Ethics of small-town politics? Indian Trail votes 3-2 favoring a - myfoxcarolinas.com

Ethics of small-town politics? Indian Trail votes 3-2 favoring apartment complex

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Indian Trail Town Council voted 3-2 on Tuesday night in favor of a 360+ unit apartment complex being built off Plyler Road -- just outside of downtown.

Council members Gordon Daniels, Chris King and Gary Savoie voted in favor of the complex. David Cohn and David Drehs voted against it.

Opponents of the apartment complex, including mayor Michael Alvarez, question whether or not Indian Trail has the infrastructure to handle the project that should increase traffic and overcrowding to schools.

The meeting lasted more than four hours. Twenty-five people registered for public comment on the apartment complex -- all opposed to the construction.

Aside from issues with traffic and schools, many were distraught because of public records that show Daniels and Savoie, who voted in favor of the project, accepted political donations from employees of Bonterra Builders.

"Bonterra Builders employees have given $10,000 to the campaigns of Indian Trail Town Council candidates," Kathy resident Higgins said. "And most of them didn't even bother to vote in our town's election.

"I believe candidates for town council accepting money from developers who need their permission to build in our town is unethical and forever taints their vote."

Not all feel that way. Chip Long is on the town planning board and is a long-time Indian Trail resident. He's very active throughout all aspects of the community.

"Everyone has to work for someone," Chip Long said. "And when they write their personal checks with their personal, hard-earned money to whatever cause -- be it a political cause or a charitable cause or an environmental cause -- that's their business.

"I know every member of that town council and the mayor and I don't think ethics is an issue with any of them."

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