Arts Council president feels its ‘time for a change’
A month after the election, a second candidate has declared for the 2011 election. Waxhaw resident Lisa Thornton announced her candidacy to Union County Weekly Tuesday, Dec. 14, declaring for the town’s mayoral position. The seat, held by current mayor Mayor Daune Gardner, will be up for grabs next November.
“We need someone to bring the (town council) together,” Thornton said. “Our board is divided, it’s time for a change, a fresh outlook.”
That outlook is necessary, Thornton said, because of what she sees as the current board’s constant delaying on some projects and failure to address some of the town’s issues. While a mayor has no voting power, he or she should be able to keep the board on track, Thornton said.
As an example, she highlights the current debate over hiring an architectural firm to help design the proposed town hall. There is currently no set property designated for the town hall to be built on.
“We’re discussing architects to design a town hall without land to place it on,” Thornton said, adding that she supported the area plan suggested by small town main street committee member Gay Diller, focusing on the entire downtown corridor. That way, the entire downtown area could be looked at, not just one or two portions. She believes the current discussion should have been steered toward looking at the bigger picture first, before moving on a town hall.
“I just feel we need a mayor who is open to listening to all people,” Thornton said. “I feel the current historic property owners are being ignored. I feel we’re missing the boat when it comes to talking with the county for water and sewer.”
She points to the fact Union County Public Works has said it has just over 530,000 gallons of water capacity available for projects, but there’s been no push by the town to get some of that capacity for downtown.
“We’re not in that discussion,” Thornton said. “We’re not looking to recruit new business to the area.”
The 39-year-old mother of four said her decision to run was made after sitting down with her family.
“We had a lot of family time talking about it, what it would mean if I ran,” Thornton said. “My family will always come first for me. We agreed that we could make it work.”
Currently, Thornton serves as president of the Waxhaw Arts Council, as well as co chair of the town’s Small Town Main Street Promotions Committee. The committee put together the town’s ‘First Friday’ event, a downtown gathering held each month, as well as helping to plan the ‘12 Days of Christmas’ events, which wrapped up Sunday, Dec. 12 with Waxhaw’s Christmas parade.
“I don’t consider myself to be a politician,” Thornton said. “I believe I can bring unity to the board, an openness and willingness to work with others.”