This week, the Lake Norman Citizen begins two weeks of providing profiles for the candidates in those races, starting with the 11-person race for the six seats on the Huntersville Town Board of Commissioners.
Following are the profiles as the candidates submitted them, in their own words and edited by the Citizen only to conform to the 200-word limit to describe their platforms. Following, in alphabetical order, are the candidates for the Huntersville Town Board of Commissioners.
15426 Ranson Road
• Family: Married to John Bales; have two sons Joshua and Jonathan.
• Education: Attended East Tennessee State University.
• Occupation: Currently I am a stay-at-home mother.
• Previous political and civic experience: Six years as Women's Ministry Director at Christ Community Church, Torrence Creek Elementary PTA President and Huntersville Greenway, Trail and Bikeway Commission
• Platform: Huntersville needs leaders who can look at the issues and think outside the box in order to find solutions. I have addressed issues in this manner in every role I have taken on, whether it was as a Quality Manager for MCI, women's ministry leader, PTA president or serving on the Huntersville Greenway Commission. I will bring this approach to the role of Town Commissioner as well. Our road infrastructure has had few upgrades in the past 15 years and our population continues to grow. We need leaders who will continue to press this issue forward and bring results to our town. The next board must ensure that Huntersville is a great place to do business. In order to accomplish this, I will work with the new board and town staff to review town policies and ensure that the current policies are in line with growing business not stifling it. Huntersville needs town leaders to advocate for our youngest citizens, and as a commissioner I will work to keep the needs of our young citizens in the forefront by working with our county commissioners and our school board representatives. We need leaders who are actively engaged in providing solutions, and I will be that commissioner for Huntersville.
15306 Marshfield Court
• Family: Wife Julie, children Jacob, Eva and Miles.
• Education: BS Accounting and Information Systems, Arizona State University
• Occupation: Licensed CPA and founder of Boatsman Gillmore PLLC.
• Previous political and civic experience: Active working on local campaigns, largely with fundraising and serving as treasurer; chairman of Finance and Operations, Lake Norman Chamber; chairman of Finance, Lake Norman Economic Development Corp.; finance director, Solace for the Children, a Mooresville-based charity that brings kids from Afghanistan for medical attention; Finance and events Subcommittee board member, Ada Jenkins Center; finance chairman, – North Carolina Community Sailing and Rowing Center; Rotary Club of Lake Norman.
• Platform: We have a unique opportunity as a town to chart our own destiny. Everyone will agree that we need better roads, more schools in Huntersville, and improved services, but few of us want to pay for it through higher tax rates. It is a simple equation: we have to grow the revenue pie and the only way to grow the revenue pie while keeping our existing tax rates low is through economic development and healthy business growth. We have the best available opportunity for economic development in Mecklenburg County, now we need to resolve how to be the best in the state and nation at leveraging this great asset to improve our quality of life. I believe that I have the relationships and the skills to make this happen much like the process of building a successful public accounting practice. I have great working relationships with our neighboring elected officials, staff, and business leaders in Davidson, Cornelius, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg County. I will leverage these relationships to help us build a better Huntersville. I specialize in tax accounting and business growth. I believe this experience will provide a tremendous asset to our town and region in helping grow and improve our schools, roads, and services in a fiscally responsible manner.
Charles S. Guignard
201 Sherwood Drive
• Family: Seventeen amazing and wonderful God children.
• Education: BA economics, North Carolina State University.
• Occupation: Real estate redeveloper
• Previous political and civic experience: Huntersville Planning Board, two years; Huntersville Town Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem for four years in the late 1990s; founder and co-organizer of The Angels of '97.
• Platform: As Huntersville continues in the spotlight locally — and regionally — we as elected officials must work with other agencies to obtain the best we can for our citizens. One way, as I did 12 years ago, is to initiate the joint-use with CMS to build the full-sized gymnasium at Huntersville Elementary. Such ventures allow most efficient use of tax payers' monies. Also, efforts must continue with Charlotte Area Transit System and others to build soon the planned-for and much needed freight and commuter Red Line.
While it is a "bonanza" to have "big" new businesses on the way, we must find more ways to help the hundreds of small businesses already in town to grow and prosper. My involvement as a small business owner who had provided locations for more than 40 businesses to start and grow here, as well as my involvement as founder of Angels of '97 that has given out over $400,000 in scholarships locally, allows me to daily stay in touch with you, the tax paying citizen. I will work for these and others while working not to increase taxes or add new fees locally. Thank you for your support and vote.
Charles Jeter (I)
16024 Wynfield Creek Parkway
• Family: Wife of 12 years Jennifer, children Caroline (10), Ellie (8) and Charlie (5).
• Education: BA in Business Economics from Wofford College in 1995.
• Occupation: President of Intermodal FCL, Inc.
• Previous political and civic experience: Six years on Huntersville Town Board of Commissioners; two years on Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; two years on Visit Lake Norman Board of Directors; one year on Lake Norman Transportation Commission; three years on Hugh Torrance House & Store Board of Directors; two years as delegate for Centralina Council of Government; two years on Council of Planning for Highway 73; three years as chairman of the Board of Directors for the Huntersville School Advisory Committee.
• Platform: Traditionally, as an incumbent, people ask what have you done to make this town better. When I was first elected in 2005, there were four major issues facing our community ... roads, schools, taxes and a new police station. We have built more new roads and made more road improvements than the previous 20 years. As a result, Sam Furr Road will be completed by the end of 2011. We created the only municipal advisory committee to interact with CMS and to ensure our children's voices are heard. As a result, five of the top 50 school projects are within Huntersville, including the new Stumptown Elementary School. I am the only candidate who did not vote to raise taxes this year. I proposed and voted for a revenue neutral budget, but was the lone candidate to vote against the approved tax increase to a $.285 tax rate. I led the charge to get a new police station. Come July 1, 2012, our Huntersville PD will be in a new, state-of-the-art facility at 30 percent of the estimated cost. With that record, I firmly believe that I am one of the six best candidates to serve the Huntersville community for another two years.
Ron Julian (I)
106-2 Pineridge Drive
• Family: Wife of 33 years Teresa, son Shane and daughter Melissa.
• Education: Nuclear Engineering Technology Degree
• Occupation: Self-employed, property management
• Previous political and civic experience: I was elected as a Commissioner to the Town of Huntersville in November of 2007 and I'm completing my second term. Prior to being elected, I was a member of the Town Board of Adjustments for five years and a member of the East Huntersville Area Development. Since being elected in 2007 I have served in the following roles: HTB representative to Council of Governments, HTB representative to Planning Liaison, HTB representative to Visit Lake Norman, HTB representative to Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation, HTB representative to Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, and HTB representative to the Huntersville School Advisory Committee.
• Platform: I want to thank the Huntersville residents for allowing me to serve them the last four years and look forward to serving them for another two years. Huntersville is a great place to live with many amenities and destinations abound. The high quality of life can be contributed to the town's emphasis on low taxes, public safety (police and fire), location (Piedmont area), great public and private educational opportunities, affordable housing market, parks, and the many other amenities available. To keep Huntersville's future bright and on course, the following are important issues we need to continue to address: Economic Development — By bringing large commercial corporations to Huntersville, it will help keep our taxes low and bring much needed jobs. Road Improvements — Instrumental in lobbying to secure millions in federal and state dollars to improve Huntersville Roads including Highway widening. Helped formulate the top road projects list, identifying priority road enhancements in Huntersville that have since been completed. Schools — I have advocated and been assured that Stumptown Elementary will be built to relieve Torrence Creek Elementary. Fiscally Conservative — As a fiscally conservative Huntersville Commissioner, I promise to continue to keep Huntersville strong and competitive.
Sarah R. McAulay (I)
300 Gilead Road
• Family: Two sisters, nieces and nephews
• Education: North Mecklenburg High School, BA Economics UNCG
• Occupation: Retired – financial Institutions
• Previous political and civic experience: In 1979 I was elected Mayor of Huntersville, served four terms, elected Mayor for fifth term 1991. In 2001, I was elected town commissioner currently serving a fifth term. I represent the Town at the Mecklenburg Union Metropolitan Planning Organization (MUMPO), Visit Lake Norman, City-County Planning Coordination Committee, and Highway 73 Planning Commission. Personally, I enjoy and benefit from my association with the Mecklenburg Chapter of DAR, Historical Rural Hill, and Historic Latta Plantation boards, committees and activities.
• Platform: I consider this Nov. 8, 2011, election for mayor and six commissioners to be Huntersville's biggest issue. What am I doing to solve this issue is to continue with "Sarah McAulay for Town Commissioner" positive leadership election campaign and my support for Mayor Jill Swain and Commission candidates Julian, Guignard, Neely and Jeter. I think will best serve as elected officials because we each have an understanding of local government, are committed to provide leadership with positive leadership attitudes, will make decisions that are negotiated and positive, will respect and support the town manager and staff, and strive to promote job growth and improve the quality of life for all Huntersville citizens and businesses. As Town Commissioner I strive to provide leadership with a mature, accomplished and interested understanding of Huntersville's citizens and businesses by contributing to our progressive, diverse community. I have a history of endorsing, promoting, and encouraging a variety of existing and new commercial, residential, and recreation opportunities in the Huntersville area.
12206 Wickson Court
• Family: Wife – Myra Miller, RN at Huntersville Oaks, daughter, Angela Anderson.
• Education: BS Civil Engineering, North Carolina State University
• Occupation: Real Estate Broker, D Real Estate Company, LLC
• Previous political and civic experience: Currently the Mecklenburg Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor.
• Platform: I am a retired civil engineer who worked at McGuire Nuclear Station and owned an engineering firm, WATU Engineering, for 10 years. I have been a real estate broker for more than five years and am a workforce housing specialist.
I am a member of the Charlotte Regional Realtors Association. I am active on the Government Affairs Committee, Real Estate and Industry Coalition Board (REBIC). I am on the Community Link Board, which enables individuals and families to obtain and sustain safe, decent and affordable housing. I am on the Trips For Kids Charlotte board, a nonprofit that provides life lessons to youths in fragile neighborhoods through mountain biking outings. I am an active member of Victory Christian Center.
I am running for Huntersville Town Board because I love calling Huntersville home. I want to be involved and provide my resources to help Huntersville continue to be a great place to live.
I will work to keep costs down with no tax increases. I will manage the town's budget wisely. I will promote smart transportation projects especially for calming traffic congestion and calming neighborhood streets. I will pursue sidewalk connectivity. I am happy we have acted on getting a new police facility.
10214 Linksland Drive
• Family: Wife of 40 years Ginny, and two daughters who are college graduates and living out of state.
• Educations: Associates Degree
• Occupation: Retired Belk Stores vice president
• Previous political and civic experience: Currently serving my second term on Huntersville Planning Board, Skybrook Ridge HOA board officer, graduate of the Huntersville Citizen's Police Academy and Leadership Charlotte.
• Platform: During the process of helping to formulate the Huntersville 2030 Community Plan as a member of the Planning Board, I became even more committed to serving the citizens of Huntersville. In addition to the Planning Board, my attendance at Town Board of Commissioners Meetings and town workshops has intensified my desire to run for the office of town commissioner. In a difficult economy, Huntersville faces continuing challenges to growth while maintaining the quality of life our citizens have a right to expect. As we move forward as a community, several issues are priorities: commercial and residential development creating jobs, roads and infrastructure, controlling taxes and protecting the quality of life issues that make Huntersville an excellent place to live and raise a family. My 25 years of retail executive experience and Planning Board service has prepared me to serve the community working with the mayor, other commissioners, town management professionals and the citizens of Huntersville in the role of town commissioner.
14720 Brown Mill Road
• Family: Married to Madeline Phillips for 30 years. Two children, Stacy who is 24 and an Appalachian State graduate and Johnathan, who manages our family business and farm.
• Education: High School
• Occupation: Owner of The Old Store and Hubbard Farm in Huntersville.
• Previous political and civic experience: I have been a volunteer for local elections during the last six years. During this time I have worked early voting and election day for current and previous candidates. I have also had numerous dealings with the board over the last few years, working with other rural and farming neighbors over a previous road agenda.
• Platform: Commissioners are trusted to make decisions that impact the present and future; they are trusted to represent all citizens. In order to have a successful future we must focus on bettering the present state of the town for the residents. This could be done by encouraging businesses to come to our community and ensure current businesses stay. We must streamline the planning and zoning process. By promoting business in Huntersville, there should be no excuse for more tax hikes. Residents shouldn't have to pay because the town doesn't invite businesses to join our community. More businesses means more revenue and jobs. As a retail owner in Huntersville, I have witnessed first-hand how the economy affects people. I have budgeted for my own business and household to meet the conditions. It's time for the Board to use the same fiscally conservative methods we use in our homes and cut the waste and unnecessaries. To ensure responsible spending by those in office, the Town's budget should be readily available and negotiable for citizens so that money is spent in the manner they see fit.
12327 Cross Meadow Road
• Family: Wife Maria, children Catrina and Logan
• Education: Bachelors in Criminal Justice UNCC; Masters Public Administration UNCC (currently enrolled)
• Occupation: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer
• Previous political and civic experience: Voter precinct Chairman Mecklenburg County GOP; delegate at the county and state GOP conventions; president of Crosswinds Home Owners Association; Volunteer firefighter and EMT on an ambulance.
• Platform: I'm running for town commissioner to keep taxes low, improve public safety, government transparency and infrastructure. I will keep taxes low. I will spend tax payer money wisely and prioritize needs verses wants. I will do this by cutting back on unnecessary and repetitive studies while holding department heads accountable for spending. I will look at cost-saving measures, such as contracting essential services. I will make sure Huntersville's police, fire, and rescue personnel are equipped to protect our families. I will do this through drug interdiction and use of asset forfeiture funds, Governor's Highway Safety Program and adequate facilities for the police department. Transparency is crucial in building citizen confidence in government. I will not tolerate any misuse of taxpayer dollars. I will not vote to pass a budget unless I know how all requested funds will be spent. I will hold town hall meetings and put the checkbook ledger online. Roadways and sidewalks are essential to the safety of citizens as they walk and drive about our community. A well-maintained infrastructure will attract business growth, and in turn create jobs. I will prioritize roadway, sidewalk, and park projects based on need.
17210 Cambridge Grove Drive
• Family: Wife of 20 years Tricia, daughter Kaitlyn (16), son Sam (13).
• Education: Bachelors of Science, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, May 1990; Masters in Management Information Systems, Kennedy Western University, May 2003
• Occupation: Business and IT consultant/Owner, Customer One Solutions, Inc; Range director, The Range at Lake Norman
• Previous political and civic experience: Vice president Colville HOA 1988–1990, President Cambridge Grove HOA, 1999-2001; Huntersville Town Commissioner, 2001-2005; Huntersville Mayor pro tem, 2005-2009; Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Town representative to the Mecklenburg-Union MPO, 2003-2009; Lake Norman CVB Board of Directors; 2003 fellow of the Institute of Political Leadership; 2011 members of leadership Lake Norman.
• Platform: The Sisson family have been residents of Huntersville since 2006. We are actively involved in our town, faith community and sports organizations. We are owners of two businesses that employ local residents. Having spent eight years on the Huntersville Town Board, I understand and can quickly dive into the issues facing our town. One of the first issues to be tackled is the recently contracted building for the new police station. How will this be paid for, how will the financing be arranged. While this seems to be a good deal on the surface, many thought that the downtown project would not be a financial burden on the town, or the aquatic center. Hastily made government decisions often backfire. The details of this deal need to be fully examined and vetted. During the course of the next two years, I plan on doing as I did the previous eight years on the Board and keeping financial restraint on the Board. This past year the average Huntersville address received a 20-plus percent increase in their town tax bill. All residents are facing personal financial restraint, government, even at the local level should do the same thing.
— Next week, Cornelius and Davidson Town Board, Davidson mayoral and Huntersville mayoral candidates.