• 57°

City Council talks vision for Salisbury

By Liz Moomey


SALISBURY — Planning retreat Facilitator Warren Miller had a question for city council members: “What legacy do you hope to leave on council?”

On the first day of the retreat on Thursday at the Livingstone School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, the council was tasked with visioning what Salisbury should look like in 2030.

Mayor Karen Alexander said she wanted to see economic mobility and opportunities from transit to housing without regard for socioeconomic status, race and gender.

Mayor Pro Tem Al Heggins said she would like to see the city create policies and ordinances that are “moral documents” and serve everyone. Heggins said she wants to build community wealth and for the council to be a participatory government and reflect the community.

Councilman David Post said he would like to see some “big wins” in the community. He listed off the Empire Hotel’s pending redevelopment project, progress on brownfield sites like Kesler Mill and a Main Street streetscape project. Post said he sees the Bell Tower Green Park and the Wallace Cancer Institute coming as “wins.”

Post also said he wants to continue the city’s “great relationship” with the county — one he said did not previously exist.

Council Member Tamara Sheffield said safety was her goal for the future — feeling safe, not just being safe through fire, police and utility services. As an example, she asked about the feeling people have when the live, work or visit Salisbury.

Council Member Brian Miller told the council and city staff he doesn’t think the city of Salisbury can sustain itself with the current tax base and that growing the tax base was neccesary.

Post said Salisbury needs to be do good at something that draws people to town. At one point, it was Food Lion, Post said. It could be the fiber-optic network formerly known as Fibrant, he said.

Sheffield agreed with Post, asking, “What are we going to be great at?”

Alexander said because of “some misfortunes” Fibrant “decimated” the city, but now Salisbury should take advantage of it. She spoke about hosting a E-Sports tournament since the city has the broadband capabilities and because Catawba College has a e-sports program.

Facilitator Warren Miller also asked the council members for their “wow” — something that they hope will happen. Sheffield held up a paper circle with a smiley face and replied “happy people.” Heggins followed, saying she wanted to see mitigated pockets of poverty. Alexander said she wants to see a happy, prosperous and fair community. Councilman Brian Miller repeated his desire for an increased tax base. Post said “a rising tide lifts all boats” to create a growing economy.

The retreat will continue today at 12 p.m. The council will learn about the building and facilities needs, get infrastructure updates, hear about the transit master plan and develop 2020 priorities.



BlockWork returns for 10th year of beautification


Big Chili Cook Off changes format, sells 250 tickets


Kiwanis Club names five recipients of Centennial Awards


Rowan County bridge dedicated to local police officer who made ultimate sacrifice


Camp Barnhardt to host drive-in movie, trick-or-treat


Dental deserts: Lack of adequate oral health care across North Carolina


Spicing things up: Mise En Place food truck finds success serving Indian fare


Church foundation distributes record amount of money


Biz Roundup: ‘Forward Rowan’ continues to draw support, raise money


School board set to vote on Faith, Enochville closures Monday


Local health officials worry pandemic will cause long-term effects for children’s health


Ordinance change needed to address night train noise in Salisbury


Election 2020: Heggins, Warren talk racial injustice, economy


Cunningham keeps low in NC Senate race marked by his affair


Two bodies found in home on Lincolnton Road


Man arrested in Kannapolis plotted to kill Biden, found with guns, explosive material, court documents state


Flagger clipped by vehicle, taken to hospital with minor injuries


County finishes week with five deaths, one of 36 to receive letter from state health officials


Salisbury Newsmedia reaches agreement to sell Innes Street building; Post to remain tenant


Blotter: Teens attempt to break into Gerry Wood Auto Group


Man faces arson charges for Kannapolis camper fire


New tenant hopes to lease former K&W Cafeteria building


Trump, Biden go after each other on coronavirus, taxes


County adds three more COVID-19 deaths to total