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Title: Oral History Interview with William I. Ward Jr., March 21, 1975. Interview B-0072. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Ward, William I., Jr., interviewee
Interview conducted by Moye, Bill
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Kristin Shaffer
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2008
Size of electronic edition: 84 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2008.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2008-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2008-02-18, Kristin Shaffer finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with William I. Ward Jr., March 21, 1975. Interview B-0072. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series B. Individual Biographies. Southern Oral History Program Collection (B-0072)
Author: Bill Moye
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with William I. Ward Jr., March 21, 1975. Interview B-0072. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series B. Individual Biographies. Southern Oral History Program Collection (B-0072)
Author: William I. Ward Jr.
Description: 93.6 Mb
Description: 17 p.
Note: Interview conducted on March 21, 1975, by Bill Moye; recorded in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series B. Individual Biographies, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with William I. Ward Jr., March 21, 1975.
Interview B-0072. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Ward, William I., Jr., interviewee


Interview Participants

    WILLIAM I. WARD JR., interviewee
    BILL MOYE, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
BILL MOYE:
Talking with Mr. William I. Ward Jr. in his office in Charlotte on the 21 March 1975. I appreciate your taking the time, letting me have some time to talk with you. Let me sort of get a little background. You, as I understand it, were, at one time, a U. S. District Attorney?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
I was an assistant.
BILL MOYE:
Assistant. Was that in this district?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
This was here in Charlotte. It was in days, well, I guess it still is, then the home office of the U. S. Attorney of the Western District is in Asheville. He had another office down here, and one assistant was in this office, and I was the Charlotte assistant.
BILL MOYE:
Are you a Charlotte native?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
No. I've never lived here. Still don't.
BILL MOYE:
You live up at Davidson?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Live up at Davidson, yes. I came from Statesville where I practiced law before I came here, or before I came to Davidson with an office here. I came from Alamance County. The little town of Graham where I first began the practice of law.
BILL MOYE:
One of these days they are going to get that road finished between Graham and Chapel Hill.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Perhaps. I keep watching.
BILL MOYE:
After you were U. S. District Attorney, then, now you're with Duke Power Company?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Correct.
BILL MOYE:
And are a resident of Davidson?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Yes.
BILL MOYE:
How did you get involved in the consolidation? I mean, why would they, Mr. Sadler or whoever, pick you as the Davidson representative?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
I can't tell you. I think that probably MR. Frank Jackson who was the mayor before Mr. Sadler had something to do with it. I also think that it was easy for me to be a member since I was here frequently. To pick someone who had his office in Charlotte and who was here frequently made it easy for him to meet with the Charter Commission. Someone from Davidson would

Page 2
have had more difficulty. We happen to be the only part of the county without an adequate highway into Charlotte, which makes travelling a great difficulty. Still is.
BILL MOYE:
You had been on what the Davidson Planning Board?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
That's the only thing I had been on, the Davidson Planning Board. I guess at that time I was probably the only attorney who lived there, also. That could have had something to do with it. I really don't know what the reason was.
BILL MOYE:
You hadn't been involved in any of the prior discussion of consolidation?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
No. I had not.
BILL MOYE:
Who instigated the talk about consolidation? Was it strictly the Chamber of Commerce? I mean, the idea had been sort of knocking around for some time.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
As far as I know, it had been, and we had had two men from Davidson prior to that time who had had discussions or had something to do with the committees and whatever groups considered consolidation prior to that time. Grier Martin who had been president of Davidson had something to do with it. I think he'd been chairman of a committee.
BILL MOYE:
There was a study committee.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Then, another man. H. B. Naramore who was on the town board had had something to do with it. I don't remember… some of the enabling legislation. He had set in on the approval of that. Those were the two men prior to me who had had something to do with the planning of it.
BILL MOYE:
Was consolidation, then, largely a chamber effort?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
I do not know. It had been discussed for quite some time in the press, perhaps in the chamber, perhaps by other groups. I don't…I had paid very little attention myself to the beginnings and how it originated.
BILL MOYE:
Your first real contact and knowledge of it, in other words, really came with your appointment to the Charter Commission?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Yes.

Page 3
BILL MOYE:
Why did, do you suppose, the issue came up when it did? I mean, it had been knocking around for some time, but there were some comments in the newspaper from Mr. Brookshire and from some others, "Consolidation would be a good thing, but it will probably be ten or fifteen years before we actually attempt to consolidate the governments". Then, all of a sudden in '68 and '69, the thing sort of snowballed. You have the study group and the enabling legislation, charter commission, and the vote in '71. Was there something which sort of prompted this, not really hasty but…brought it up at that particular time?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Nothing that I know of. Being a resident of the county rather than the city, I am one of those who have been suspicious of the motives behind it. When I have received what I think is the frank or candid opinion, the reason from some people in government, and it's difficult to get this and I'm sure all of them are well-intentioned…But one member of the present city council, for example, told me, "Bill, we have to get somebody to help us pay for those things". I've been one who has felt that there was some of that motive behind it. They wanted to get the county people in to help pay for some of the things that Charlotte was interested in. Many of us There were who were suspicious that this probably motivated it. Now, why it came at this particular time, I don't know.
BILL MOYE:
I've noticed that there was a big question about providing water and sewer service at this time. Some of the county residants that were on the board of commissioners threatened…There was a threat to establish a county authority or whatever to provide. This was when the Westinghouse plant was being built and there was development in that end of the county.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
There was some interest in that. Perhaps about this time, the county water system…It was done, I believe, in cooperation with the city…Water was provided to Westinghouse, and, I believe, to the research park north of Charlotte and also to the little community of Smithville which was…
BILL MOYE:
Out of Huntersville.

Page 4
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Right outside of Cornelius. It was in right bad shape. So, water was provided in some instances in those three areas. However, as a practical matter, water could not be provided over the entire county.
BILL MOYE:
My understanding is there's a ridge that runs through the northern part, and the water towards the Yadkin or the Peedee as opposed to flowing into the Catawba. And this really makes some problems for the northern end of the county as far as water.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Well, it never has been a problem. Davidson has historically, as has the town of Mooresville north of that, Huntersville, they have taken water from the Catawba watershed and placed water back in the Peedee watershed cause they were on a ridge. They placed the sewage back in the Peedee watershed. No one has ever raised a question about it until recently. I don't recall, at the time the consolidation effort was discussed, that anyone raised that point. Only recently, in the last two or three years, has that point been raised. That's in connection with what they call, I believe, the 201 project for providing sewage to the northern part of the county.
BILL MOYE:
I understand there's some talk under way of perhaps at least Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville combining government in some way.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Yes. To distinguish from consolidation…Perhaps about two years are, some of the people in the northern part of the county, extreme northern part, considered the possibility of seeing whether it would be wise to form one municipality. The study has been made. Number one, well, I think we have three possibilities. One was the strip unification of Davidson, Cornelius, and Huntersville. Davidson and Cornelius being contiguous and there being a several-mile span between Cornelius, gap between Cornelius and Huntersville. Whether to have a strip municipality, or whether to attempt to have one municipality in the northern part of the county beginning [unclear] roughly at North Mecklenburg High School and going northward, or whether to have a lease

Page 5
federation or, perhaps, a utility district consolidation. That study has been completed. The report has been made to, I guess you'd call it a de facto group that was created about two years ago called the North Mecklenburg Association and also to the three twon boards. I do not think as of yet there's been any official reaction from the three twon boards nor from the Association. Perhaps that will come in the next few weeks.
BILL MOYE:
I'm interested in why the interest among the three towns in the possibility of some type of consolidation whereas that area went so overwhelmingly against the proposal to consolidate the whole county government.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Yes. The…Those who…Perhaps there is some feeling that if they have one municipality in the northern part of the county they will avoid a consolidation of city and county government in the future. Many of us have told them that that is not true, and those who are realistic about it and actually know the facts know that that would not really prohibit consolidation or keep them from being included in consolidation of city and county. Davidson realises that they must upgrade their sewerage system by 1980-81 if it continues to grow and must have more capacity. They must meet higher standards, have a manned sewage disposal system that will have a greater capacity than what it has now. Cornelius is in… [unclear] , it has [unclear] a sewage system that is must be…and I think they are operating now I think, on borrowed time. They must have a sewage system that is updated now, but they're getting by simply by grace of the authority. So, they are up against it. Huntersville, I think, is in some-what the situation that Davidson's found itself in. They realise that the three together can cooperate in certain ways, and already some of them are cooperating with police departments. Particularly Davidson and Cornelius with contiguous boundaries. It doesn't make sense for them to each have a separate police department and separate water systems and separate utility and electric system, separate schools. They could put it all together and perhaps be more efficient. The people who live

Page 6
outside the three towns recognize that with growing development particularly in the lake area it would be advisable to have a sewage disposal system and the 201 plan only provides the main sewer lines. There will have to be connecting laterals to get many of the new residential developments on the lake to the main sewer lines that will be provided by the 201 plan. Then, if they were all in one community, Davidson has really a superior pumping system and water mains have a large line underneath I 77, as perhaps does Huntersville. They can provide water to the [unclear] easily. If the two systems, really three systems were put together with a connection [unclear] 115 between Huntersville and Cornelius, the water could be provided more easily to the area. Police protection is something that they, the rural residents of north Mecklenburg outside of the three towns find deficient. One county policeman is assigned to the northern part of the county. He does not stay there. He's simply on call. They have found that it takes a very long time to get that county policeman on call when an altercation takes place. Many of the residents feel that they don't really have police protection. Many of them, many of the property owners, large property owners are interested in getting into a municipality that's oriented towards North Mecklenburg to get adequate police protection. Also garbage disposal. People are throwing their trash beside the road. This makes for the roadside outside the municipalities a right bad appearance.
BILL MOYE:
I guess really what I'm asking…A lot of these services seem to be ones which maybe would have been provided and, perhaps, would have been provided quicker under consolidated government than under this.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
The people…I can answer that. The people in the northern part of the county…Some of those areas are more than twenty miles from Charlotte. They do not feel with their small population compared with the Charlotte population and the representation that they would have that they would be treated in reality any differently from the way that they are treated now. Consolidation of city and county is no answer for them.

Page 7
I have felt that that is true. It is natural for it to be that way.
BILL MOYE:
They would be ignored?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
They would be ignored. We feel that…There's a county police department, now. If only one policeman is assigned to that area and he is not physically in that area, how is that going to change with consolidation? You might consolidate city and county police departments, but we rather doubt that we'd have any more police protection in the rural areas than we have now. So, the feeling has been that we would gain perhaps nothing by that. There was an element on the faculty at Davidson College, perhaps because of education, a certain relationship they feel with people in Charlotte, that they would be able to throw their weight around enough to get the services up there. Perhaps they would. Perhaps the college itself would. So you found…There was a vote in Deweese #1 among the college people that favored consolidation of city and county, whereas the rural people and the people in Cornelius and Huntersville voted heavily, I think, against consolidation. Perhaps the people at Davidson College would have been able to influence consolidated government sufficiently. I don't know. I think that that is really what underlay the heavier vote in Deweese #1 for consolidation of city and county government.
BILL MOYE:
A lot of opposition perhaps based on the tax situation? You said you thought one reason that maybe the chamber was interested in it and some of the city officials was to get the county tax base supporting maybe the civic center and this sort of activity that the city was engaging in.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Yes. I think that in the recesses, at least, of some of their minds, some of them speaking frankly, some perhaps honestly disagreeing, but in the back of their heads was the feeling of many, I think, that we can get more support, financial support for these things that Charlotte wants to do that these people out in the county are benefitting from. They are benefitting. They can come down to the coliseum or the auditorium. They can

Page 8
use our airport. They come and use the Charlotte city streets and all the improvements. They should help pay for these things. I don't know. Of course, the people outside the city said, "This is a city matter. We don't want to help pay for these things. The people in Gastonia use these things. The airport is closer to them and closer to the people from York County South Carolina than it is to many of us. The coliseum and auditorium is much closer to the people in Union County. People from other counties can use these facilities. You voted the bonds. Yes, we use them, but we don't use them any more than the people in these other areas which are just as close to Charlotte as we are." The people where I live were particularly of that opinion because where we lived, we lived in the part of the county with no adequate highway facilities at that time. The other areas had I 85, they had 74, they had even built I 77 down and dead-ended it in a corn field at the South Carolina line. We had to drive the tortuous distance over highway 21 with all the accidents to make use of these facilities. So, we didn't feel the same way. We, of course, shop in Charlotte as do people from other areas, but we also shop in Concord and Mooresville and Statesville which are much closer. That is, in the extreme northern part of the county. We even use hospital facilities at Lowrance Hospital in Iredell County because it's seven miles from us and not 25 or 30. They are maybe some of the reasons and arguments. Now, we were particularly opposed to…I, for one, was particularly opposed to this consolidation, and I don't know whether you are going to get into this or not. The five small municipalities actually received, in this proposed charter, a lot of things in their favor. Representing one of them, I tried to see that they were included. We had the right to continue our existence if we saw fit to. Have our own municipal government. Even annex territery under certain conditions. These things were beneficial to us if consolidation had occured. So, it wasn't all bad. If it had occured, there would have been many things that we could have lived with. We were fortunate, perhaps, to

Page 9
have a charter proposed that did include these things, so that we could continue our small town existence. I'm just trying to be fair about it. I did not think that the commission should have done what it did. I thought they should have let each unit continue with its own debt, pay off its own debt. If Charlotte had incurred a debt for coliseum-auditorium, for civic center, and those other debts that it had voted, that it should continue to be a taxing district for the purpose of paying off the old debts. That the county should continue to pay off its debts. Of course, each town, if it continued its existence, would have had to continue as a taxing unit to pay off its debts.
BILL MOYE:
Combined the whole debt and made it a countywide…
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
That's what we proposed. I did not think that that should be the case. I did not think that our charter commission really considered that. I thought…My recollection was they kind of hit it as a hurry up matter at the end of things.
BILL MOYE:
In other words, I remember an incident which had some controversy and affected the campaign to some extent. Dr. Martin was initially opposed, or at least stated a couple of objections. There was some fairly hasty compromises worked out, some changes especially, I believe, about the ABC revenues someway. He came out then and supported it, which brought a lot of charges about "They made these changes specifically to get his support".
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
I told Jim he didn't hold out for enough. He sold out too cheaply. We had some words about that. He's one of my neighbors. Of course, he was a county commissioner. Jim's always…Being a county commissioner, he did not look at it purely as a resident of Davidson but from the county as a whole which, perhaps, is what he should have done. Not have had the small town view.
BILL MOYE:
Let me ask you this. You seem to be saying that the major reason that the northern part of the county was so strongly opposed to consolidation was that they felt that they were being ignored already, and they didn't see any real reason under the new form of government…

Page 10
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Yes. Yes.
BILL MOYE:
How much did the recommendations for the district representation on the governing board and the school board play? Specifically in connection with the whole uproar about the school busing situation? Are those two connected in any way?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
I have read studies saying that they were. I didn't see… I didn't see any connection. I didn't realize those connections. People up…People near where I live…I doubt that most of then had any fixed reason that any one of them could point to for why he voted that way, to be frank about it. He was just opposed to getting mixed up with Charlotte. Now, about school busing, the people where I live…We had had school busing the entire time, for many years. School busing is nothing new. Since Davidson at one time had its own school system, how I don't know, but it did, right up until right after World War II, I think. Since that time…
BILL MOYE:
That's something for a town that small.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
A town that small. That's correct. How it existed, I don't know, but it did. It had been part of the county system, and, as such, when North Mecklenburg High School was constructed in the very early fifties, '51 I think, high school students had been bused. Gradually they have built the junior high school and done away. So, busing had become a way of life to the people up there. Many of them had favored the consolidated schools and doing away with the very small high school that they had in Davidson. Busing and what was done about busing in my part of the county. I don't think had any bearing on it whatsoever. In fact, prior to the time, there was a big integration effort in Charlotte. The dual school system in North Mecklenburg had been abolished. Integration in the schools had actually taken place in North Mecklenburg five years before anywhere else in the county.
BILL MOYE:
I guess really what's at the bottom of that question…Maybe these are some of the studies that you mentioned that you had read that indicated that maybe school busing did…Was that a lot the use of terms like "ward heeling" and "going back to the

Page 11
ward system" really meant that the person who was using them was using them [unclear] code words. In other words, he didn't want to come out and say, "We don't want more blacks on the council", but really pointing at that in an attempt sort of to take advantage of this emotional furor that had been whipped up because of the school busing situation.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
You know, there could have been some of that feeling. That could have been in the…I won't deny that that could have been a controlling factor in the vote inside of Charlotte and in the area immediately around Charlotte, contiguous to Charlotte. Those who had been going, in effect, to city schools in…
BILL MOYE:
But having had the experience that the northern part of the county had had of busing anyway…
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Right. I did not, not living with those people and having only limited contact…Some of the survey could have, perhaps, had an effect on those people. I don't think as a general rule it would apply throughout the county. I do think that the Charter Commission went well beyond the call of duty when it attempted to write into the charter many of the things that the black members of the commission, Fred Alexander and Katherine Crosby, wanted.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
certainly wasn't accepted by the Charter Commission. Many times that I thought we were going beyond the scope of our duty in trying to write such a reform document and if we had simply tried to put together a consolidated chater without going into the reforms that we would. perhaps, come up with something that would be more palletable and that they were really attempting to write reform into the charter at the same time as attemtting to consolidate. Number one, consolidation is difficult enough, but when you put into it at the same time and in one bite too many reforms to satsfy a minority, then you are going to naturally have more reaction against you.
BILL MOYE:
I wonder why that decssion was made. Not only in this connection but to make a very thorough study of all county government and

Page 12
to recommend a big number of changes pretty much across the board. Thereby building in additional opposition.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Well, there were dominant members of the charter commission and those, of course, who were fillers. I don't mean to be derogatory, but this is true of any group. There were some on the commission who had had experience with charters before. One member of the commission had had a primary role in re-writing Charlotte's charter several years prior. Not too long prior to…
BILL MOYE:
'64, '65?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Somewhere in there. Then, a very good friend of his who was also, maybe, the most influential member of the commission, a man who was close to him, shared his views. They were adamant in their intent of rewriting, not only consolidating but coming up with a new document. Of course, they were supported in this by the minority members of the commission. There were others, people from the academic world, who thought this was a good thing, and they went along with it. I guess there just weren't enough people, enough members of the commission who had strong opinions to keep it from happening.
BILL MOYE:
Let me ask you this. In a lot of the referenda and bond issues and whatnot in the city, the nonpartisan referenda, seems to be a fairly strong alliance on many issues between precincts in the Southeast and the black precincts in the city. I'm wondering if the charter as it was written, in any way, was an attempt to, in consolidation of government, to make sure that this alliance would continue on the county level? If this were a reason, why so much influence was accepted from the minority members on the commission?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
I don't know. I can'T. I don't know. I don't have any feel for that. I don't know. I really wouldn't express an opinion about that. The ward system or the district representation that was proposed ran into a lot of trouble, I thought, when they tried to set up the various districts. I think this damaged the plan. One district was so [unclear] and widespread as to be difficult to identify, covering a vast area down the

Page 13
west side of Charlotte. That was an effort, of course, to give the black minority more seats. They ran into another stumbling block because this came along at a time when only 1960 census figures were available, and here we were operating in 1970-71 when we did not have 1970 census figures available. I was amused at the great controversy that raged between two charter commission members about the racial composition of some of the districts. One argued that the registration showed so and so, and the other one said that wasn't true because you could just ride around the streets and see it wasn't so. Of course, some of the districts had changed in ten years time from one racial composition to another. That also, perhaps among those who favored the ward system, destroyed some of their interest in it. I don't know whether they did it ostensibly but cast doubts.
BILL MOYE:
Let me ask you this. One of your comments there about there being somewhat dominant figures and, perhaps, not enough powerful voices, perhaps, in opposition to some of the dominant figures on the commission. I've heard the comment that those who wanted, had initiated consolidation made a big mistake in that they did not go about it in the way which perhaps Jacksonville did. That Jacksonville got the commitment from the leadership and got the money in the war chest and sort of selected the people they wanted on the Charter Commission to write their charter for them. So that they had the commitment for support before they wrote the charter and before they took the charter to the people. In Charlotte, it was done differently, and, perhaps in writing the charter, wrote it such that a lot of the support that had been built up eventually went against them because of the district representation and various things. Not only that but, perhaps, the people in the campaign for the charter were not very good practical politicians.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Well, that could be. I don't know. I know that the Chamber of Commerce had generally favored consolidation and had promoted it. When the charter was proposed, the chamber appointed a committee, as I recall, to study the charter, and the

Page 14
committee, as I recall, came back against the charter as proposed. With a number of objections to the charter.
BILL MOYE:
That, I believe, was right in January just before the…
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Yes. Which, perhaps, was something that was not anticipated. So, perhaps, the way that they did go about it, the commission did go about it, the way the whole thing was promoted was a mistake. I think that probably the proposed charter was a disappointment to many of the people in the Chamber of Commerce who had thought it was a good idea. Then, they had doubts when the thing was actually proposed.
BILL MOYE:
Was that, perhaps, because they were in favor of it but they wanted to control whatever came out and they felt like maybe they wouldn't be able to control the government if it went the way of this proposed charter?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
I know some members of the chamber committee and saw some of them frequently. I know that they were generally people, you might say, of conservative persuasion. They were horrified. They were horrified with what resulted. They were, perhaps, theoretically for consolidated city and county government, but the social reform and so forth in the document…I don't know about whether they were wondering about control, but they were surprised that the…Or, they didn't like what came out. I really don't whether they had any…Well, one member of the chamber committee I knew and discussed the matter with, I don't think he was a man who was interested in control, but was simply against some of the basic reforms and felt that some of them had been included, perhaps, to do nothing more than to pick up black votes that they might not have otherwise had. He didn't think that was any reason for putting reforms in. Simply to, so-called, buy votes from some segments. I can't speak for the whole thing. I just know some of the views that were expressed.
BILL MOYE:
Let me ask you just right quickly…What…It has been said, along the line of the charter, ah, for forces not being very good practical politicians, that these opposing the charter

Page 15
made much better use of…Were better practical politicians, made much better use of emotional issues involved, that perhaps the for forces were trying to argue, maybe, efficiency and economy in government. Which really didn't capture, really didn't mean that much to the people at large.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
The pre-charter people, I don't think, could honestly argue that it was going to save any money because, I believe, the Charter Commission itself had refused to say that this is going to save money. I think it felt that this document as proposed was not going to be a money-saving government. That's my recollection. So that these who favored the charter in the campaign couldn't go out and say we're going to save money with this consolidation". We had, perhaps, the bad experience, and this could have influenced a lot of people in their vote. I don't know that it's ever been mentioned in the press. When the city-county consolidation of school systems was proposed, I think that the argument had been made then that "We will save money". When they were consolidated, they actually spent more money immediately. They added, they combined the two staffs and the superintendents and then, as I recall, it cost $350,000 more the first years to run the combined system than it did. That was an experience that was so bad in the eyes of many people who followed that. This could have had really a negative influence on the vote. Which didn't have anything to do with busing. I think that also that was perhaps one of the reasons why the Charter Commission itself wouldn't come out and say, "This will save money". Because they were afraid they would not save money. So, that wasn't an argument, as I recall, by the pre-charter forces.
BILL MOYE:
A lot of people have said that, in the connection…That where consolidation has been unsuccessful, there's been some sort of crisis involved. Corruption in government or some great crisis in providing services. They didn't have this crisis in Charlotte. In fact, the only real emotional sort of situation in the county at the time mitigated, perhaps,

Page 16
against the charter. That being the school busing situation. That the opposing forces were able to use, to ally that with themselves, in a way.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
That could have been. That could have been. Perhaps so. I don't…I really discounted the study by the UNC professor who said that…Perhaps emotionally it could have underlain the decision, the emotional side of the vote. Motivating cause. I really didn't see it that way from where I sat and really doubted the study that he conducted. Perhaps in Charlotte and in the peripheral area around Charlotte it was a major factor. Not where I live, I don't think.
BILL MOYE:
Right quickly. What about the partisan situation? You were quoted, I believe, as saying, that, if you voted the charter, the Democrats would be spotted probably a majority on the new government. You think this was a factor? Were most Republicans and were Republicans more likely to be opposed than were the Democrats? Was this a major factor?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Yes. Without a doubt the Republicans, by and large, felt that they would be left out in this ward system that was created. The Republicans…Their heavy vote has come out of southeastern Charlotte. Of course, they would pick up so many seats out of that. Of course, they are forever lost in the so-called black wards that would have been created, perhaps out of proportion to their representation in the entire system. Anyway, it seemed that the thing was structured against the Republicans. I didn't recall that I said that, and I attempted to stay out of the partisan aspects of it. Primarily I did because I was on there as a member from Davidson. We small town representatives were also-rans anyhow on the Charter Commission. We were on there at sufferance of the others, I felt. We wereN't genuine members of the commission because we were all out of proportion. There were five of us on there really for a very small population. Some of us represented towns as small as 7 or 800 people. Davidson was a little larger.

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BILL MOYE:
Do you think that consolidation will come up again?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Oh. yes.
BILL MOYE:
Try again?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Yes, sir.
BILL MOYE:
In the near future?
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
I don't know. I think that, Bill, frankly, one of the things that will keep it from coming up…People like to be mayors and chairmen of county commissions. I think they're going to have trouble. The chairman of the county commissioners, whoever that person may be, and the mayor of Charlotte, whoever that person may be, are going to be reluctant to give up their position. Many times, they want to keep it. I think that's one of the things that's going to prevent the unification into one municipality of the three towns in the northern part of the county today. I think when you say to the three mayors, "Only one of you can be mayor, and the other two…"
BILL MOYE:
And the other two may not.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
And the others may not. I think that, for some reason or another, when a man gets in politics and gets to be mayor, it seems that some of them want to keep on being mayor. When you say to them, "One of you's going to have to give up", I find that there's some kind of built-in opposition to that. You may theoretically be in favor of it, but, when it gets down to giving up his position, he seems to go the other way. I think that's going to be a practical obstacle. Thank you.
BILL MOYE:
Well, That's all I have.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Alright, sir.
BILL MOYE:
I appreciate your talking to me.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
I've enjoyed talking with you.
BILL MOYE:
I'll send you a copy of the transcript.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Alright, sir.
BILL MOYE:
Thank you.
WILLIAM I. WARD JR.:
Yes, sir.
END OF INTERVIEW