Robert G. Fox, who served two terms as the mayor of Mint Hill (1995-1998), now enjoys the peace and quiet of his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as the sand and surf at North Myrtle Beach. However, during his 38-plus year career in banking and his 10-year involvement in Mint Hill politics, he did not have much leisure time.
Fox and his family made Mint Hill their home from 1980 until 2010. During that period, he was active in church and community affairs when he was not working at First Charter Bank or Dominion Bank. At Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, he served as a deacon, elder, chair of several committees (finance, personnel, and endowment), and a member of the scholarship committee. He was also a member of the town’s Planning Board for four years, serving the last two as chair. He was elected to the Board of Commissioners for two terms. As mayor, he played a key role in several major decisions that affected the town.
Reflecting on the years he sat in the mayor’s chair, Fox notes that storm water fees was the biggest issue the town faced during his tenure. “Many people opposed the fees, which were finally approved in 1996,” he says. “Another contentious issue was the placement of telephone towers in Mint Hill. The resolution was to allow one tower on a minimum of one acre, with fencing and screening around the tower.”
Fox was instrumental in getting a new library in Mint Hill and purchasing new fire equipment for the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department. “We purchased the land for the library and leased it to the county for $1 a year, so that all the money went into the building,” he says. “We were also able to purchase new fire equipment and lease it to the fire department for $1 a year. Now the town owns all the fire equipment.”
While Fox was mayor, the Charlotte Symphony approached the town about performing in Mint Hill. “They gave two performances, which everyone seemed to enjoy,” he recalls.
In 1997, Fox joined the Board of Trustees of Appalachian State University, his alma mater. He was on the board for 10 years, serving over three years as chair.
Life is much slower for Fox and his wife Diane these days. They especially enjoy spending time with their two sons and their daughter, as well as their four grandchildren, who range in age from six months to 12 years.
A long-time resident of Mint Hill, Carol Timblin is an award-winning journalist.