Waxhaw BOC votes to remove Daune Gardner

WAXHAW – The Waxhaw Board of Commissioners voted to remove Mayor Daune Gardner from her role on the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) on Aug. 26, following news that she had been fined by the North Carolina State Ethics Commission for filing late paperwork.
The board voted 4-1 to remove her from that post in a vote that Gardner called “a waste of time.”
“I don’t see that as an item of town business,” Gardner said during the special meeting, called by mayor pro tem Michael Stewart. “I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of not filing something in a timely fashion and that’s what happened here.”
Gardner stated the board did not have authority to remove her from her post with the CRTPO, adding, “I don’t see what we’re here to talk about.”
After the meeting, Stewart called the mayor’s role in Waxhaw’s form of government “more of a figurehead” and said the CRTPO told the board in past discussions that they would recognize any representative put forth by the board.
“We thought we did exactly what we needed to do today,” Stewart said. “We’re the ones who set the policies in this town and not her.”
During the meeting, Gardner offered to discuss with Stewart the possibility of having someone else represent the town in the CRTPO, but reiterated that she did not believe a public meeting was the place to hold an impromptu debate on the matter.
Gardner addressed the media after the meeting and indicated multiple times that members of the board had contacted her about their wishes to remove her from the CRTPO.
“I’m as perplexed as anyone,” Gardner said. “We live in a small southern town that values courtesy and in a working relationship if information isn’t being pushed out to you, the courteous thing to do is reach out to request it.”
Stewart also expressed regret that Gardner had not informed the board of her late filing. He said the board became aware of the fine when a member of the media called to request information about it.
Commissioner James Warner was the only board member to vote against the measure to remove Gardner from the CRTPO. He called the vote a silly distraction.
CRTPO hasn’t responded to Union County Weekly’s attempt to contact them by press time.
“I think she’s done an adequate job on the CRTPO,” Warner said. “This is a minor item and I don’t think there are any ethical implications here.”

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Ryan Pitkin

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