Letters to the Editor for October 28
by Staff Writer
I have served as fellow mayor with Mayor Jill Swain for the past three terms. During that time I have found Mayor Swain to bring a positive and problem-solving mind set to each situation.
Mayor Swain works hard on issues involving her constituency, making sure Huntersville’s interests are served first and foremost. In addition she is a team player with other public servants in Mecklenburg County that helps us all move forward in a progressive manner. On occasion she has served in a leadership role to help direct issues on a county and state level common to all municipalities in Mecklenburg County.
Mass transit, roads, schools, utilities and matters on state level will best be met with leadership and experience. Mayor Swain has those qualities so vitally important to leading Huntersville for the next term.
I highly recommend Mayor Jill Swain for re-election.
– George C. Fowler,
Mayor of Pineville
Caulfield’s track record proves
It is my pleasure to recommend Danae Caulfield for the position of mayor of Huntersville.
I have known Danae and her family for four years and can attest to her passion for representing the citizens of this fine town. It is rare to find an elected official who is willing to put in the significant amount of time needed to find positive solutions for some of the greatest needs in our community. Danae has demonstrated her willingness to do so.
Not only does Danae have the time and energy necessary to represent you well, she has the tenacity to see to it that good policy becomes reality. For instance, Danae was instrumental in shepherding through the recent approval of the victim’s advocate position for north Mecklenburg. No one else on the Huntersville Town Board was as committed to this as Danae.
I would describe Danae’s leadership style as one of a servant leader. She is collaborative and leads by example. She expects the best of herself and will expect the best of those serving on the town board.
Thank you for considering support of Danae Caulfield for Mayor of Huntersville. I am certain you will find her leadership to be passionate and citizen-focused.
– Karen Bentley, Mecklenburg
County Commissioner, District One
The $65 Million Question
About two years ago, N.C. Department of Transportation Engineer Barry Moose dropped a bombshell on the Lake Norman Transportation Commission: with other construction projects coming in under budget, he could scrape together a enough money to build – gasp! – a third lane on I-77. The lanes would end at exit 25, and cost between $10 and $20 million. Modest for sure, but for that amount congestion would be improved from an “F” rating to a “C”. In layman’s terms, the road would go from awful to tolerable – a sound investment of taxpayer money.
Well, somewhere on the road to fiscal responsibility we took an off ramp. I suspect that started a few months later when Huntersville Transportation Planner Bill Coxe proposed high-occupancy toll lanes. Mr. Coxe believes a toll lane is a “better investment” than a general-purpose lane. He’s expressed concern about widening I-77 with general-purpose lanes because they’ll become re-congested. To his way of thinking, set the toll high enough and the lane will stay clear. It doesn’t make sense to me, either.
Anyway, the Lake Norman Transportation Commission quickly approved the toll lane concept so they could get back to promoting the Red Line commuter train.
Fast forward a year.
The folks in Raleigh like the idea of you paying twice for a road, so this past May the Department of Transportation included $65 million for high-occupancy toll lanes in their latest plan. Except, they didn’t really come up with any funding. About $32 million is from toll revenues, and the rest is from the savings Moose found a year ago – money originally slated to build general-purpose lanes.
Piling on further, this month N.C. Transportation Secretary Gene Conti parachuted into Charlotte and expressed his enthusiasm for the toll scheme. He said cities like Miami and Houston have them so it must be a good idea. After the Charlotte City Council asked a few perfunctory questions (“How will this affect uptown?”), he noted flyover bridges from the toll lane could be expensive and complicated. Like, $200 million worth of complicated. And then he took I-85 back to Raleigh.
Meanwhile, those of us back here in Lake Norman are faced with an unsavory reality: $20 million that should build general-purpose lanes is now a down payment for $65 million toll lanes. Am I the only one who thinks this a bad idea? Apparently so.
In this election season no candidate – incumbent or otherwise – is challenging it.
Sadly, there’s so much governmental inertia behind this bad idea that it’s probably going to happen. But that doesn’t stop it from being a bad idea, even if nobody questions it.
– Kurt Naas, Cornelius
Naas runs a grassroots organization aimed at getting I-77 widened with general-purpose lanes. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Girl Scouts need your help
I am writing to raise awareness about a challenge we are celebrating at your local Girl Scout Council. Due to a tremendous response from girls grades kindergarten through 12, we have outpaced our current volunteer base and have 1,000 girls without a designated leader on a wait list. Our local council serves more than 15,000 girls in eight counties in North and South Carolina through our leadership development programs in community building and outreach, environmental leadership, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and healthy living.
Adult volunteers are imperative for our organization to continue the quality of programming being offered young women today. Understanding time constraints of work and family commitments, acting as a troop leader or adult volunteer is more flexible than ever. Don’t let more than 1,000 girls who are eager to experience Girl Scouting miss out on the opportunity when we have talented leaders in our communities.
We have opportunities throughout our eight-county footprint, but specific need in areas of Mecklenburg and Union Counties and York County, S.C. Please join us as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts and help continue our mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. To learn how you can help, please contact us at marketing@
hngirlscouts.org or 704-731-6500.
– Katherine L. Lambert, Charlotte
Woods, Graham deserve your vote
As a one-time mayoral candidate who lost to John Woods in 2007, I am endorsing Mayor Woods for re-election in the Nov. 8 election. Although he and I have sometimes disagreed on significant issues, I appreciate the forthright way in which he states his views and takes a stand. In addition, he balances support for development with dedication to the checks on developers that ensure sound planning for our community.
Woods’ roots are here, and that is important to me.
For town board, there is one challenger that I strongly support: Rodney Graham. Ever since we met in the 2007 campaign, I have known Graham to be well informed and articulate on local issues. He is courageous in stating his positions – such as opposing the MI-Connection deal before it was put to bed by raising tough financial questions in 2007 that were not being asked at the time; and yet civil and cordial when bringing items up for discussion at town board meetings.
Graham’s personal commitment to affordable housing and open space preservation shows that his values reflect Davidson’s values.
– William E. Jackson, Jr.