Friendly Fire

We’ve sent emails. We’ve made phone calls. What we forgot to do was watch our back. Yesterday Mayors John Woods and Chuck Travis met with Senator/Pres Pro Tem Phil Berger in Raleigh.

And they shot us in the back.

According to one attendee, the Mayors impressed upon Senator Berger the fact that those opposing the toll lanes are only a small, vocal minority, and that minority intimidated any who would speak out differently. Further, they extolled the virtue of toll lanes based on their trip to Texas last Fall.

That trip you may remember, prompted the Cornelius Town Board to censure Mayor Travis. On Dec 21 2015 the board unanimously passed a strong resolution, concluding:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, on behalf of the citizens we represent, that the Cornelius Board of Commissioners hereby reaffirm our unequivocal opposition to the I-77 Managed lanes project and, further, find Mayor Travis’ recent actions and statements on the I-77 managed lanes issue to be in opposition to the views of this town board and the community we represent and, further, find that his statements and actions are his personal views and not those of the Town of Cornelius or this town board.

That Travis would have the gall to travel to Raleigh and make the same statements- in direct opposition to this resolution- is a first rate betrayal. In light of his unsanctioned actions, we hope the board gives him a vote of “no confidence” on his abilities as Mayor.

Woods, of course, has long been a toll proponent. Like Travis, his motivations are unclear. Together they impressed upon Sen Berger the idea that the citizens “don’t understand the consequences” of cancelling the toll contract. This smacks of vintage John Woods. You may recall early on in this struggle he accused WI77 of “spreading misinformation”, a backhanded way of calling us liars. (He used the same tactic to dampen opposition to his “enlightened” plan for getting Davidson in the cable business.)

He ignores the fact that  WI77 discovered and publicized the non-compete, the $20 round trip tolls, the amendments extending the financial close. We predicted SH130 in Texas would fail two years before it happened. NCDOT said they were surprised the day after it did. And on. And on.

In Woods’ world, the government is the seat of all wisdom and anything coming from citizens must be borne of ignorance.

So Woods also acted in direct contradiction to Davidson’s position based on two resolutions the town passed last Spring. As a matter of due process the Davidson Town Board should censure him. Word is they are working on a resolution along those lines and the issue will be voted on at their next meeting.

Woods, like Travis, ran unopposed last election.

Curiously uninvited was Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla, a longtime toll opponent. Huntersville stood to bear the brunt of the cancellation costs, if any, based on HB954. Think maybe he should’ve been in the room?  He wasn’t even told about the meeting, called to try and get in, but was rebuffed.

The political explanation is Sen Berger wanted to hear from both sides. Since he had heard from opponents two weeks ago, he wanted to hear from supporters. For now it appears supporters have won the day.

So over a dozen anti-toll resolutions, 900+ emails, 12,000+ petition signatures and over $100,000 raised are trumped by two mayors.

The political explanation is bullshit.

For now keep emailing the Senate. Please be respectful.

But you might want to add two more to your list. Their behavior does not warrant respect.


15 Responses to Friendly Fire

  1. Jim Puckett says:

    There can be major political consequences should you, the anti-I77 toll groups choose. There are local NC legislative seats up for election this Nov WITH opposition. Removing one or two of the current delegation would have a major impact on the balance of power in Raleigh. I am hopeful that those currently in office will understand the ramifications of this contract continuing and the fact that the THOUSANDS of citizens in north Meck and south Iredell will mobilize daily to effect change at the ballot box, and that change is NOT limited to our immediate area. I of course would like for the Republicans to maintain their edge. That said, I have always spoken for ALL the people I represent and I also have been brutally honest with those in power that this issue is bigger for our area than ANY other issue, or ANY party.

  2. michael futterman says:

    REsolution be damned. This “mayor” acted in a manner than ethically and legally is in direct opposition to the oath he took and the requirements of his postion. What do the citizens of this area need to do to have him removed from his post due to dereliction of duty and place someone in his place that truly understands his responsibilities to those who elected him and those who he represents.
    We have enough problems on the Federal level having our desires represented. You would think on this local level it would be a little different. But, then again, I just may be one of those who believe the constitution and bill of rights mean something (not just the second amendment).
    Who do you have to call/email to get legal common sense to prevail?

    • Cynthia Underwood says:

      It’s Time that Mayor Travis be removed from his position
      Since he has defied the “majority” of those who gave him this Leadership Role. Clearly he has proven that he is not qualified and should Resign!
      Cornelius Citizens write to Mayor Chuck Travis and demand his resignation effective immediately!

  3. Kathy and Dan Butterfieeld says:

    We again, are appalled at the underhandedness of Chuck Travis and John Woods. Obviously, both missed Sunday School on the day they taught personal integrity and what that entails and Civics 101. It is obvious that both of these men have financial ties to CINTRA and are fighting to save their personal gain. Public servants? Just what “public” are you serving Chuck and John?

  4. Agnes Babboni says:

    I am so disappointed and mad with these mayors. On my no vote again list for them. Am a resident of Cornelius

  5. Big Ed says:

    Widen I77 needs to hire a private detective to find out how these two are being bought. If their corruption can see daylight, the house of cards may tumble

  6. Brian David Carroll says:

    Such a huge fraud at taxpayers expense. Outrageous

  7. Alan T Adler says:

    Mayor Woods is the same idiot that lobbied so hard for MI Connection. This is the cable (money-pit) entity that has cost the taxpayers of Davidson, millions of dollars. You’d think the citizens of Davidson would have tossed him out of office long ago.

  8. Bryan Cumberledge says:

    Their betrayal will be remembered–they seem to think they know better than the people who put them in office–reminds me of the MI cable disaster that has cost us how many millions? There has to be a rea$on for their support of this toll project–can’t wait until somebody figures it out!

    • Anonymous says:

      It was long ago figures out. It just hasn’t come to light yet, but when it does, our state government is gonna make 1960s Chicago look like the Partridge family.

  9. lucinda m heavlin says:

    God Help us and Protect the 2 mayors who we sent to Raleigh to lobby for passage of the HB 954 to terminate the I-77 toll Rd. and 50 years of indebtedeness to a foreign company. Save us from fence straddlers. Their weaknesses in face of political dominance is pathetic. ch/cs voter

  10. lucinda m heavlin says:

    Please call or e-mail the following members of the Senate Transportation committee demanding to know “Why” they did not discuss the I-77 Toll contract in their meeting on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Demand that they address this bill HB954 that passed the house which they received June6,2016. If they had discussed it and passed it to the Senate for a vote, we could have seen the cancellation of this contract before July 1, 2016.
    List of Senate Transportation committee’ e-mails.
    Thank you, Ch

  11. KC Green, PE says:

    When there’s not enuf fuel tax revenue for all the large (and desperately-needed) road projects, which is ALWAYS the case, politicians inevitably start embracing alternative financing. Alternative financing is a code phrase for TOLLS. I know that I-77’s widening, with GP lanes, is/was also contingent on prioritization, but having the adequate funding, VIA FUEL TAXES, would have surely stepped things up in the manner we’ve all wanted.

    Be careful who you vote for this November. When candidates get defiant or meely-mouthed about raising the fuel tax (even when it’s $2.30/gal), you can be sure that so-called alternative financing will continue to rear its ugly head.

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