Monday, November 23, 2015

I77 continues to stir the pot for local politicos

In the ongoing fallout of this month's election, Local politicos have continued to spin, react, position, and use the I77 HOT lanes issue to varying degrees of effectiveness.

In a press release last Monday where his pending toll road education trip to Texas along with Davidson Mayor John Woods was revealed, Cornelius Mayor Chuck Travis chose to take the "whistling past the graveyard" approach.  Considering what happened to his fellow pro-toller, Mayor Jill Swain in Huntersville, it seemed a bit tone deaf for Travis to say...

"First and foremost, I want to thank the residents of Cornelius for the vote of confidence to serve as the Mayor of our wonderful Town. On election day, even though I was unopposed, I received the highest number of votes of any candidate running for office in our Town. I appreciate the trust that you have placed in me to lead our Town for the next two years. I take the role of Mayor seriously and respect the responsibility to hold this office."

While the bubble was burst regarding the vote totals in the unopposed Davidson and Cornelius Mayoral races in this piece last week.  Cornelius Commissioner Dave Gilroy's said it more directly in his most recent newsletter in Sunday.

"Note to Davidson’s Mayor John Woods and Cornelius’s Mayor Chuck Travis who are both lovely gentlemen, but have been hand-in-hand for years with Swaine in supporting I-77 Tolls (which the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce recently stated would cause “irreparable damage to our region”). With no doubt whatsoever, both Woods and Travis would have similarly gone down in flames had they faced any viable opposition."

Then there is State Rep Charles Jeter.  Though, in Jeter's case, rather than his own statements, he was on the receiving end of multiple ads on the subject of the HOT lanes - ads that came from two completely different directions.

The first ad appearing in local papers said Jeter is the one with the power to stop the tolls...

The second appeared on a billboard along 77 saying Jeter is the one to blame for putting them in place...

In the aftermath of Monday's "summit" where the State once again kicked the can back to CRTPO and with candidate filing for the NCGA set to open December-1, we can likely expect the hard hitting comments on tolls to keep coming.

The topic was an effective one in our recent municipal elections and will likely be in the forefront for many elections to come.

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