Moments after the Council of State approved the Dix deal, a Republican legislative leader pledged to undo it. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, an Eden Republican, said he is evaluating legal options to terminate the lease.
“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that a majority of the Council of State caved into political pressure at the expense of good sense,” he said in a statement issued by his office. "The Senate will begin evaluating legal options to terminate this ill-conceived lease and reclaim this land on behalf of its real owners: the people of North Carolina.”
The state still owns the land, regardless of what Berger suggested. And its unclear if other Republicans would support him. House Speaker Thom Tillis has not yet weighed in on the decision, nor has Gov.-elect Pat McCrory.
Asked about the prospect of the deal being voided, Perdue said such a move would undermine the powers given to the council. “I would hope that they would respect the decisions of the Council of State, the duly elected body for the people of North Carolina for this four year period, and I would hope they also respect the fact this state is known for its investment in the future,” she said.
McCrory has expressed concern about the vote but he is listed as an advisor to the advoacy group pushing for a park. A member of his transition team was present for the Council of State meeting but his office did not immediately respond to requests for reaction to the vote.
Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by Art Pope, a top official on McCrory's transition team, is rallying opposition.
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane said she recently spoke to the former Republican mayor of Charlotte. "If this was in Charlotte, when he was mayor, he would have probably loved it. And he told me he wasn't dead against it, he just needed to get more information before he weighed in completely," she said.