8 candidates seek 3 open Belmont seats (Updated)

October 18, 2007 at 10:32 am 20 comments

That’s It ? , that’s all the Observer could write?            vote.jpg 

They are not “open”, they are contested.

Is this all that we are going to get from the City Council candidates this year?

You have to buy a copy of the Thursday (10/18)Observer to get more information. To be fair, there is a bit more information from the generic questionaire that was sent to all the candidates.

becky-burch.jpg Becky Burch: “…she would encourage the development of one shuttered textile mill to be converted into a nursing home…”  and this helps the tax rate how?

“Burch said council members have the authority to ask developers to leave room for these areas, she said. They haven’t made that request yet though, she said.”  WHY haven’t the council members made those requests – YET ?

We are not making this up – these are quotes from the Charlotte Observer.

irl-dixon.jpg  Irl Dixon: “While some candidates say they are concerned about high property taxes, Dixon said the tax rate dropped last year and he expects it to do the same in the future because of the development of high-end, waterfront homes”.

Does this give credence to the term “economic-genocide” that East-enders and South Point residents are concerned about? Push out the existing homes to build McMansions along the lake, reducing visibility and accessibility. This is a concern here in this community.

charlie-flowers.jpg  Charlie Flowers:  “If re-elected, Flowers said he will push for businesses to fill the now empty textile mills”.

Too Late Charlie !  Most of the mills have been torn down or are in the planning stages to be torn down. We cite the examples of the Belmont Hosiery plant – now, called Belmont Reserve. We cite the Imperial Mill – now vacant, and its mill village called Hawthorne. We cite the Acme – now the space for development. This site even had a viable park area that the city acutally refused to use (Woodlawn) in the late 1990’s. How about what once was the Belmont Dyers, now torn down with development plans for high-end housing. Even the cotton warehouse that Stowe Mills used over on Eagle Road (a perfectly good pre-cast concrete structure) was torn down to make way for the clear-cutting that is now known as Eagle Village. Not even going to discuss in any detail the tearing down of the Eagle Mill for $500,000 unsold homes across from Belmont Central.

rfoulk.jpg  Ron Foulk: “…61-year-old political newcomer said council members have budget responsibility…”.

He’s not a newcomer — he has run for City council in at least 2 other elections. He also opposed the Amity Acres annexation into the city in the 1990’s. How can you trust someone who will be opposed to future annexations.

curtis-gaston.jpg  Curtis Gaston: “He would favor a building moratorium, especially on large subdivisions.”

Once again, the Pittenger/Duke(Crescent) property is already under design – that’s over 1,000 acres of voluntarily annexed land. The city has had jurisdictional control for over ten years on this property and until it was sold to State Senator Pittenger, nothing was done to guide its development direction.  Young Mr. Gaston needs to be more involved. He has promise but will he be committed in the long run?

stowemanorlogo.gif Martha Stowe: “…It [the land use plan] doesn’t prohibit developers, it just makes sure you’re working in tandem with developers,” she said. “As much development as we’re seeing in Belmont we’re going to have to do something other than what we have done…”

So, what are your plans and ideas?

Richard Turner:  “…The recent land-use plan lacks teeth, Turner said, and developers have been able to build as they wanted using conditional zoning. He said the city needs a public facilities ordinance that wouldn’t allow growth beyond the city’s ability to service it…”

Dennis Boyce: “Did not respond”

We hope the BannerNews and the Gazette will expand these questions.

We find it amazing that wherever you see a Burch sign in a yard, there is a Flowers sign right next to it. If it looks like a ticket (signs), sounds like a ticket (identical votes on all issues before council), it’s probably a ticket. Vote for one, get 2.  And we thought that the politics in Belmont was “non-partisan”.


Entry filed under: bannernews, Belmont, Belmont Banner, Belmont Muncipal Elections, Belmont Police Department, Blogging, Blogs, Bond Referendums, Catawba River, Charlie Martin, Charlotte Observer, City Council, City of Belmont Police, Community, Economic Development, Elections, Front Porch, Gaston County, Land use, Life, Man on the Street, mybannernews, NC League of Municipalities, Networking, Newcomers, News, Parks and Recreation, Planning & Zoning, Politics, Quality of Life, Roads, Skateboarding, Small Town, Stowe Park, Textile workers, Things to Do, Trees, Walmart Effect, Water Use.

Bad news: Carolinas cheated out of rain again Whitewater Park makes the Big Time Splash

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bob Belmont  |  October 18, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    I just started reading your blog and man are you a crotchety old ne’er do well.

    I wonder for all your labeling of any large home as a “McMansion”, and the concern about land being cleared for new development, whether you have thought about demolishing your own home to grow trees, or maybe to create better “visibility and accessibility” to the lake? Or are you just another hypocrite who thinks they have a God-given right to live here while newcomers do not?

    I take you as a hypocrite. Someone who thinks only they have as right to live here. And as far as that private property being developed on the lake, guess what? You don’t have a right to use it to “access” the lake as it is, and you have zero right to regulate what someone else’s hard work has earned.

    Belmont needs to focus on bringing in more upscale development balanced by parks and green space. Tear down the remaining mills and trailer parks which are the real eyesores.

    Do you think the people littering the banks of the river at the Armstrong Ford Rd. bridge live in those lakefront homes? Or is it “natives” who are responsible?

    Today Belmont is a bedroom community for Charlotte with three major things going for it. 1. The Lake 2. Downtown Belmont 3. DSBG

    No offense, but Belmont was a Podunk mill town before money started moving here. And we need to keep taking out the trash.

  • 2. belmontfrontporch  |  October 18, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    Neither crotchity, old, or nerr’ do well.

    There isn’t anyone here on this front porch that opposes either property rights, growth, or access the the private waterside playgrounds of the rich and famous.

    Your comments suggest that the “economic-genocide” of the low income mill village areas are correct. That’s too bad. it is also not very community minded.

    Yes, we have replanted trees on our properties, and in a couple of cases, taken down trees and sold portions of property to builders or family members.

    No, there is no God-given right to live here. What you are suggesting is that Belmont become Weddington, instead of Davidson.

  • 3. Bub  |  October 18, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Well- the one good thing about living on the mill hill – I won’t ever have to worry about Bob being my next door neighbor! LOL. Gee, it’s good to be a linthead!

  • 4. Karen Valentine  |  October 18, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    Hi my fellow towns people! Even though I am not very active in the campaign I still want your vote! I’ve changed my mind I would like to be in the election. I would be great at being in your city council! I will help make Belmont a better place! So remember, vote Karen Valentine for City Council!

  • 5. Karen Valentine  |  October 18, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    I’ve changed my mind I don’t want to be elected. It would be best for my job, time , and family. So please, don’t vote for me.

  • 6. Karen Valentine  |  October 18, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    Please ignore comments 3 and 4, which were written by my daughter. Mom, the real Karen Valentine, is not actively seeking office at this time. I need to spend more time monitoring my daughter’s internet use!!!

  • 7. Sasha  |  October 18, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Bob Belmont, if I still lived in Belmont, would you consider me part of the trash that needed to be gotten rid of? Where do you intend to ship the rest of the ‘trash’ – to the far parts of the Appalachians where they still don’t have inside plumbing or electricity?

    If you want to be a part of Charlotte and possess expensive, highly taxed real estate, move back across the river or down to Lake Wylie. If you want to be a part of Belmont (which is in Gaston County, not Mecklenburg), historically a podunk mill town, then quit being critical of people who worked in mills that produced materials that made your clothes and the fabrics in your furniture upholstery and drapes and lived where they could afford to live. My family lived in East Belmont, near but not in the mill village. My mother worked for years on 3rd shift in textile mills, first for Burlington Industries in Cramerton until they shipped her job to Ireland in the mid-70s and then for Ti-Caro. Because she worked HARD at Ti-Caro, I won and earned one of the scholarships they offered to their employees’ children so I could go to college.

    Also, I think part of the point of the original post is that people who don’t know or care anything about Belmont, its people or history, could develop Belmont in a way that is detrimental to the community as a whole. Developed the wrong way and you might not be able to afford to live there either.

  • 8. Geno  |  October 19, 2007 at 9:56 am

    I might get kicked off the porch….but I oppose growth- when it means jammed streets, overcrowded schools, more crime, and big houses on postage stamp-sized lots!!

  • 9. The Dude  |  October 19, 2007 at 11:33 am

    actually bob, he has a point. when you purchase land or house within the jurisdictional limits of a municipality then your rights and privileges are subject to the rule of law of that said entity. you have the right to due anything with your property subjects to laws and ordinances. anything else, is in fact against the wishes of your neighbors. your not being a very thoughtful camper, bob. the trailer parks are within the laws and ordinances. the right to develop property is a privilege which is subject to laws and ordinances, in other words, the wishes of the People. i think everybody knows where bob is coming from. fact is as is that bob is more concerned with money than he is with his neighbors. shame on you bob. bob also doesn’t appreciate Belmont vary much. vary is correct.

  • 10. Ottokar  |  October 19, 2007 at 11:38 am

    I disagree that Belmont should bring in more upscale development since this would destroy the nature of this town. One of the treats of living in Belmont is the variety of people who live here – from blue collar workers to senior executives. I think it would be terribly boring to only see a certain kind of people — then Belmont would be another Weddington or Waxhaw etc.

    I am also not a huge fan of trailer parks but I think that people who have lived here all their life should be priced out by rich newcomers. There should be a place for everybody in Belmont. Some of the remaining mills could, for example, be used by artists as a studio or remodeled into condos.

    I believe that even though the people w/ those lake front homes might not necessarily litter the river (they would be insanely stupid since it is them who would have to see it every day), many of them move here with their Escalades and Navigators and pollute the air like no others.

    Belmont also has other things going for it: 4. Relatively few people from the North East. 5. Close proximity to the airport.

    The problem with the money moving in is that it is money from the wrong people (say: North Easterners). And it is not only the money. It is the attitude and unfriendliness that these folks bring down here.

  • 11. J.D HOWE  |  October 20, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Hey Bob take your new ball and go home . Our old ball will do just fine. See ya at the Cat Pharm. GO BIG RED!!!!

  • 12. schoolbud  |  October 22, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    I hope everyone will come out to the Textile School ( sorry – I’m old school) tonight at 6:30 for the city council candidate forum!

  • 13. Frogman  |  October 22, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    I have comments on two issues:

    Regarding the upcoming elections: How long has Curtis Gaston lived in Belmont and where has he been for so long? Is there any type of length of residency requirement to run for council? What has he done or been active in that would support the belief that he will follow through with this commitment? Yes, the county may be named after his family, but I need more info than his family heritage before I can decide to vote for someone.

    Regarding Growth: I don’t like what I’m reading above that splits Belmont into two sectors – rich and poor. That is simply not the case. Many of our neighborhoods are middle class – what about them? I think this type of conversation just inspires prejudice and hatred, that Belmont doesn’t need. We should be promoting community, fellowship, and teamwork to address these pressing GROWTH issues together. Also, in my opinion excess growth (taxing Schools & Roads) is the problem, NOT the social class of people who choose to move here. Remember, people DO have a choice to move here. Perhaps lower income folks would prefer to live in the county and NOT PAY city taxes (hey, that doesn’t sound like a half bad idea). Do not be so naive as to think a zoning code is going to influence which social class or nationality moves to Belmont, because I doubt they read them before they got here. Lower class folks are looking for a cheap place to live (like in the county) and rich folks are looking for a beautiful place to live (like the lake). Belmont can not be all things to all people, even IF it wanted to be. We should not feel compelled to control the future social status of Belmont, but rather to provide quality social services, like a quality education and a good, uncongested infrastructure to the current population, before allowing thousands of more people to move here. Our schools and roads are at full capactiy right now, so why not put that moratorium on building until such time we have capacity for more folks???

    In closing, I would like to encourage everyone to come to the candidates forum on 10/22/07 at 6:30 at the Textile College on Wilkenson Blvd. Also, please don’t forget to vote on November 6th. This is a very important election!

  • 14. Blythe  |  October 24, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Does anyone really read this blog? It seems like to me it’s the best kept secret in Belmont.

  • 15. belmontfrontporch  |  October 25, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    yes, dear, people seem to be reading this stuff.
    We reported last month that the BFP was experiencing an average of over 300 views per day. As we have gotten closer to the city election, this has jumped to an average of over 560 per day.

    Sorry we hadn’t kept up the past few days – work and now rain has kept our little front porch parties from forming up.

    We had people at the community forum on Monday evening and a couple of articles have been submitted. They are being checked. We will soon publish an article or two.

    Frogman, makes a couple of good points worth discussing and checking into…

  • 16. Geno  |  October 26, 2007 at 7:01 am

    You know, the more I read frogman’s comments, the more I wonder if my verbalized support for Richard Turner was premature. If he represents Mr. Turner’s views…I may need to rethink this candidate. We need to hear from Mr. Turner to see if these echo his views. Just who should “move out into the county” – which neighborhoods? Also – if he dismisses as unimportant sauch things as the most expensive operational component of the city budget ( water and SEWERS) then I would wonder how he would view the rest of the budgetary items?

  • 17. Frogman  |  October 26, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Here’s a link to an online poll for Belmont City Council –


    See you at the polls November 6th 2007!

  • 18. Geno  |  October 26, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Follow-up- Frogman addressed the above issue on another forum and stated he was not speaking for any candidate. However, I would like to know where all of the candidates stand on the issues he raised.

  • 19. Bob Belmont  |  March 8, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    “Belmont also has other things going for it: 4. Relatively few people from the North East.”

    And I’m the “un-neighborly” one? Talk about class predjudice.

    So much ignorance, so little time.

    “economic genocide” — another pathetic term thrown about by the ignorant. So should we stop improvements to keep property values low for the locals? I would absolutely agree with a law to keep property tax in check for those who have owned their homes for decades, or generations and do not want to sell. But when you start pointing fingers at those who are building new because you don’t like the cars they drive, architectual styles they choose, or because they have more money than you, it’s time for you to move to Cuba or China. The last bastians of such thoughts.

    I have nothing against mill houses, and actually find them attractive in context. However, if you want to preserve them, along with whatever else you deem better than your self-penned “McMansions” then you should convice the “locals” to NOT SELL their homes.

    You DO NOT have a right to say what someone should do with property they purchase. If you don’t want “rich” people moving here, don’t give into the greed of your increased property values. Don’t sell your home.

  • 20. Mark  |  March 25, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    There is simply too much high density housing going up in Belmont.


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