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Editorial: Questions for Salisbury, Rowan County in 2021

With the start of the new year, here are some questions about what’s to come in Salisbury and Rowan County in 2021:

• Who will run for mayor in the city’s first mayor election?

Previously, the mayorship was decided by a vote among council members, usually going to the highest vote-getter. Incumbent Mayor Karen Alexander seems like a sure bet to run for re-election, but will she face any competition?

• What will results of the 2020 Census show about how and where Rowan County has grown?

The results will provide data points for any number of federal, state and local programs. And the most important will be the population of the county as well as its municipalities. If estimates released yearly have been accurate, the Census will show the county’s overall population grew by several thousand, perhaps reaching 144,000. The largest growth rates from 2010 (the last Census) to 2020 are likely to be in municipalities or unincorporated areas located in southern Rowan.

• When will the first community events take place in Bell Tower Green Park?

The groundbreaking for Bell Tower Green Park occurred in 2019, but the facility has begun to take shape in the previous year after years of anticipation. The answer to this question depends on when construction finishes, but it also depends heavily on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first events might be family picnics rather than community events if things remain in their current state.

• Similarly, it’s also worth wondering whether community events of any size will occur in 2021.

It doesn’t seem likely that vaccines will be widespread enough to host events in the early part of the year. Even events like the Cheerwine Festival (typically in May) are in doubt.

Maybe the first big community event post-pandemic will be Autumn Jubilee?

• When will the Confederate monument “Fame” re-emerge from its current undisclosed storage facility and how will its new location be dedicated?

• How will the closure of Faith Elementary School as well as the opening of Faith Academy affect public school enrollment in the area?

Will a majority of students in the Faith area opt for the charter school?

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