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GigaOM (a popular enterprise IT blog) has posted a rather lengthy post they're calling the ultimate geek tour. The tour starts out in Charlotte and quickly goes to a triangle NE of the metro that contain the new Apple, Google and Facebook super-datacenters. I was pretty proud to see the tour tied to Charlotte in some manner, even though the NC is appended.

Here is the link to the blog post: http://gigaom.com/cleantech/a-geeks-road-trip-north-carolinas-data-center-cluster/

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Am I the only one who is annoyed by the influx of SPAM on UP? Has anyone written to Neo or other Admins about it? It's making this site unreadable unless you go to the specific city/region boards.

BTW - for those that may be wondering, I changed my handle from "dbull75". I'm not some random dude who just showed up with 2,000+ posts :)

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According to WFAE this morning, Curt Walton was approved for a 6%!!! raise last night. Which roughly translates to roughly a $13,000 bump. I'd love to see what progressive moves Mr. Walton made throughout the year to merit that while everyone else was granted their general 3% raise. What a joke. I'm ok with cost of living raises, but in this economic climate, this raise seems irresponsible and short-sighted.

The end.

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  • Walton’s total compensation will increase to $257,698...
  • Tom Murray, the new chief executive of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, has a salary of $275,000 plus an $8,000-a-year car allowance...
  • Michael Smith, the president of Center City Partners, which depends on city-collected property tax money, was given a $62,000 bonus a year ago. That raised his total compensation to roughly $300,000...
  • A year ago, Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones’ total compensation was just shy of $300,000...

Market rate or not, these salaries, IMO are vastly over-bloated. These people should be fairly compensated and I'm OK with it being six figures, but these type of salaries are ridiculous. They are an entity that functions on taxpayer dollars, it is not the private sector.

Edited by ah59396

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Market rate or not, these salaries, IMO are vastly over-bloated. These people should be fairly compensated and I'm OK with it being six figures, but these type of salaries are ridiculous. They are an entity that functions on taxpayer dollars, it is not the private sector.

I am really of two minds about this. I do agree that any government employee getting a 6% raise (no matter their job description) is inappropriate in the current environment. However, in broader terms, I don't think it is reasonable or productive to expect private sector employees to work for substantially less than they would get paid in the private sector. Reducing or capping public sector salaries is a good way to ensure poor management, poor planning and general incompetence rather than fostering efficiency, innovation and continuity in our governance.

Setting Smith and Murray aside (Murray is new and I have long felt that Smith is wildly overpaid relative his accomplishments), Jones and Walton have (IMO) jobs that are the equivalent to Chief Operating Officer (or perhaps CEO) posistions in $1-2 billion revenue corporations. I suspect it would be difficult to find COO or CEO posistions in firms of comparable size that pay just $300,000. Why would any talented future manager choose the public sector option when they would recieve higher pay, greater potential for advancement and less media scrutiny in the private sector?

I fear that public sector pay is going to be a contentious issue for many years to come. Historically, public sector workers accepted below market wages in return for benefits such as a high degree of job security and pension guarantees. Public sector job security has essentially vanished over the past three years and retirement benefits have gone under the microscope. Given the reduced security of public sector work the government workers with options will start to demand additional salary to compensate for reduced job security. Since its clear that these wage increases are not in the cards, I fear we will be left with a new public sector workforce less capable / dedicated than the current generation.

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^ I would tend to think that people that get into city management also do it because it interests them. That typically can't be said for private sector sales or finance. People do the latter jobs to make money.

As an example, Walton went to school for Political Science and did his Graduate work in Urban Planning. No one expects to come out of that and make CEO type wages. While I agree the wages need to stay competitive, I find it insane that "competitive" means $250,000+. 4 years of a Poly Sci BA and a graduate degree in urban planning don't typically equate to that and I'd imagine most people who go into it don't ever expect to see much more than $100,000.

And while he manages a billion dollar business, that business is everyone else's money. The city doesn't make money like Fortune 500.

I know I sound like I'm out to get Walton and company but I'm truly not. Walton has a load of credentials, bust's his butt from what it appears and deserves excellent compensation and benefits. I don't intend to bash him as much as question the entire pay structure of City Managers, CRVA heads, ect. around the country. I find it unbelievable they make so much and this has just become status quo. You have cities going BANKRUPT all over the place. We need a reality check. And every dollar counts.

Edited by ah59396

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And while he manages a billion dollar business, that business is everyone else's money. The city doesn't make money like Fortune 500.

Not trying to be difficult, but I honestly don't see a distinction between public sector and private sector management. Cities, like firms, have a revenue stream (tax revenue), they provide a product (a livable urban environment) and they manage production costs. Both jobs require the management of other peoples money (in the private sector its shareholder's money, in the public sector it belongs to taxpayer's). The only difference between public and private (that I see) is that firms attempt to maximize profits while cities (hopefully) strive to minimize costs. I don't see how that distinction makes one job any less worthy of compensation than the other.

Is an assumption that all future city and county managers will be altruistic (in terms of their salary expectations) a sustanable strategy for sound urban governance?

Edited by kermit

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You make some great points, but I'll have to disagree. I find a stark contrast between the public sector and the private sector. While their "job details" are relatively similar, the function of the business itself is vastly different. As a result, you see the large gap in pay grade that currently exists. "The only difference" that you speak is the defining difference that separates why a CEO makes $1,000,000+ per year and a City Manager does not. No one has the "option" to not pay taxes and they represent us all, so there is inherently a greater duty for someone in Walton and Murray's position to be more responsible with their salary.

And as far as your point on sustainability is concerned, I agree to an extent. My expectation is not that these people should make $65,000/year, but there does need to be a gut check among municipalities. I find the practice of lower wages (still at least in the 6-figure mark) much more sustainable over the long run then ever growing wages, pensions, and bonuses that are currently bankrupting cities across the country.

The wages need to ensure some form of competition, but the fact is they no matter how much we pay a City Manager, we are never going to have the CEO of Yahoo coming to Charlotte to run the CRVA.

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  • Walton’s total compensation will increase to $257,698...
  • Tom Murray, the new chief executive of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, has a salary of $275,000 plus an $8,000-a-year car allowance...
  • Michael Smith, the president of Center City Partners, which depends on city-collected property tax money, was given a $62,000 bonus a year ago. That raised his total compensation to roughly $300,000...
  • A year ago, Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones’ total compensation was just shy of $300,000...

Market rate or not, these salaries, IMO are vastly over-bloated. These people should be fairly compensated and I'm OK with it being six figures, but these type of salaries are ridiculous. They are an entity that functions on taxpayer dollars, it is not the private sector.

I'll save the city/county/CCP money and do any one of these jobs for $100,000. :whistling:

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It would nice to see someone from the Business Journals compile all the data from the various cities and post a link (I know you read these blogs). I imagine that the compensation is competitive with cities of similar population and budget size to Charlotte. Bigger cities attract better talent by offering higher compensation.

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You make some great points, but I'll have to disagree. I find a stark contrast between the public sector and the private sector. While their "job details" are relatively similar, the function of the business itself is vastly different. As a result, you see the large gap in pay grade that currently exists. "The only difference" that you speak is the defining difference that separates why a CEO makes $1,000,000+ per year and a City Manager does not. No one has the "option" to not pay taxes and they represent us all, so there is inherently a greater duty for someone in Walton and Murray's position to be more responsible with their salary.

And as far as your point on sustainability is concerned, I agree to an extent. My expectation is not that these people should make $65,000/year, but there does need to be a gut check among municipalities. I find the practice of lower wages (still at least in the 6-figure mark) much more sustainable over the long run then ever growing wages, pensions, and bonuses that are currently bankrupting cities across the country.

The wages need to ensure some form of competition, but the fact is they no matter how much we pay a City Manager, we are never going to have the CEO of Yahoo coming to Charlotte to run the CRVA.

Fair enough, we can agree to disagree.

While I certainly don't want my tax dollars paying seven figure salaries to public sector managers I also want to avoid a situation where my jurisdiction is managed by incompetent or inexperienced civil servants -- in the long run that will cost all of us more. When we begin with the assumption that the 'public sector workforce is not worthy of private sector salaries' over the long run, competent sensible and rational people will avoid public service, leaving taxpayers with the bottom of the employment barrel. I think we have all seen this process at work in public education. While there are some very good public school teachers, my experience indicates that public education no longer attracts the best and brightest. This is a situation that clearly has a hiigh cost to society, and I fear we are starting to see that same employment structure in planning and urban management.

As an aside, you are correct that no one has the option to not pay local and state taxes. However we all have the option to move to jurisdictions that manage our tax dollars differently (e.g. Fort Mill).

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^ I don't disagree with you at all on that. It is very obvious that the best and brightest, outside of those that truly love it, are avoiding teaching. Quite frankly, it doesn't pay enough and it is/has/will negatively affect us. And it's a shame.

I just don't think city employees should be making as much as as they do. Or get raises and bonuses like the ones previously listed. I believe it is above what is considered fair compensation for their position.

Ultimately you are right though, we both have our beliefs and both have valid points we stand behind. Agree to disagree, fair enough. I was delighted to see CMS employees get the raises they did, so I'm not anti-all public employees!

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I was driving on North Tryon and I noticed that there are signs perhaps for a repaving...but that got me thinking, why repave that section of North Tryon if CATS is going to tear it up by building the BLE in a few years? The pavement maybe isn't good as on roads in South Charlotte, but there aren't any pot holes and major cracks along that stretch. I find this to be bureaucratic and wasteful.

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I was driving on North Tryon and I noticed that there are signs perhaps for a repaving...but that got me thinking, why repave that section of North Tryon if CATS is going to tear it up by building the BLE in a few years? The pavement maybe isn't good as on roads in South Charlotte, but there aren't any pot holes and major cracks along that stretch. I find this to be bureaucratic and wasteful.

The section I know they are paving is North of Mallard Creek Church. The Blue Line would turn off well before and enter UNCC.

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The section I know they are paving is North of Mallard Creek Church. The Blue Line would turn off well before and enter UNCC.

Oh I'm talking from Old Concord to Tom Hunter where the BLE will actually run in the middle of...there's construction signs everywhere for it.

Edited by Shawn&Zae

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152 miles. parts of me hurt that i didn't know existed. but it was totally awesome, what a great time! huge thanks to the donors out there!

I'm going to be a totally shameless fundraiser for a moment.

Do you hate cancer? Do you love bikes? Then you sound like the perfect candidate to support my attempt to pass out in the middle of Myers Park at this year's 24 Hours of Booty, where I'm shooting for 150 miles. (113 last year!) Hopefully the passing out part will be just after achieving that goal. I'll already be in spandex, so it can't be that much more embarrassing.

Anywho, if you've read this far, I invite you to my 24HOB page/blog.

'Preciate any way you can help out!

...and as of this typing I couldn't actually access the UP forum rules, so if this post is a blatant violation, I shall have to beg forgiveness.

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152 miles. parts of me hurt that i didn't know existed. but it was totally awesome, what a great time! huge thanks to the donors out there!

Congrats!!!

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Oh I'm talking from Old Concord to Tom Hunter where the BLE will actually run in the middle of...there's construction signs everywhere for it.

It has been awhile since I have been down that far. I agree with you that it doesn't make much sense to repave that section of tryon, only to tear it up when the Blue Line comes through. On a side note, I think they should just repave all of tryon, that road looks like a quilt of temporary pot-hole repairs. :thumbsup:

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If there were one street that I wish would gain energy and momentum, it would be Stonewall.

I think a metropolitan type development would be awesome on those freed up parcels where the old ramps were. It's easy access via driving and easy access for uptown residents.

Not to mention, it would draw others to uptown more as a destination. As opposed to those going to midtown

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If there were one street that I wish would gain energy and momentum, it would be Stonewall.

I think a metropolitan type development would be awesome on those freed up parcels where the old ramps were. It's easy access via driving and easy access for uptown residents.

Not to mention, it would draw others to uptown more as a destination. As opposed to those going to midtown

Ask and you shall receive?

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php/topic/53201-center-city-development-maps/page__st__120#entry1237296

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So a question for you guys. My mother has a few businesses. They are "Health Clubs" and they are pretty fun, cool, and funky (Like Starbucks, but fun and healthy). Bright, colorful and really fun places to come and order health smoothies, healthy green teas, etc. She has them in Kings Mountain, 2 in Shelby, Lincolnton & Shelby.

Well, she has been talking to a guy who owns the quite a few of the buildings in downtown and he wants to open up 2 of these clubs in Charlotte (He owns a condo in uptown).

One place he/we are planning is University. The other location I want is South Tryon or South Blvd. in Southend. Any Ideas on exact locations? Suggestions in general? (One name being floated is Queen City Nutrition, but I liked the Name "Strelitz" or anything with Sterlitz (Charlotte Sophia of mecklenburg-Strelitz)) Would love to hear others opinions on how to make a successful business on top of being something lively and neighborhood friendly.

Edited by AirNostrumMAD

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