Transparency and Accountability- Town Hall has created an environment of distrust that began with the purchase of MI-Connection and has continued year after year. Town Hall has forgotten what it is here for, simply to care for our residents. The posture that both staff and elected officials have taken towards our fellow citizens is unacceptable. Most recently, the transparency issue has risen to the top regarding several projects that are up for development. Considering recently released documents discovered trough FOIA requests, the town’s staff and elected officials must become accountable to the voting public.
Mi-Connection- In 2007, Davidson and Mooresville purchased the bankrupt Adelphia Cable Company for $80 million. Our current Mayor and town manager pushed this through as a "cash cow", along with the Mayor and town manager of Mooresville. Although Mrs. Venson was not on the board that voted for the purchase, she was on the board a year later when an additional $12 million was added for system upgrades, increasing the debt to $92 million. Davidson and Mooresville started losing money immediately. To date, Davidson has lost more than $12.5 million in addition to another $5 million that will be added later. In yearly numbers, Davidson loses 9.4% of our overall budget to debt service on our portion of the loss. We are potentially looking at another $12 million or more in losses before we can develop and exit strategy.
Developing a Commercial Tax Base- Currently Davidson's residential tax base makes up over 60% of our budget. With pressures on our infrastructure growing continually, our residents shoulder the highest tax rate in Mecklenburg County. I intend to work closely with commercial developers, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and industry to grow our commercial tax base to ease to burden to our tax payers. Davidson is a great place to live, it needs to be a great place to work.
Building Relationships- I've met with representatives from all three adjoining communities, Davidson College, LKN Chamber and local industry and almost across the board I've discovered that we have little to no relationship with our neighbors. Davidson has created a bubble and shut the world out. I intend to use the office of Mayor to build relationships with our neighbors, CMS, DOT, Davidson College, local industry and future industry. The Mayor must be the person who reaches out and the one who realizes that together we can accomplish more.
Working to improve our infrastructure- With I-77 construction causing utter chaos here in North Mecklenburg, we as Davidson residents are crippled when something happens on I-77. While Huntersville, Cornelius and Mooresville have the luxury of having Hwy 115 and Hwy 21 as alternates, we have Main St. The future movement in and around town must be addressed more aggressively. Our relationship with DOT is critical if we are going to work towards solving our problems getting around and through town. We do not have the financial capability of doing it on our own. Together, with DOT, our staff and elected officials can work towards a solution that is beneficial to and for Davidson.
Staying True to our Core Values- Davidson has always been good at one thing, being a small town. There's nothing wrong with being a small town. We will grow, no doubt. It's how we grow that will shape who we are 20 years, 30 years, 50 years from now. Davidson has our Mission Statement and Core values posted in Town Hall, these are not arbitrary words to me. These 12 items should define who we are, what we are about and where we go. I plan to revisit our Land Use Plan, our Ordinances, our treatment of EVERY citizen and the fairness that is provided and deserved.