Editor’s note: Davidson resident Thomas MacDonald wrote this letter to Mayor John Woods and the town’s five commissioners. An abbreviated form is printed here.

Dear Mr. Woods

I am writing to express my concern over two issues:
• First, the town’s decision to enter into the real estate development business with the purchase of two homes in Bradford for “affordable housing.”
• Second, the decision to create the position of Wellness Supervisor.

After the cable TV disaster, I had hoped the town board had learned its lesson about commercial enterprises. The town obviously has no business sense, and entering into real estate development is just a further instance of the complete contempt in which the board holds its fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers.

If the real estate “deal” was so good, why didn’t a private developer do the deal? While “affordable” housing may be a worthwhile goal, placing these houses in an area where there is no public transportation seems questionable at best. Buying houses that a commercial developer could not sell seems the height of folly, and I have no reason to believe the town will be able to finish the houses and sell them at a profit in spite of your staff’s protestations. This staff strongly supported the cable TV venture, remember?

The second issue also shows a lack of common sense. The supervisor of the parks and recreation department was quoted as saying there was excess staff time in the department. So, what was the logical thing to do? Reduce staff? No, let’s create a new job and hire somebody to fill it. “Wellness” is not a responsibility of the town. Sounds like more money poured down the rat hole you’ve created with town finances.

Get your heads straight. It’s time to reduce staff, cut costs, not expand staff into areas in which the town has no responsibility.

Davidson’s taxes are already the highest in the county. We endured a tax increase this year (“the waste pickup fee”), and now we’re going to have to endure another increase in our tax bills next year to support a substandard TV-cable system; overpaid, over-staffed employee positions; and a board that apparently has no business sense. You are operating a $9 million business. Act like it.

I attended the May board meeting expecting to hear a discussion of the proposed budget and was disappointed to get a recitation of the “wish list” of increased expenditures. This was not a budget discussion.  It was a disgrace.  I cannot believe the contempt the board holds for the ordinary taxpayer of Davidson.

– T. E. MacDonald


Cc: Laurie Venzon, Tim Dreffer, Brian Jenest, Connie Wessner, Margo Williams