• 54°

10 to Watch 2020: Landis Mayor Meredith Smith

By Liz Moomey

liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

LANDIS — Change was coming for Landis.

After the incumbent mayor and two aldermen decided not to seek reelection, voters picked Meredith Smith, a newcomer to politics, to lead Landis back to stability in November. Smith became the first woman to be elected the town’s mayor.

Smith looks to 2020 to bring revitalization in Landis. She imagines a town that has more events, including a Food Truck Thursday, and businesses opening in downtown.

“I hope to bring peace to our town that has been in such turmoil,” Smith said.

Smith was joined by three other new members of the town board — Mayor Pro Tem Ashley Stewart and Alderwoman Katie Sells as well as Darrell Overcash, who was appointed after the sudden death of Alderman Bobby Brown in December. Alderman Tony Corriher remains on the board. Together, they passed a resolution to start multiple citizen advisory committees. Early this year, they will accept applications to the Census Committee, Environmental Committee, Communication Committee and the Downtown Revitalization and Beautification Committee, with appointments to begin in February. Smith said she expects another committee to be formed, possibly to bring the town up to code for those with disabilities.

Smith said her first tasks will be to go through proper protocol to hire a police chief and improve the town’s stormwater system.

Regarding an ongoing investigation into embezzlement by the former town manager and finance officer, Smith said she will be patient and urges others to do the same. 

Smith said she promises to be transparent when the board is able, saying citizens deserve to know.

But Smith and other board members aren’t the only newcomers to the town. The prior board in 2019 picked Roger Hosey to serve as the town manager. He was previously the interim finance officer and, before that, the deputy police chief.

Meanwhile, Kenny Isenhour retired as the town’s police chief at the end of 2019. And the town has posted the opening. 

Smith said she feels that change is good for the town.

Smith said citizens of Landis should know they have “people in their corner” on the board and not people who are serving as aldermen for their own personal agendas.

Q&A

Who would play you in a movie? Julia Roberts

What would you want for your last meal? A pork chop from Stag & Doe

What is your personal hope or challenge for 2020? To bring the hometown feel back to Landis. “Our employees need this as do our citizens.”

Who will you be watching in 2020? Local and state elections. The upcoming election will be big for small towns and their leadership.

What is your reaction to being named one of the “10 to Watch”? Excited, blessed and can’t wait for 2020 with my family, friends and the wonderful citizens of Landis.

Comments

Education

None speak against closure during hearing to shutter Faith Elementary

Crime

Blotter: Police find car windows shot out, bullet holes in home on West Horah Street

Crime

Five held at gunpoint in East Lafayette Street robbery

Ask Us

Ask Us: Readers ask questions about Shober Bridge, voting safeguards

Elections

Political notebook: More than 1.4 million votes cast already in North Carolina

Elections

‘Souls to the polls’: More than 1,300 cast ballots on first Sunday of early voting

Crime

Crime blotter: Salisbury man faces charges for firing shotgun in city limits, drug possession

Local

Search continues for missing hiker from Asheville

Local

A stroll through the scarecrows: fall-themed activity draws visitors to NC Transportation Museum

Elections

Despite scandal, Cunningham maintains small lead in Senate race; supporters say policy positions more important

Lifestyle

Rowan Helping Ministries golf tournament raises $20,000

Local

Town of Spencer forging ahead five years after drafting plans for Park Plaza

Business

Biz Roundup: RCCC to host conference on diversity, equity and inclusion

Business

Elderberry syrup: the popular purple product that has become a mainstay in local stores

Local

Trinity Oaks to host Halloween Spooktacular

Entertainment

Lee Street theatre improves virus prevention tactics, “determined” for ‘Fun Home’ to open

News

Deficient NC absentee ballots frozen pending further rulings

News

Cunningham outraises Tillis, enters October with less cash

News

Ex- GOP lawmaker charged with assaulting poll worker

Nation/World

Trump leans into fear tactics in bid to win Midwest states

Business

Commissioners to consider incentives for 142-job project, Reaper’s Realm permit

Local

Salvation Army Christmas assistance program moves online this year

Education

Faith, Enochville closure hearings to be held Monday, Tuesday

Business

In 2020, local farmers faced wet weather, other challenges