Mayor of Mint Hill from 1991 until 1995, Joseph V. “Buz” Hamilton had always had politics in his blood. “My great grandfather was Fred A. Hamilton, a Mecklenburg County commissioner,” he recalls. “I never knew him, but I was always interested in serving, just as he did.”
Not long after Hamilton and his wife Becky moved to Mint Hill in 1973, he joined the Jaycees and began attending town hall meetings. At that time the town board met in the old barber shop, now the site of CVS. It was there that Hamilton met Commissioner John McEwen, considered by many to be the “father of Mint Hill.”
McEwen encouraged Hamilton to apply for a position on the Planning Board. After serving on that board for several years, Hamilton decided to run for Mint Hill Commissioner, along with 12 other candidates. The year was 1984, and residents were concerned that some town leaders wanted to reduce the size of lots in Mint Hill. Hamilton won one of the seats and remained on the board until he decided to enter the mayor;s race in 1991. He ran unopposed in that election and won. In 1993, he ran against Fran Harris and won a second term as mayor.
During his four years as mayor, Mint Hill built the town’s first sidewalks on NC 51, thanks to funds made available through the Powell Bill. The town also purchased the land for what is now Veterans Park on Fairview Road, sold water and sewer bonds, and signed up for a Mecklenburg County program that levied storm water fees. As a member of the Mecklenburg Planning Organization, Hamilton promoted the idea of extending I-485 into Union County, but others did not share the same view.
At the end of his second term as mayor, Hamilton decided to leave politics in order to devote more time to his family and his business — Forms Plus, which he established in 1981 and still owns. (He had grown up in the Long Creek community, but his Kerr ancestors were early settlers in Clear Creek.) After earning a degree in business and accounting from Kings College in Charlotte, Hamilton worked for several companies before going into business for himself. He and his wife are members of Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, and he is a member of the Mint Hill Masonic Lodge. They enjoy spending time with their two children and two granddaughters. Whenever time permits, they like to vacation at the beach.