Editor,

The Davidson Coalition for Fiscal Responsibility is a group of concerned citizens from all walks of life—from liberal to conservative politics and all income levels.  Mr. Russum’s letter to the editor on Aug. 18 completely mischaracterizes the coalition’s mission and views.

The coalition, like Mr. Russum, is focused on maintaining our town’s high quality of life. That is the reason we are so concerned about the town’s poor financial decisions.

Mr. Russum is just plain wrong if he believes the coalition wants to give the town over to unbridled development or that most citizens have “moved past” the MI-Connection decision. The Mi-Connection decision is costing the taxpayers of Davidson almost $2 million this year alone to subsidize operations. This decision, which did not have overwhelming public support, now represents 20 percent of the town’s budget. If owning a cable company was a prudent, revenue-producing venture, then towns across the country would be doing this. But small towns like ours simply do not have the resources to market or maintain a technology company competing with large corporations.

We believe this $2 million should be used to complete our backlog of park and sidewalk projects, ensure our police and fire have up-to-date equipment and reduce our property tax rate to be more competitive with our neighbors. We don’t believe such a view is extreme in any fashion.

The coalition is particularly concerned about property tax rates because the increase in Davidson’s property values as a result of countywide revaluation disproportionately affects our lowest income neighborhoods. This, on top of a new garbage fee, is making our town even more unaffordable to people of modest means, which is why our coalition has representation from every neighborhood in Davidson.

The coalition’s primary goal is straightforward. We want to ensure the town’s debt level is reduced so we have the means to maintain our livability, and we want town leaders to make fiscal decisions in an open and transparent fashion. We encourage all citizens of Davidson to join our email list (dcfr.contact@gmail.com) or come to one of our meetings.

– Pam Pearson and Pat Scruggs
Coalition members, Davidson residents