Editor’s note: This letter was sent as an email from the mayor to the Cornelius town board members and town manager.


You know at the end of the day I am not really sure there is anything to be gained by a public statement from Cornelius at this point in time, other than we may desire to have a final say for a point of clarity – and it makes us feel better. If we can, I much prefer we simply take the high road on the enacted legislation. As we always say, politics is a full contact sport. We have experienced that dealing with this matter.

After all of this we are at the exact same funding level before we started, the Visit Lake Norman board will be the same as it has been for the last umpteen years and the only significant difference is that we are licensed under legislation instead of an interlocal agreement. God bless Raleigh for taking care of us (this is sarcasm - hard to tell by the tone of my key strokes).

(Speaker of the House) Thom (Tillis), (Rep.) Beverly (Earle) and the other state legislators are not where we need to point fingers. I believe the spitting contest is our fault. We pushed Visit Lake Norman into a corner. It started when elected officials of the towns began and town managers participated in conversations about reducing the funding of Visit Lake Norman. I was part of those conversations, so I know they occurred. One of the first set of conversations on this matter actually happened immediately after an Economic Development Corp. related meeting in Huntersville. For the record – the funding and governance of Visit Lake Norman was never discussed during conversations about the formation of a Travel and Tourism Task Force! But that is a moot point as well.

To my knowledge what never was communicated publicly was the findings stated in Jackie Huffman’s letter about a couple of important Visit Lake Norman issues. This was our responsibility to investigate. From which we charged Lynette to do as our Visit Lake Norman board representative. What Lynette attempted to accomplish given the environment created from the defunding conversations was nothing short of an amazing effort by one very talented commissioner with her heart and head doing exactly the right thing.

We now have bruised feelings, bruised egos and reduced trust on both sides from this effort. My biggest fear is that some folks will hold a grudge. Everyone needs to let it go and get on with life. Hopefully time will heal things.

(…) All of the above said, I am open to being persuaded differently, but candidly not likely...

Everyone’s efforts on this matter for the good of our residents are truly appreciated. Let’s all participate in bringing many fine events to our community in the coming years.

– Jeff Tarte, Mayor of Cornelius