What began as a tiny settlement of colonists in 1748 is a bustling center for finance and commerce today. Initially called Charlottetowne in honor of Queen Charlotte, wife of the British King George III, the burgeoning town was incorporated as Charlotte in 1768.
On May 20, 1775 those colonists desired to be free of English rule. They signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and helped set the stage for the Revolutionary War.
In 1799, early settlers discovered gold near Charlotte. Almost overnight the town became the mining capital of the country. The mining boom resulted in the establishment of a U.S. Mint which operated for 25 years.
Industry and Trade
In the late 19th century textiles were introduced to Charlotte. By 1903 more than half of the nation’s textile production was located within a 100 mile radius of Charlotte.
As result of its history, Charlotte has become a banking and finance center with an excellent distribution and transportation system. And today there are more than 660,000 residents that retain a pioneering spirit.
Charlotte's City Government
In the early days, citizens elected a mayor and aldermen who ran Charlotte. By 1929, voters authorized the council-manager form of government which is still in effect today.
In the council-manager form, voters elect a mayor and 11 council members every two years. The mayor and four council members are elected at-large by a citywide vote. Seven council members are elected from districts by voters who reside in each district.
Together the mayor and city council are responsible for establishing the general policies under which Charlotte operates. They appoint the city manager, city attorney, city clerk and members of various boards and commissions. They enact ordinances, resolutions and orders. They are responsible for reviewing the annual budget and approving the financial matters of all City operations.
In the council-manager form of government, the city manager administers the policy decisions made by city council and oversees the key business and support services. It is the city manager’s responsibility to ensure that all city services are provided in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
In keeping with the City’s mission statement, “Public Service Is Our Business,” Charlotte has become more customer service oriented and continually changes the way it does business to better serve the community.