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Editorial: Who made biggest waves on ’10 to Watch’ list?

At the start of every year, the Post puts together a “10 to Watch” list — intended to be folks who will be movers and shakers in the Salisbury and Rowan County community in that year and beyond.

Some folks end up just going about their normal lives and others seize on past success and propel themselves toward greater achievements. Our list published Jan. 5 was as follows

• Karen Alexander, who had just been named Salisbury’s mayor for the second time.

• Robert Black, rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

• The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, who were preparing for a first season in a new stadium.

• Ash Love, who bears many titles, including social worker, organizer, activist and poet.

• Giannina Monzon, who had just burst onto the local political scene in a Salisbury City Council bid that was ultimately not succesful.

• Meredith Smith, who had just been named Landis mayor.

• Austin Love, a baseball player and pitcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

• Tina Foxx Wallace, chair of the board for Essie Mae Kiser Foxx Charter School.

• The Wallace Cancer Institute.

• Jonathan Williams, new mayor of Spencer.

So, who’s been the biggest mover and shaker so far this year from that list?

Sure, Salisbury’s mayor is almost always someone at the forefront of news and events in the city. But that was even more true this year. As mayor and leader of the Salisbury City Council, Alexander was particularly prominent during discussions about the future of “Fame.” And she helped broker a deal to move it from its position in downtown to a new location.

In Spencer, meanwhile, the town board and staff have been laying the groundwork for a better future with Williams leading the way. Just last week, the town of Spencer received a massive grant worth $750,000 to repair the homes of local residents. The town has also finalized financing details for the redevelopment of Park Plaza. The start of construction on the project looks closer than ever. There’s been other good news this year in the hiring of an assistant town manager who will soon take over the manager job and Fourth Street finally being paved.

Williams doesn’t get credit for all of that by himself. Staff, town board members and other agencies have been important. But the town is moving and shaking in the right direction with him in the top elected position.

Of the names on the list, Alexander and Williams may take the top spots as making the biggest waves in 2020.


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