Days after celebrating our country’s independence from Britain on July 4, 1776, I thought it would be fun to think about the five dates so far this year that drastically changed the course of Matthews and Mint Hill history.
I’m sure 2018’s contribution to history will look very different by the end of the year, decade or millennium. You never know … a future reality TV star, President of the United States or both could be wearing pink or blue booties right now in a maternity ward.
Feb. 14: School shooting hits home
A shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school killed 17 people, prompting more debate over gun laws and more discussion about making schools safer. Students at Butler, Independence and other schools felt empowered to organize walkouts to pay tribute for those killed and call for action to make schools safer.
May 8: Upsets dominate primary
Some incumbents failed to get re-elected in the May primary, most notably Congressman Robert Pittenger and Sheriff Irwin Carmichael. Pittenger’s defeat opens the door for a younger successor, either Republican Mark Harris or Democrat Dan McCready. Carmichael lost to retired Charlotte-Mecklenburg detective Garry McFadden. New leaders usually lead to new ideas or at the very least, new methods of executing old ideas.
May 10: Mint Hill seeks bond
Mint Hill commissioners put the wheels in motion for a potential bond referendum on the November 2018 ballot that could allow for more cultural and recreational resources. Some $15 million could be used for parks and recreation, which could result in athletic fields. Another $3 million could be used for a welcome or events center. A public hearing is set for July 12.
June 7: Charter bill becomes law
N.C. House Rep. Bill Brawley’s charter school bill became law, allowing Matthews and Mint Hill to launch charter schools. The law could give these towns leverage against Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools when it comes to building new schools. Matthews and Mint Hill leaders have said they are not willing to rush to action. They favor research and community feedback.
June 11: Matthews OKs budget
Matthews Commissioner Chris Melton declared the $22.2 million fiscal year budget as the “Year of the Employee,” noting how the town will employ 10 new firefighters and two new telecommunicators. The fire department piece is the most significant because it provides 24-hour coverage of the town. Your family’s home, possessions and lives may depend on the efficiency of Fire Chief Rob Kinniburgh’s department.