Cornelius candidates talk development, taxes at forum hosted by LKN Chamber & WSIC


Pictured above: Cornelius Commissioner Dave Gilroy and his wife Diane. Both are running for Cornelius Commissioner. WSIC photo

CORNELIUS, N.C. (WSIC NEWS) – Managing growth and taxes: those were the biggest concerns from those running for Cornelius Town Board in a forum Tuesday hosted by the Lake Norman Chamber Commerce and WSIC.

“We also have a chance to slow the growth,” says Diane Gilroy. “No more high density housing.”

Diane Gilroy is running alongside, or you might say against, her husband – incumbent Dave Gilroy. Both feel development should be carefully managed.

“The answer is discipline,” says Dave Gilroy. “High standards, high expectations especially at this very, very late stage in the development of the town we have to be really careful about not just lazily saying yes to yet another high-density residential project and that’s a lot of what happens unfortunately up here.”

Agreeing with her husband, Diane Gilroy simply said, “I would say in the words of the late Hank Kahn, ‘cows not condos.’”

But, as other incumbents made clear – it depends on what you define as high-density. Dr. Mike Miltich serves on the pre-development board.

“I will tell you that any high-density proposal is instantly shot-down. You haven’t even seen a high-density proposal come in front of town board in the four years, and even before that, that I have served.”

“It’s tough to hear Mike say there’s been no high-density residential,” said Dave Gilroy in response to Miltich’s claim. “We just had sixty some town homes approved on just a few acres out there at West Catawba that were (inaudible) That’s high-density residential right on the main corridor – could have been commercial, could have been a jobs center, specialty medical or something.

The tax discussion played-out much the same way. The Gilroys both expressed concern about the tax rate, while other incumbents say town budgeting is easier said than done.

“They want us to watch every nickel and dime of taxpayer dollars and be really, really disciplined,” says Dave Gilroy.” “And, a twelve percent tax increase embedded in the re-val for Cornelius is something that is completely inexplicable to seventy or eighty percent of the people in the town.”

Miltich doesn’t agree with Gilory’s math and says the increase was only around ten percent.

“Most people when they understand that this tax increase, which was not all that overbearing to the average citizen, will be for roads they are so grateful.”

Incumbent Thurman Ross says everyone wants lower taxes.

“My main focus is making sure it’s the lowest responsible tax rate for our citizens.”

Candidates for CMS at-large also appeared at Tuesday’s forum. Davidson candidates get their chance to speak Wednesday, October 2nd at 7:00 at Davidson Town Hall. Huntersville candidates appear at Huntersville Town Hall Tuesday, October 8th.

WSIC will be releasing responses to its Cornelius candidate survey soon.  Look for it in the coming days on the home page of