YORK COUNTY, S.C. — Taxpayers in York County are fired up over a deal to move the Panthers headquarters across the state line. They made their opinions known at a virtual council meeting.
“I think this is very sneaky and underhanded,” one neighbor said.
In an almost four-hour-long virtual meeting during a pandemic Monday night, York County residents unleashed their frustrations about a deal to move the Carolina Panthers practice facility and headquarters from Charlotte to this undeveloped site off 1-77 near Cherry Road.
“If I was Mr. Tepper, I would be grinning from ear to ear that this is being pushed through this quick, with very little information out there to the public,” Charles Harvin said.
One man said his wife’s 93-year-old grandmother owns a large property in the middle of the properties added to the deal. The man said the 93-year-old does not know how to do a Zoom meeting and therefore can’t speak up about the impact to her family.
“I, frankly, think this type of meeting is a horrible way for anybody to voice their opinions, this is actually not a public hearing, this is a virtual hearing where many people are left out,” said John Kingsberry.
I asked councilman Bump Roddey about that Tuesday over the phone.
“We’ve been working on this since November and when our staff got some hard copy proposals in what the panthers were wanting to do,” Roddey said.
York County, City of Rock Hill, and Rock Hill School District funds would go to $225 million worth of Panthers project infrastructure, according to the county.
Those in favor of the project say it would be a major boost to the local economy. Councilwoman Christi Cox voted against the plan, saying not only is it a bad deal, but that council isn’t listening to the taxpayers.
“We basically said ‘we don’t care what you think, we think this is good for you and that is wrong. This is exactly why the people in the community don’t trust their local government,’” Cox said.
FOX 46 sent an email to the City of Charlotte today, asking what the city did to try and keep the Panthers headquarters and practice facility from leaving Charlotte. The city has received the request, but has not yet responded.