Letters to the editor: June 5

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 5, 2022

Spot zoning didn’t consider safety

Despite a long list of safety concerns brought to their attention by concerned citizens, our City Council recently chose to allow a spot zoning of commercial development on a narrow road with a record of frequent traffic accidents: flipped vehicles have run off the narrow shoulder, clipped traffic poles cause power outages and three accidents had fatalities.

What prevailed was the choice of increasing commercialism over concern for human safety.

Disregarded by City Council was the Planning Board’s unanimous vote to deny the request after hearing these same concerns and a considering a petition signed by over 600 city residents. These 600 people were not listened to by their City Council.

Prior to the meeting of City Council, the Planning Board met twice to review this case, followed established protocol, reflected on voices of citizens, considered statutes set out in Vision 2020 Plan for Salisbury and determined this piece of land was not right for the proposed commercial development. The Planning Board did an excellent job, but they, too, were ignored.

Allowing requested rezoning to let Dollar General build on rural, residential Old Mocksville Road is spot zoning, “singling out a small parcel of land for a use classification totally different from that of the surrounding area for the benefit of the owner of such property and to the detriment of other owners.” If City Council doesn’t follow our city’s strategic plan, who will? As caring, responsible leaders, Council should be concerned with the safety of every citizen, no matter where they live or their economic status.

Mayor Alexander recused herself from the vote due to a personal conflict of interest. Only one council member voted against allowing the rezoning, citing safety concerns as his primary reason. Thank you for listening, Mr. McLaughlin. I appreciate your concern for our citizens’ safety.

— Diane Fisher


Why vote against baby formula fix?

Did you notice that Rep.Ted Budd voted against a proposal to give monetary aid to the FDA to help fix the nationwide shortage of baby formula? (“Democrats call out Budd on baby formula shortage vote” (Salisbury Post, June 2).

The entire N.C. Republican U.S. House delegation voted against the proposal as well.

Isn’t it “great” how our N.C. legislators are always concerned for our well-being?

— Susan Simpson


Boys and Girls Club wants to expand into Rowan County

This letter regards a thank you to Dr. Gardner with RSS and a request to present the Boys and Girls Club-Piedmont expansion to Rowan County.

Dr. Gardner, I want to thank you for attending the May 26 open house meeting of the Boys and Girls Club-Piedmont, which you understand desires to expand its facilities and services to Rowan County. As a follow-up to your visit, I would be honored and desire to speak to your board. I am also requesting to talk with the Rowan County Board of Commissioners and the Chamber of Commerce.

When I speak, I want to inform each board of two main issues. No. 1 is our plans/desires to expand to Rowan County and the services we can offer RSS and the county in general. Second, I want to speak about how we launch our services without any cost to RSS or the county. For example, the club in association with RSS can start a satellite program in one of your selected lowest-performing elementary schools. This action is similar to our efforts in Iredell County’s Shepherd Elementary in Mooresville, where we significantly impact kids and scores.

Also, when speaking, I want to let the boards know of our efforts to locate a place for our possible expansion. Currently, we are looking at two facilities to house a full club. The first place is the underutilized former old mall the county owns. The second place is a privately owned, underutilized facility in downtown Salisbury. We know more places exist.

Therefore, as an interested tutor plus former educator who has contacted all the major public and private players involved, if my desire is to your pleasure, please get in touch with me and let me know how to inform you of the progress of this application. This will help RSS, teachers and students increase test scores immensely. Let me know when. I will be there in person or ready for your call.

— Charles Patton


Do we really need citizen soldiers today?

Does the Second Amendment really give citizens the right to own guns?  The amendment states:

A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

During the early years of our country, the citizen had to be prepared when called to serve in the militia and defend their home, state and country.  Owning a gun was absolutely necessary.  Is that really true today?

Our militia today is the National Guard, which is made up of trained professional soldiers. Do we really need this citizen soldier today? We don’t live in the same world as our colonial ancestors. Therefore, could the Supreme Court not interpret amendment two in a new light?

I don’t advocate this, but it is interesting to consider what the Supreme Court may rule one day since the amendment gave a reason for one to be able to keep and bear arms that could or could not apply today.

— Gordon Correll


Where’s the progress on Empire Hotel?

The other day in the Salisbury Post, I read that the town was considering buying the Wells Fargo building at Main and Fisher streets for $900,000. The purpose is to use the building as a special events venue (conventions, conferences…).

It sounds like a good way to put that building to use. To see a large building like that not being empty would be nice.

But it got me thinking about whatever happened to the Empire Hotel. For years, we had developers wanting to invest and bring that iconic structure back to life. But nothing ever happened. To have a new hotel next to a new special events place would be a perfect downtown fit. So where did the investors go?

The cynic in me says politics, regulations and red tape played a role in chasing them away. These were professional investors that know potential when they see it. Perhaps they caught wind of the regulatory nightmare Go Burrito faced when they tried to get open. It seemed everyday in the paper you’d read about another hurdle they would have to jump in order to do business. Eventually they persevered and the town has a nice restaurant because of it.

Building codes and health codes are necessary. But they need to be reasonable and realistic. I went into Go Burrito shortly after they opened. You couldn’t start a fire in there with a flamethrower; yet everywhere you looked there were sprinkler systems. I can only imagine what the Empire Hotel developers would face. In the future I hope the town might be a little more realistic and accommodating. As of now, I feel the Empire Hotel was a missed opportunity.

— Allan Gilmour


Salvation Army’s leaders moving on

Years ago, God called my wife and me to become pastors at the Salvation Army. Our ministry is to preach the gospel and to bring people to Jesus Christ by ministering to their human needs wherever we are led.

At the beginning of April, we received “marching orders” from Salvation Army leadership notifying us that we are being sent to lead the Salvation Army in New Bern, North Carolina. Our last day of service in Rowan County is Sunday, June 19.

We have spent four wonderful years serving those in the most need in Rowan County. You have welcomed our family and made this community home for us. Our daughter Abigail graduated from Jesse C. Carson High School and the Academy of Arts program with a love of theater.  Our son Nathan will be graduating from Southeast Middle School and he benefited from playing trumpet in the band program that will continue with him into high school. We will always cherish the memories and friends we have made here. Thank you for your love and friendship.

Together we met the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and worked as a safety net for families facing the unthinkable consequences of that crisis. I am proud how much the service agencies, funding agencies like the United Way and the community of Rowan County were able to stand up and meet the needs during this most difficult time our history. We know with your continued support, the Salvation Army programs will remain strong in Rowan County.

The new Salvation Army officers assigned to Rowan County are Captain Kyle Madison and Lt. Sarah Madison, and they are coming to us from Greenville, S.C.  They will arrive in late June and I know that you will welcome them to this wonderful community.

Thank you again for your love and support for the Salvation Army. We will always remember you and our time serving alongside you.

— Majors Karl and Janice Dahlin

The Salvation Army of Rowan County