Bermuda Run Town Board candidate profiles; primary Oct. 10

Published 2:17 pm Friday, September 29, 2023

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Bermuda Run residents will go to the polls on Tuesday, Oct. 10 to narrow the number of candidates for two seats on the town board from five to four.

The top four candidates will then appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Early voting is available during weekday working hours at the Davie County Board of Elections, , Mocksville, (accessed at the back of the Brock Center), and through 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7.

Following are profiles of each candidate, and their responses to a few questions.

Voters will select two, with the top four making it to the November general election.

The Candidate


Jeff Tedder




River Hill Drive, Advance


Wife, Lindsay, 2 daughters, Hannah (33, married to Bradley Nye) and Gracie (26, married to Evan Ross); grandfather to 2 little boys, Cooper & Eli.


Graduated from UNC Charlotte in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration


Divisional VP of Display and Packaging for Hood Container which encompasses 16 sites around the U.S. generating revenue in excess of $600M annually and 3,000 employees. I manage an operating budget of over $500M annually with some of the largest consumer product companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Nestle, and Johnson and Johnson.

In The Community

• Active members of Calvary Baptist Church for the last 20 years; volunteer and attend Calvary West campus in Davie County

Why did you decide to seek public office?

Tedder: I’ve been blessed to call Bermuda Run home for the last 42 years. Our town has experienced tremendous growth during that time, and for the most part, that growth has been thoughtful and well-informed. Like many of you, I’ve been discouraged and questioned recent decisions and developments by the Town Council. I’m not against development if that development does not detract from the quality of life of those already living in the area. I’m running for Town Council to ensure our interests – the interests of the residents – are considered and protected as we welcome more folks into our community.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the town, and how do you intend to address those challenges?

Tedder: Uncontrolled rapid growth and high-density development are the biggest challenges facing Bermuda Run today. Land annexations to the town can be controversial so both fiscal and social impacts must be considered. Annexations will increase the tax base but, even in our small town, we need to control sprawl and look at the expense of expanding services to the annexed property. Any future or existing development in our town should be done thoughtfully and responsibly without jeopardizing the quality of life and standard of living we’ve grown to love here in Bermuda Run.

I’ll accomplish this through transparent communication and ensuring all decisions are well thought out concerning the logistics and management of the growth of our town. I’ve always been a direct and candid communicator. If I learned one thing during my career in sales, if it sounds too good to be true – odds are it is too good to be true. The only way to make the best decisions for our town is by understanding the best and worst-case scenarios, which can only be done through proper research and planning and listening to our residents.

If elected to Town Council, I won’t be afraid to ask the hard questions, listen to the concerns of the residents and insure we have transparent communication on future developments or initiatives.

Are you pleased with contract for law enforcement with Davie Sherriff’s Office? Please give details about what you think is working for the betterment of the town, or what could be improved.

Tedder: Yes, I am pleased with our contract with the Sherriff’s Office. The main purpose for hiring any sort of law enforcement is to increase public safety. My understanding is that dangerous and illegal activity has been minimized by having a Sherriff’s Officer dedicated to our Town, which is a good thing for the residents.

Other Issues

Tedder: If you want to learn more about me and my platform, feel free to visit my website at

I’d appreciate your vote.

The Candidate


Rodney (Rod) Guthrie




Orchard Park Drive


Diane Guthrie, wife of 49 years; daughters, Mollie and Emilie


Stetson University, bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish, 1974; Wake Forest School of Law, juris doctor, 1980; Officer in US Army, attaining rank of captain, before honorable discharge to study law


Attorney (founding partner with Bennett Guthrie PLLC in Winston-Salem), practice focuses on civil litigation, corporate and insurance law, bankruptcy, and wills and estates

In the Community

• Town of Bermuda Run Planning Board, chair for 3 years

• Past president, board of advisors, Bermuda Run Country Club

• Past president, board, Jerry Long Family YMCA (Clemmons)

• Bible study teacher, deacon, moderator, Ardmore Baptist Church

Why did you decide to seek public office?

Guthrie: First, as a resident of the Town of Bermuda Run for over 16 years, I have a vested interest in seeing our community thrive while maintaining the quality of life we have enjoyed over that time.

Second, a number of friends and fellow residents noted my service on the Town’s Planning Board for the past seven years and sugested that I continue my service on the Town Council.

Third, I am strongly supportive of our Town’s Comprehensive Plan, as updated in the past year, and I am committed to seeing us follow through with the goals and objectives established in that plan.

What do you think ar ethe biggest challenges facing the town, and ow do uyou intend to address those challenges?

Guthrie: For a number of years, our town was seen as not much more than an Interstate 40 exit located near a private country club.

In recent times, we have become much more than that due to the growth of the surrounding areas and the increase of residential and commercial activity near us. Our greatest challenge going forward is to manage that growth in a way that encourages responsible development while protecting the rural qualities aroud the town that makes this such an inviting place to live.

While recognizing the rights of landowners to use their properties as they see fit, we must ensure that our zoning requirements are enforced, and adjusted as needed, to give current as well as future owners and investors clear guidance on how, where and when development can occur.

We must be prepared to address certain challenges that come with population growth: increased vehicle traffic, pressures on our infrastructure, and protection of our natural resources.

Are you pleased with contracts for law enforcement with the Davie County Sheriff’s Office? Please give details about what you think is working for the betterment of the town, or what could be improved.

Guthrie: Yes, I am. The Sheriff’s Office and the deputies assigned to the Town have been professional, responsive and visible. We enjoy a very low crime rate. Howver, as our Town grows, we may need more enforcement coverage. That will be a topic for future town leaders to address.

Other Issues

Guthrie: I foresee at least three opportunities, with potential issues, for our Town.

First, we are and will be divided by a major interstate highway. As such, we have to work hard to connect our neighborhoods and businesses with each other so that we feel a true sense of community. Projects such as the Blue Heron Trail, and other ongoing efforts to build a sense of place for the Town of Bermuda Run, will help. Our current mayor has done an admirable job in reaching out to our community to keep us informed and connected. Our next Town Council must support and broaden their efforts in support of that. Good communication is and will be critical to helping us all feel like we are part of this good place.

Second, given our limited resources and tax rate, we must  be creative in pursuing public/private partnerships to protect our quality of life and encourage the right kind of growth. We also must engage with the organizations that affect us, such as the NCDOT, Davie County, and even the State of North Carolina as well as nearby communities such as Mocksville, Clemmons and Winston-Salem. To do otherwise is being shortsighted.

Third, we should build on our assets. We have a growing sports tourism presence, a river along our eastern boundary, and an increasing visibility for folks traveling in both directions along I-40. Finding ways to capitalize on those assets, rather than complain about them (or hope they will go away), is a key to our future.

If given the opportunity by my fellow residents, I look forward to helping our Town Council meet our challenges, and enjoying our delightful town, in the coming years.

The Candidate


Rae Nelson




Bermuda Run Drive,   Advance


Husband: Karl Haigler; step-children, Rett Haigler, Rachel Anderson, Rett Haigler (and 8 grandchildren)


Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, bachelor’s degree in English; The American University (Washington, DC), master’s degree in public policy and communications


Semi-retired after a 30+ year career including leadership positions in the public, private, and non-profit sectors; associate director for education at The White House for 8 years; vice president/executive director for workforce preparation for US Chamber of Commerce; with husband, own management consulting firm, Haigler Enterprises, for more than 20 years; author and ghost-writer of books including: “Communication Intelligence,” “Fully Staffed: The Definitive Guide to Finding and Keeping Great Employees.”

In the community

• Over several decades, volunteer to help position students and workers at all levels to achieve potential

• Past member of more than a dozen boards of directors (primarily non-profits)

• Along with husband, guest lecturers at Wake Forest University for the last 12 years, mentoring students interested in careers in public service

• Volunteer to help write grants, articles, and other pieces for local and other organizations and publications

Why did you decide to seek public office?

Nelson: I have lived in Bermuda Run since 1996 (before it was officially the Town of Bermuda Run) and believe this is a pivotal time of challenges and opportunities for our community. Our citizens have never been more engaged. Our Town is increasingly recognized as a vibrant community and an amazing place to live and work.

The decisions that are made today will impact citizens of our Town for decades to come. Four years ago, I was in the audience at a Candidate Forum listening to Mayor Cross and other candidates. At that time, I was traveling for work and family and wondered if whether – someday – I might be able to lend my experience in working with federal/state/local governments, the business community, and other strategic partners to serve the town. Now, being semi-retired, I am not travelling and have the time and passion to make serving on the Town Council a personal and professional priority, if I am fortunate enough to be elected.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the town, and how to you attend to address these challenges?

Nelson: Here are just two of the challenges facing our Town – which are also priorities and opportunities.

Challenge: Balanced, Responsible Development (vs. consequences of over-developments).

There is no doubt that development is what is on the minds and in the hearts of citizens. From the survey in the Comprehensive Plan to comments on social media to every day conversations, this is the issue that will most impact our Town today and far into the future. The implications include traffic (this is not just a matter of inconvenience, it is a safety issue), environmental considerations, and more.

Addressing the Challenge: As you probably know, zoning (e.g., the Zoning Ordinance document) dictates, in large part, how an application for development proceeds through the Development Process. Not every application ends up in front of the Town Council for a decision. That being said, there are opportunities to be proactive in communication and planning. The Zoning Ordinance document can be amended. And Mayor Cross and Mike Brannon are leading a first-ever Future Land Use initiative that, I believe, will serve the community well.

Challenge: Communication.  I believe that the majority of us feel positively about our Town. However, there is a disruptive (and potentially destructive) drumbeat of miscommunication as reflected in social media and amplified in day-to-day conversations.

Approach:  I could write pages on this, but will (for now) offer a few suggestions for guiding principles.

• Start with what we agree on – what unites us

• Actively listen to each other – with open minds and respect and ask really good questions

• Focus on facts (vs. misinformation)

• Tie to the Comprehensive Strategy – align strategic, operational, and tactical decisions, implementation, and evaluation)

• Proactively communicate

I know that a lot more, in-depth conversations are taking place at Candidate Forums in our community and through other opportunities. I look forward to continuing the conversation.

Are you pleased with contracts for law enforcement with the Davie County Sheriff’s Office? Please give details about what you think is working for the betterment of the town, or what could be improved.

Nelson: Based on ongoing conversations and on the information I read, there is a high level of satisfaction with the contracts with the Davie County Sheriff’s Office, particularly regarding the community policing program. I know I always feel supported and safer when I see the patrol car in our neighborhood and Officer Mike Foster always waves with a smile.

In 2017, the Town Council gave approval (a 3-2 margin) for our first community policing program. In November 2022, the Council voted unanimously for a 5 year extension. This evolution to a unanimous vote is one indicator of the strong support for the contract, the Sherriff’s office and – in particular – for the dedicated officers who have served our community since 2017.

Officer Mike Foster is patrolling the streets and venues, present at events, and always keeping an eye out for the safety of our citizens. I know we all appreciate the wealth of training and experience that our Officer brings to serve us each day. We may not be aware of the calls he takes and interactions (often preventative) he handles. I assume that these can be with assistance from other elements of the Sherrif’s Office. And there is the communication he offers such as this message in the June 2022 Town of Bermuda Run news email:

“Message from Community Officer Mike Foster: The speed limit in all neighborhoods of Bermuda Run – behind the gates, and in Kinderton Village is 25 mph. Traffic laws are being enforced. This includes speeding and running stop signs. Warmer weather is here, and more people are out and about walking, riding bikes. Etc. Please be safe and watch out for others.” Proactive communication makes a difference!

The estimated cost for the community policing program for 2022-23 is $93,337. This includes salary/benefits for a full-time dedicated officer, vehicle, equipment and gas. This appears to be a solid investment in the safety, security, and peace of mind of our residents.

Other Issues

Nelson: Thank you for the opportunity to describe my platform as a candidate for the Town Council of Bermuda Run. I believe that the town is at a pivotal moment in its history, with incredible opportunities ahead. Our commitment to responsible development, preserving our Town’s unique and vibrant character, and enhancing the quality of life will be central to our success for current and future residents. As a candidate, I offer a wealth of experience and a dedication to ensuring a prosperous future (in several meanings of the word) for the Town of Bermuda Run.

Responsible Development and Preserving Our Character

• Comprehensive Plan. I pledge to uphold and advance the principles and objectives outlined in the Town of Bermuda Run Comprehensive Plan, which includes input from a public survey and community meetings. This recognizes that the Plan is a living document that can (and has) been amended.

• Dynamic Zoning. The Town’s Zoning Ordinance document (adopted September 13, 2005 and as amended through February 8, 2022) is also a living document. It has been amended more than 35 times. I strongly support the Town’s first-ever Future Land Use initiative being led by Mayor Cross and Councilman Mike Brannon. Stay tuned on this one!

• Collaboration.  I will work closely with our community, businesses, governments at all levels, and other strategic partners to support and implement our shared vision for Bermuda Run’s growth. Collaboration helps ensure that interests or all stakeholders are considered.

• Long-Term Planning. I have had multiple conversations that begin – and end – with long term planning questions. What are the implications for traffic? Environmental considerations? Schools? Businesses? The type of development we do, or should, attract? I know of too many communities that didn’t make long-term planning a primary factor. There are lesson to be learned and we can – and will – be ahead of the curve.

Experience and Fiscal Responsibility

• Proven Track Record. My experience in working with strategic planning and implementation, finding solutions (not just solving problems), and leadership lessons from service at The White House and U.S. Chamber of Commerce (among other professional experiences), I believe, will contribute to representing citizens of Bermuda Run on the Town Council, if elected.

• Zero-Based Budgeting, I support Mike Brannon’s proposed zero-based budgeting approach, which means every investment/expenditure is justified based on best-practice prioritization, necessity, effectiveness, and includes long-term considerations.

The Responsibilities of a Town Council Member – Representation and Accountability

• Representing Our Citizens. If elected, my foremost duty will be to represent the interests, concerns, and ideas of the citizens of Bermuda Run.

• Responsible Decision-Making. Council members are responsible and accountable for the decisions made. This means decision-making that follows the stated process, aligns with the Comprehensive Plan, and adheres to the Zoning Ordinance document as well as other laws, regulations, best practices, and ethical considerations.

• Proactive Listening and Communication. Council members have an obligation to proactively communicate – and even more proactively listen – every step of the way. This can involve some creative and positive initiatives – virtual meetings, more community Q & A sessions, brainstorming together about creative ways to communicate within and outside our community. And focusing on the facts to counter misinformation and disinformation.

Personal and Professional Commitment

The Town of Bermuda is entering an important era and I am eager to work to help shape its future. I have the time and passion to make serving on the Town Council a personal and professional priority. Thank you for your consideration.

The Candidate


David Gilpin




Riverbend Dr.


Serena Gilpin (spouse)


Attended NMSU for architecture


Work-from-home Computer Programmer/Analyst; Design/develop/administer

enterprise systems since 1986

In The Community

• None so far

Why did you decide to seek public office?

Gilpin: I truly dislike politics, but recent zoning decisions and the potentiality of Hall Walker, got me talking to people. I quickly found that I was not alone, in my concern, and that sitting idly by was no longer an option.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the town, and how to you attend to address these challenges?

Gilpin: Unwanted Development – We need to re-review our zoning ordinances/town plan and do everything legally possible to discourage that development.

Communication: We need to look for more effective ways to obtain resident input, to make sure council decisions reflect the current desires of the majority.

Possible increase in county property tax assessment: If this is to happen, we need to be prepared to effectively communicate to residents what the town options are.

Are you pleased with contracts for law enforcement with the Davie County Sheriff’s Office? Please give details about what you think is working for the betterment of the town, or what could be improved.

Gilpin: I am not familiar with any existing issues, but I am concerned that the increase in density of development recently, is likely to cause issues in the future.

Other Issues

Gilpin: I am not a community pillar or high-powered businessperson/politician. I am simply a tenacious resident who is unwilling to roll over and accept an unsavory fate.  As a council member, it would be my duty to fight for the wishes of the majority of residents, regardless of my views/opinions or those of others in power.

The Candidate


Martin (Marty) Wilson




Wife, Dawn; children, Matthew (25), Elise (30)


Granite Falls High School; Caldwell Community College, associate degree; Appalachian State University, bachelor’s degree in public management; UNC Institute of Government Municipal Administration Course


Retired. Last job: managerial specialist NC Rural Water Association. Provided technical, financial, and managerial assistance to local governments in North Carolina. Previous Job: Director of Public Works and Utilities. Department Head for Public Works and Utilities reporting directly to the City Manager.

In The Community

• Volunteer for American Red Cross Disaster Assistance Team

• President, Village of Maisonettes Home Owners Association

Why did you decide to seek public office?

Wilson: I decided to seek public office because I love this community and I want to “give back”. My education and professional work experience has been in public management for local governments in North Carolina, therefore, I believe that serving on the Town Council is my best opportunity to serve.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the town, and how do you intend to address those challenges?

Wilson: The biggest challenges facing the town are managing growth and providing reliable infrastructure.

Managing growth is obviously a big challenge. We live in a very desirable place and developers will be anxious to develop any and all usable properties. The community, as a whole, does not want to add large apartment complexes or other development that would increase traffic and negatively affect our quality of life.  It is not as simple as passing a ban on certain types of development because there are legal, regulatory and fairness issues that must be considered.

In order to manage growth so that our quality of life is not diminished, the town council must be able to find solutions that will control growth without depriving property owners and developers of their rights. My education and previous local government experience will be beneficial in providing solutions for these complicated problems.

The other major challenge for our town is providing reliable infrastructure. The town is responsible for the maintenance of some, but not all, of the streets within the city limits. A plan needs to be developed and followed to resurface our streets in a timely manner, provide and maintain sidewalks and walkways and keep our streets, sidewalks, and walking trails clean and safe.

The town’s sewer system is the other major infrastructure challenge. The town would like to give the sewer system to Davie County Utilities to own, operate and maintain in the same manner as the water system.

However, Davie County will not take over ownership unless the system is in reasonable condition. Since parts of the existing sewer system are 50 years old, rehabilitation and/or upgrades will be needed. The town has received a $400,000 grant to identify and assess the condition of our sewer system. Upon completion of this work, the town will need to develop a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that will address the deficiencies. My previous experience in local government includes developing and implementing capital improvement plans.

Are you pleased with contracts for law enforcement with the Davie County Sheriff’s Office? Please give details about what you think is working for the betterment of the town, or what could be improved.

Wilson: I am very pleased with the contract for law enforcement with the Davie County Sheriff’s office. Officer Mike Foster has been accessible, friendly, and responsive in every situation that I am aware of. The only other option for this type of service would be for the town to have its own police department. This would be very expensive to implement and many small towns are having problems hiring and keeping law enforcement officers. I am not aware of any significant issues that would necessitate a change in this contract.

Other Issues

Wilson: As our town grows, we will be faced with many challenges.

The role of a town council member is to listen to the citizens to determine what they want to achieve and then use their experience and knowledge of local government rules, regulations, policies, and procedures, to address these challenges. The goal is to provide outcomes that are legal, fair, and acceptable to all the parties involved.

We need a town council that has that experience and knowledge. I have over 40 years of experience working in and with local governments in North Carolina. Through App State and the UNC Institute of Government Municipal Administration Course, I learned about the rules and regulations that both empower and restrict local government’s authority.

As an employee of the Town of Granite Falls, NC, I developed an understanding of how government works in the real world.

As a department head for the City of Newton, NC, I experienced working with citizens, contractors, business owners, town staff, and town councils.

As a managerial specialist with NC Rural Water Association, I provided technical, financial, and managerial assistance to local governments in North Carolina.

I believe that my experience and knowledge of local government has provided me the skills that are necessary to be an advocate for the citizens of Bermuda Run as an effective member of the Bermuda Run Town Council. I hope you will vote for me in the runoff election on Oct. 10 and in the general election on Nov. 7.