An Update from Town Manager Jamie Justice
It’s been a rough few weeks for everyone within the Town of Davidson community. We’ve faced new challenges together as we’ve moved through various responses to the coronavirus global pandemic – most recently moving to a Stay at Home order in Mecklenburg County that affects all Town of Davidson residents, followed at the end of last week with the announcement from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper that issued a Stay at Home Order for the entire state.
You’ve been receiving regular updates from the town as well as our elected officials about how we are handling this crisis at the local level. As the Town Manager, I can tell you I am extremely proud of how we have all been working together to ensure the health and safety of our community. It has also been particularly heartening to see the flurry of positivity going on in neighborhoods and in support of local businesses – this is not surprising for Davidson in the least, but still so good to see.
As the board noted in their last communication with you all, the team here has been working diligently to determine a path forward as appropriate for necessary town business, and I’d like to provide an update to that effect.
For those of you signed up to receive notifications for news about planning efforts in town, on Friday you would have received notice about a planning board meeting called for this evening, Monday, March 30th. As was stated in that message, town staff have been working to balance the need and desire to move forward on certain issues of town business while still allowing for an open and transparent public process.
Holding this Planning Board meeting tonight serves two purposes: 1. It allows the town to pilot how a virtual platform and participation will work for commissioner, advisory board, and other public meetings; 2. It helps the town maintain consistency with the ordinance-required process initiated prior to the pandemic – specifically, by affording the Planning Board an opportunity to comment on the Local Historic District expansion proposal prior to the next Board of Commissioners’ meeting, per Section 14.19. Amidst changing circumstances, the town is trying to honor the spirit of the public process that began months ago and resulted in a February public hearing.
Information on how to view the meeting, which is open to the public online, is available on the town’s website here.
Assuming this process is as successful as we expect it to be, we will move forward with plans to proceed with other town business in this manner where it makes sense and is in compliance with both the letter and the spirit of both open meetings law as well as our belief in transparency. We will communicate information about any virtual meetings scheduled as soon as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any of the town staff. While we might not be on site at town hall, we all remain committed to our work of serving the Davidson community to the best of our abilities.