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Cornelius News

Will a ‘growth management committee’ dilute the new Town Board?

Photo by Jason Benavides

Feb.8. By Dave Vieser. The formation of a Growth Management Committee to oversee the development of the new town draft Land Use Plan led some members of the Cornelius Town Board and Mayor Woody Washam in opposite directions during their meeting last night. However, after a lengthy discussion, the board and Mayor agreed to move forward with the concept.

Washam distributed the names of 13 prospective committee members to the commissioners but additional names may be forthcoming. “This is a board committee, not a mayor’s committee,“ said Washam, “but I thought by listing these names we could get the selection process started.”

Concerns raised

Commissioner Dave Gilroy expressed serious concerns.


“We all completely understand the direction that our town needs to move in terms of managing growth way better than in recent years. Our new board has enormous conviction having heard the voters speak loudly and clearly last November. We need to fulfill our commitments to our citizens 100 percent. Our Planning staff is in total alignment and has already started conforming our Land Use Plan to these obligations,” Gilroy said.

Growth: The major issue

Growth and managing growth were the top issues in last year’s local election. Four of five incumbents were voted out.

“Sure, we can have a new committee set up to provide some additional perspective supporting this process,” said Gilroy, who was voted back in in 2021.

“That said, this committee MUST include people who are in alignment with our commitments to Cornelius citizens. Otherwise, the committee is purely a vehicle set up to distract, dilute, and ultimately derail our promises made during the last campaign,” he said.

Shape of the committee

The initial committee member suggestions represented a range of interest and areas in the town including the business community, economic development, rural preservation, affordable housing and town history, as well as several geographic portions of the town.

Mayor Washam said he would forward his list of name to the commissioners so they could review the recommendations in anticipation of further discussions and possibly more recommendations for membership to the board.

Deputy Town Manager Wayne Herron emphasized that the proposal was just a starting point for developing committee membership and that the town board will be kept apprised as the process moves forward.