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Cornelius News

Tricia Sisson will run for town board

Tricia Sisson

June 12. Tricia Sisson, the Lake Norman Chamber Board’s membership services chair, has announced her candidacy for Town Commissioner in Cornelius. As of right now, there are at least seven candidates for the five open seats on the Town Board.

“Cornelius needs a collective voice in the Lake Norman community, and a strong leader who will collaborate with our neighboring towns and counties to ensure our voice is heard regionally and across the state,” Sisson said.

She is the owner of The Range at Lake Norman on Bailey Road, as well as a national account manager for a Fortune 100 and another gun range in Ballantyne.

A Lake Norman resident for 20 years and a business owner here since 2011, Sisson has served as chairman of the Lake Norman Charter School board. She also serves on the board of the North Mecklenburg Rotary Club and Executive Women of Lake Norman. She is active in ministry work at St. Mark Catholic Church as well as Big Day at the Lake.

“I understand what regionalism means, and the challenges our area faces,” she said. “You deserve an elected official who will bring consensus among all the Lake Norman communities, and who will work with Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to ensure we are not left out of the conversation.”

She said she can add a unique perspective to growth and economic development in Cornelius. “While our infrastructure is beginning to catch up with the rapid growth, the increasing new developments and growing population are putting a strain on it. Striking a balance of smart growth that won’t raise taxes is critical, and working with the surrounding Lake Norman communities and the greater Charlotte region for effective planning and resourcing is essential,” she said.

More people may announce in the near future; it’s never totally official who is running until filing closes at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections. Filing for the nonpartisan local election starts at noon July 7 and ends at noon July 21.

Right now four of the five incumbent commissioners—Jim Duke, Dave Gilroy, Michael Miltich and Thurman Ross—say they are planning to run for re-election.

The fifth commissioner, Mayor Pro Tem Woody Washam, has announced his campaign to run for mayor of Cornelius. Mayor Chuck Travis has not publicly stated his intentions, but having been virtually censured by his board a year ago, it may be unlikely he has the political capital to seek re-election. Marcos “Marc” Ramirez, a political unknown who did not vote in the last local elections in 2015, says he will run for mayor.

Two non-incumbents have also announced and a third and possibly a fourth and a fifth are waiting in the wings.

Denis Bilodeau, a retired business leader, community volunteer and member of the PARC board of directors, launched his

campaign with a variety of political blue bloods in attendance last week at Old Town Public House downtown.

NC Rep. John Bradford introduced him at the event which brought out NC Sen. Jeff Tarte, Washam, Duke and Chamber CEO Bill Russell.

Ava Callender, a community leader who moved here three years ago, also says she will run for town board.

​If Sisson and Callender are elected, they would be the first women on the town board since 2009 and 2011 when Lynette Rinker was elected.

Kurt Naas, the founder of the first anti-toll group, WidenI77.org, is also expected to announce his candidacy later this month.

One clue as to who will run is Facebook presence. Bilodeau has a new Facebook page for his campaign (www.facebook.com/VoteDenis), while Michelle Ferlauto has an “exploratory” page with some 240 likes.

Another clue: Who attends the Greater Statesville​/​Lake Norman Academy of Political Leadership​. This spring’s attendees included Callender, Ferlauto and Sisson.

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