Letters to the Editor for September 16

Endorsing Stephanie Belcher for Mayor
Stephanie Belcher, I believe, is ready to hit the ground running if elected mayor in Weddington this November. Sharp, capable, experienced manager, strong listener and communicator, and uses common sense…these are Stephanie’s qualities that stand out. As my neighbor for 10 years, she has continuously encouraged neighborhood and community participation, organized events, and brought our neighborhood together with her leadership.
How many of you attended the tree lighting and other activities at the Weddington town hall the past three years? It was Stephanie’s leadership to turn the tree lighting into a real community event, bringing 200+ people in our community together. She was also an integral part of the team that helped our town sponsor a float in the Waxhaw parade this past July. Stephanie brought 30 people together to represent Weddington in the 4th of July parade. This type of cooperation and fostering partnerships with surrounding towns is an asset to all involved. Stephanie has more meaningful ideas, too, that I know she’d love to get your thoughts on.
Stephanie is a natural leader who believes strongly in community service and civic responsibility. She is a lifetime Girl Scout member, leading her first troop right out of college. Including leading her daughter’s troop for the past eight years, she has 15 years experience leading troops. Stephanie thrives on helping her scouts become better leaders by building self-confidence, instilling a passion for service, and teamwork.
Her volunteer service includes our local schools, local charities, and as an active member of the Weddington Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for the past four years, serving as chairman this past year. With 24 years in management, Stephanie has excellent executive leadership experience and knows how to run a meeting. She grasps information easily, thinks it through, and makes sure she understands the facts before speaking out.
You’ll be hearing more about Stephanie’s platform in coming days; check your mailbox. Know this; she is capable, committed to keeping Weddington an exceptional place to live, and will help strategically plan for our community’s future with your input.
Laura Bailey
Weddington resident

Why I support Pam Hadley

Five months ago, my husband and I moved from Southern California to Weddington. Before choosing Weddington as our retirement town, we looked at many different areas in and around the Charlotte locale. Ultimately, we felt that Weddington offered the perfect combination of small-town atmosphere, friendliness, and most important to us as we entered our senior years, safety. Even though we’re still new to this area, it has become quite obvious to us that we need a strong advocate to champion and safeguard the very qualities we moved here for. And that is why we are so happy to endorse Pamela Hadley’s campaign for the Weddington Town Council.
We moved to Weddington from Irvine, California. We believe Pamela’s vision of a master plan for Weddington that addresses issues such as safety, growth management, and infrastructure will undoubtedly improve the quality of life for all of Weddington’s residents. We’ve seen first-hand the effects of unplanned and careless growth verses the beauty and comfort of a well-planned community.
Even before Pamela decided to run for town council, she was passionately and actively involved in issues directly impacting Weddington residents, such as the location of the new water tower, town finances, and most important to all of us who are aware of the safety impacts on our lives and property, the current system of fire department districting. She continues to donate many hours a week to finding a solution to distribution of services between the Providence VFD and Wesley Chapel. This issue directly affected us recently when we were in need of emergency services and received a nine-minute vs. one minute response time because of the district divisions. Those eight minutes could have meant the difference between life and death or loss of property.
Finally, and most important to us, we support Pamela because she’s “good people.” She is generous in donating her time and help to community affairs, she’s a practical common-sense gal, she has personal integrity, and she cares deeply for her town and those of us who are fortunate to live here. I strongly urge you to find out more about her and what she believes in. Once you do, I’m confident you’ll feel as strongly as we do that she will truly represent Weddington’s interests and not be a typical politician who forgets who they work for as soon as they get in office.
Monica Rushton

Questions about Sun Valley and Monroe Road projects

There have been many thoughts written about both of these pending projects. Some supporting and some against. One item I observed from both sides is that neither side is completely informed as to the whole project. Who is paying? How will the homes surrounding the theater be protected from the noise? How will law enforcement handle the increased foot traffic? How will the roads handle the increased car traffic? Well everyone can thank your current town government for the lack of communication. They are great for patting themselves on the back and sending rude e-mails if they even bother to return an e-mail. All you get from town hall is an embarrassing soap opera. The theater project is a good project if it is handled properly. The future revenue for taxes and local business alike will be tremendous over the years. Yes it will increase crime! Why have we not put a three year plan in place to put more deputies on the street? Yes there are bonds on the ballot this year to fund roads etc. but do you really know where the money is coming from? Mr. Faulkenberry is concerned about his property value and his safety as his home is very close to the project and I am sure he is not the only one who is this concerned. He deserves to have his questions answered and his concerns settled. This is the same type of nonsense being thrown around as with the ABC store. If someone from the town government would have attended the ABC board meetings and kept the residents informed as to the progress and plans of the store then maybe we would not have had that issue beaten like a dead horse. No I do not have all the answers but I will get them if I am elected. It is time we have professionals and grown ups running this town who realize the needs of the community well outweigh the photo ops or pat on the shoulder. The main job is to answer to the people and they have not done
Michael Alvarez
Candidate for Mayor of Indian Trail

Answers about movie theater project

This week, the Town of Indian Trail issued a permit to begin grading and construction of the new Stone Theatre in Sun Valley Commons. The town welcomes Mr. Herman Stone and his investment. We are told this project will create approximately 150 local jobs when fully developed, and will significantly increase the taxable value. This project will also help fund Union County and Union County Public Schools by keeping local tax dollars in the county and not exporting those sales tax dollars to neighboring counties. Indian Trail has the lowest tax rate of any NC community of over 20,000 in population. In fact, we could almost double our property taxes and still be the lowest in the state. Furthermore, not only does this $60 million project bring increased tax revenue and jobs, but we are told it will immediately bring five to seven new restaurants to Indian Trail and the best theater complex in greater Charlotte. In the 2011 Town survey the residents strongly indicated the Town needed more local entertainment and restaurants.
The town has spent hundreds of hours trying to make this the best, safest, and aesthetically pleasing entertainment facility in the area. However, there have been some good questions raised about this project that deserve thoughtful answers, such as: How will this project impact traffic in the Sun Valley area? A traffic engineer consultant did complete a comprehensive traffic study to determine the traffic impact. An independent consultant then reviewed the results to make sure they were accurate. The study indicated that these intersections are already overloaded without any additional traffic. At that point, the town worked with our local state legislators and NCDOT to find a solution to improve the current traffic problems and the future traffic generated by the new theatre. Similar to the NCDOT and town partnership to widen Indian Trail-Fairview Road this summer, NCDOT took responsibility to complete necessary road improvements on Wesley Chapel Road, US-74, Sardis-Church Road, and Old Monroe Road. As part of the agreement, the town would contribute a $200,000 match to alleviate current problems and address future concerns of these roads. The town believes it is important to keep drivers and pedestrians safe as possible due to four public schools in this area. Will this $200,000 road investment match raise taxes? No. These funds are available within our current budget. Will this development increase crime? We don’t know. However, we are told that Stone Theatre Group will provide security for the theater area. We will closely review the situation when the theater actually opens and work with law enforcement to make any necessary recommendations to our Town Council. How will the adjacent neighborhood be impacted? The Town met with the neighborhoods and developer over the last month to find solutions to any concerns. I believe a good dialogue created a situation where most concerns were
We always welcome feedback on issues related to Town residents, please feel free to contact me at anytime with questions at (704)821-5401, or townmanager@admin.indiantrail.org.
Joe Fivas
Town Manager & Resident
Town of Indian Trail

Residents need to get involved, not condemn

This letter is in response to Lila ­Glankler . While she is perfectly entitled to voice her opinion, I draw the line at making insulting accusations about my husband Neil Gimon. In her letter she “wonders” if he made a deal with the Marvin council. My husband along with many others have been working very hard to protect our community from possible annexation by Charlotte. On top of a full time job and a family, Neil has spent countless hours over the last 2-3 years doing research and attending numerous meetings with the HOA board, residents and the Marvin Town Council regarding our options. Becoming part of Marvin is only one option. Yes, a member from Charlotte’s annexation board responded by stating they are not interested in annexing our communities at this time. “At this time”, could mean many things. The agreement between Charlotte, and the immediate towns to not seek annexation goes until 2014. They may not do anything, but do we really want to sit back and wait to see what happens? Becoming part of a town or incorporating ourselves, which by the way would be expensive and take many years, would protect us from people in Union County government that control our fate. Most of those people live in areas far outside of our community. They have no vested interest in us. Remember the Wal-Mart fight ? Who does she think did all of the legwork and paid the lawyers representing our fight? It was Hunter Oaks & Somerset residents, for the most part who worked hundreds of hours for no pay to fight this plan and gave money from their own wallets as well. If she was a part of this fight, she would understand the need to protect our community. As a new example, we now have a Kohls that sits in the backyards of a few of our neighbors. Fortunately, the developer and Kohls have at least worked with us regarding our concerns with the façade of the building.
I know it is a lot easier to sit back whining & complaining about something you don’t like rather than to actually come up with solutions and work to make change. Here is a novel idea. Why doesn’t she and the rest of the Marvin hate group get off of their backsides and work to come up with solutions rather than insulting & complaining about the people who are trying to do something?
Anita A. Gimon
Hunter Oaks Resident

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