WAXHAW, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Come December, there will be three new faces on Waxhaw’s town commission: Susanna Wedra, Richard Daunt, and Mayor-elect Robert Murray.
They defeated incumbents Pedro Morey, Anne Simpson, and Mayor Ron Pappas by large margins. But even with new leadership on the way, Joe Lapos says the outgoing officials may push through measures the community opposes before they go.
“So we went to a board meeting similar to what’s coming up on Tuesday. A whole bunch of us packed the room out standing room only, and we let our, let them know we don’t want this. They completely ignored us,” Lapos said.
Lapos is concerned town leaders at the November 14th commission meeting may approve other proposals not wanted by many.
“It’s pretty clear based on this agenda that they’ve lined up, that they’re adding things into it, that they’re going to rush through whatever they can before they go. So instead of taking care of the people and saying, we’re sorry, we see what you did, we know we were wrong, they’re doing the exact opposite and they’re giving it right back to us all over again,” he said.
The Tuesday agenda includes votes on a social district, an investment in a housing proposal, and long-term development and planning rules. We reached out to the outgoing commissioners and mayor for comment, but no one responded.
A town spokesperson sent Queen City News the following statement:
“We apologize for any confusion we caused by updating the agenda today due to a typo in the “budget amendment” section. We’ve corrected the typo for accuracy; no new agenda items were added. As noted on the Nov. 14 agenda, three items are open for public comment during the designated PUBLIC HEARING section. Residents can sign up to comment before the meeting starts. For the agenda, please visit: Agenda
Regarding the Waxhaw 2040 Comprehensive Plan, it has been in development for years with public input sessions. The final opportunity for public input is on Tuesday.
Learn more here: Comprehensive Plan Info
We value your input and encourage participation in community matters.”
“I feel it’s a betrayal of the public trust. They’re elected to listen to the people. And the people spoke very loud and clear last week,” says newly elected commissioner Richard Daunt.
He says he ran for the position when he noticed no one else stepped up to battle the incumbents—even after the people expressed feeling unheard. He was elected with Wedra and Murray last week; together, they call themselves the Waxhaw Wall.
They want controlled growth in the town, based on public input.
“We’d like to do everything at the town meetings. Right. And have our debates or discussions not in a contentious way. But just to say, hey, this is how I feel. What do you think about that? Instead of having it prior to the meeting and then just coming to an agreement or disagreement, I think people would like to see our thought process,” said newly elected commissioner Susanne Wedra. “I think that would be one of the goals because a lot of people are not able to go to the meetings and may watch them later. And I will have to stress that the community has to stay involved and they have to help us and it’s not over. This is just beginning, and they have to show up to all the meetings.”
Lapos says neighbors plan to be at the ousted leaders’ final two meetings.
“We’re not going to let you get away with this. Not at this meeting. Not at the one on the 28th. Not at the other one in the summer. Not anyone in the rest of the two years that these people are remaining,” Lapos said.
Waxhaw’s next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday. A group plans to gather in front of the police station to address their concerns about the leaders’ next move.