Candidates in Waxhaw work for votes

WAXHAW – Many new initiatives have been discussed by the Waxhaw Board of Commissioners, and Election Day on Nov. 5 could change the way those talks continue with three seats up for election.

To help residents with the decision they will make when voting for the candidates they want to represent them for the next four years, Union County Weekly reached out to candidates in Waxhaw, focusing on issues like relationships with other municipalities’ leaders, future initiatives and development.

William Hardman did not respond to questions by the press deadline.

See Waxhaw candidate’s answers to previous questions, as well as responses from candidates in Stallings, Weddington, Marvin, Indian Trail and Wesley Chapel, online at www.union countyweekly.com. Stay tuned next week for another look at candidates in Marvin.

Paul Fitzgerald
704-776-6849
paulfitz10@live.com

How do you plan to work with other local leaders in surrounding municipalities to plan for future growth and infrastructure in western Union County and Waxhaw, if at all?
Waxhaw has been a great partner with its sister towns in western Union County along with the Waxhaw Business Association and the newly formed Waxhaw Economic Development Committee. I’m looking forward to working with other town leaders as long as we have mutual visions to help our towns, but I am being elected by the town of Waxhaw.

If you could add one initiative to Waxhaw you have seen in other local towns, what would it be?
We would have more parks and open spaces for families in Waxhaw. We need parks with basketball courts, tennis courts and dog runs. This will give families and children a place to grow and play. This will give them sense of pride. This also will cut down on vandalism and useless misdemeanors.

With many initiatives set up to bring more people and businesses into Waxhaw, what do you think is the next step for town leaders to continue growing participation in the downtown area?
Continue supporting the art plan. Making the West North Main Street sidewalk and art walk by continuing the work I started as chair of the Waxhaw Beautification Committee. We have one piece of art at the end of the art walk, this is a Tom Risser piece of art commemorating the united efforts of the Public Works Department, Waxhaw and state police, firemen, Hazmat and CSX on protecting the town from the train derailment. We have already done some plantings in this area with colorful plants to make this walk more enjoyable. We are working very closely with the Waxhaw Arts Council and the Waxhaw Junior Arts League. As we get more art pieces in place, it will bring people from all over to the downtown area to see the art. When they are there they will sit down to have something to eat and drink, and they will look at all the shops downtown and will keep the revenues in Waxhaw.
John Hunt
980-722-0253
jtmedic@earthlink.net

How do you plan to work with other local leaders in surrounding municipalities to plan for future growth and infrastructure in western Union County and Waxhaw, if at all?
As a Waxhaw commissioner, I will continue to support participation in local and regional groups created to address issues that affect Waxhaw and surrounding communities. Waxhaw currently has representatives that serve in key roles on boards such as the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization. Informed and engaged leaders are a vital key to future growth.

If you could add one initiative to Waxhaw you have seen in other local towns, what would it be?
As a Waxhaw commissioner, I would like to see greater emphasis placed on family life initiatives. This could be achieved by a focused approach through the Parks and Recreation Committee and a revisit of the library issue. As Waxhaw continues to grow, quality of life issues will help to lead the direction of growth.

With many initiatives set up to bring more people and businesses into Waxhaw, what do you think is the next step for town leaders to continue growing participation in the downtown area?
A definite step in developing a long-term downtown area is a strong partnership with the business community. Waxhaw has a very active and large business association that boasts more than 145 members. A thoughtful and well-implemented vision plan through the efforts of the Waxhaw Business Association and the town of Waxhaw would help insure the proud heritage of Waxhaw continue to thrive. Together, we should all be focused on our future.
Erin Kirkpatrick
704-989-4322
kirkpatrick4waxhaw@gmail.com

How do you plan to work with other local leaders in surrounding municipalities to plan for future growth and infrastructure in western Union County and Waxhaw, if at all?
I initiated a group known as REDI (Regional Economic Development Initiative), which has elected representatives from Weddington, Marvin, Wesley Chapel, Mineral Springs and Waxhaw and meets monthly to share information, goals and challenges. I currently have open dialog with several Union County commissioners, state representatives and state senators. My next initiative will be to establish regular meetings with school board representatives to look at Waxhaw’s growth and demands on schools and services.

If you could add one initiative to Waxhaw you have seen in other local towns, what would it be?
Currently, I admire Huntersville for their education collaborative. This initiative would benefit our school children greatly by helping to meet needs creatively and resourcefully.

With many initiatives set up to bring more people and businesses into Waxhaw, what do you think is the next step for town leaders to continue growing participation in the downtown area?
Adopting form-based codes and the new zoning for our downtown Waxhaw Business District is a tremendous step in true revitalization. Attracting a private entity to create an equine show facility and an athletic complex within our parks will bring a substantial steady flow of visitors to our area who spend an average of $350 to $450 a weekend during shows or tournaments. Nearly 400 trades are needed for these attractions. This means new jobs in Waxhaw. These two tourist venues will generate revenue for existing businesses, but also pave the way for boutique hotels, a movie theater and a bakery with fresh goods, to name a few. Attracting new shopping and dining venues will help us capture a tremendous amount of dollars to cover the quality services provided to residents and prevent tax increases during our residential growth surge. Our residents turn away from (downtown Waxhaw) and spend more than $200 million in another county each year. I have been working closely with Loyd Pennington, the president of the Waxhaw Business Association, and the Union County Economic Development director, Chris Platé, to make that happen. Greenways and a walkable core will encourage our seniors to spend even more time downtown.
James Warner
704-843-0641
jameswarnerforwaxhaw@gmail.com

How do you plan to work with other local leaders in surrounding municipalities to plan for future growth and infrastructure in western Union County and Waxhaw, if at all?
Waxhaw provides a full range of services from police and garbage to streetlights as compared to its neighbors of Marvin, Wesley Chapel and Mineral Springs.  We have much different ideals on what a suburban community in Union County should provide for its citizens.  It may behoove us to consider combining some resources.  Police may be a good starting point.
Interconnectivity between the municipalities should be a primary goal for town planning and zoning to allow free access for citizens and to minimize traffic and access.  Greenways are a nice way to provide pedestrian and safe bicycle routes between municipalities and should be pursued when possible.  The proposed Carolina Thread Trails are good starting points at a reasonable cost and should be supported and endorsed as much as financially
possible.

If you could add one initiative to Waxhaw you have seen in other local towns, what would it be?
I think that Mineral Springs’ thread trail initiatives look promising.

With many initiatives set up to bring more people and businesses into Waxhaw, what do you think is the next step for town leaders to continue growing participation in the downtown area?
Geographically, the Historic Downtown Main Street, while nice, is limited in size and appeal (and) has limited drawing power for return visitors.
It is my belief that one item that could draw people downtown and keep them coming back would be a boutique hotel within a few blocks (a short walking distance) of Main Street.  Such would be an asset for visiting out-of-town family and would invite people to patronize the local restaurants and antique shops.  I understand that such a motel was proposed as part of the Historic Ventures properties a few years ago.  To present it has not materialized.  The town should seek out other interested parties should nothing move (forward) with Historic Ventures.
In addition to the motel, completion of the Horton Property Park could be a real drawing card for family outings (picnics, volleyball, tennis, etc.) when completed.

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