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Cornelius News

Five will decide on tax rate, developments, roads


Oct. 6. The upcoming municipal elections will affect Cornelius for years to come, as they do every odd year. Even though they’re non-partisan—no one runs as a Democrat or a Republican—the elections determine who will vote on development projects, road improvements and the town budget.

Next year, five of these nine candidates will decide on the town’s budget which in turn determines our property tax rate.

Small decisions over the course of two-year terms have a cumulative effect, whether it has to do with staff compensation or the features of a new park or a new road.

Starting with Early Voting Oct. 21 at Town Hall and on Election Day Nov. 2, voters will be picking leaders and team players who work together for the common good

We have no doubt that every candidate has the best interests of the town at heart, but everyone is different.

We asked all nine candidates the same questions:

• What skills or experience do you have that justify our citizens putting their confidence in you as a candidate?

•What are you the most proud of about Cornelius?

Click here for last month’s set of answers.

>> Online: During October we will also be asking all nine candidates to

address this question: How would you solve our traffic issues?



Denis Bilodeau

Independent Insurance Agent

Watercraft Place


As mayor pro tem I know experience matters. I have significant experience from 30 years as a Fortune 1000 executive and founder of a successful insurance agency. I have a leadership track record with the Chamber, a large HOA, the Cain Center and civic organizations including United Way, Rotary and Big Day at the Lake.

Most proud of about Cornelius

National research firms have taken notice and rank Cornelius as a Top 5 lakeside town. I take great pride in the high marks and recognition given to our town’s impressive quality of life.  Our police and fire departments keep us safe and are second to none.  Our parks and greenways provide a great outlet to escape the confines of COVID-19. Additional parks and greenways are on the way and open greenspace remains an important part of our town’s final build-out plan. With the addition of the Cain Center for the Arts and Old Meck Brewery, our downtown is coming to life. Our town will be home to a new regional recreation center and a new Atrium hospital—so many great amenities!  With eight fully funded NCDOT road projects under way, traffic relief is finally in sight. This is our time and I am proud to call Cornelius home!



Jim Duke

Retired Army, Civil Service

Staysail Court


Town Commissioner for three terms with a reputation for no-nonsense hard work. MBA in Finance from Syracuse University and applied those skills in the Executive Office of the President of the United States. President of the Peninsula Property Owners Association for seven years.

Most proud of about Cornelius

Notwithstanding the beautiful lake and gorgeous communities surrounding it, I find Cornelius to be an amazing community of giving. Charitable groups abound and our people dig deep into their pockets each year to help others. We have a small town feel next door to a huge urban community. I am excited that we have arguably the finest schools in the state and folks anxious to live here. Our town is growing in beauty and livability by building greenways and expanding our recreational venues. Our government is responsive to our citizenry and our taxes are the lowest in the region. I just love living here!



Colin Furcht

Solutions Consultant at Resmed

Schooner Drive


I have been in many leadership roles over my personal and business career. I have managed several sales teams domestically and internationally. I have led teams locally including the LKN Lighted Christmas Boat Parade, Relay For Life and two HOA/CA Teams.

Most proud of about Cornelius

Living here 17 years, I have seen residents come together over and over to improve our quality of life. Programs like National Night Out, Second Friday and Tawba Walk are excellent ways to get folks together. I believe that the town does better when ALL residents participate. Overall, I feel we have supported our First Responders well and have worked with CPD to keep crime low and residents safe. I have also seen a push in supporting local businesses. While I do feel we can and should do better to support local restaurants, breweries, retail etc., their success is our success. Keeping Cornelius dollars in Cornelius is the best way to help our town thrive! Residents need to continue to use their voice on ALL issues as well!



Dave Gilroy

Small Business Owner

Torrence Chapel Road


• Cornelius Commissioner 2005 – 2019 (voted against all 4 tax increases since 2007 and consistently opposed the most burdensome high density residential projects)

• Small company founder/owner – Scale Finance LLC (finance/accounting services)

• US Army veteran

• Princeton University, Civil Engineering; Harvard Business School

Most proud of about Cornelius

Cornelius is a super special place to live. Our lovely town adjacent to Lake Norman is stunningly beautiful. Our quality of life is terrific. Our most crucial responsibility in town government is above all – DO NO HARM. Address our obvious problems (road congestion, overcrowding of schools, big increases in local government spending, and rapidly decreasing open space, tree canopy, and natural habitats) as best we can, but definitely do not make matters worse. Cornelius has the potential to be one of the top 5-10 most distinctive places to live in the entire United States, yet failure to guide development carefully and control government spending risks our slowly becoming just another overcrowded, high-tax, mediocre suburban town with diminished quality of life.



Michael “Dr Mike” Miltich

ENT Physician/Surgeon, retired

Nantz Road


I’m a trained diagnostician and problem solver. I have been in leadership roles most of my life. If re-elected, I will remain the CRTPO Board Chair, advocating for Cornelius while coordinating transportation improvements in Mecklenburg, Iredell and Union County.

Most proud of about Cornelius

A sailor at heart, Lake Norman was the reason I chose this area to start my ENT career. I purchased a sailboat (my camper on the water) 35 years ago, and moved lakeside 26 years ago. We love the relaxed pace, convenience, the safety, the friendly neighbors, and recreational activities of Lake Norman. We feel connected to nature here. There are six distinct areas of Cornelius, each with its own character and diverse population. I especially appreciate the families that have lived here for generations that provide a verbal history. These personal stories add to the Town’s character. You can sense the vitality in our Town which is creating the soon to be opened Cain Center for the Arts. “The Cornelius Way” has real meaning.



Michael Osborne

Founder/President of Shiptransportal, a Transportation Management Co.

Mary Ardrey Circle


My experience as an entrepreneur and service to the community (Entrepreneurs’ Rganization Charlotte Board, Y-Guides Board) coupled with an intimate knowledge of how the Planning Board works, gives me the tool set to execute on our vision without sacrificing what Cornelius citizens hold dear.

Most proud of about Cornelius

I moved to Cornelius for the lake, beautiful tree canopy, parks, good schools, low crime and a laid-back lifestyle. I’m proud to live in a town where our first responders, teachers/principals and doctors/nurses are the friendliest and most helpful in the world. I’m proud that we often recognize this—although there can never be enough recognition.

I’m proud to live in a town where we aren’t afraid to admit our mistakes of the past so we can move forward. I’m proud to live in a town that has a mayor with a bold vision for the future and citizens with different ideas on how to execute it willing to step up and share.

I’m proud to live in a community that comes together to support one another.  Mostly, I’m proud to call Cornelius my home.



Thurman Ross Jr.

Realtor with Keller Williams

Burton Lane


Experience. Serving as Town Commissioner for 25 years has given me the skills to make decisions that are best for everyone. I have built relationships on the federal, state and local level that Cornelius has benefited from. Cornelius citizens have trusted me to do the right thing.

Most proud of about Cornelius

I’m proud of the way Cornelius is continuing to evolve.  For me it is like growing up with the town. Cornelius is now coming full circle and growing up. Everything’s coming together where it provides a great quality of life for each of us. I’m proud of the way we came together to keep our library open here in town and the way the Cain Center is being added to our community.



Todd Sansbury

Area Manager-Exact Sciences

Queensdale Drive


I am a pragmatic, concerned, hard-working citizen with no ties to developers or builders, or past political appointments. Voters can be confident I will represent their voices without compromise and do what’s in the best interest of current residents.

Most proud of about Cornelius

I am proud that Cornelius remains somewhat of an oasis in a sea of growth and population expansion… for now. A town is a combination of attributes, environment, and people, all that complement each other. Cornelius offers much in terms of community, recreation, spirit, and opportunity. This has remained intact for many years but recently has been under attack by those who want to see Cornelius sink into the sea of overgrowth. I am proud of those who are fighting back and want to preserve what we have. I am proud of the community we currently have, proud of the citizens who support our current culture, and will be proud that we can evolve without sacrificing.



Tricia Sisson

Sr. National Account Manager with Brand Buzz Consumer Products

Delray Drive


Skills:  I am a small business owner with the ability to manage large budgets and keep expenses low.  I will continue to focus on keeping our tax rate low and providing quality services.

Experience:  I have served on the town board for the past two years, prior to that I served our community in many roles including on town committees and on the Chamber of Commerce board.

Most proud of about Cornelius

I am most proud of the quality of life we have built and maintained in Cornelius.  Every decision I have made in my first term has been made with the primary goal of maintaining and enhancing that quality of life.  We are so fortunate to have the economic development engine of the Cain Center for the Arts under construction, and that has led to many opportunities for new development and quality projects that will be amazing additions to Cornelius.  With our low tax rate, high level of public safety and the benefit of an engaged group of citizens with diverse backgrounds and talents, we are so blessed to live and work in this incredible town.