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New Huntersville mayor aims to make town business friendly


By Dave Vieser. Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla, who upset incumbent Jill Swain in November, wants to make his town more business friendly. Aneralla who was the guest speaker at Business Today’s February Newsmakers Breakfast also believes efforts to form a new chamber of commerce in the town are not necessary, labeling them “strictly politics.”

Swain is one of the driving forces behind the new chamber. Aneralla expressed his support for the Lake Norman Chamber, which has taken a regional approach to business advocacy for two decades.

On a separate note, he said the Lake Norman Regional Transportation Commission will be disbanded and reconfigured as a different entity, with a more staff-driven approach. The Cornelius Town Board votes on leaving or staying in the LNTC at a 3 p.m. meeting today. Aneralla is chairing the Kiwanis Splash Park fundraising for the Smithville Park.

“We need to set a tone that our town and our region are open for business,” Aneralla said. “We can do that by injecting a business viewpoint into the daily operation of our town. Business people look at issues differently than government.”

As an example, Aneralla revealed that his town’s parks and recreation department recently met with officials from Cornelius and Davidson to explore bulk purchasing. “We have over 700 vendors in our town, and some of them overlap with the other towns, so there may be a significant savings potential.”

Aneralla, former president of the Lake Norman Kiwanis, also wants to explore why certain regulations are on the books in his town. “I know of a funeral home which was required to spend thousands of dollars to build a bike rack. Do we really need such a requirement?”

In response to a question from the audience, Anarella said he continues to support the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, and sees no reason for another chamber in the town.

He also sees the I-77 toll lanes and CMS future school goals as two major issues which the region must address and he called upon the business community to make their views known. “In the past we’ve heard mostly from individuals, but we need to hear from our business owners too.”