Friday, February 26, 2016

LNTC falls apart. Mayors to meet Monday to plan way forward.

With last week's action by Huntersville to withdraw from the LNTC, it was just a matter of time before the other shoes dropped.  That happened this week.

On Tuesday, Davidson voted to withdraw from LNTC by a vote of 3-2 with Commissioners Fuller and Jenest opposing it. (Officially, it was 3-1 due to Jenest being on the phone and only present voters count.)  As part of the vote, they retained the right to revisit the decision to withdraw at the next regularly scheduled meeting in March. On Friday, Cornelius is likely to do the same at a special meeting called for that purpose.

There is some question on the validity of the Davidson vote, as it was not on the published agenda, and the agenda that was published actually said the work session portion of the meeting was cancelled.  Questions are out to the Town and UNC-SOG to see if this can be verified.

However, it was the Davidson meeting on Tuesday that gives a little insight into what may be coming in the very near future.  The video is here.  Its the first 45 minutes.

Apparently, this coming Monday there will be a closed meeting of area mayors to discuss a way forward. The meeting was called by Davidson Mayor John Woods.  A few additional staff may be there, but Woods specifically indicated that this would be a non quorum meeting and that the media was not invited.

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in Davidson about how the region had gotten to this point with Woods using the word "bullying" to describe Huntersville actions.  Commissioner Fuller also appeared upset, and Commissioner Jenest who was on the phone seemed particularly disappointed.

One thing that became clear from the Davidson video is why the action is all taking place now within the towns. There is apparently a 4 month notice clause in the LNTC interlocal agreement for members to pull out of the group.  Since funding of the body comes from the town budgets a decision has to be made now.   March 1st is 4 months prior to the July 1st start of the new budget year.

Davidson's Board seemed most concerned about whether they would be on the hook with Mooresville alone to fund the body if both Cornelius and Huntersville had dropped out.  That, much more than a belief the LNTC had no value, appeared to be the driving force behind their withdrawal.

Monday's Mayors' meeting will be interesting.  My hope is that Huntersville Mayor Aneralla is wearing his body armor.  My guess is that he will be the target of many barbs from the other mayors.

Some might call holding that meeting behind closed doors where that can't be seen to be "bullying".

But hey...that's just me.

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