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Kannapolis City Council meets in new chambers

By Susan Shinn
For the Salisbury Post

KANNAPOLIS — Amidst the hubbub of the City Hall dedication, council members managed to do some business.

City Council held its first meeting in its new chambers. The 5,300-square-foot events room houses a semi-circular dais and is known as the Laureate Center. It can be divided into three separate rooms, and typically only the middle space will be used for council meetings. However, the entire room was open on Monday and still could not hold the overflow crowd of more than 450. After the dedication, at least half the group adjourned to the lobby for refreshments while others stayed for the 30-minute meeting.

Council members went about their business with brisk efficiency. Councilman Tom Kincaid was elected by a unanimous vote of 6-0 to serve as mayor pro tem (he did not vote).

Judge Marty McGee swore him in as councilman, then mayor pro tem. The superior court judge also swore in councilmen Ryan Dayvault and Roger Haas.

Council members heard nothing but kudos from speakers from the floor.

“I’m so excited about this day,” said Jacqueline Anthony, president and CEO of the Kannapolis African-American Museum and Cultural Center. “You have done a stupendous job, and I am very proud of each and every one of you.”

Gail Punch is 1964 graduate of A.L. Brown High School.

“I am so proud to be able to tell people I live in Kannapolis,” she said. “We’ve been through some hard times, but with your help and your vision, people are gonna know we’re Kannapolis again.”

Carol Spalding is president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College which has a building next to City Hall.

“Congratulations on a wonderful building, a great event, and welcome to the neighborhood,” she said.

In other business:

• Police Chief Woody Chavis recognized the 15 graduates of the Police Department’s Citizens Academy. The 10-week session began Sept. 10.

“This was a fantastic group of 15 people who were attentive, genuinely interested, and a pleasure to be around,” Chavis said. “The instructors had as much fun as the participants. We are very excited to be able to share our knowledge and expertise with our citizens. Our classes are open to anyone who lives or works in the City of Kannapolis.”

This class included council members Dianne Berry and Darrell Jackson, along with Bridgette Bell, clerk to City Council.

“We had so much fun,” said Bell, whose husband, Larry, was also a participant. “I recommend it to anybody.”

The class donated $1,200 to a team of Kannapolis police officers who are cycling to Washington, D.C., this year to remember law enforcement members who have died in the line of duty.

• Mayor Darrell Hinnant proclaimed Jan. 18 as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

• Eric Davis, finance director, presented City Council with a budget award from the Government Financial Officers Association. This is the 17th consecutive year the city has received this award, he noted.

Because of the Christmas holidays, City Council’s next meeting is 6 p.m. Jan. 11, at 401 Laureate Way. Council adopted the 2016 meeting schedule as part of its consent agenda.

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

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