As a businesswoman for the past 30 years, I believe fiscal responsibility is of utmost importance. Whether it involves managing a household, running a business, or leading a department, it is essential to prioritize spending appropriately and to make tough choices and good decisions. The same applies when overseeing a town government. We must be good stewards of the taxpayers' money if we want Davidson to maintain its charm, attractiveness, and value as a great place to live, work and play.
"In a governmental context, a pledge of fiscal responsibility is a government’s assurance that it will judiciously spend, earn, and generate funds without placing undue hardship on its citizens. It includes a moral contract to maintain a financially sound government for future generations on the understanding that a functional society is difficult to maintain without a financially secure government.”
In Davidson, we have had a challenge with our budget for the past eight years because of the decision in August 2007 to purchase the old Adelphia cable system and create MI-Connection. We must continue to prioritize spending until the $1 million annual subsidy to MI-Connection is no longer required (ideally, within the next three to five years). For more information regarding MI-Connection, click here.
I propose the following:
- Develop and pursue an exit strategy for MI-Connection so Davidson no longer owns any portion of the company.
- Establish a policy outlining an expenditure threshold that requires voter approval so the town board cannot obligate taxpayers for large expenditures without citizen support.
- Focus our spending on ensuring citizens’ safety, maintaining our assets, and sustaining our quality of life.
- Keep our debt ratio at an acceptable level that will not overburden taxpayers.
- Minimize our spending on “studies” and “plans” unless absolutely necessary.
 Definition taken from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-fiscal-responsibility.htm#didyouknowout