Kannapolis Council candidate drops out
By Emily Ford
KANNAPOLIS ó One applicant for a vacant seat on the Kannapolis City Council has withdrawn her name, leaving 15 contenders.
Sandi Billings, the assistant clerk of court for Cabarrus County, told the Kannapolis City Council that she pulled out so she can focus on her boss’ upcoming election.
Fred Biggers will seek re-election as clerk of superior court for Cabarrus County in 2010, Billings said.
“I want to devote my time and energy to this important election,” she wrote in an e-mail to the city.
An employee of the clerk’s office for more than 22 years, Billings said the City Council has an “excellent group of candidates from which to choose a well-qualified person.”
Council members received an overwhelming response when they asked for applicants to fill a seat left vacant when Councilman Richard Anderson died last month.
The application deadline was last week.
Council members Gene McCombs and Roger Haas are sorting through the applications and will present a short list to the full council, possibly at Monday’s meeting. The entire council will interview the finalists after the holidays.
Interest in the N.C. Research Campus, a $1.5 billion life sciences complex in downtown Kannapolis, may have generated the large number of applicants, Haas said.
“People want to have a voice in what the future holds for the city,” he said. “There are some exciting things coming down the road, and they want to be a part of it.”
While he hasn’t read each application, Haas said there are “very solid candidates who could serve the city well.”
Haas and McCombs haven’t decided on a method to narrow the list and don’t have a specific number of finalists in mind, Haas said.
Haas said he will look for applicants who are involved in their community and have demonstrated that they “are ready to meet the challenges of the office.”
He wants to know if they can work well with others and whether they are leaders or observers.
“Knowledge is part of it. How well do they learn and how well do they adapt?” Haas said. “Do they have a firm grasp of the issues that are important to the city?”
A quality applicant also would express an interest in running for election in two years, at the end of the appointed term, Haas said.
“There is a learning curve to begin with,” he said. “I would hope that the person, after they become well-versed on the issues, would want to continue to serve.”
The 15 applicants are Michael Mishkin, Clarence R. “Rod” Armstrong, Ryan Gregory Dayvault, James F. Litaker, James D. “Jimmy” Barrett, Dianne Berry, Tommy D. “Tom” Kincaid, Larry F. Ensley, Robert Brown, T. Keats Dellinger, Paul S. Bessent Jr., Barry C. Shoemaker, Jean-Marc Corredor, Jeremy Christian Ford and Bill Georgiou.