Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce board members did not come to a consensus Monday night on the nearly $1 billion school bond issue.
Chamber President Bill Russell says members were equally adamant in their support and opposition to the bond plan, so no vote was taken.
“None of the board members like the bond package as it is presented but that doesn’t mean they all want to oppose it,” Russell said. “It is a very controversial issue for us in north Mecklenburg because the whole board agrees that we’re not getting the resources we need from CMS, but not all of them want to oppose the whole thing and deny funds for all schools, some of which are feeder schools to this region.”
The bond package, which goes to voters in November, is the largest in the county’s history. It includes funds for 17 new schools and 12 renovation and expansion school projects. Some have argued that north Mecklenburg residents received a large share of funding for 17 school projects in the last two bond packages and should not complain now.
“But we got those projects after 20 years of neglect, plus we have unprecedented growth, just like other areas like south Meck,” Russell said.
The bond plan calls for nine projects in north Mecklenburg, which includes five new schools. Seven new schools are planned for southwest Charlotte and six in southeast Charlotte, as well as other renovation and expansion projects. Residents in those areas also say they were neglected by CMS in past years.
Russell says the bond package should be larger to accommodate a longer list of projects. He says the board’s executive committee will work on a position statement that all board members can buy into and vote on in coming weeks.