Meet the candidates: Mooresville Mayor

  

Pictured above: Incumbent Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins and challenger Angela Stutts. Candidate Darryl Cero did not respond to WSIC’s survey – Submitted photos

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WSIC NEWS) – WSIC is surveying local candidates ahead of the 2019 municipal elections. All candidates were sent the same survey. Answers by candidates have received light editing that does not impact the content of their answers. The primary for the Mooresville Mayor’s race is October 8. The general election is November 5.

Miles Atkins

What political party are you affiliated with?

Republican

Why are you running for this position?

To continue serving the people of the great Town Mooresville as its Mayor.

What qualifies you for this role?

As Mayor of Mooresville, I have put my experience to work helping to achieve great things for our community. Under my leadership, 2,360 new jobs have been announced with an emphasis on skilled labor workforce development. Public safety has improved and expanded. Funding for nearly $300 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. Downtown revitalization is in full swing, yielding nearly $10 million in private investments. 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 Round Table, 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 affordable 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.

What changes would you make if elected?

I will continue to encourage and support decisions that are consistent with the goals, objectives, and priorities that have been established by the Town Board using strategic plans, tactical goals, and action plans.

What issues/problems do you notice and how are you going to address them?

Some of the challenges facing the Town of Mooresville are quality growth management, traffic congestion, transportation infrastructure, maintaining the quality of life, affordable housing, restoring public trust in the Police Department, employee and organizational development, filling key staff vacancies, and succession planning. I look forward to working with our new Town Manager who is an innovative, results-driven, and solutions oriented professional who is proficient at delegating and creating a work environment that encourages managers and supervisors to make decisions that are consistent with the goals, objectives, and priorities that have been established by the Town Board using strategic plans, tactical goals, and action plans.

What are some of the beneficial/positive things you notice and how are you going to maintain/improve them?

Our sense of community has grown and our awareness of the daily dangers our police officers face has been brought to the forefront because of the senseless and tragic death of K-9 Officer Jordan Sheldon. The community continues to honor him in so many heartfelt ways and it has been quite beautiful and amazing. We are a strong and resilient community with tremendous opportunities before us. We have a bright future ahead of us and I believe the Town of Mooresville is a model community, one poised to be the best of America’s best.

Why should voters choose you?

I have worked diligently on “Putting Mooresville First” since being elected Mayor in 2011. I am passionate about the greater Mooresville community 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.

What are some of your main goals/objectives you hope to accomplish if you’re elected to this position?

Work with the Town Manager and the Town Board of Commissioners to:

  • Ensure we get the best and most qualified professionals in the right positions in the Town’s administrative leadership.
  • Implementation of One Mooresville Comprehensive Land Use and Transportation Plan that includes a Growth Management Strategy.
  • Downtown Redevelopment that includes residential and commercial development with structured parking facilities.
  • Develop an Accountable Care 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.

Have you ever held any position(s) before in public office? If so, what position(s) and when?

  • Town of Mooresville Board Commissioners (2007-2011)
  • Town of Mooresville Mayor (2011-present)

In the community where you are running, what are your favorite activities/things to enjoy?

I enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends and appreciate the quality of life and all of the amenities our great town has to offer. We are truly blessed for all we have and I am grateful to live in a community that gives so much back for the betterment of others.

Compare and contrast yourself to your opponent(s).

I’ll leave that up to the voting public.

Darryl Cerro

Did not respond to WSIC’s survey.

Angela Stutts

What political party are you affiliated with?

Registered Republican

Why are you running for this position?

As a forty year resident of Mooresville, I am passionate about our community and the people that live here.  After talking to many friends, neighbors, and business leaders in the community I realized there is an overwhelming feeling that growth and infrastructure concerns fall on deaf ears.  I am a supporter of growth and opportunity for Mooresville.  I feel growth needs to be managed in a responsible manner that enhances the community and has the infrastructure in place to support it.  We cannot continue to vote the same way and expect different results and I would be honored to serve Mooresville as Mayor.

What qualifies you for this role?

As a thirty year employee of Bank of America, I have had the opportunity to serve in many leadership roles throughout my career.  In 2017, I was selected by senior executives to participate as one of two hundred women from across the Enterprise in a Women’s Executive Development Program.  This program recognized strong female leaders from across the globe and provided valuable tools and mentoring to encourage growth in management roles internally.  The last ten years of my career have been in a compliance manager role covering anti-bribery and anti-corruption and ethics.  I specialize in government ethics and have the unique advantage of analyzing the policies of municipalities across the United States which would be beneficial in ensuring that the Town of Mooresville has robust policies in place.

What changes would you make if elected?

I would like to see community advisory committees formed so that citizens feel that they have a platform to openly discuss community concerns outside of Town Board Meetings.  I believe that strong leaders listen to understand not just listen to respond.  I am that leader. I would like to see a pause on rezoning approvals that allow for more massive housing developments until we have the infrastructure in place to accommodate what we already have.

What issues/problems do you notice and how are you going to address them?

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.  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 tax payer.  As Mayor I would be limited in voting opportunities unless there was a tie among commissioners, but I would make sure the community had a voice in these decisions before the Planning Board and the Town Board of Commissioners.

What are some of the beneficial/positive things you notice and how are you going to maintain/improve them?

I feel the biggest positive in Mooresville is the reliability of our first responders. The Mooresville Police Department, Fire Department, and Rescue Squad do an amazing job serving the town with the explosive growth we have seen.  I would like to make sure they have the facilities and resources available to them to ensure their safety and the safety of our citizens. In addition, I love the downtown Mooresville area and the unique way the buildings have been conserved to maintain the historical charm of the town while expanding shopping and entertainment options for the 28115 side of Town.  I would like to ensure that we continue to grow the area in a responsible manner that ties in aesthetically and preserves historic landmarks.

Why should voters choose you?

Voters should vote for me if they expect a strong leader that is not politically connected.  A leader that will foster transparent conversation and information sharing that is willing to work in collaboration with the citizens.  As Mayor I will also put the highest ethical practice in every decision and help to facilitate robust policy and policy adherence.

What are some of your main goals/objectives you hope to accomplish if you are elected/re-elected to this position?

My biggest goal would be to bridge some of the communication gap issues that many feel are problematic with the current administration.  Mooresville has had a hard year and the perception seems to be that major decisions are made behind closed doors, not made within policy, or are brushed aside until an issue becomes public knowledge.  While there may not actually be any impropriety, perception is key for public trust. It would be nice to focus on attracting corporations to the area business parks that offer long term career opportunities and a living wage. Many of our local roads are riddled with potholes and patchwork and desperately need repaving.  Sidewalks are needed in the Kistler Road and Briarcliff Road area where several middle school students walk home in the afternoons, as the student population increases the number of walkers increase.

Have you ever held any position(s) before in public office? If so, what position(s) and when?

I have not.

In the community where you are running, what are your favorite activities/things to enjoy?

I love the small town feel that makes Mooresville such a desirable place to live and raise a family.  I enjoy local high school athletic events, the annual Blue Devil Classic and Church BBQ’s. During the summer months, I enjoy Mooresville Spinners baseball and Legion baseball. Mooresville residents still have an “it takes a village” mentality and it is evident in the way we rally around one another in times of celebration and in times of sorrow.

Compare and contrast yourself to your opponent(s).

The one contrast between myself and Mayor Atkins is that he has served Mooresville as Mayor for the past eight years.  One decision I would have made differently than Mayor Atkins is the tie breaking vote he cast to support the 77 toll road project.  While I understand that Mayor Atkins felt pressured to vote in the affirmative to ensure that much needed infrastructure projects for the Town were not “held hostage” by then Governor McCrory and NCDOT it was a contract the citizens on Mooresville were not in support of.  Perhaps had we managed the growth in Mooresville more responsibly we would not have been in such a desperate position?

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