Davidson Takes a Stand…Sort of. Huntersville Next, While Politicians Spar
As the HOT lane drama continues to unfold, it was Davidson’s turn last night to weigh in on the controversial project. Depending on who you talk to, the results were either positive or negative.
Unlike the resolution passed last Monday night by Cornelius commissioners, the Davidson resolution stopped short of calling for the cancellation of the contract with Cintra. It did, however, support the effort underway by Senator Jeff Tarte to seek alternative ways to add capacity to the congested stretch of highway in North Mecklenburg and South Iredell.
Toll opponent Vallee Bubak declared to WBTV in the above link that “It was an extraordinarily weak, spineless resolution if that’s what you would call it. It did not say to terminate the contract. If anything it gives the green light to the tolls.”
Fellow opponent John (Mac) McAlpine, who organized the I77 Business Summit in late May, saw it differently. According to his Facebook post in the Exit 28 Rediculousness group, “Great news Folks, Davidson, Check. Cornelius, Check. Mecklenburg County, Check. Two to go. Monday at 6:30 is the Huntersville town board meeting.”
His reasoning is that sponsorship of legislation to “defund” the HOT lane project is, according to Tarte and Rep. John Bradford, dependent on gaining the support of the local towns and area business owners. The Davidson resolution does grant that support. McAlpine is actively seeking the signatures of area business owners in opposition to tolls on his website i77businessplan.com.
McAlpine also points out that during the two hour long question and answer session Davidson officials had with the NCDOT at last night’s meeting, it was revealed that construction of the toll lanes originally billed as starting this Summer have now been further postponed until next Spring, once again changing the narrative of toll proponents.
Huntersville is next.
A discussion and possible resolution will be heard at the board’s June 15th meeting.
This one may prove interesting.
There is some public sniping taking place between long time toll proponent Mayor Jill Swain and Senator Tarte.
Mayor Swain began a discussion by once again suggesting that this issue is purely in the hands of the state, something those at the state level, especially Governor Pat McCrory, hold the opposite opinion on by suggesting the state is only operating at the behest of what the towns asked for in the first place.
In other words, the towns shouldn’t be made to act against the tolls since any resolutions are simply symbolic. She does have a point, but as a toll supporter, she is also trying to protect herself from having to take further action on the issue.
Tarte believes that the possibility of stopping the project, which would require the support of a majority of legislators from around the state, is bolstered by being able to provide tangible evidence of support for the action. A valid concern, though opponents have suggested that the senator should work for the will of the people and legislation should not be dependent on what local governments and businesses say.
Making that point, and further suggesting that no decision can be made by local government without fully understanding the consequences, Mayor Swain responded:
So as time continues to count down, as accusations fly, and as various strategies play out; the people of this region are stuck in the crossfire hoping beyond hope that leadership will emerge to guide the contract and the 50 year destruction of area mobility to a timely demise.
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