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OPINION: Vote ‘Yes’ on sale of Continuum to TDS

By Tricia Sisson, 2019 Lake Norman Chamber Chair. If you’re like me, coming to a decision on how to cast my vote can sometimes be difficult.  There might be good arguments on both sides and it’s not always clear cut what the right choice is.

Luckily, voters in Davidson and Mooresville have at least one easy choice on their ballot this November—the referendum on the sale of Continuum to TDS.


How did we get here?  In 2007 the towns of Davidson and Mooresville were faced with losing access to important communications services with the bankruptcy of Adelphia.  That led to the formation of MI-Connection, with ownership by the towns of Mooresville and Davidson.  MI-Connection was recently rebranded Continuum.

Through innovation and hard work, the towns, employees, and the management of Continuum have built the company into a successful operation.  However, it has also been an expensive operation for both towns’ taxpayers, with about $4.5 million due each year in just debt service payments.

The good news is that with the $80 million TDS is going to pay for Continuum, with voter approval, both towns will be able to wipe the debt payments off the books for good.  That will free up dollars that can go to meet the needs of Mooresville and Davidson.  Additional infrastructure investments, tax relief and public safety improvements can all be possible now with the cash from the sale.

While the new financial flexibility the towns will see is likely reason enough to approve the sale of Continuum, we are also excited about welcoming TDS to our community.

TDS has a trusted reputation as a customer-driven company that specializes in providing high-quality voice, data and video services to small and mid-sized communities across the country.  The Wisconsin-based firm is big enough to have the market strength and finances to invest in network upgrades and new product offerings.  But, the company is small enough that it still pays close attention to its customers.

It was telling to all of us that TDS CEO Jim Butman was in town within a week of the sale being unanimously approved by the Mooresville and Davidson Town Boards. Butman met with local leaders, Continuum employees and our media. It’s not often you see a CEO make a trip like that.

We all know how important access to broadband is for many of our businesses to grow and be successful.  TDS has a track record that shows we can count on it to be a valuable partner in our economic development efforts.

Yes, some votes can be hard.  But not this one!

Selling Continuum to TDS will wipe out an oppressive debt burden on Mooresville and Davidson — freeing up dollars that can be used to improve quality of life for residents and businesses.  The sale will also lead to network investments that weren’t previously possible with more options to improve our broadband and entertainment experiences.

This past month, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, adopted a resolution to support the referendum and encourage our local citizens in both Davidson and Mooresville to vote in favor of the referendum. As the 2019 Board Chair of the Lake Norman Chamber, I am asking the voters in Mooresville and Davidson, please consider voting in favor of the proposed sale of Continuum to TDS!

—Tricia Sisson is the 2019 Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board Chair. She is also a candidate for the Cornelius Town Board.


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