Cornelius Mayor pro-tem Lynette Rinker will officially be sworn in as the next mayor when Jeff Tarte steps down at the board of commissioners meeting on Jan. 7.“It’s a privilege to serve the town,” Rinker said. “I’m looking forward to working with the board and a great group of staff.”Commissioners voted unanimously at their Dec. 17 meeting to select Rinker as the new mayor.Mayor Tarte will leave for Raleigh to serve as state senator for the newly created District 41.The Republican-leaning district includes the towns of Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mint Hill and Matthews.Rinker, who has served as mayor pro tem since 2009, joined the board in the same year. Before that, she served on several town committees, including the transportation advisory board, land development code committee and growth management committee.Rinker said that one of her priorities in her new position will be to oversee the streamlining of several town documents aimed at development.She said she would like to start by revising the land use plan to make it more user-friendly and more descriptive.“We need to cut out a lot of the guess work,” she said.Next, she wants to help change the land development code to use more graphics for easier use and clarity.“We’re really good at telling people the least we’ll accept. We’re really bad at letting them know what we really want,” Rinker said. “Right now, I don’t trust our code and I don’t trust our process to deliver what’s really in the best interest.”Finally, Rinker said she wants to revise the comprehensive transportation plan to be more in line with the revised land use plan and development code.Rinker said she hopes the revisions to all three major documents will be completed by the end of the year.“This is a huge, huge task if you stop and think about it,” she said.Rinker, 55, also said she expects the budget to take up a significant portion of the board’s time for the first six months of the year.The Willow Pond resident said she also wants to work closely with the town’s new economic development consultant Don Harrow to reposition the town for better and more frequent business opportunities.Another goal Rinker has set is to refocus some of the board’s attention on the town’s arts master plan. The Cornelius Art Project is housed in a small rented space behind the police department. But Rinker would like to see that space expanded.Last year, the town moved closer to that goal by working with an architect to clarify what is needed in a new building dedicated to the visual arts. Rinker said she is eager to get started on the projects in 2013.“Even better things are to come,” she said.
Wednesday, Jan. 02, 2013
New Cornelius Mayor Lynette Rinker sets her agenda for 2013
Lynette Rinker plans to focus on land developments codes and the arts
What’s next With Lynette Rinker officially taking the mayor’s seat Jan. 7, commissioners will likely address Monday what to do with the vacant seat on the board. The board will consider Commissioner John Bradford’s suggestion the vote be unanimous on the next commissioner. “Since it’s an appointment and not an election, I want to make sure it’s done as democratically as possible,” Bradford said. Commissioners may make it typical vote, with the majority deciding who takes the vacant seat. Another possibility is to leave the seat vacant until the November elections to allow residents to select their own representative.