by Katie Orlando

DAVIDSON – Residents won’t be voting for town officials this November, but they could be voting on their terms.

The Davidson board of commissioners heard options at their March 27 work session to extend commissioner terms from two to four years. If the board decides to pursue longer terms, residents would vote on the change in November.

Mayor John Woods said he would not push for extending the mayoral term. He said moving to staggered four-year commissioner terms would bring stability to town government and allow elected officials to accomplish more.

The learning curve for new commissioners and time spent on elections takes away from their ability to serve the town, board members said.

“From October to December, no decisions are made because nobody wants to commit the next board, and from December to March no decisions are made because people are getting up to speed,” Commissioner Laurie Venzon said.

First-term Commissioner Rodney Graham said extending terms isn’t the only way to give commissioners more time in office.

“You accomplish that by doing a good job and getting reelected,” Graham said.

Some residents at the meeting agreed with Graham. One called the proposal an incumbent protection move.

The board will seek public input until deciding at their May 8 meeting on a resolution to put a term change from two to four years to referendum.

Animal regulation changes

Police Chief Jean Miller presented possible changes to Davidson’s ordinance to update animal control rules.

The existing ordinance fully adopts Mecklenburg County’s animal control ordinance and has been in place for more than 40 years, which Miller said necessitates updates.

Proposed changes include:

• Requiring dogs in open-bed trucks to be reasonably secured.

• Allowing dogs at town events as long as they are on a six-foot leash controlled by an adult.

• Prohibiting the tethering of dogs.

The board and police department will also continue to explore how to encourage pet owners to license animals in town. While dogs, cats and ferrets are all required to be registered annually, Miller said only 55 dogs and 10 cats are licensed in town.