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Incumbent councilman with fiber-optic knowledge seeks re-election

Incumbent Salisbury City Councilman Mark N. Lewis will seek re-election in the Nov. 3 municipal election.
Lewis, 46, who has been a council member since 2003, said one of the key leadership issues for the council will be successful implementation of the fiber-to-the-home utility.
“The city’s fiber-optic utility will bring unprecedented opportunity to our community,” Lewis said in an announcement statement. “Residents and businesses alike will have the information superhighway at their fingertips.
“I believe that it is essential for our elected leadership to have a broad knowledge of fiber-optic technology and that they support the implementation of the fiber-optic business plan.”
Lewis and Councilman William “Pete” Kennedy comprise the council committee that oversees the fiber-optic utility.
Lewis works as regional executive with Bank of North Carolina. He joins six other candidates who officially filed as City Council candidates Monday. They were Kennedy, Susan Kluttz and Paul Woodson ó all incumbents ó and Maggie Blackwell, Blake Jarman and Michael S. Young ó all first-time candidates.
The filing period for the Nov. 3 municipal elections in Rowan County extends until noon July 17.
Lewis pointed to three other areas of emphasis: the continued redevelopment of the downtown; the protection of Salisbury-Rowan Utility’s water and sewer plants on the Yadkin River; and maintaining an attitude of delivering outstanding customer service to city residents.
Lewis said there are two kinds of politicians ó proactive and reactive.
“I’m proactive,” he said. “I’m not the type who gets my package and opens it 15 minutes before the meeting. I spend hours and hours on city business every week because I raised my hand to do it and the voters had the confidence to put me on the council.
“I work very hard for them and take this position very seriously.”
Noting his work with downtown stakeholders, Lewis said he was proud Downtown Salisbury Inc. succeeded in purchasing the old Empire Hotel building and has a development partner in place “that will return this jewel to its former prominence.”
He said he also remains committed to implementation of the Cultural Action Plan, which he championed, “that will continue and enhance our community’s passion for the arts.”
Serving on City Council is one way he can give back to the community, Lewis said.
“You cannot replace the experience of serving on this council for six years,” he added. “I will draw on this experience as we position our city’s economy for growth.”
The city’s overall focus should be on economic issues, quality of life and “building a stronger sense of place for our diverse and inclusive citizenry,” he said.
Lewis holds a degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is a member and former president of St. John’s Lutheran Church Council and is active in the Salisbury Civitan Club. He is a former president of the Rowan County United Way and recently was named a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.
Lewis represents City Council on the Downtown Salisbury Inc. and the Rowan County Convention and Visitors Bureau boards. He also is council liaison to the Community Appearance Commission.
Lewis and his wife, Maria, have an 8-year-old daughter, Rebecca. The family lives at 109 Kingsbridge Rd.
Also filing Tuesday at the Rowan County Board of Elections were John O. Brown and Leonard M. West, who both filed for the Cleveland Board of Commissioners.
Filing Tuesday at the Cabarrus County Board of Elections for Kannapolis City Council were incumbent Randy Cauthen and Michael Mishkin.
Other candidate articles will run in coming days.

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