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Dee Dee Harris

Harris, a wealthy socialite, ran into trouble in her quest to bring Saks Fifth Avenue to Charlotte. Harris figured that taxpayers, most of whom cannot afford to shop at Saks, should bail her project out, since she stands to lose the $15 million she's already invested. So she asked the Charlotte City Council to fork over enough dough to help her bring the retailer to the corner of Park and Gleneagles roads. "Every person wants to leave the world better than they found it," she wrote to the council. "If that were not so, I would be playing tiddly-winks at the beach now. Instead I have chosen to dedicate the last 12 years of my life to taking almost insurmountable risks and jumping hurdles too tall for me, but they are not too tall for you." It's worth noting that the shopping development would be a convenient drive for Mrs. Harris, who lives in a $6 million mansion nearby.

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