Alexander says she’s not a ‘one-issue candidate’

Published 12:31 am Thursday, August 3, 2017


SALISBURY – Mayor Karen Alexander is an architect and city planner by training.

Alexander said that during the course of her two and a half terms on the Salisbury City Council, that training has helped her keep multiple issues in mind when looking at any one topic.

“I’m a person who values the process of looking at everything all at once,” Alexander said. “It’s like one layer on top of the other. You’ve got transportation issues; you have housing issues; you have safety issues; you have educational issues. Every component is a building block for a strong foundation.”

Alexander said she thinks that during her term as mayor, she has helped build a fairly strong foundation for Salisbury.

She cited the intergovernment mutual aid agreement that the council approved in June, which allowed the Salisbury Police Department to rely on officers from other municipalities in case of emergency.

She said she worked with the Rowan Chamber of Commerce to help develop the Minority Business Council, which she said “started out with just a few people sitting around a table.” The business council now has about 25 businesses involved.

Alexander also defended Fibrant, the city-owned internet service, which she said has had “brand damage” in recent months.

“It’s a very complex utility; it has some challenges. It has, in my opinion, been very politicized,” Alexander said. “I don’t feel that way about it; I’ve always supported it. Maybe because I use it and I know how potent it is for businesses and for our community. For everyone.”

Alexander said that when she makes decisions on behalf of the city, she uses a specific filter: “What is the best thing for the greater good?”

“Not an individual company; not an individual person; not an individual agenda. But what’s good for us? Because when we look at it that way, the entire city rises,” Alexander said.

Alexander, 63, is founder and lead architect of KKA Architecture.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.