Pierce declines Paris’ dinner invitation to discuss mall, downtown

  • Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2013 11:52 a.m.
    UPDATED: Thursday, November 7, 2013 1:13 p.m.

SALISBURY — Rowan County commission Vice Chairman Craig Pierce said thanks but no thanks to City Manager Doug Paris’ invitation to break bread together tonight.

Paris invited Pierce to dinner at Uncle Buck’s “to discuss how we make the downtown and mall situation a win-win for all parties and to put this video frenzy behind us.”

Paris went on WSTP Radio this morning to discuss the county’s intention to buy the Salisbury Mall and offered to treat Pierce, who was on the radio station Wednesday, to a cheeseburger.

Through Rowan County Clerk Carolyn Barger, Pierce responded that he appreciated the offer but declined the invitation.

Barger sent an email to City Clerk Myra Heard.

“In response to your phone call this morning, Commissioner Pierce expresses his appreciation for the offer to meet with Doug for dinner tonight,” she wrote. “In Commissioner Pierce’s opinion, the video has been vetted by the media to the point of being ridiculous and any further discussions concerning this issue would be counter-productive.

“Commissioner Pierce feels there will be times in the future where the County and the City can work together and he looks forward to having this issue not be part of those conversations.

“Thank you again for the offer. Commissioner Pierce extends an invitation to Doug to attend the Republican Men’s Breakfast on Dec. 7 at the same location.”

A 20-minute video posted by a Tea Party supporter on YouTube shows many tense exchanges between Paris and Pierce, Rowan County commission Chairman Jim Sides and others at a Republican Men’s breakfast last week. Another video from the breakfast shows Pierce telling the city to come up with a plan because the county is moving departments from downtown to the mall.

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