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Cornelius News

Washam looks to the future as fourth term begins Monday

Mayor Woody Washam

Nov. 30. By Dave Yochum. Woody Washam says he is “excited and very optimistic” about his upcoming fourth term as mayor which officially begins at his swearing-in ceremony Monday, Dec. 4 at Town Hall.

Also being sworn in: Two incumbents and three newcomers to the Town Board.

“I plan to renew and enhance our efforts for a regional approach to challenges that our entire region faces including, but not limited to overall growth, infrastructure, workforce housing, etc.,” Washam said.

The next two years will be a time for key decisions to be made on mass transit including Bus Rapid Transit, the Red Line and regional transportation alliances.


Indeed, the Lake Norman region has been beset with growth, including some of the highest population growth rates in the nation. The past two Town Board elections have been contentious due to rapid growth: In the 2021 election four out of five commissioners were turned out, with only Denis Bilodeau remaining.

Bilodeau opted to run for mayor this year and lost by virtually the thinnest of margins—five votes—after a recount.

It was a shocker for many people and a wake-up call for any of the electeds regionally who might not have transportation issues front and center.

Looking ahead

Washam said at least six major road projects will have signed construction contracts in the next 12- to18 months.

“I plan to utilize the many relationships built over my years as an elected official to bring these all to fruition,” he said.

Meanwhile, recommendations from the Mayor’s Task Force on Transportation Implementation and Funding are due this month. They are expected to include more creative ways of funding projects earlier than traditional NCDOT methods.

“As we address our transportation needs, we should consistently monitor the impact of growth—only smart growth continues to make sense,” Washam said.

Also on his to-do list

Public safety: “Continuing the support of our police and fire departments with state of the art equipment as well as competitive compensation—also for all town employees—is paramount. I will work hard to expedite the Fire Dept. transition into a town department as soon as is reasonable and possible.”

Parks and Recreation: “I look forward to the completion of the updated master plan. Our amenities are known throughout our region as the best of the best and I certainly want to keep it that way.”

Finance and taxes: “It is always my goal to keep our town in a fiscally healthy position while keeping our tax rate as low as possible. We must maintain our AAA bond ratings and abide by state statues and local ordinances.”

Monday’s Town Board meeting starts at 6 pm at Town Hall.