Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Grand Opening of Plum Creek Park 11/10 at 11am

DAVIDSON, N.C. – Community members are invited to the grand opening ceremony for Plum Creek Park, located near Bailey Springs on November 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This phase of the park includes a basketball court, two tennis courts, and a playground.

Grand opening events will include:
  • Activities for the whole family
  • Tree planting with Trees Davidson (volunteers needed)
  • Basketball and tennis clinics
  • North Carolina Wildlife Federation activities for children
  • Bartlett Tree Clinic with tree doctor
  • Food and more!
To volunteer with Trees Davidson, interested residents can use the SignUpGenius link:


Parking is limited so please consider walking or biking by using our greenway system or carpooling with a friend or neighbor.

“One of the goals of the 2018-2019 Strategic Plan is to increase the physical and mental health of Davidson community members, specifically by preserving open space and providing opportunities for play and discovery,” said Town Manager Jamie Justice. “We are so excited the first phase of this park is ready for all to enjoy.”

For more information about this new park and event, please call the Davidson Parks and Recreation Department at 704-892-3349.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Early voting midpoint data shows strong turnout by Democrats

With early voting at the half-way mark, data from the MeckBOE website shows turnout favorable to Democratic candidates in the NCGA races for current Republican seats covering North Mecklenburg.  Specifically, this analysis covers NC Senate 41 currently held by Jeff Tarte and NC House 98 currently held by John Bradford - both of Cornelius.  It does not cover NC House 107 held by Democrat Chaz Beasley.

North Mecklenburg has long been a Republican stronghold.  In fact, Davidson Precinct 206 has been the only consistently blue area in Lake Norman for years.  aShortChronicle posted about that previously in this post from 2012.  However, since that time the I77 Hot Lanes controversy has turned some races on their heads with more voters crossing party lines in response to that controversial project.  The most notable being the Governor's race in 2016 with 10's of thousands of LKN voters who had previously voted Republican going for Democrat Roy Cooper over Republican Pat McCrory.  See the details of that here.

While so far the I77 controversy hasn't trickled down in an impactful way to recent General Assembly races, there are vocal anti-toll voices both for and against the incumbents who have been working, to date unsuccessfully, to negate the tolling contract.  That could be important if these races become close for other reasons.

Those other reasons potentially impacting these races include the known fact of legislative redistricting and potential fact of a so called "blue wave" being driven by national issues.

Redistricting will definitely impact the outcome of these races.  Read about the details of that here. In NC Senate 41 currently held by Republican incumbent Jeff Tarte against Democrat challenger Natasha Marcus, the new district lines shift the race in favor of the challenger.  In this race, the southern half of the district shifted from eastern Mecklenburg to western Mecklenburg.  In the NC House 98 district currently held by Republican John Bradford against Democrat challenger Christy Clark, the new district became slightly more Republican with some shifts on its southern edge.

Those redistricting impacts will have an effect and can be seen in the early turnout numbers.  The impact of any "blue wave" remains to be seen, but the turnout numbers so far indicate something may be in the making.  Check out the below analysis of data from the MeckBOE website.

There are a few things to note on these numbers.  This data goes through voting on Friday, 10/26 - the midpoint of early voting this election.  The early vote turnout (EVT) numbers include all ballots cast and requested.  It is assumed that the vast majority of mail in ballots requested will eventually be returned.  The totals may look off slightly if one tries to reconcile them to the BOE raw data because these numbers don't include smaller party registration numbers and people in unincorporated areas for the North Meck totals.  The North Meck totals for the towns only include Davidson, Cornelius, and Huntersville minus voters in NCH107, unincorporated areas, and the smaller parties as previously mentioned.  Overall, these things won't change the overall outcomes of the analysis much if at all.

Here's what these numbers tell you.

First, Democrats are, so far, outperforming by a pretty significant margin in the North Mecklenburg towns relative to their voter registration percentage.  That's could be taken as a sign of voter enthusiasm among Democrats.  Since North Mecklenburg is heavily Republican, one would expect a bigger turnout lead for their candidates.   Also, the overall turnout at North Mecklenburg polling sites is running significantly ahead of early voting in the last mid-term election in 2014.  These things speak to the possibility of a blue wave, at least locally.

Second, the turnout totals by electoral district show the major impact redistricting is having, particularly in NC Senate 41.  The overall turnout lead the Democrats are building in this race is being driven entirely by the newly included southern portion.  In NC House 98, redistricting, as expected, is helping Republican totals, but instead of significantly expanding a lead it is just helping them keep pace.

Obviously, the big unknown is how unaffiliated voters break.  There are some reasonable assumptions that can be made here.  The most basic is that most UNA voters consistently vote one party or the other.  Few actually are true ticket splitters.  Based on that, it would be safe to assume that if registered Democrats are outperforming, that Democrat-leaning UNA voters are too.  These assumptions, if true, may narrow the historical gap enjoyed by Republicans in NC House 98 race.

In the NC Senate 41 race, the UNA votes cast so far are almost evenly split between the portions in the three northern towns and the southern part of the district.  If one assumes the UNA voters in the northern part of the district are more Republican leaning and the UNA voters in the south are more Democratic leaning, that would mean they likely cancel each other out to a large part and won't close the 2000+ turnout gap the Democrats currently possess.  If the trend continues, the Republicans will have to close that gap on election day when Republicans tend to turnout at higher rates.  The larger the gap, the harder that will be to do.

Finally, there is the unknowable impact national events and negative ads will have on these state level races.  Will recent national events spur more turnout or ticket splitting than expected?  Will the economy help Republicans?  Will the negative ad flyers that have been landing in local mailboxes lately gin up the base or will they backfire?

While early turnout data tells quite a bit, it's the answers to these unknowable questions that will likely determine the final outcome.

Friday, October 26, 2018

North-South Parkway information session at Hopewell Baptist on Tuesday (press release)

DAVIDSON, N.C – Davidson residents are invited to offer input regarding existing roadways, new alignments, or a combination of both, with respect to the North-South Parkway at a public meeting on Tuesday, October 30 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Hopewell Baptist Church located at 18841 Davidson-Concord Road.

A team comprised of staff from Iredell County, the Towns of Davidson, Mooresville, Cornelius, and Huntersville, the Lake Norman Regional Transportation Commission (LNTC), and the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) are working to identify transportation alternatives for a north-south corridor from Eastfield Road in Huntersville up to Timber Road in Mooresville.

In 2018 local jurisdictions, including the Towns of Huntersville, Davidson, Mooresville, Cornelius, and Iredell County agreed that a comprehensive effort must be undertaken to link their efforts together in a cohesive manner. Your input is critical for providing local communities with a cohesive plan for a new north-south transportation corridor.

Please visit www.Northsouthparkway.org for more information.

Monday, October 22, 2018

East West Connector road project environmental impact hearing, Tuesday 10/23

Roads and water drive development.  That's no secret to anyone paying attention to growth in the area over recent years.  On Tuesday evening, there will be a hearing regarding the environmental impacts of a multifaceted road project just north of Davidson in Iredell County called the East West Connector.

This project will drive the next tsunami of development in the Lake Norman area opening up thousands more acres for large scale projects over the next decade.

Projects like the Lake Davidson development proposed last year will become more likely whenever these road projects occur.  aShortChronicle posted several stories on that project.  The EWC will also support developments like the Province at Lake Norman written about back in August, and the $1 billion Silicon Shores announced in July will also be greatly enhanced by this road project.

For more on how this EWC project could open up large scale development, check out this post from the Lake Davidson series.  The eventual numbers are staggering.

Here is the notice put out by Mooresville on the project.

The Town of Mooresville (Town) proposes to construct a four lane divided highway through an area known as Silicon Shores to connect I-77 Exit 31 and Langtree Road to the NC-115/Mecklenburg Highway. The highway has been named the East West Connector (EWC).

The EWC Project will provide a safe, direct access and improve the movement of goods and people between the I-77 Exit 31 and Langtree Road to the NC-115/Mecklenburg Highway. The project will include an at grade crossing of the Norfolk Southern (NS) Railroad that will allow the Town to negotiate with NS to close up to four public crossings after completion.

The scope of this National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Assessment (EA) includes the following:

  • 4,310 linear feet of four-lane divided highway directly connecting Langtree Road with NC-115, known as “East West Connector”;
  • 2,368 linear feet of three-lane divided highway, known as “RL West Connector”;
  • 2,298 linear feet of three-lane divided highway, known as “Transco Connector”.
  • 8,976 linear feet of water lines along the three highways that make up the EWC project;
  • 8,620 linear feet of pedestrian/bicycle lanes;
  • 4,310 linear feet of fiber lines; and26 Intellistreets Luminaires.

In addition to safety improvements and travel time efficiencies, the new road will support economic development of 454 acres, provide direct access to major employers Lowe’s and CORVID Technologies, and result in long term job creation. The EWC is projected to leverage new private investment estimated to be $689,854,745 in Silicon Shores over the next decade. Current, ongoing development is driving the decision to build the EWC and install supporting infrastructure.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – A Public Meeting will be held at Town Hall from 6-8PM. Staff and the Ferguson Group will be giving a brief presentation on the project and then have a formal public comment period. All comments will be recorded with no formal answers being given from staff or the Board that night. Board member attendance is encouraged but not required. The rest of the evening will be a “drop in” format with the public having the ability to continue to submit written comments for the rest of the meeting and during the entire 30 day comment period.

NEPA Assessment

Monday, October 15, 2018

Davidson provides cautionary tale for Charlotte on 4-Year Terms

Charlotte City Council is roiling the political landscape in the Queen City with serious discussion of changing from two year terms to 4 year terms for its elected officials.  In recent days, both current and former electeds have come out both for and against the idea in Charlotte Observer op-eds and on social media.

This is an issue near and dear to aShortChronicle from back when tiny Davidson was considering the same thing in 2010 and 2012.  Long-time readers will know this idea of longer terms for electeds was one of the driving stories in the early days of this blog.  In fact the first stories consolidated into a dedicated "Chronicle" page were on this topic.  You can find them here at the Davidson 4-Year Terms Chronicle.

If you were to read through those old posts about Davidson as well as the current online arguments going on in Charlotte, you see many similar reasons for and against the idea.  Proponents like being elected officials but don't like campaigning.  They see 4-year staggered terms as providing "stability" Opponents think 4-year terms reduce accountability and see making such a change without a referendum as undemocratic.

When these debates are in the heat of battle all of these arguments are just speculation.  The idea of stability sounds good.  The idea of small-d democracy sounds good.  Nobody really knows who is right.

Yes, Charlotte is exponentially bigger than Davidson.  Yes, Charlotte is less politically diverse than Davidson with the makeup of its current Board being in near solid lockdown by Democrats.  However, Davidson does provide a pretty clear example of why 2 year terms is a good idea and Charlotte residents should fight to keep them.

When Davidson Commissioners were considering a unilateral change to 4 year staggered terms without going to voters, the idea failed because of strong citizen pushback.  There was no way of knowing at the time, but the defeat of this powergrab by Town Hall would have positive consequences years down the road.

In the years after keeping 2 year terms Davidson's future Board promoted a series of unpopular ideas.  These included the failed Catalyst Project, the failed Beaty Street RFP, the controversial Griffith Street Hotel now mired in the courts, the idea of massive spending for a new Town Hall without voter input, and the Rural Area Plan mass rezoning, among others.

Stopping that line of thinking and the constant controversy it caused required a wholesale changing of the guard.  In 2017, on the back of the Save Davidson movement that wholesale change occurred when 5 of 6 elected officials were changed in a single election cycle.

In the 10 months since the new Board has been sworn into office, there has been a noticeable change of tone coming out of Town Hall.  There is noticeably less swirl.  There is noticeably better decisionmaking.  That would not have been possible under 4 year staggered terms.  At most, only 3 officials could have been turned over under that scheme, and the Town would still be swirling.

That is the cautionary tale the voters of Charlotte should consider before laying down and accepting what their leaders are proposing.  Even if you like how Charlotte runs now, there might come a time when things change.  It is better to have the option of making change and not needing it, than to need that option and not have it.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Lingle Hut Day is Saturday, 10/13...Help restore a piece of Davidson history

At its September 25th Board of Commissioners meeting, Davidson declared October 13th as "Lingle Hut Day" in town.  This proclamation supports the ongoing fundraising efforts to raise money for the restoration of the historic building on Watson Street at Reeves Temple AME Zion Church.  See the proclamation below.

aShortChronicle previously told readers about the project where church members and local volunteers are hard at work planning to restore the site which had previousmy served as a gathering place in the Westside community.  The initial phase of the effort needs $20,000 primarily to fix the foundation of the building, and to date more than half of that sum has been raised.  Volunteers have been selling engraved bricks at the Farmers Market for the effort among other donations, but this Saturday, 10/13 will be the biggest push yet with a Carnival at the Church.

Plan on hitting the Farmers Market then heading over to Watson Street.  It will be a great way to support the community, and in this case, literal community building efforts.