22 Sep 2021
MONROE – The Union County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Municipality Update Presentation last week in which the mayors of Marvin and Weddington shared what was happening in their communities.
Joe Pollino, mayor of the village of Marvin, moved to this region in 2013. He served four consecutive terms, making him the oldest mayor of the village.
The biggest change at Marvin was the shift from a form of government from mayor-council to director-council that took place last year. The city has hired a city manager who has the power to hire and fire city employees. In a mayor-council system, the council has this authority. There is one exception to the board’s management system, according to the UNC School of Government, “There are limited exceptions. Under GS 160A-173, municipal prosecutors are appointed by municipal councils; and in some councilor towns, the town charter provides that the council appoints and dismisses the town clerk and, very occasionally, the chief of police.
Christina Amos is the municipal director of the Village of Marvin. She had been the village administrator since 2018.
According to Pollino, Marvin has about 6,500 residents with 2,000 homes and covers seven square miles. Marvin is located on the west side of the county near Waxhaw and Weddington.
The tax rate is six cents per $ 100 of assessment. The tax rate has been increased from one cent to six cents. This will help finance a new 6,500 square foot city hall that will cost approximately $ 1.4 million. It will also help fund a new heritage district that is expected to bring offices and stores to Marvin, as well as greater connection capacity between neighborhoods.
The new town hall will replace the village staff of the 1,300 square foot building who is currently working. They will move into the new building at the start of the year, according to Pollino.
Pollino presented information from a survey completed by residents on what they would like to see built or improved. Over 70% of residents would like to see widened greenways and more open spaces. Just over half were in favor of a small town village center neighborhood. Most respondents opposed increasing residential density and supported improving traffic flow. In addition, 68% of residents wanted an additional deputy sheriff.
Speaking of roads, Pollino said half of Marvin’s 30 miles of roads now belong to the village. In an effort to reduce traffic as well as the amount of road damage, the village is reducing its number of waste contracts from four to Active Waste Company.
One of the challenges the village of Marvin faces is having donut holes where unincorporated parts of Union County fragment Marvin’s land. Unincorporated land belongs to the county. Living on incorporated land means not having to pay Marvin taxes. Pollino said the Village’s goal is to close all donut holes.
Then Mayor Elizabeth Callis spoke about the town of Weddington.
Callis is from Charlotte whose parents owned a farm in Union County. Her family moved to Weddington when she was 15. She currently lives next to the farm. His father, Ed Howie, also served the town of Weddington. Callis was elected mayor in 2017.
The town stretches for approximately 17 miles and has a population of 13,181 according to the 2020 census, an increase of 17.3% from the 2010 census. There are approximately 5,968 acres left to develop in Weddington. The tax rate is 4.8 cents per $ 100 of assessment – a slight increase from 4.2 cents because the city took over stormwater management and contracted with a waste management company.
Like Marvin, Weddington is working to reduce the number of waste service contracts with Active Waste Company. The negotiations are still in their infancy.
According to Callis, people move to Weddington because there are “good schools”. Callis has two teenage sons in Weddington schools. Her third teenage son attends the Central Academy of Technology and the Arts.
The future of Weddington is located in its Town Park which is under construction. It would be a place where city events will take place like Food Truck Fridays. The space will be approximately four acres and is located on Weddington-Matthews Road, behind City Hall.
One of the ways the town of Weddington has improved is by passing a new Unified Development Ordinance which is easier to read and follow unlike the previous one which was filled with redundant information, Callis said. This simplified the process for the developers.
Another way is to redefine the brand image that brings identity to the city, connecting rural charm with a growing future. The new logo is a large “W” with a leaf in the left corner. The effort included new welcome signs that recognize high school championship teams.