Election Day is upon us and it is time to head to the polls. Here are some suggestions for Huntersville based on the methodology outlined in my upcomong column from this week's Herald Weekly. Be sure to check that out on Thursday.
This election cycle, Huntersville is where most of the big action takes place. With over a dozen candidates for the Town Board and the area's only contested mayoral election, there is more to choose from here than anywhere else.
For Town Board you can't go wrong with incumbents Rob Kidwell and Danny Phillips along with newcomer Mark Gibbons.
Commissioners Kidwell and Phillips have proven themselves to be independent voices on the board rather than always walking in lockstep with the leadership on the dias. They deserve reelection. Challenger Mark Gibbons also has proven his commitment and willingness to fight for what is best for Huntersville and this region, serving as a prominent leader in the effort to stop the I77 HOT lanes project.
Together, these three gentlemen can ensure Huntersville's best interests are protected as the larger region grows. They will not reflexively cave to the constant drum beat of "regionalism" coming out of Charlotte. North Mecklenburg needs its largest municipality to have that kind of backbone if we are to prevent being constantly pummelled by the 800lb gorilla to our south.
On the mayoral side, the choice is also clear.
While I do not know Mayor Swain personally, people who do seem to think she is a very nice person. HOWEVER, this is not a high school popularity contest.
Huntersville needs a leader willing to go to the mat for the town on large regional issues and Mayor Swain simply is not that person. Maybe Mayor Swain has gotten too comfortable at Huntersville town hall having been there for a long, looong time. Her lack of much of a visible campaign effort this cycle also gives the impression of a sense of entitlement that should never be apparent in an elected official.
Regardless, it is time for new blood.
Fortunately for Huntersville, challenger John Aneralla can provide the leadership that has been missing.
Aneralla is no stranger to the political process having run for office at the state level previously. He also serves on the boards overseeing the State's retirement system which is one of the largest in the country.
Aneralla is on record opposing the I77 HOT lanes from his previous runs for office, so he is not a "jonny come lately" to the anti-toll effort.
In the role of Mayor, voters want someone who will break ties the right way - giving thoughtful consideration to all sides of an issue and not just doing what is popular to a select few.
Electing John Aneralla gives that to Huntersville.
Just my 2 cents...