City council receives update from diversity department, honors retiring police captain

Published 12:04 am Thursday, July 21, 2022

SALISBURY — The Salisbury City Council heard a report Tuesday from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director Anne Little on efforts to make the city more equitable and inclusive.

Little noted the recently formed department has programs and initiatives that involve parks and recreation, the fire department, transit, engineering and Downtown Salisbury, Inc. that support local minority and women-owned businesses.

Little said the department plans to review city practices and policies to remove barriers and ensure equitable access for everyone.

She will also seek to increase opportunities for community dialogue and continue partnering with the Salisbury Police Department to seek additional funding for programs.

The council commended Little, who said, “It is a privilege to be your lead facilitator in this journey.”

The council was also presented a motion to recognize retiring Salisbury Police Capt. Melonie Thompson.

Chief Jerry Stokes asked that the council issue Thompson her sidearm and badge upon retirement as a token of appreciation for her dedication after over 28 years in law enforcement.

Council member Anthony Smith told Thompson she “exemplified what I think a public servant should have — compassion.”

Several other motions were brought to council on Tuesday, including the request for approval of an action plan that allocates budgeting from Community Development Block Grants and HOME program funds focused on fair housing measures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This was approved along with an additional motion to amend a current land ordinance that would encourage more sidewalk construction in neighborhoods and housing developments.