Davidson candidates talk Continuum, affordable housing at forum

Pictured above: Candidates for Davidson Town Commissioner participated in a forum hosted by the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and WSIC last week – WSIC photo

DAVIDSON, N.C. (WSIC NEWS) – At first glance, this week’s Davidson Commissioner candidate forum hosted by the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce and WSIC is a serving of political vanilla.

Five incumbents, and even the challenger, all agree Continuum should be sold and think it’s important to continue work on affordable housing. And, there was little contention. So, how do you choose?

“I think the thing you need to look at is where the candidates focus for the future,” says Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox.

John Stroup is the outsider wanting to unseat one of the incumbents. He says west Davidson needs more representation. He feels the town could have done more to work with the DOT on improvements to the interchange at I-77 and Griffith Street.

“It’s not my point that they’re not necessarily looking after the west-side,” says Stroup. “I did sort of overlook the fact that Jim may be close, but I’m actually on the other side of 77 so that puts me further away.”

Incumbents like Matthew Fort, however, say they’re for all of Davidson.

“I think it’s really important that we’re representing everybody,” says Fort. “I live on the east side of town, but I don’t just represent the east side of town. I need to think about everybody and everybody in Davidson. This is not (an) area where we have districts.”

Regardless of where they live, all say they’re in favor of selling Continuum. Candidates were generally hesitant, however, to offer specifics on how the money currently funding the company should be used if that sale is approved by voters. Lake Norman Chamber President Bill Russell says there are a few options on the table.

“There could be some opportunities in the future to bring that tax rate down a little bit,” says Russell. “But, certainly, there’s been some projects they have put off that they wanted… whether that’s greenways, parks, and other things.

“I’ve heard some people mention affordable housing,” says Fort. “That’s probably where I disagree the most at this point in time… I think we need to go back and invest where we haven’t been investing in over the last twelve years.”

“Greenways, multi-use paths,” says incumbent Autumn Michael. “I think the citizens have indicated in various surveys that they’re interested in. Potential for public facilities.”

The Lake Norman Chamber and WSIC host candidates for Huntersville Mayor and Commissioner Tuesday, October 8 at Huntersville Town Hall. The event starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.