Kennedy pledges to improve West End

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 27, 2013

SALISBURY — If he wins re-election, William “Pete” Kennedy would tie the late L.F. Cox as the longest-serving city councilman in Salisbury’s history.
Kennedy, 72, is running for a record 11th term on City Council. He first won election in 1993 and has watched many people come and go from city government.
“With the change in the council and city manager, I have remained constant and have provided experience and leadership to move our city forward by laying the foundation and assisting in the growth taking place in our city,” he said.
Kennedy has singled out the West End Transformation Plan as a top priority if re-elected.
The city and Salisbury Housing Authority won a $170,000 federal grant to plan the neighborhood revitalization effort, which includes an ambitious vision to raze and rebuild a public housing complex to include housing for a variety of income levels.
Kennedy said he would push the plan’s goal to renovate the old J.C. Price High School and former Duncan School to include office and retail space, as well as a new day-care center.
The West End initiative failed to win an $18 million federal implementation grant last year, but city staff continue working to find money to put the plan into action.
Kennedy said he also would promote job growth in the city and Rowan County by maintaining “reasonable and low” property taxes and water rates. He will continue to promote Fibrant, the city’s controversial high-speed broadband utility.
An early supporter of Fibrant, Kennedy rarely fails to point out that Salisbury offers the fastest Internet speed in the state.
“This utility is primed to create jobs in our city,” he said.
Kennedy pledged to continue representing all citizens by supporting seniors, under-served populations, historic neighborhoods and Downtown Salisbury Inc.
President and owner of William R. Kennedy Realty and a retired educator, Kennedy earned a bachelor’s degree from Livingstone College and master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
He serves in leadership roles for Southern City AME Zion Church, Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency, Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, Risk Management Services for N.C. League of Municipalities, Dunbar High School Alumni Association and Livingstone College Alumni Association.