Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

Lake Norman Chamber President e-Brief Newsletter 11/09/12

Chamber Members and stakeholders:

Bill Russell

Lake Norman Chamber Member Survey

The campaigns are over, the ballots counted, and the election results are in.  Now it is time to look at the challenges ahead and create action plans to solve the issues related to our economy, taxes, business regulations, healthcare, energy, defense and more! 

In the meantime, if you have not already participated in the Chamber’s 2012 Elected Officials Survey, please do so.  We would like to acknowledge the most “Business Friendly” commissioner in each of the three North Mecklenburg towns.  While their selection does not mean the remaining commissioners are not focused on business, we do want to thank those who really put thought and time into soliciting business feedback on the votes they cast and look out for your particular business.

These votes are confidential and no one will examine individual votes, merely the vote total.  The survey has been emailed to the membership.

Luncheon on Thursday to thank Elected Officials

Join us Thursday, November 15th at River Run Country Club in Davidson as we hear from Mayors Swain, Tarte and Woods on the achievements of their Town’s in 2012 and the look ahead.  We will salute all our elected officials as well as recognize the three (one in each town) who have been voted on by our membership as the most “Business Friendly.”  The cost is $16 for members and is complimentary to our elected officials.  The luncheon is sponsored by EneryUnited.

To register, sign up online with your user name and password or call the Chamber at 704-892-1922.  You can also email Jack Stevens at

Huntersville Bonds Approved

Huntersville’s bond package of transportation, infrastructure, and parks and recreation improvements were approved this week by voters.  The bonds, approved by approximately 66% of the voters, will allow the town to make $30 million in needed improvements.  At a Focus Friday event this fall, newly elected NC House of Representatives member Charles Jeter indicated all of the improvements were critical and the bonds were the least expensive way to pay for them.  The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted to endorse the bonds.

Business Works Tuesday November 13, 2012   8:00am -9:30 am

Topic:  Business: What Has You Concerned? 

2012.- It has been a long road. An election year, economic uncertainty, balancing your own budget (never mind the government’s). What has you concerned? November’s BusinessWorks will host a roundtable discussion of Chamber member’s local issues. To participate, please email your concerns by Friday, November 9th to: We will dedicate an eight minute time limit per concern to the top five submitted. If you attended any of the previous panel discussions, you know this format was an overwhelming success!  The program takes place at the Chamber and is sponsored by Boatsman Gillmore Wagner, PLLC,

Sponsorships Now Available for Lake Norman Chamber Business Expo

The 2013 Lake Norman Chamber Business Expo is scheduled for Friday, March 8th at Davidson College Belk Arena.  This year’s event will be chaired by Sharon Simpson, Lynn Marshall, and Bill Russell but we are looking for volunteers who want to help plan and assist with the event.  If you have ideas on how to improve our Expo or just want to help on the event, email Bill Russell at  

In the meantime, we are seeking sponsors for next year‘s event:  The Presenting Sponsors are Lake Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram and Randy Marion Automotive.  Gold Sponsors are sold.  They are MI Connection, Lake Norman Magazine, and Presbyterian Hospital.  We are now seeking Silver and Bronze sponsors.  Download information on Sponsorship Levels and send back the Sponsorship Registration form or call Bill Russell about more information at 704-892-1922.  Sponsorship in the Expo is a great way to promote your business – Let our members tell you why!



Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Vocational Training Program Needs Your Support!

Denise Clark, the Job Coach at Hough High School is seeking local businesses to serve as job sites for the purpose of teaching high school juniors and seniors with disabilities, job skills.  The students attend William A. Hough High School and are in the Occupational Course of Study Program.  The program focuses on job skills development and preparation for post-graduate employment.  To fulfill these requirements, the school partners with local businesses on a weekly basis, for approximately 2 hours, between the hours of 9:30am to 1:45pm.  This unpaid, but valuable work experience, is how you can help us contribute to the success of our students.  Please call or email Denise for more information, or to set up an appointment.  or call 980-344-0514  See the letter link for a more detailed description along with the Vocational Training Agreement.

For what its worth

New False Alarm Code in place for Cornelius Business

This past month, the Town of Cornelius adopted a new code (Chapter 99 Alarm Systems) which it hopes will dramatically reduce false alarms and increase response times by police on actual calls, thereby saving municipal resources. Owners of an alarm will have to register their system with the Town of Cornelius  and pay $10 for a permit every year. Alarm owners 65 and older will have their permit fee waived.

Current alarm system owners will have until Jan. 1, 2013 to apply for and be issued an alarm permit.  I had the chance to speak on this issue this past week, although the public hearing on the matter had passed.  There were three concerns I shared with the Board of Commissioners. 1)  According to the new code, an apartment with one resident is treated the same as a large business which might have as many as 100 employees or more.

It just strikes me that a facility that has as many as 40 different people who could activate an alarm should be treated differently than an apartment dweller.  I realize a response to that scene does not vary between an apartment or a large corporation, but I do believe the circumstances are different.  2) There is a $10 annual fee.  The fee covers the registration of the alarm.  It is quite understandable that the town should cover its costs in setting up the account, and $10 is not a significant amount of money, but once that account is set up… why is there an annual charge?  Like most things in government – does the $10 become $20, the $20 later $50?

3)  Perhaps the biggest concern was the notice.  While it was reported on the Town’s website, published on the agenda, and made many of the papers – few in the business community knew anything about it and none of the larger commercial real estate managers I spoke with who have multi tenants in their buildings.  I told the Town Board that the Lake Norman Chamber supports any measure which expedites response time and protects our homes and businesses.

Looking at this code, it is not an unfair code and certainly a very positive step for the community.  I just think with business input and more wide spread feedback from the town’s stakeholders – it could have been a great code.  I closed my comments letting the town board know there are 803 businesses in the Town of Cornelius and 301 are Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce members.  It is our job to keep you informed and we take seriously our charge to be the voice of business.

Bill Russell, President

November 9, 2012 - Posted by | Chamber of Commerce | , , , , , ,

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