By DAVID BORAKS
Surrounded by family members and friends, Mayor John Woods and town commissioners took oaths of office and the board picked top vote-getter Beth Cashion as mayor pro-tem at the Davidson Town Board meeting Tuesday night. The board also honored outgoing Commissioner Connie Wessner, who left after two terms in the seat.
Also at the meeting, town officials swore-in three new police officers, recognized newly promoted corporals and sergeants and met the department’s newest officer, a police K-9 named Maky. (See related story, “Davidson welcomes new officers, and K-9 Maky.”)
In a brief speech, Woods praised past town leaders for “courageous responses” in recent years to the weak economy, growth pressures, and the financial burden of the town’s purchase of the MI-Connection cable system. He said the new board is poised to continue Davidson’s regional leadership and economic development efforts, including new business recruiting that has brought new employers such as the MSC Industrial Supply headquarters at Exit 30 and Carolinas HealthCare Systems’ new mental health hospital off NC 73.
“I am confident we will become a highly functioning team, focusing on the quality of life we enjoy and the economic development that sustains us as a community,” he said. (See the mayor’s full remarks here.)
The board also:
- Approved 4-0 a resolution setting a Jan. 14, 2014, public hearing on Carolinas HealthCare System’s request to have the town annex its behavioral health hospital under construction on NC 73, east of town. Download the resolution on the town website.
- Adopted 4-0 a resolution supporting the new CharMeck Alerts emergency notification System. Charlotte and Mecklenburg County officials introduced the new system Dec. 4, and Davidson is expected to join by spring. See related story, DavidsonNews.net, “Officials unveil new CharMeck Alerts regional notification system.”
- Appointed new members to the Design Review Board, Planning Board, Livability Board and Public Art Commission. See a list of newly appointed members in the comment posted below, or on the town website (PDF).
- Appointed two commissioners each to serve on two nominating committees. Jenest and Cashion will serve on the committee to choose citizens for town advisory boards, which won’t meet again until next November. And Anderson and Fuller will be on a committee with Mooresville representatives that nominate new board members for MI-Connection Communications System, which Davidson owns with the town of Mooresville.
- Chose winners in a drawing for restaurant dinners, golf at River Run and a framed art print that raised money to provide holiday meals for needy residents. The raffle was organized by Davidson police and firefighters alongside their annual Angel Tree gift drive.
- The board did not vote on a final item on the agenda, the 2014 meeting schedule. Town officials said that was an oversight, and the board will adopt the schedule at its next meeting. Here’s the schedule, on the town website. (PDF)
FAREWELL TO CONNIE WESSNER
In what Mayor Woods called a “sad moment,” the board recognized outgoing Commissioner Connie Wessner, who was not re-elected in November. The mayor read a resolution calling her a “determined leader” and “trusted colleague,” whose contributions are many. Highlights of the resolution:
“She ran as a candidate for whom ‘village matters’ [her campaign slogan] and lived this promise by supporting affordable housing, consistently defending its importance through her works ith the town and through her leadership at the Davidson Housing coalition.And she has exemplified volunteerism and citizens leadership by giving her time and considerable energy to the Library Task Force. … Her belief in dialogue and collaboration was the basis for new and valuable relationships between town government and its citizens. her conviction that civic engagement is necessary for a healthy town guided her encouragement of Davidson citizens, no matter their age, to become community leaders.”
In interview Tuesday, Woods called Wessner “the board’s thinker.”
Town Manager Leamon Brice presented Wessner with a colorful artwork depicting the front of the Davidson library branch, which she helped save in 2010.
Earlier in the meeting, Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce President Bill Russell also honored Wessner, presenting her with a plaque from the chamber honoring her for her four years of service to the region as a Davidson commissioner.
NEW BOARD, NEW TERM
In the Nov. 5, 2013, election, Woods was unopposed for mayor and three incumbent commissioners were re-elected: Rodney Graham, Jim Fuller and Brian Jenest. Voters also elected two new faces to the board, Beth Cashion and Stacey Anderson.
Cashion collected the most votes in the November election. And in a 5-0 vote without discussion Tuesday, commissioners stuck to tradition and elected her as mayor pro-tem.
A reception followed in the Town Hall atrium.