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10 to Watch: Chad Mitchell

Rowan County Commissioner Chad Mitchell is beginning his third term on the board with the new title of chairman and a tough budget year ahead.
Mitchell, a Republican, said he is hoping 2011 brings economic recovery to the nation, state and county.
But he knows it still will bring its share of difficulties, too.
“I think probably the major challenge is coming out of the economic problems we’ve been experiencing,” he said. “We’re still having to work with the effects of the recession, and hopefully we don’t have to deal with the effects of a double-dip recession.”
He said several factors will affect the county’s budget this year, including whether or not it has stopped losing sales tax revenue, this year’s revaluation and how much of last year’s budget is spent.
“Usually, we not only don’t spend all that we budget, but we’re able to bank some at the end of a given year,” he said. “A lot of the decision-making process depends on how that plays out.”
Commissioner Carl Ford, the previous chairman who now holds Mitchell’s former title of vice chairman, said the budget likely will “dominate the whole landscape” of the board’s business again this year.
“It will be tough, but he can handle the job,” Ford said. He pointed out that Mitchell has been on the board for eight years and he “knows the county.”
“He’s intelligent, articulate and knowledgeable,” Ford said. “He’ll be as good or better than every chairman we’ve ever had, and I mean that.”
— Karissa Minn
Name: Chad Mitchell
Age: 35
Occupation: Rowan County commissioner and civics and government teacher with Rowan-Salisbury Schools.
Reason to watch: As the new chairman of the Board of Commissioners and frequent swing vote, Mitchell will have some important decisions to make as the county tackles another financially difficult year.
Favorite book: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. “It’s a story about a guy who has difficulty dealing with life.”
Most surprising song or artist in your music collection: Weird Al Yancovic. “I like any of his albums, particularly  the ones that make fun of the ’80s and Michael Jackson songs.”
Who you will watch in 2011 and why: “The U.S. Congress and how they deal with our economy… and how they manage with a divided government will be interesting to watch.”
Reaction to making the list: Laughter, then, “Okay, well, thank you — I?guess.”

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