Cornelius commissioners are expected to vote Mayor Pro Tem Lynette Rinker in as the next mayor when Jeff Tarte resigns in January to assume his new role as senator of the states newly created District 41.
Lynette will make a terrific mayor without any doubt, commissioner Dave Gilroy said.
Still to be determined is what commissioners will do with the commissioner seat left vacant by Rinker when she becomes mayor.
Some options include letting the board select the new commissioner and waiting until the November elections to fill the seat.
Tarte is expected to officially step down as mayor on Jan. 7.
State lawmakers created the new District 41 by pulling mostly from District 40.
The Republican-leaning district includes the towns of Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mint Hill and Matthews.
In July, Tarte edged Huntersville businessman John Aneralla in a tight Republican primary runoff.
He faced no opposition in the November election.
On Sunday, fellow officials said Tartes five-year tenure was best defined by his eagerness to get to know everyone in the community and his ability to remain objective while listening to all sides of an argument.
Tarte said he has been most proud that he was able to oversee the completion of numerous major capital projects while building a reserve fund.
The town also increased its bond rating to AAA while decreasing taxes every year during his tenure.
When Tarte leaves for Raleigh, officials said theyre confident he will represent the district well.
I dont expect him to lose touch, commissioner John Bradford said. I think hell stay grounded.
Tarte will join fellow Cornelius resident Thom Tillis, who also made the jump from the Cornelius Board of Commissioners to the General Assembly. Tillis, the N.C. House speaker, was elected to the town board in 2003 and to the N.C. House in 2006.
Cornelius can honestly say we have friends in Raleigh and really mean it, Bradford said.
With Tarte departing for Raleigh and Rinker the next assumed mayor, commissioners will likely address Monday what to do with the vacant seat on the board.
Bradford believes the board should unanimously approve its next commissioner.
Since its an appointment and not an election, I want to make sure its done as democratically as possible, Bradford said. Our votes are so important. I want to make sure were as transparent as possible and not rushing to make quick decisions just to have positions filled.
Another possibility is to leave the seat vacant until the November elections to allow residents to select their own representative.
The town is expected to see major developments in the coming year, including a new interchange at Interstate 77 Exit 28, possible toll lanes on I-77 and the ongoing fallout from the 2011 property revaluation.
Rinker said shes prepared to represent the town and lead the way in the new year.
When youre the mayor, youre kind of the quarterback of the team. You call the plays and youre the on-field and off-field leader, Rinker said. Jeff is certainly going to be a hard act to follow, though. Hes been a great mayor.
Arriero: 704-777-7070; Twitter: @earriero
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