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Cornelius News

Gilroy was the top vote-getter, which means mayor pro tem and a new approach to development

Gilroy honored for his service after his 2019 loss

Nov. 3. By Dave Yochum. Commissioner-elect Dave Gilroy called last night’s election results “extraordinary.” The four challengers—Colin Furcht, Michael Osborne and Todd Sansbury, as well as Gilroy—tapped into concerns about growth and development that four of the five incumbents missed.

Only Denis Bilodeau, the incumbent who expressed concerns about the approval process around the Junker project on West Catawba and other projects in general, was re-elected.

Said Gilroy: “The strength and clarity of the community’s voice yesterday was humbling, but not really very surprising. The message is just common sense—if you’re elected to represent people, then listen carefully and do what they want you to do.”

Bilodeau, the highest vote-getter two years ago, appeared to distance himself from the other incumbents as the campaign wore on. For example, he was not among the incumbents who gathered at H2 last night for what was supposed to be a victory party.

New board next month

The victors will officially take office at the first Town Board meeting on Dec. 6. A  “time-out” on building could be their first order of business.

Furcht, Gilroy, Osborne and Sansbury ran on a “Contract with Cornelius” platform that criticized incumbents for not listening to concerns about rapid development.

Philip Square resident Nancy Brand summed up voter sentiments this way: “The approval of so many new, huge building projects without thought of supportive infrastructure was not what our community wanted or needed.”

Citizens have spoken

Mayor Woody Washam, who actively supported the incumbents, said the “citizens have spoken.”


Growth is coming regardless of who is elected. How it is managed is another thing.

“I look forward to working with all to make our town the best it can be,” Washam said.

“Our planning for the next two years begin now as we get to work on behalf of our citizens,” he said.


Gilroy lost his bid for re-election in 2019, when his wife Diane “Dee” Gilroy also ran for the Town Board.

The Princeton University graduate was the loneliest member of the Town Board, often on the losing end of votes on development projects and the town’s spending budget.

Now, as the highest vote-getter, he’s destined to be elected by his peers on the Town Board mayor pro tem next month.