We’ve sent emails. We’ve made phone calls. What we forgot to do was watch our back. Yesterday Mayors John Woods and Chuck Travis met with Senator/Pres Pro Tem Phil Berger in Raleigh.
And they shot us in the back.
According to one attendee, the Mayors impressed upon Senator Berger the fact that those opposing the toll lanes are only a small, vocal minority, and that minority intimidated any who would speak out differently. Further, they extolled the virtue of toll lanes based on their trip to Texas last Fall.
That trip you may remember, prompted the Cornelius Town Board to censure Mayor Travis. On Dec 21 2015 the board unanimously passed a strong resolution, concluding:
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, on behalf of the citizens we represent, that the Cornelius Board of Commissioners hereby reaffirm our unequivocal opposition to the I-77 Managed lanes project and, further, find Mayor Travis’ recent actions and statements on the I-77 managed lanes issue to be in opposition to the views of this town board and the community we represent and, further, find that his statements and actions are his personal views and not those of the Town of Cornelius or this town board.
That Travis would have the gall to travel to Raleigh and make the same statements- in direct opposition to this resolution- is a first rate betrayal. In light of his unsanctioned actions, we hope the board gives him a vote of “no confidence” on his abilities as Mayor.
Woods, of course, has long been a toll proponent. Like Travis, his motivations are unclear. Together they impressed upon Sen Berger the idea that the citizens “don’t understand the consequences” of cancelling the toll contract. This smacks of vintage John Woods. You may recall early on in this struggle he accused WI77 of “spreading misinformation”, a backhanded way of calling us liars. (He used the same tactic to dampen opposition to his “enlightened” plan for getting Davidson in the cable business.)
He ignores the fact that WI77 discovered and publicized the non-compete, the $20 round trip tolls, the amendments extending the financial close. We predicted SH130 in Texas would fail two years before it happened. NCDOT said they were surprised the day after it did. And on. And on.
In Woods’ world, the government is the seat of all wisdom and anything coming from citizens must be borne of ignorance.
So Woods also acted in direct contradiction to Davidson’s position based on two resolutions the town passed last Spring. As a matter of due process the Davidson Town Board should censure him. Word is they are working on a resolution along those lines and the issue will be voted on at their next meeting.
Woods, like Travis, ran unopposed last election.
Curiously uninvited was Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla, a longtime toll opponent. Huntersville stood to bear the brunt of the cancellation costs, if any, based on HB954. Think maybe he should’ve been in the room? He wasn’t even told about the meeting, called to try and get in, but was rebuffed.
The political explanation is Sen Berger wanted to hear from both sides. Since he had heard from opponents two weeks ago, he wanted to hear from supporters. For now it appears supporters have won the day.
So over a dozen anti-toll resolutions, 900+ emails, 12,000+ petition signatures and over $100,000 raised are trumped by two mayors.
The political explanation is bullshit.
For now keep emailing the Senate. Please be respectful.
But you might want to add two more to your list. Their behavior does not warrant respect.