Alvarez quits commissioners race

Apr. 10, 2014 @ 03:51 PM

Indian Trail Mayor Michael Alvarez is out of the county commissioner race.

Alvarez said he feels he should concentrate on Indian Trail for the time being.

“Why did I leave the race? It’s real simple,” Alvarez said. “We have infrastructure issues here in Indian Trail. My gathering from statements made by the (Union County) Board of Education and the (Union County Board of Commissioners) is that our county population has grown much faster than we can provide service, and the municipalities have driven that growth. Indian Trail has actually been the biggest offender.”

A comprehensive land use plan presentation during Monday night’s commissioners meeting confirmed that Indian Trail was the ninth fastest growing municipality in the United States. Methods to address growth was a oft-cited issue during last week’s commissioners candidate forum.

Rapid growth is due partially to competition between the municipalities, Alvarez said. Each is trying to increase its population by approving proposed residential development without checking if county infrastructure — like school and water capacity — can handle it.

“If we really want to make things better, we need to start with our own home,” Alvarez said.

Another Indian Trail official, Councilman Chris King, dropped out of the race in March. He cited many of the same issues, adding that a recent struggle over a vacant council seat cemented his decision to stay in Indian Trail.

The departures still leave a crowded field; eight people are vying for three seats. Only one incumbent commissioner, Vice Chairman Jerry Simpson, is running again. Incumbents Todd Johnson and Jonathan Thomas have chosen to not seek re-election.