East Spencer Mayor Barbara Mallett seeks fourth term

Published 11:56 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2017

By Shavonne Walker


EAST SPENCER — East Spencer is a town that is stronger and better than it was six years ago, according to Mayor Barbara Mallett.

There have been positive changes in the landscape of the town, she said, which she attributes to the accumulation of more than $7 million in grant funds, a park redevelopment project, a water project and a low crime rate.

“If anyone has visited the town of East Spencer in the past few years, you can see the changes in the landscape, ask the citizens how they feel about where they live. What has been perceived as our weakness not to be able to come together as a town, as a Board of Aldermen, as a department and as a people has now been put to rest,” Mallett said.

She said securing grant funds for the park and water projects did not happen without the support of the board, Fire Department, Police Department, public works, administrative staff, residents, and friends around the county and state.

The Board of Aldermen is discussing higher residential maintenance standards, she said, by becoming more aggressive on code violations. The town has been working to remove dilapidated houses and structures and it is now time to rebuild, she said.

Mallett said her top priorities are to continue the work that has been done so far and “start the process to develop our own East Spencer Housing Development Corp. This department would start the process of homeownership for first-time buyers, giving information on the process of loan approval. They would work hand in hand with our Section 8 Housing Authority to make a complete unit of government to assist our citizens in homeownership.”

She said with seed money of $100,000 from the state and the new budgeted position approved this year, the town is halfway there.

The main reason Mallett said she is running for re-election is because she loves her town and its people and because her deep faith tells her the best is yet to come.

Mallett, 70, has served as the town’s finance officer and clerk. She was first elected to the board in 2005 and served as an alderwoman until 2009.

In 2011, Mallet was first elected mayor, replacing John Cowan, who did not seek re-election. In 2013, she ran unopposed. Most recently, Mallett successfully ran against newcomers Rhonda Rankin and Brint Polk.

Mallett is a graduate of Olive Hill High and attended Livingstone College. She has an associate degree in accounting from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business management from Shaw University. She is a native of Morganton.

She is a member of Southern City Tabernacle AME Zion Church, where she is a deaconess, a member of the stewardess board, trustee, and life member and president of the Lay Council.

She serves as chairwoman of the Salisbury Transportation Advisory Board and a member of the patient advisory board of Novant Health Rowan Medical Center. She is on the Nursing Home Advisory board of Rowan County, a board of trustees member of Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, and secretary to the board of Smart Start Rowan.

Mallet and her husband of 50 years, Garry, have two daughters, Crystal and Tarsha, as well as two grandchildren, Amber Carter and Cameron Mallett.

Two challengers have filed to run against Mallett for the mayor’s seat. They are Teon Robinson and James Cowan.

Board of Aldermen incumbents Otis Gibson, Phronice Johnson and Tammy Corpening have filed, and newcomers Tony Hillian, Jamilla Kennedy and Dewayne Holmes have also filed.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.