Davidson commissioners approved changes to the MI-Connection agreement Tuesday, Feb. 8, that will alter who serves on the cable system’s board of directors.
The Mooresville town board approved the same changes, which include adding two new seats and modifying how members are selected, during its Monday, Feb. 7, meeting.
Under the previous agreement, each town appointed two members for two-year terms to the five-member board. The right to appoint a fifth member for a two-year term alternated between Mooresville and Davidson, and a Mooresville representative currently fills that seat. Cornelius appoints one non-voting director to represent its interests and will continue to do so.
But with this week’s changes, the seat that alternates between Davidson and Mooresville will not exist.
Instead, Leamon Brice, Davidson’s town manager, and Erskine Smith, Mooresville’s interim manager, will sit on the board, bringing the total number of seats to seven.
Members of the board do not have to live in a town served by MI-Connection, as it is now.
Davidson commissioners welcomed the changes and approved the new agreement unanimously.
“It’s a good next step for the board. It doesn’t matter if they’re from south Charlotte or Terrell as long as they can add to the group,” Commissioner Margo Williams said.
Commissioners also approved the town’s legislative agenda, which includes lobbying for legislation to keep marketing information about MI-Connection private.
That information is currently public record and available to anyone, including the cable system’s competitors, Brice said.
“It would be nice to create a marketing plan and not have to advertise it to competitors,” Brice said.
Included in the legislative agenda is a list of priorities from the N.C. League of Municipalities, which lobbies on behalf of the state’s towns and cities. Mayor Pro Tem Laurie Venzon took issue with the league’s plan to lobby for other towns’ ability to own and operate broadband systems, like MI-Connection. She said she couldn’t support other towns making the same mistake Davidson did when it purchased the cable provider.
“I’m not prepared to sit here and say that I want other communities to do this,” Venzon said.
Despite her protests, the board approved the legislative agenda.
The agenda also includes plans to seek legislation to:
• Protect the privacy of municipal residents by limiting public access to lists of e-mail addresses submitted by citizens to municipalities.
• Seek legislation authorizing the use of electronic media to meet public notice requirements.
• Authorize police departments to enforce the traffic code on streets recorded as public and maintained by a municipality.
• Authorize local governments to require sprinklers as part of new-home construction.
• Ensure interlocal entities, like MI-Connection, are reimbursed sales taxes.
The N.C. League of Municipalities is seeking legislation to:
• Allow towns and cities to create extra-territorial jurisdictions without county approval.
• Strengthen the role of municipalities in the approval, renewal and revocation of ABC permits, and give more authority for police officers to enforce alcoholic beverage-related laws.
• Allow municipalities to adopt a prepared-meals-and-beverage tax.