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Cornelius News

How Cornelius candidates say they will vote on term lengths

Top from left: Mayor Woody Washam, Denis Bilodeau, Robert Carney, Colin Furcht, Scott Higgins, Susan Johnson. Bottom from left: Bob Menzel, Michael Miltich, Charmaine Nephew, Michael Osborne, Todd Sansbury, Thurman Ross.

Oct. 27. By Dave Vieser. Only one of the 12 Town of Cornelius candidates favors a change to four-year terms according to a poll conducted by Cornelius Today during the past week. Town Board challenger Robert Carney plans to vote for the longer term; seven others, including both mayoral candidates, prefer the current two year term; while the remainder say they would leave the decision up to the voters.

The current town board voted to place term lengths on the 2023 ballot after discussing the issue earlier this year.

The referendum:Shall the ordinance amending the Cornelius Town Charter that changes Cornelius Commissioners’ term lengths from two-year terms to four-year staggered terms and that changes the Cornelius Mayor term length from a two-year term to a four-year term be approved?”

The candidates’ positions:

Mayor Woody Washam: “While there are pros and cons, I like citizen interaction every two years and will vote that way. Now it’s up to the voters!”

Mayoral candidate Denis Bilodeau: “I am ok with the two-year term. It provides focus and accountability.”

Commissioner candidate Robert Carney: “Either option is fine; but I will vote for a four-year staggered term to maximize impact and minimize the transition expense to our Town Staff.”

Commissioner Colin Furcht: “I see benefits to both sides, hence why we decided to put it to a vote. It should not be my call.”

Commission candidate Scott Higgins: “I would like the citizens of Cornelius to choose which option they think would hold their elected representatives accountable for their actions and voting record.”

Commission candidate Susan Johnson: “Two-year terms provide more accountability while four-year terms allow more time to complete projects. I prefer two-year terms; ultimately, it is up to the citizens.”

Commission candidate Bob Menzel: “Everyone I’ve spoken with supports keeping two-year terms. Our campaign has pledged to honor the will of the citizens, so I will support two-year terms.”

Commission candidate Mike Miltich: “Campaigning is time-consuming. I would agree with four year terms but only if staggered. However, less accountability to the voters. Voters should stay with two years.

Commission candidate Charmaine Nephew: “As is appropriate, the question of term limits will be voted on by the citizens of Cornelius.It is their decision to make.”

Commissioner Michael Osborne: “Keeping two years is the best way for elected officials to stay accountable and in touch with the citizens of Cornelius.”

Commissioner Todd Sansbury: “Length of terms for elected officials should be the people’s choice, not a unilateral board decision. There are risks and benefits to each proposal so citizens should make the decision.”

Commission candidate Thurman Ross: “On the basis of accountability, I prefer that we remain with two-year terms.”

Early voting is under way at Town Hall and 18 other locations around Mecklenburg County:

Thursday, Oct. 26 to Friday, Nov. 3 (weekdays only)

8 am – 7:30 pm

Saturdays, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4

8 am – 3 pm

Sunday, Oct. 29

1 pm – 4 pm