Mayor candidates take questions: A look at issues facing Mooresville

  • 4 min to read
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Voters in Mooresville will head to the polls Tuesday to decide on the next mayor, three commissioners and three Mooresville Graded School District board members. In this file photo, voters cast ballots in a primary to determine who was on the ballot for mayor.

On Tuesday, Mooresville residents will choose between two candidates for mayor. Angela Carruba Stutts and Miles Atkins each took some time to answers questions for the Mooresville Tribune.

Here is a look at the questions and their answers:

ANGELA CARRUBA STUTTS

What do you think are the key issues facing this area? The biggest issue I see facing the Town currently is the explosive residential growth without the infrastructure in place to support the growth.

Traffic congestion continues to be a huge concern and while there is a strategic plan in place for State road enhancements construction on these projects are still years away. In addition to the traffic congestion, we need to consider the safety of approving high density development. In the wake of the catastrophic fire (Oct. 23), are the zoning ordinances in place practical and should we consider setbacks that prohibit building homes is such close proximity to one another. The strain the development places on the local school district is also a concern. While MGSD is a separate legal entity with an independent budget decisions made by the Town Board impact the school district and the financial burden falls on the same local taxpayer.

Another key issue facing residents is affordable housing and homelessness. The average cost of rent in Mooresville is approximately $1,400 a month and the median home cost at $268.400 leave many wondering if they can afford to remain in the area. Our homeless population continues to grow leaving many individuals resorting to camping in wooded areas around the downtown area or sleeping in cars. With the closest shelter located in Statesville we need to look at ways to combat this issue locally.

What do you think should be the role of this position? A mayor presides over scheduled Town Board meetings and votes on issues when there is a tie amongst Commissioners. A mayor should foster open and transparent lines of communication with the residents to address concerns as they arise. A mayor should have the safety of the citizens in mind and ensure that the first responders have all the resources and support necessary to maintain that safety. A mayor should be fiscally responsible and put the needs of the community ahead of “nice to haves” and minimize waste in spending. A mayor should also attract economic development that brings job opportunities that pay a living wage, career growth and benefits.

What makes you the best candidate for the job? I am the best candidate for the job if citizens are ready for a change in leadership that is not politically connected. A candidate that is willing to listen to citizens to understand their concerns not to respond. I will work collaboratively with both citizens and the Board of Commissioners to find solutions to issues as they arise. I will foster transparency in communications and the highest priority placed on ethical decision making. And above all else when we see “Putting Mooresville First” we need to remember that Mooresville is more than creating a bigger dot on the map, it’s about “Putting the People of Mooresville First.”

MILES ATKINS

What do you think are the key issues facing this area? Some of the challenges facing the Town of Mooresville are quality growth management, traffic congestion, transportation infrastructure, maintaining the quality of life, attainable housing, restoring public trust in the Police Department, employee and organizational development, filling key staff vacancies and succession planning.

If re-elected some of my main goals and objectives I hope to accomplish working with the Town Manager and the Town Board of Commissioners include:

Continue pushing NCDOT to start and complete all Mooresville road projects where funding has been secured;

Ensure we get the best and most qualified professionals in the right positions in the town’s administrative leadership;

Implementation of the One Mooresville Comprehensive Land Use and Transportation Plan that includes a Growth Management Framework;

Downtown Redevelopment that includes residential and commercial development with an effective parking strategy;

Develop an Accountable Community Strategy that serves as a new community health model involving multiple stakeholders working together to improve the health and well-being of our community by addressing social determinants of health.

What do you think should be the role of this position? The state of North Carolina, by state statute, defines the role of mayors and has created a very limited role. Our state laws leave many decisions about the management and operation of municipalities operating in a council-manager form of government, to town or city managers.

The mayor presides at all meetings and serves as chief executive officer and official head of the town government.

He/she may cast a vote only in the case of a tie.

In Mooresville; the mayor is elected in a nonpartisan election to serve two-year terms.

As mayor I follow the specific responsibilities as outlined by the National League of Cities:

Chair governing body meetings, which includes paying attention to parliamentary procedures, and ensuring the accomplishment of desired outcomes;

Serve as primary contact between the management staff and the governing body to keep the community agenda moving;

Encourage good communication with citizens, the media, other members of the governing body, and the chief administrator;

Represent local government in many settings in the community, with other local governments, and at state and national levels;

Facilitate action during meetings, between meetings, and throughout the community;

Help to create, maintain, and strengthen the effectiveness of the local leadership team;

Encourage and support the community during a crisis.

What makes you the best candidate for the job? Experience matters. Approach matters. Partnerships matter. As mentioned above; NC state statutes define the role of mayors. Knowing what is legally allowed vs. making blanket statements like “stop growth”, which is illegal, is key to the continued success of Mooresville.

In addition, since being elected Mayor in 2011; I have worked diligently at “Putting Mooresville First.” I am passionate about our community and citizens and believe we have made significant strides towards becoming a seamless town. A place where citizens in all neighborhoods enjoy safe streets, reliable infrastructure, access to amenities, and more opportunities for a good quality of life. I have a proven record of positive changes resulting in a more enduring, connected, inclusive and innovative Mooresville.

As mayor of Mooresville, I have put my experience to work helping to achieve great things for our community. Funding for nearly $665 million in transportation and infrastructure improvements towards mitigating traffic congestion have been secured. Schools, parks, and community facilities have grown and been enhanced. On my watch, Mooresville has seen a surge in economic development attracting top businesses from around the world. Under my leadership, 4,100 new jobs have been created with an emphasis on skilled labor and workforce development. Downtown revitalization is in full swing, yielding over $18 million in private investment in the last five years alone.

As a strong believer in accessibility and community engagement, I’ve championed programs with the Mooresville Youth Council, Veterans Benefits Assistance, the Mayor’s Senior Roundtable and Individuals with Disabilities. I’ve been a consistent advocate for a diversity of social issues such as anti-bullying, substance abuse, domestic violence, and racial equity. I’ve helped create a comprehensive strategy for accessible housing that is in motion. I have steadfastly been a mayor who represents ALL citizens of Mooresville and has continued to prioritize fiscal responsibility and government transparency.

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