Corpening wants to put finishing touches on projects if re-elected in East Spencer

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 20, 2013

EAST SPENCER — Tammy Corpening said she could put the finishing touches on a few projects, like the town park, if re-elected to the East Spencer town board.
The 48-year-old alderwoman is running for her second term on the board, but said she hopes to garner voters’ confidence with her continued focus on the town’s youth.
“Just pretty much, I want to see the park continue to grow,” Corpening said. “To see it, the planning and all of the activities that we’re doing. The revamping of the park. I want to see that. Concentration is definitely on our youth here.”
One way she hopes to change the park, she said, is with a splash pad where the town pool currently sits.
“I visualize the park more kid-friendly. Currently where we have our pool, I’d like to have a splash pad there. That’s something I’ve been looking into,” she said. “I think having the pool there — it’s such a high liability for the town. I’ve been looking into us trying to concentrate on a more kid-friendly area. There really isn’t a place for the smaller, kids to play.”
In the wake of firing the town’s former police chief, Corpening said, the board also needs to focus on transparency and accountability.
“Just communicating and being transparent and letting anyone know that we’re out for the better of East Spencer,” Corpening said.
The town board fired then-chief Darren Westmoreland in July following a Post investigative report that cited concerns from current and former officers at the department about possible negligent investigations.
At least one board member said Westmoreland had minimal management experience when he was pushed through the department’s ranks to chief following his predecessor’s termination.
Corpening said she hopes the town aims to put a veteran officer in the position.
“I think we need to concentrate on someone that’s more experienced or that brings experience to the table or to the town,” she said. “I hope we don’t rush, we take our time, and the whole board is involved, not just left up to one or two individuals. Especially something that’s as important as the fire chief or the police chief. It’s our responsibility.”
Corpening said there is no time table on selecting a new police chief.
“We’re trying to build up the morale again in the department and kind of build our trust with our present employees and let them know we’re here for them and that takes time,” she said.
Corpening is the treasurer of Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency, treasurer of Southern City Tabernacle AME Zion Church and is a community board member of the county’s One Church, One Child program.
Corpening was born in Salisbury and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. She has an associate’s degree in accounting from Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.