Election Preview: Waxhaw

Planning for Waxhaw’s growth, development key for new board

WAXHAW – As new candidates take their seat on the Waxhaw Board of Commissioners in December, a number of projects will already be in progress and well on their way to completion.

Commissioners have been working to plan for the future growth of Waxhaw over the past year or so with small area plans for each section of town, got the ball rolling on the renovations for the new police department facility and came up with a plan for the new town hall.  In addition to the large-scale projects, many small projects – like sidewalk installations and improvements throughout town – also are taking place to help make Waxhaw more pedestrian friendly.

But the biggest issue on the docket is the zoning changes coming to the historic downtown area that town leaders say will help promote commercial development and streamline the process for potential businesses coming to the area.  The current board hopes to encourage more businesses to come downtown, which they say in turn will bring more residents out to shop and play.

If the current board doesn’t approve the switch to form-based coding by December, the new members will have a chance to weigh-in on the changes.  Commissioners have been working on the changes since the completion of the Downtown Vision Plan last year.

Four candidates – Paul Fitzgerald, John Hunt, Erin Kirkpatrick and James Warner –are currently running for three open seats on the board, with only incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Kirkpatrick running for re-election.

Commissioners Joyce Blythe and Brett Diller opted not to run for re-election. William Hardman, who dropped out of the race, will still appear on the ballot since the ballot was prepared before his decision to leave the race.

Find more information about Waxhaw candidates and their opinions on current town issues at www.unioncountyweek ly.com by searching “Waxhaw Election.”

Waxhaw Board of Commissioners

Paul Fitzgerald

I would like to thank the people of Waxhaw. Before I ran for office, I knew that the people of Waxhaw were so welcoming and kind, but now they have gone over and above themselves to help me and promote me. My whole campaign is based on the youth and arts. We need to work with the Parks and Recreation Master Plan that calls for four pocket parks and a large master recreational center. This would house many ball fields, an aquatic center and a large committee center for both the youth and seniors of Waxhaw. Keep taxes where they are. We need to work on the roads together with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to improve the east to west corridors on Kensington, Gray Byrum and Bonds Grove Church roads. I want to ensure our downtown retains its historical look. I have been lucky to have an opportunity in the past managing budgets up to $45 million and overseeing 150 employees. If this is what you are looking for in a commissioner, you need to go to the polls on Nov. 5 and vote for Paul Fitzgerald and take your family and friends with you for the American experience.

John Hunt

As we enter the final weekend of the 2013 election season, I am asking for your vote for Waxhaw commissioner. I have been meeting with citizens for the past four months to share my commitment and goals as your Waxhaw commissioner. I would like to thank the Waxhaw Business Association and the Union County League of Women Voters for sponsoring two candidate forums. As your Waxhaw commissioner, I will exercise servant leadership and will strive to bring consensus to the board. I will work diligently to promote Waxhaw and lead smart growth. The next four years will determine the direction of Waxhaw as we continue to grow and prosper, and your choice of commissioners will be the leaders in this process. There are several projects including the new town hall and police station that will require attention to detail and follow through to completion. As your commissioner, I will seek input and work to complete the projects. Family life initiatives to include the whole family from youth to seniors also will be a primary focus. Quality of life for all citizens of Waxhaw is very important. Thank you for your support and vote, and see you at the polls.

Erin Kirkpatrick

My record and experience include initiating: Main Street Christmas lighting and 12 days of Christmas; ordinances to define appropriate neighborhoods commercial; preserve America designation; preserved heritage trees; improved Main Street pedestrian crossings; saved/restored historical police building; strategic vision and goals, small area plans, sidewalks for 1008, land acquisition for parks at savings to taxpayers; fought for residents collectively/individually; opposed Food Lion shopping center on Waxhaw-Marvin Road; advocated for Carolina Thread Trail to Waxhaw; supported Master Parks & Recreation and Pedestrian plans; town hall to include retail space to generate revenue; rooftop dining on Main Street; widen Main Street sidewalks for outdoor dining; new police department to occupy existing vacant building. I work with: state and county for long-term goals getting Waxhaw’s economic development priorities on county work plan; developer to revitalize strip shopping center on N.C. 16 to bring $43 million complex reinforcing Main Street preservation coming to board of commissioners on Nov. 12.  Advocated for: smart growth, ample school space for children, no tax increase and fought for five-year fiscally sound financial town plan.  Supported police/fire/EMS services.  Implemented transparency through Outlook Exchange to preserve town emails, increased public speaking at meetings and Sharepoint for staff work to be visible to elected body.  Let’s keep working together, vote Kirkpatrick.

James Warner

I am running for the Waxhaw Board of Commissioners because I believe it to be my civic responsibility to the town that I have called home for 29 years.  I have seen many changes and I believe I can offer unique insight into Waxhaw’s past and future needs. I have been serving on the Waxhaw Planning Board for the past two years and believe that I understand many of the issues currently facing the board of commissioners. I also served on Waxhaw’s original planning board for 12 years from 1990 until 2002.  I believe I will able to offer invaluable experience in the history of Waxhaw’s zoning rules and changes as well as its growth and development. I have been a practicing structural engineer for most of my life working with architects and builders.  I further have operated my own consulting firm for the last 25 years.  I believe that my construction knowledge will prove invaluable in regard to Waxhaw’s proposed police station and town hall construction projects. I have been married for 38 years.  We have two daughters and four grandchildren.  I am qualified, willing and able to perform the duties of Waxhaw commissioner.

Below is coverage from this campaign season in Waxhaw:

From October 3:

Voters get first real look at Waxhaw candidates

WAXHAW – Voters in Waxhaw had a chance to meet the five candidates for the board of commissioners this week at a forum that focused on leaders’ ethics, upcoming projects and how commissioners would work to improve economic development for Waxhaw businesses.

The Waxhaw Business Association hosted the forum on Monday, Sept. 30, in front of a crowd of roughly 50 voters. Candidates were provided a list of questions prior to the forum and were able to prepare notes to speak from, while residents had a chance afterward to grill candidates in search of some non-scripted responses on things like the town’s 34-cent tax rate and what candidates would be willing to raises taxes for or dig into Waxhaw’s reserves to fund. Incumbent Erin Kirkpatrick, the town’s mayor pro tem, said afterward she appreciated the opportunity the forum gave her to clear up some misconceptions about town projects, while candidate John Hunt held court at one table, where residents tried to pin him down on spending questions and what he thinks needs to be done about the planned Waxhaw town hall and police department projects.

The two projects were one of the few areas candidates showed some separation on during the forum, with Kirkpatrick standing up for the commission’s decision to keep the projects separate instead of combining the two, such as candidate Bill Hardman suggested, and on the town hall’s proposed site – something candidate Jim Warner called ill-conceived and inappropriate.

“I’m proud of the decision,” Kirkpatrick said of the town hall vote, saying she couldn’t imagine a shared town hall/police station where residents would gather for commission meetings near where police brought in suspected criminals. “I think this is quite possibly our best decision…”

But Hunt’s worried the town hall is being built too small and will soon become overcrowded and in need of an expansion.

The size of the police force also caused some discussion Tuesday night, with Warner saying he felt not only might there be too many officers at too high a cost, but the over abundance of on-duty officers could be scaring visitors away from downtown.

Candidate Paul Fitzgerald disagreed, saying the 22 full-time officers allow him to leave his home at night. “I feel safe and secure,” he said. Kirkpatrick added that the police force’s size is needed, in part, to deal with the problem of “lots of drugs in our beautiful little town.” Many in the crowd mumbled the town may not have enough police officers.

Candidates also were split on the town’s recently wealth of area plans, with Kirkpatrick saying she was in favor of Waxhaw’s multiple plans for the development and goals of different parts of town while others, such as

Warner, said the multitude of plans take the focus away from a shorter, more-important list of priorities.

“I’m aware of many of (the plans),” Warner said, “but confused by many of them.”

There was plenty candidates agreed on at the forum. Candidates agreed more options for youth in Waxhaw would benefit the town, with the need for more park space, tennis courts and family life options listed. Hardman mentioned the potential for an aquatic feature similar to what Huntersville has.

Increasing foot traffic in the downtown area also is a must, with Fitzgerald saying having more businesses that deal with everyday needs is important to bringing people in, having them park their cars and walking from business to business.

Hunt feels foot traffic would be greatly improved by more sidewalks – especially ones that connect to area neighborhoods that currently don’t have a safe walk to downtown. Hardman mentioned remote transportation services as an option, especially for seniors, saying “activity creates economic development” and more foot traffic would be more appealing for potential new businesses looking at downtown Waxhaw.

Candidates have another month to separate themselves, as Election Day is Nov. 5. Only three of the five candidates will be elected.

Union County Weekly news editor Ciera Choate moderated Tuesday’s forum.

From September 30:

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.

From August 19:

Waxhaw candidates discuss future development

WAXHAW – Waxhaw’s Board of Commissioners could see three new faces come Election Day on Nov. 5, with only one incumbent, Mayor Pro Tem Erin Kirkpatrick, running for re-election.

Commissioners Brett Diller and Joyce Blythe have decided not to seek re-election this year, while not every position is up this term – including Mayor Daune Gardner’s seat.

Each candidate was asked the same four questions and responded through email.  Questions for Waxhaw focused on future development in town, as well as what candidates feel should be the focus of town leaders in terms of planning for how to use the recently developed small-area plans.

See each candidates complete answers, as submitted to Union County Weekly, below:

Waxhaw Board of Commissioners

 

Jamie Duncan

704-891-1743

jaduncan1974@gmail.com

 

Relevant experience: Eight years business management experience, Parking Solutions, Inc., in Knoxville, Tenn., San Francisco, Calif. and Charlotte, N.C.; Hospice companionship volunteer, five years.

Education: B.A. in English Literature, M.A. in Religious Studies, Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Currently in graduate school.

Family: Married to Katie Baron-Duncan

Years lived in Waxhaw: We moved to Waxhaw at the end of April, from Rivergate. My in-laws Glenn and Joan Baron have lived here for more than 10 years. We moved here because we visit often, have lots of friends and family here, and love the place!

 

What is the No. 1 reason you are running for election?

My wife and I moved to Waxhaw for our family and I am running for office because I want to be involved in our community. My father had a chicken farm in Taylorsville, N.C., and retired from the sheriff’s department. I grew up immersed in small town politics and have worked for family-owned businesses in Matthews, Charlotte, Atlanta and San Francisco. I understand both the small town concerns and urban potential of Waxhaw at this crossroads in growth.

 

Waxhaw leaders have pushed for the creation of small-area plans for the many communities throughout Waxhaw.  What do you think is the next step for the council in reference to development in the town?

The renovated police station and new town hall will create a definitive town center for Waxhaw; another recent proposal involved a community athletic center. I would like to see area businesses and churches participate with the town government to develop an interdenominational and intergenerational space for family activities and community meetings. The capital investment of the community as a whole would result in a sense of ownership and encourage participation, which is vitally important during a period of growth. Also, the library should be moved to a larger space on Main Street, in order to benefit the entire community.

 

Should Waxhaw leaders be doing more to lure in commercial development to the town? Please explain.

Commercial growth provides jobs and services within the town, which helps keep general expenditures and tax revenues local. This can help reduce commuter traffic and increase local capital. However, the greatest challenge for local leaders during a time of growth will be to hold onto the small town character of Waxhaw, which is defined by community involvement. It is important that leaders promote the development of locally owned businesses in order to preserve the family-oriented character of Waxhaw.

 

What are some other issues you feel town leaders should focus on in the coming years?

Leaders should continue infrastructure investment in preparation for future development, based on a measured assessment of what that growth will entail. For instance, the construction of connective throughways could relieve increasing congestion on the Providence (Road) corridor, but new neighborhoods along that same road could retard such efforts. Investment in the expansion of high-speed Internet cables and cellular towers will lure businesses, support home offices and create jobs. With many youths leaving and older families arriving, senior services are increasingly important. Community partnerships, grants and tax revenue from new business growth can help fund these projects without tax increases.

 

Paul Fitzgerald

fitzgeraldforwaxhaw@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/fitzgeraldforwaxhaw – @PaulFitz4Waxhaw

 

Relevant experience: I worked for Lowe’s Home Improvement warehouse for over 20 years and was in every management position at the store level. I am now self-employed with my own home improvement business. I have been the chairman of the Waxhaw Beautification Committee for the past two years and vice-chairman for the two years prior.

Education: I am a high school graduate and hold an associate’s degree in hardware and home center management.

Family: Wife, Patty, of 33 years; four beautiful daughters – Sara, University of North Carolina at Charlotte graduate; Bridget, Western Carolina University graduate; Elizabeth, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate; Jackie, UNC-Chapel Hill and Eastern Carolina University graduate.

Years lived in Waxhaw: We moved to Waxhaw in 1999, so we have been here over 13 years.

 

What is the No. 1 reason you are running for election?

I have a real desire to help the town. I like to listen to all points of view first before I make a good management decision.

 

Waxhaw leaders have pushed for the creation of small-area plans for the many communities throughout Waxhaw.  What do you think is the next step for the council in reference to development in the town?

The small area plan was created to help developers know what the town, with citizens’ input and actions, is looking for in buildings and designs.

 

Should Waxhaw leaders be doing more to lure in commercial development to the town? Please explain.

At this time, Waxhaw is poised to have substantial growth in commercial development. A lot of these developers have already purchased land and had it zoned for commercial use in the north side of town because they saw missed opportunities from other communities in the area to have more commercial development. These developers are waiting for the economy and Waxhaw to grow just a little bit larger in population and from the widening of Highway 16. The road widening will literally drive the development of Waxhaw.

 

What are some other issues you feel town leaders should focus on in the coming years?

We need to look into easing the east-to-west traffic flow on Highway 16. This is a (North Carolina Department of Transportation) issue, which many citizens of Waxhaw would like to give their input on. The intersections I am most concerned with are Kensington, Gray Byrum and Bonds Grove Church roads. This is the time for Waxhaw to make a historic jump. I believe we are moving in the right direction with a new and well-needed building for the police department and a new town hall building, which will be in a commercial property and not a converted house. We have some large purchases in the works such as the equestrian center, the proposed greenway on the Horton Property and the spotlights on the soccer fields at Nesbit Park. All of these projects take money in order to make them a reality, and we need to watch our town’s purse so that we do not overspend and end up mortgaging our future. We also have a great amount of growth at this time. There have been 500-600 building permits granted in the town this year alone. This is great progress, but next year it will even be greater with our local economy getting better.

In closing, I am asking for your vote to keep Waxhaw on the right track of good family values. This is just the beginning for the western Union County powerhouse we call Waxhaw.

William Hardman

704-770-5587

William.lynn@me.com

 

Relevant experience: Currently vice-chairman of the Waxhaw Board of Adjustment and have been associated with the board for almost three and a half years.

Education: University of Texas at El Paso

Family: Two Children

Years lived in Waxhaw: Five-year resident of Waxhaw

 

What is the No. 1 reason you are running for election?

I adore and admire the Town of Waxhaw as well as its people since first arriving!  I see so much potential for our town and am extremely excited with what the past and current administrations have accomplished.  I would like to continue the progress that I have witnessed over the years and become a pivotal member of the commission to take Waxhaw to the next level.

 

Waxhaw leaders have pushed for the creation of small-area plans for the many communities throughout Waxhaw.  What do you think is the next step for the council in reference to development in the town?

I would like to incorporate a family friendly park with its focal being a pavilion that would enhance the small town “Norman Rockwell” feel that many have grown to love about Waxhaw.

 

Should Waxhaw leaders be doing more to lure in commercial development to the town? Please explain.

It would be advantageous to bring in commercial development however our infrastructure would need to be addressed.

 

What are some other issues you feel town leaders should focus on in the coming years?

City hall and any other applicable government offices as well as the Waxhaw Police Department should fit comfortably in the 28,000-square-foot facility located at 3620 Providence Road until our next growth spurt.

 

John Hunt

980-722-0253

jtmedic@earthlink.net

 

Relevant experience:  I have served on the Waxhaw ABC Board for the past three years, the last two of which I have been the chair. I am also employed full time by Mecklenburg EMS Agency in the Communications department. I hold a National Registry of Paramedic certificate and have been a North Carolina Paramedic for the last 14 years.

Education: I studied Business Management at the University of Kentucky and Para-medicine at Union Technical.

Family: I am not married and have no children.

Years lived in Waxhaw: I have been a resident of Waxhaw for the past seven years.

 

What is the No. 1 reason you are running for election?

The number one reason I am running for Waxhaw Commissioner is that I believe that I will bring a skill set that is required of the position. I will push for a thorough review of town operations and organization and promote efficiencies in all that we do.

 

Waxhaw leaders have pushed for the creation of small-area plans for the many communities throughout Waxhaw.  What do you think is the next step for the council in reference to development in the town?

Recently Waxhaw leaders have pushed for small area plans for local communities. I believe it is now time to tie all of the small area plans together. A high level look at how the overall area plan will promote the responsible and rational growth of Waxhaw. There needs to be an adequate mixture of residential and commercial development to develop a sustainable tax base for the future.

 

Should Waxhaw leaders be doing more to lure in commercial development to the town? Please explain.

Waxhaw leaders should be very development friendly, again with a reasonable and rational approach to growth. The right mix of residential development, through small area plans and commercial development, through big picture overall planning is the key to success. How many corporations have been turned off to Waxhaw due to poor large picture development? And likewise, how many residents are asking for the restaurants and jobs that commercial development brings? That is one of the true job descriptions of a Waxhaw Commissioner.

 

What are some other issues you feel town leaders should focus on in the coming years?

In the coming years, the Waxhaw Commission should focus on cleaning the plate of all of the on-going projects at town hall. Complete what has been in the works for years and work towards developing a five and ten-year-long range plan. There seems to be a few projects that just need a little push and follow through to get them completed. A new town hall facility has been in the plans for the past seven years. Time to get it done. Waxhaw experienced rapid growth in the last 10 years, with try to keep up policies. It is time to layout an overall plan to move forward and make Waxhaw the best place to live in the world. As a Waxhaw Commissioner, I would work tirelessly to serve the citizens of Waxhaw and provide a voice of reasonable and rational growth focused on our future.

 

Erin Kirkpatrick

Kirkpatrick4Waxhaw@gmail.com

www.Kirkpatrick4Waxhaw.com

 

Relevant experience: Design Internship with Harry Joe Brown, JR and Brown Companies in NYC, NY working on residential projects in Sagaponac New York and Cape Cod Massachusetts Summer 1993. Design and Managed Project Implementation of several restaurant/lounges NYC, NY 1995-1998. Designed, Managed Project Implementation, and acted as General Contractor for start up of Orthopaedic Surgical Practice in 2002. Worked in Business and Healthcare Management for past 12 years of Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group with over a 15,000 patient volume and $5,000,000.00 annual budget. Responsibilities have included Budgeting, Human Resources, Contract Negotiations, IT Administration, Billing, Collections, Accounting, Vendor Negotiations, and Real Estate Contracting. College Major: Interior Design with courses in Construction Documents, Project Management, Building Codes, Architectural History/Styles/Standards, and Civic Building Design to name a few. Co-Founded The Library Association of Waxhaw (501c3) and The Waxhaw Reading Room to build a newer and bigger Waxhaw Library.

Served on Waxhaw Board of Commissioners since December 2009. Appointed Mayor Pro-Tempore by WBOC in 2011. Delegate for The Carolina Thread Trail, Centrolina Council of Governments, and League of Municipalities. Initiated Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) comprised of elected representatives from all 5 Western Union County Townships meeting on a monthly basis. NIMS Certified

Education: Attended Walnut Hill School and The New York School of Interior Design. Regularly attended Waxhaw Board of Commissioners Meetings for two years prior to being elected in December 2009. Attended a wide variety of Government related conferences and courses since being elected in 2009.

Family: Oldest of eight children. Parents and three youngest siblings live in Charlotte. Son resides in Waxhaw with me.

Years lived in Waxhaw: Moved To Charlotte 1986 and resided in Waxhaw since 2003

 

What is the No. 1 reason you are running for election?

I am running for re-election to continue to preserve Waxhaw’s character, improve Waxhaw’s quality of life, increase transparency and accountability to the people of Waxhaw through strategic town and financial planning whilst growing sustainable alternative revenue sources to prevent tax increases.

 

Waxhaw leaders have pushed for the creation of small-area plans for the many communities throughout Waxhaw.  What do you think is the next step for the council in reference to development in the town?

Form cased codes should be adopted in succession to small area plans to replace our antiquated ordinances, which is riddled with band aids and ineffective rule sets. Ineffective cumbersome ordinances have inhibited good growth while allowing for poor growth. We must plan for our future growth or face poor transportation, poor services and increased taxes.

 

Should Waxhaw leaders be doing more to lure in commercial development to the town? Please explain.

Waxhaw is the fastest growing town in Union County and perhaps the state of North Carolina. It is imperative Waxhaw look for ways to diversify its tax base with tourism, local services and quality jobs to keep money here in our town. Over $20 million leaks to adjacent communities as people turn left out of Waxhaw to commute. The ability to keep that tax revenue here in our town enables us to maintain the same tax rate as we have over the past four years and continue to offer our superior levels of service. Waxhaw is an extremely safe and clean community with top quality schools and future parks. Those three things are economic development driving engines.

 

What are some other issues you feel town leaders should focus on in the coming years?

We have worked very hard to bring transparency, accountability, business skills and servant leadership into our local government to serve our community. Part of that initiative was to create a mission and vision statement with a goal set to propel us forward for the next 20 years and to further hold us accountable to the people. The next step is to finalize the five-year financial plan for roadways, sidewalks and service needs. We have acquired nearly 100 acres of land throughout the Waxhaw town limits coinciding with our master parks and recreation plan to ensure our quality of life remains. Currently we are averaging nearly 2,000 residents a year projecting our population to top 20,000 people within three years. Through continued proper financial planning with the help of extensive grant and private funding, we will be able to meet the needs of our children, our 35-year-old median-age residents, our seniors and every age in between with amenities such athletic fields, batting cages and courts, aquatics, community gathering places, passive recreation places and vast network of safe green-ways for a wide variety of uses.

 

Stuart Rimmer

704-491-9709

msrimmer40@gmail.com

www.facebook.com

 

Relevant experience:  I am an active business leader in the Waxhaw community and have served as president of a Providence Glen subdivision in Mecklenburg County for seven years prior to our move to Waxhaw 10 years ago. The last 22 years I have been an agent with to great insurance companies and have extensive experience in understanding clients’ needs and setting forth the proper action to take care of them. I am a problem solver.

Education:  Louisburg College and University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Family: Married to Carolyn for 21 years, daughter Jacqueline 19, son Michael 17.

Years lived in Waxhaw:  10 years but have been coming here since childhood.

 

What is the No. 1 reason you are running for election?

My goal is to keep the integrity of Waxhaw and it small town charm intact. There are many possibilities that could take place for our community in regards to how our retail could grow, but it’s got to be on our terms. Many people like Waxhaw as it is and why not, it’s a really nice place to live while others say they don’t want to have to drive so far for to purchase everyday needed household items. So that is the challenge that I feel I can bring a balance to the table for the citizens of Waxhaw.

 

Waxhaw leaders have pushed for the creation of small-area plans for the many communities throughout Waxhaw.  What do you think is the next step for the council in reference to development in the town?

The current town leaders have used a lot of resources thus far in the development of what their vision is for downtown Waxhaw. Form based coding is very important to bringing more commercial/retail to the area and as a business owner in Waxhaw I support that vision and wouldn’t want to change it. If we were to simply zone downtown Waxhaw for commercial zoning only it could as it has in the past bring in a corporation that was going to railroad their way into our community with no regard as to why we all enjoy it today. I don’t want to see this happen in way shape or form. Again, it has to be on our terms.

 

Should Waxhaw leaders be doing more to lure in commercial development to the town? Please explain.

Again, many resources have already been used in luring more business to downtown Waxhaw, the biggest thing right now is a strong economy and the opportunity for a sustainable retail business to take advantage of the necessary population density needed for them to be profitable and job creators.

 

What are some other issues you feel town leaders should focus on in the coming years?

With all the things that Waxhaw has to offer in night life, restaurants, live music and such, I would like to have a civic center one day where one might enjoy theatre, concerts and even ballet, a place for receptions and local gatherings where people enjoy culture and the arts.

 

Jim Warner

704-843-0641

jameswarnerforwaxhaw@gmail.com

 

Relevant experience: Waxhaw Planning Board 2011 to Present, Previously 1991 to 2001

Education: Bachelor of Architectural Engineering, Penn State, 1974

Family: Married, two grown daughters, four grandchildren

Years lived in Waxhaw:  29

 

What is the No. 1 reason you are running for election?

I believe that I can provide a voice of reason and responsibility on the board.  I see that the current board is spending a tremendous amount of money on the new town hall, new police station, parks and more.  This spending, while necessary, needs to be slow and calculated to avoid placing additional financial burdens on our citizens.

I believe that the Waxhaw Board of Commissioners is out of touch with its citizens and cite the proposed downtown historic district plans that were scraped a couple years ago.

 

Waxhaw leaders have pushed for the creation of small-area plans for the many communities throughout Waxhaw.  What do you think is the next step for the council in reference to development in the town?

I currently serve on the Hillcrest Small Area Plan Advisory Committee and live on Givens Street adjoining the land that the town purchased for a proposed park.  While I am in agreement that the town should be looking forward to where we are going to grow, it is my opinion that most these studies are quite far sighted and of limited immediate value.  They have good ideas but the question is what the town does with the ideas.

 

Should Waxhaw leaders be doing more to lure in commercial development to the town? Please explain.

Waxhaw needs to provide a conducive environment for business to locate here.  Currently Waxhaw is a bedroom business and retail will continue to grow as we add more rooftops.  To lure in industrial and office development we need to provide a good infrastructure.  In particular, completion of the Waxhaw Parkway West from Highway 16 to Highway 75 is should be at the top of Waxhaw’s “To Do” list.  This will relieve some congestion and spur industrial/commercial development along Helm Road.

 

What are some other issues you feel town leaders should focus on in the coming years?

Pay off the debt that the town is incurring for construction of the town hall, police station and properties.

I see a need to finish small infrastructure projects (i.e. sidewalks, curb and gutter, downtown parking, etc.).  I have lived in Waxhaw for 29 years and have seen it change from rural to a suburban community.  With the increases in population that we are seeing, people expect more amenities.

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