to submit a bid to host the event.

"We had the benefit of experience from the 2012 Democratic National Convention so there was a lot we already knew about how this works," said Driggs.

He said there didn't appear to be any opposition to Charlotte hosting the convention until just a few weeks ago. Driggs said it looks bad for some council members to speak out against the RNC at the last minute.

"We should have said no or made it clear that we had a problem early on and not started at this stage kind of agonizing whether or not we can do it," said Driggs.

The council member said he thinks the economic impact of the convention coming would be great for the city.

"We did consider the risks. We're aware of the fact that the political climate is stormy. And our conclusion early was that the benefits definitely outweigh the risks," explained Driggs.

He said the council's vote Monday will be a crucial step in bringing the convention to Charlotte. Driggs said the vote will be related to contracts the city will need to sign in order to host the RNC.

"The arena, negotiations about blocks of hotel rooms, the security commitments we have to make - all of those things need to be in place," said Driggs.

There will be an open forum at the meeting Monday to discuss the event.

People who desire to address the city council on the matter should contact the Office of the City Clerk and give their name, address, telephone number and subject matter to be discussed before 5 p.m. on Friday, July 13.

People signed up to speak will be limited to one minute each and not allowed to yield their time to another speaker.

Charlotte has been cast as the frontrunner to host the quadrennial event.

Only one other city, Las Vegas, is a finalist and city officials there have not made a public case for hosting the event.

The Republican National Committee is expected to vote on where to hold the event during its summer meeting in Austin, TX next week.

The site selection committee is expected to take a vote on Wednesday morning.

WBTV will have a crew in Austin for the meeting.

Members of the Charlotte City Council and the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners will also head to Austin for the meeting.

County Commissioner Jim Puckett confirmed on Tuesday that he will attend the event along with Lyles.

Representatives from the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority are also expected to attend, WBTV has confirmed.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.