The MHT conducted an interview with Mayor Ted Biggers recently to obtain more insight into a man who has served as the Mayor of Mint Hill since he was elected in 1999. This is a long time and the friendly and amiable Mayor was gracious in meeting with this writer for the first time.
To provide some background information Mr. Biggers graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
He also completed an Aerospace Studies program which opened the door for him to enter the USAF to become a commissioned officer and fighter pilot. He served our nation in the military for 7 years and was honorably discharged at the rank of Captain.
Ted’s passion to fly naturally guided him to become a commercial airline pilot joining Piedmont Airlines and later he retired as a Captain with US Airways. He was inspired to run for Mayor by other town members and had full support of his wife Liz and three children.
After he was first elected Mayor he led the Board of Commissioners to move forward with establishing a town manager form of city government. At the time, the Town Administrator and Board of Commissioners handled all business matters.
Since Mint Hill was the largest town in the state without a Town Manager this was a positive step taken by the newly elected Mayor to get the towns business, administrative and daily operations under the control of a town CEO.
Therefore, going forward when the town council or board members make a decision on an ordinance, law or policy the Town Manager is responsible for implementing those policies.
The Mayor also led the Board to form the town’s own police department to serve and protect the community. Prior to the establishment of the Mint Hill Police the town was protected under the umbrella of the Charlotte Mecklenburg police force.
We asked the Mayor some questions that might provide more insight into his passions, vision, and aspirations for the Town of Mint Hill.
What do you find most enjoyable about being the Mayor of Mint Hill?
Working with the citizens, attending different activities and events. He enjoys talking and interacting with the residents while helping the citizenry work through various challenges and issues impacting their hometown.
The most enjoyable event of the year for the Mayor is the annual Veterans Breakfast and Mint Hill Madness Parade. This year’s annual breakfast will be coming up and will be held on November 12th.
His second favorite event is the annual Mint Hill Madness festival held in the spring. The Mayor wants Mint Hill to be a place where the citizens can truly enjoy daily living in a comfortable and safe setting and be proud of our heritage and bright future.
What do you find is your biggest challenge as Mayor?
My biggest challenge is managing everyone’s time and busy schedules. It’s difficult at times to get everyone together for important town meetings.
So it really comes down to time and schedule management of a multiple number of key decision makers. Another important point made by the Mayor is to have the ability and flexibility to say “no” to certain project proposals and developers on occasion because it is not in the best interest of the town and our vision for the future.
We understand you have been an advocate of having our own school system in Mint Hill, do you see any progress being made?
It’s up to the North Carolina legislature to make this decision. It would be a major undertaking to organize, gain support and get it accomplished since municipal school systems have not been allowed in North Carolina for decades.
This leaves us at the mercy of the county school board who make decisions that are not always best for our town. He does wish we had the legal authority to influence and guide the education of our children.
However, if it would happen the best option would be to create a mutually beneficial partnership with our neighbor the Town of Matthews to combine our resources to ensure a quality education for all our children is truly provided.
Has the town of Mint Hill made any progress with the NCDOT regarding traffic growth in the area?
First let me say with all the growth we have experienced it is imperative we continue our efforts with the NCDOT to ensure Mint Hill is not overwhelmed with additional traffic.
The challenge we face is how the NCDOT measures the weight of different projects throughout the state. Project priorities are selected by certain criteria and input into a computer program who then selects the priorities based off the criteria used.
For example, Lawyers Road 51 toward Matthews has been very highly ranked by the state, depending on different criteria on two separate occasions. Therefore, the state continues to work on process improvement to prioritize the project selections more equitably.
Meanwhile, we will continue to work with the NCDOT to ensure the Highway 51 project is placed higher on the list of priorities.
Mint Hill has been recently ranked as one of America’s Top 12 Power Suburb’s nationally. Also, Mint Hill was recently ranked 9th safest community in North Carolina.
How do you feel about these distinctions?
Well as Mayor I do receive a lot of compliments about the town. It’s a great place to live and raise a family. We have a great mix and diversity of people in our town where citizens can live comfortably, respect each other and collectively take pride in our community.
Our citizens do get involved in our community which is an important ingredient in creating a successful town environment where we can thrive and grow in a positive way that does not overwhelm us.
Our citizens also have a good working relationship with our police and volunteer fire department which makes a huge difference.
The community outreach by our police officers is truly much appreciated and the reaction from the citizens has been fantastic.
The volunteer fire department has also been deeply involved in reaching out to the community with positive results.
The town citizenry support and respect the challenging job these civil servants provide daily to our town. Our goal is to make Mint Hill the safest town in the state to live, said Mayor Biggers.
What is your vision for Mint Hill over the next few years and beyond?
The town is designing and planning a new Athletic Park located across the road from the existing Mint Hill Athletic Association on Brief Road.
This is not an economic development project, however, it’s a quality-of-life project. This will be a facility where residents will be able to go on a family picnic, senior citizens can use the hiking trails and kids playing various sports.
Also, we need to continue the expansion of our sidewalk network. Over the past few years the town invested over a million dollars in improving and adding to our sidewalk system.
My vision for Mint Hill is to have a vibrant downtown and a beautiful suburban community. To create a pleasant suburban atmosphere with a rural flair while managing controlled growth as we don’t want to grow too fast and get to large with no distinction between the urban sprawl that is happening in many communities throughout the surrounding Charlotte area.
The Mayor is committed and dedicated to serving all the citizens of Mint Hill with absolute trust and confidence of the town people and board members by working in partnership with an involved citizenry to achieve the vision, future goals and aspirations of our vibrant and growing community.