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Cornelius News

Mayor, new Town Board sworn in; Gilroy bids goodbye, for now


Dec. 3. By Dave Yochum. Town Hall was packed last night for the changing of the guard on the Board of Commissioners. The dynamics changed from a board that often split 3-2 to one that might be more unified.

Mayor Woody Washam was sworn in for a second term—he ran unopposed—by Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox. It was a sign that Washam and Knox will continue to work together on issues like affordable housing, rampant development and traffic congestion that face North Mecklenburg regardless of town lines.

Washam will return the favor next Tuesday night when he will swear in Mayor Knox for his second term.


Newly minted Commissioner Tricia Sisson took her seat on the dais, the first woman on the board since 2013. Jim Duke got back on the five-person board after a two-year absence.

Mayor Washam recognized outgoing commissioners Kurt Naas, who served one term and chose not to seek re-election, and Dave Gilroy, who served 14 years and lost this past November when wife Diane “Dee” Gilroy ran for the town board.

Some say they cancelled each other out.

Dave Gilroy got a plaque for his service, as did Naas.

Gilroy took the opportunity to say a few words, and then some more. He chided those who engage in “group think” and who “go along to get along.”

The early opponent of the toll lanes on I-77 said independent thinking and disagreements are good for governance.


“I submit we are more likely to find the right balances if we have passionate discussion on both sides. The balance comes from passionate debate, not ‘go along to get along.’ Find that balance on the big issues so we can fortify…what makes this town so distinctive.”

Gilroy has said he is not done with politics. He may launch a regular newsletter similar to what Jim Duke did during his two years off.

Also sworn in last night were veteran Commissioner Thurman Ross and second-term Commissioner Denis Bilodeau who was elected Mayor Pro Tem by fellow board members.

Rounding out the dais for his third term is Dr. Michael Miltich. He came in second in the seven-way race for five seats on the town board.