Below I implied the Davidson Town Board was involved in a back room horse trade before I bothered to ask any Board members. That was wrong. I should’ve asked the question straight up first. Since this post, Davidson Board members have told me- in no uncertain terms- that there was no horse trading going on, and that they act independently. I take them at their word, and I apologize to them and retract that statement.
Many elected officials have been quoted in the media as saying has been spreading misinformation and facts out of context. In the same spirit as UPDATE 1, I respectfully request all elected officials stop making statements of that nature unless they question us first, and then cite specific examples. Also, I specifically request Davidson Mayor Woods offer a similar apology and retraction for implying has spread misinformation creating confusion and hysteria.
Last night in Cornelius we gave the Cornelius Town Board a presentation on all the recent positive developments that would get us general purpose lanes sooner. With the metropolitan planning organization (MUMPO) scheduled to amend their plan to include toll lanes, this new information is critical. Cornelius has a seat on MUMPO and the purpose of the presentation was to help the board decide how to direct their MUMPO vote.
Originally, the board was going to listen at the May 6 meeting and decide how to direct their MUMPO vote at the May 20th meeting. Commissioner Dave Gilroy made a motion to have MUMPO rank GP lanes according to the new criteria in time for the May 20th meeting. Late in the evening, Commissioner Chuck Travis short-circuited that by offering a motion to vote toll lanes into the MUMPO plan that night.
Travis and Bradford supported. Gilroy and Hare opposed. With the board short one member, that left Mayor Rinker, who had been evasive on the topic, to break the tie. She voted for the toll lanes.
When elected officials ram through resolutions in the dead of night, the electorate should be wary. When they vote against their constituent’s interest, the electorate must ask: are they voting for their own interests?
Let’s ponder that a moment. A reporter recently stated the Davidson Town Board has been promised the Red Line commuter rail in return for supporting toll lanes. For the uninitiated, the big lure of the Red Line is not transportation, but rather the $5B of development it is expected to generate.
In light of that, the Cornelius vote is intriguing. Gilroy runs a financial consulting firm. Hare owns a wealth management company. Neither of those professions stand to benefit from the Red Line real estate boom. Conversely, Bradford owns Park Avenue Properties, a property management firm. Travis is a partner with an architectural firm specializing in high-density, mixed use development. Coincidentally, that is exactly the type of development expected along the Red Line.
Gilroy did the HOT lane math months ago and realized it doesn’t work. Hare’s vote was especially heartening because yesterday he received a phone call from an NCDOT official (of all days). The official told him the private firms are really excited and the bond rating agencies (the same folks that fell in love with sub-prime mortgages) gave the project an investment grade.
In retrospect, Bradford’s vote was not surprising. Last week he claimed he did not have thirty minutes to meet with Gilroy and me to discuss the topic. And Travis has been a toll road supporter from the jump.
Let’s be honest: the Cornelius vote is a disappointing setback. But George Washington lost two thirds of his battles against the British and we all know how that turned out. With that in mind, and knowing we have the facts and your best interests on our side, we press on, more determined than ever.
As always, thanks for your support and thanks for reading this.
PS You might want to email them and let them know your thoughts: