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Election 2009: Rustin hoping for re-election as East Spencer alderman

By Seth Leonard
sleonard@salisburypost.com
John L. Rustin, Sr. will defend his seat as an East Spencer alderman in the upcoming election.
Rustin has a long history of service in East Spencer. He was a police officer for 21 years before becoming chief of police in the 1950s. He was the first African-American police chief in North Carolina.
Before his law enforcement career, he served in the U.S. Army.
Rustin said he is well-known by many in East Spencer.
“I guess I have a mannerism that helps me talk to people,” he said. “I’ve got that rhythm.”
He said dealing with each situation individually is critical. He said the powers of observation and selecting the right words for a situation can take people very far.
Rustin has achieved many honors in his life, including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award. He’s a member of the Salisbury and Rowan Community Action Association, financial officer for the East Spencer Housing Authority and was chairman of the East Spencer voting precinct for several years.
Plans for his next term include giving much scrutiny and effort to housing projects and upgrades that will encourage people to come back or stay in East Spencer. He said bringing down water costs and upgrading the sewers in the town is a priority.
“I would love to bring that water bill down, yes sir,” he said.

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