Indian Trail fills vacant council seat, Waddell speaks out - myfoxcarolinas.com

Indian Trail fills vacant council seat, Waddell speaks out

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Indian Trail Town Council appointed David Drehs as the fifth member to it's council on Thursday evening.

The seat was vacated by David Waddell, who resigned in a letter to the council on Dec. 31, 2013 -- a letter that was typed in Klingon -- a made-up language from the Star Trek television series.

"It took a long time," Drehs said. "I ran unsuccessfully twice and then this process has been dragging out since January, but I liked [being sworn in] a lot."

Waddell has been relatively quiet following his resignation.

Today, he spoke to My Fox Carolinas on problems facing Indian Trail moving forward. Reasons, he said, he wanted to fix, but was outnumbered on the council and unable to fix.

He sees one of the biggest problems facing Indian Trail is controlling, not stopping, growth.

"It's impossible to keep Indian Trail what it has been," Waddell said.

What "it has been" is a community where people know each other, a small town -- but growth has changed a lot of that.

"A lot of folks (in Indian Trail) came from progressive communities," Waddell said. "With a town where all of a sudden 75 percent of the people have lived here less than 10 years, the local heritage, the local customs, the local way of doing things has been displaced by those who have moved here -- and that's where a lot of the conflict comes in."

With growth, comes money. And that's one of the facts that scared Waddell before his resignation, and still does to this day.

"In this town we have a very developer-friendly government and council," Waddell said. "You know I'm for free enterprise, but that doesn't mean cronie-capitalism, either."

Many around Indian Trail, including Mayor Michael Alvarez, have criticized council members Gordon Daniels and Gary Savoie for taking campaign donations from those employed by developers to the area.

Waddell says developers reached out to him when he was a council member.

"I had one developer contact me, asking me what it would take to change my mind on a particular issue, and just left it open," Waddell said. "And I didn't call him back.

With David Drehs being sworn in this evening, some around Indian Trail are hoping for change -- including former-council member and mayor pro-tem Shirley Howe.

Howe sees where those living in Indian Trail can see a conflict of interest with council members accepting donations from developers.

"It leaves the public looking at it like 'Why would you take it?' and do you feel like you owe somebody something then?" Howe asked. "It's hard to sit up there and make a decision under general circumstances,  but then having somebody sitting in the audience -- and they're the same developers, the same amount of money for each time this comes around.

"I think the people want their town back. Listen to the people, put the infrastructure back and I think things will settle down."


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