eddington mayor, Nancy Anderson has been in office for three continuous terms starting in 2003. In her first campaign, she ran as an advocate for return to one acre (R40) subdivisions zoning, opposing the RCD cluster subdivisions that had been authorized by her predecessor, Ed Howie. She won with a big margin.
Since taking office, Mrs. Anderson has been embroiled in one controversy seemingly after another – though not always of her own doing. Months after taking office, she partook in the boycotting a regular town meeting, a meeting that as mayor she would direct, joining council members Ken Evans and Robert Gilmartin (Gilmartin was out of town on business), to prevent the appointment to the Weddington Planning Board of members who favored the RCD subdivision ordinance. She has not shied away from using political maneuvers to attain her goals.
Many recall, the in the spring of 2006, a scant 3 months after taking her oath for office as Mayor, Mrs. Anderson ran for another office: Union County Commissioner. Hardly the commitment you’d expect after just winning election!
Upon losing in the first round of the Republican primary, Ms. Anderson endorsed candidates Parker Mills and Stony Rushing because “overall they exemplify my philosophy more than the other two.” (‘the other two’ refers to Lanny Openshaw & Richard Stone who ran in the run-off). A clear indication that developer special interests was high on her list of concerns.
The last 6 years have been tumultuous at times, leaping from one controversial issue to another, dividing the residents into pro or anti-Anderson camps. The most notable controversies deal with the roads; the Rea Road Extension, the NC 84 round-about (rotary), The WOODS pump station, the lending of Weddington funds to NCDOT to build the roads Anderson was lobbying them about, giving more than $140,000 to Weddington High School for a weight room (Gilmartin proposal) and the 2008 tax increase to Weddington residents. (Note: Weddington did not reduce their tax rate after the revalue. Weddington residents saw a 60% increase in property values.)
Weddington, under Mayor Anderson’s leadership, was very active in imposing involuntary annexations of unincorporated property in recent years. Many newly indentured residents aren’t very happy, but then again, Weddington did get more than they bargained for when Union County dropped the WCWAA flooding issue (expense) in the town’s lap. (WCWAA, Weddington, Union County and the state are working toward resolving the issues in the near future.)
It is not my intention to recount every controversy involving the mayor over that last six years. As much as the Mayor Anderson and I disagree on some issues, but I will be first to acknowledge the energy and perseverance she brings to her efforts. She is a force to be reckoned in everything she does.
Much of the 2009 Weddington campaign rhetoric concerning the mayor revolves around accusations of ‘Conflict of Interest’ on Mayor Anderson’s part, highlighted in the following news report, aired last July.
Here on the VSO, the mayors husband, Phil Anderson has denied any conflicts of interest exist, as has the Mayor herself in the video. I suppose the perception of a conflict carries weight in those who oppose the mayor’s candidacy. All things considered, Mayor Anderson has been banging the drum for a number of road projects that are unpopular with some and not with others. Questions of how most Weddington residents feel is what the election will settle.
This TV news video from the fall of 2008 concerns the Weddington annexations.
The town of Weddington is undergoing major changes with the widening of Providence Road. The Town commercial center has been under great stress as both the economy and access restrictions have been major impediments to doing business. Many believe that Weddington is at a crossroads and the wrong decisions will forever change the town, for the worse. No one can deny that the distrust of motivations is where this concern emanates — fair or not.
Nancy Anderson has had three terms to articulate, advocate and use the bully pulpit of her office to move her vision of Weddington forward. In my view, now its time for new leadership, if for no other reason than to change the tone, remove suspicions and build a consensus with its citizens as to how Weddington should evolve as a community.
The VSO has endorsed Barbara Harrison for mayor for many of the reasons highlighted in the paragraghs above. Mrs. Harrison’s professional experience and laid back personality, we believe will make great strides in bringing Weddington’s Town Council together and traveling down the same road – so to speak.
In Weddington’s district Council race, the VSO finds itself dealing with one of the piques of ‘Districting’, having to decide between two good candidates for the same seat, LA Smith and Werner Thomisser. We’ve given the nod to Mr. Thomisser, because we believe he will bring a clarity to town issues that truly reflect the taxpayers concerns.