Huntersville Board Agenda – 21 January 2020

The full agenda packet for Tuesday night’s town board meeting (no meeting tomorrow night because of the holiday) can be found here. Two pre-meetings at 5:00 and 5:15 (that should be live streamed), regular meeting starts at 6pm. It’s only a 30-page agenda packet for this meeting so if you ever wanted to review an entire packet and provide some questions/comments to the town board this would be the meeting to do so. Again, what’s most interesting is what’s NOT included on the agenda – any discussion about the 913 page, $150K investigative report into HPD that the town is refusing to release any information about to the public. Your tax dollars paid for it, but you’re not entitled to know anything about why our police department was being investigated and not a single elected official in Huntersville has spoken out against the town’s suppression of this report.

Of note:

  • Item 6.B. – HFD, Inc. Budget Request. It’s that time of year again already, when all the town departments and outside agencies like HFD, Inc. come before the town board to justify being awarded taxpayer dollars – $4.3 million just for HFD, Inc. last year, and without almost no oversight at all of how those monies are spent. The HFD, Inc. chief will appear before the town board and provide them a written report with updated stats from the last year along with a budget breakdown for the requested funding for FY 20/21 – so why is this report not included in the agenda packet so the town board and residents can review it BEFORE the meeting? Because that would allow for too much time for the board members or residents to review the figures and budget request ahead of time in order to properly prepare any questions that might need to be asked of the chief from the dais. It’s just $4 million or so of your money, no need to really dig into how the money will be spent. Transparency!!
  • Item 9.B. – Approve Conterra Fiber agreement. A contract for AT LEAST $89,000 in upfront costs (because we all know construction projects never go over budget) and recurring monthly charges of $900 (which is $10,800/yr) to provide for installation of fiber between HPD HQ and town center. So many questions about this item that need to be asked by your town board – here are a few I’d suggest asking to start. First – cui bono – who benefits? Where is the money for this project coming from – which line item in the HPD budget? Why not wait and include this item in the capital requests for HPD in the upcoming FY 20/21 budget, why the immediate need to move forward with this project now? What will this $900/month “maintenance fee” go towards, and will the town still have to pay for internet service with another third-party provider? If so, how much will those costs be and will that offset any alleged savings over the current $1,910 monthly fee being paid to CenturyLink? How did the town’s new IT Director, Larry Davis (a former Cornelius employee), determine this new fiber network was even needed after just being in Huntersville since July? Who else did Mr. Davis receive “informal quotes” from and why weren’t those quotes included in the agenda packet? Why does the contract with Conterra include three cameras with coordinates at Gilead/21, at Gilead in front of the hospital, and at Gilead/McCoy? Is this just another step in setting up the dark fiber infrastructure necessary to implement town-wide surveillance by HPD? Are there any conflicts between any town employee and Conterra that need to be disclosed?

More about the company HPD wants to go into business with that is based out of Charlotte. Conterra Networks is majority owned by Court Square Capital, a private equity firm with approximately $6 billion of assets under management, with the remaining ownership largely held by Conterra Networks’ management team.