ELECTION 2022: Q&A with Albemarle City Council Candidates

Editor’s Note: For coverage of the primary election, The Stanly News & Press sent questions to each group of candidates. We limited their responses to 200 words per answer. Answers appear as is, with the exception of editing for grammatical/ spelling errors or length. This allows potential voters to see the candidates through their own words and gives equal opportunity for the candidates to respond.

Albemarle

At-Large

Chris Bramlett
Scott Hopkins
Timothy Morgan

District 2

Tanner Denton
Devron Furr
David Hunt

District 4

David Morgan
Chris Whitley

1. Tell me a little about your background.

Bramlett: I have had two wonderful careers in my lifetime. I started as a chemistry professor at the University of Alabama, served as academic vice president at East Tennessee State University and for the past 41 years have been involved in the jewelry business in Albemarle, Lexington and Concord.

Chris Bramlett

I am presently the owner of the oldest family-owned retail business in Stanly County, Starnes Bramlett Jewelers in downtown Albemarle.

More importantly, I have a wonderful family consisting of my wife of 62 years, Patricia Starnes Bramlett, three children and four grandsons.

When Pat and I were first married, for the first seven years one or both of us was in school full-time. Pat ended up with a master’s degree from The University of Virginia, and I earned the Ph.D. degree in chemistry, also from the University of Virginia.

During those seven years we both worked at various jobs such that we were able to obtain our degrees without accumulating any debt.
Since 1993 I have taught the Good News Sunday School class at Central United Methodist Church, I have chaired the Church Council and the Kirk Scholarship committee and served on the Staff/Parish and Finance committees.

Hopkins: Scott D. Hopkins, age 57, Albemarle. I was born and raised in Albemarle. I graduated from Albemarle High School in 1983 and

Scott Hopkins

graduated from Pfeiffer University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. I am married to Kimberly Hopkins and have two daughters, Lauryn Hopkins and Taylor London, son-in-law, Grey London, and granddaughter, Macie Grey. I retired with 25+ years of local government service as customer accounts manager with the City of Albemarle in March 2021. My parents are Frank and Nelle Hopkins and in-laws were Don and Marie Frey of Albemarle.

T. Morgan: As an Albemarle native, I attended Albemarle High School and went on to Basic Law Enforcement Training school.
Beginning in 1986, I joined the Albemarle Police Department as an Officer. During my time there I was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, a training officer, and Sergeant.

T.J. Morgan

After 30 years of serving my community as an Officer, I decided to retire in 2016.

My wife, Catherine, and I love our city and are committed to living out our lives here.

We have been married for 22 years and share a love for our dog, Penny.

Denton: I am a husband to Lilli Denton and a father to Cooper (11) and Ivy (3). We have called Stanly County home for our entire life, with Albemarle being where Lilli and I chose to raise our family.

Tanner Denton

I dedicated my career to serving the citizens of Albemarle as a staff member, with much of this time spent in the finance department. In 2021 we chose to pause my professional career to care for our daughter, who has a genetic condition and is a brain aneurysm survivor.

Furr: My name is Devron Furr. I am 44 years old and I have lived in the City of Albemarle for nearly 22 years. I went to East Albemarle Elementary, Albemarle Middle and Albemarle High School. I attended Appalachian State and received my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. I received my graduate degree from UNC Charlotte in School Administration. I joined the Army at 21 years old and I served two tours in Iraq as an infantry officer and platoon leader.

Devron Furr

I have been a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal for Stanly County Schools for 21 years, including a teacher at Central Elementary, assistant principal at Central Elementary, principal at Aquadale Elementry, and principal at Albemarle Middle School. I am currently principal at Locust Elementary.

I have also helped my family grow a small business in the county.

I am a father to two beautiful girls. I am a member of First Lutheran Church of Albemarle. Having been a successful leader in the United States Army, Stanly County Schools and a family business, I feel I have the experience necessary to make positive changes to improve our great city. I hope you’ll give me the opportunity to serve the people of Albemarle.

Hunt: I was born and raised in Albemarle and have lived in the city all of my life with the exception of two years.

David Hunt

I went to Central Elementary, Albemarle Jr. High and graduated from Albemarle Senior High School in 1989. I attended Pfeiffer College and graduated from Stanly Community College.

I worked a 30-year career in law enforcement, 25 of that with the Albemarle Police Department. I worked patrol, School Resource Officer (DARE), Patrol and Narcotics Sergeant and retired as a Captain in charge of training and accreditation. I am married and have three children.

D. Morgan: Both Mellanie and I are natives of Albemarle and graduated from Albemarle High School. We have been married 45 years and we have two adult sons.

David Morgan

Mellanie’s parents are the late Jack and Louise Whitley Morris. Jack was an Albemarle Police officer and Louise was an associate with Starnes Jewelry Store.

My parents are the late M.C. “Preacher” and Eloise Mabry Morgan.

“Preacher” was a new car dealer in Albemarle for over 65 years and Eloise was a homemaker raising me and my three brothers, Craig, Terry and Rodney.

Our son Miller is married to Teryn Bowers. They have twin children, son Miles and daughter Parker.

Our son Jordan is married to Amanda Forbrick. They have two children, son “Bear” and daughter Henley.

Mellanie is a registered dental hygienist practicing locally for 41 years. She is with Norwood Dental Care.

I was a new car dealer until 2008 when I was forced to retire following a three-story fall from the black-ice covered roof at the rear of the Pontiac Building downtown at 5 Points. That accident left me wheelchair bound with a C-7 incomplete spinal cord injury.
Mellanie and I are both members of First Presbyterian Church in Albemarle.

Whitley: I was born in Stanly County, grew up in the Red Cross community. I graduated from West Stanly High School, UNC Charlotte and Pfeiffer University. I retired from the US Army and North Carolina National Guard. I also volunteer with the disaster response group Team Rubicon.

Chris Whitley

I am married to Barbara Whitley, former director of the Department of Social Services and former director of Partnership for Children. We have three daughters, Jennifer Richter, Catherine Hampton and Abby Lovins, and five grandchildren.

After college I began a 38-year career in banking and retired in 2016 from Wells Fargo Bank. I have been active in the community serving as president of Albemarle Civitan Club, president of Albemarle Kiwanis Club, president and campaign chair of Stanly County United Way, served on the ADDC Economic Restructuring Committee, graduated from Leadership Stanly and am a former member of West Stanly Rotary Club.

I am a member of First Presbyterian Church in Albemarle and have served as deacon, treasurer, and currently serve as an elder. I served three terms on the Stanly County Board of Education and have served two terms on Albemarle City Council representing District 4.

2. For newcomer: What made you decide to get involved in your community and run for Albemarle City Council? For incumbent: What has the council accomplished since you’ve been in office and why do you think voters should re-elect you?

Bramlett: I am neither a newcomer nor incumbent, having served on City Council in past years but not at present. Therefore I suppose I can speak as both.

I became a newcomer to city council years ago because I envisioned Albemarle as a city positioned geographically in such a way that it could take advantage of a new era in economic development that did not depend so much on proximity to interstate highways. I saw a bright future in education and perhaps businesses that depended more on the internet than vehicular movement.

During my tenure in office, we were able to attract Pfeiffer to downtown and get gigabyte internet service throughout most of the city.

Albemarle is a great city. It has most of the business advantages and cultural and artistic opportunities of a large city without the headaches of crime and traffic found in larger cities.
I want to help us move forward in attracting new businesses to our city while maintaining the lifestyle we have come to enjoy so much.

Hopkins: I decided to run for city council to be able to give back to the citizens during my tenure being employed at the City of Albemarle.
I want to be a voice for them and share any common values that they have as well. I have always enjoyed working for the people and feel a new fresh face would help Albemarle grow in all avenues.

T. Morgan: After retirement, I knew I wanted to continue to serve my community, just in a different capacity. I strive to better myself and the ones around me by being open to new possibilities and always being prepared to learn something new.

Denton: I have always sought out opportunities to help our community. Over the years, I have been honored to serve on various boards and committees and organize fundraisers, school supply drives and blood drives.

I enjoy meeting new people and learning about their life experiences.

This role would be a natural fit because of my love for people and our community, eagerness to serve and experience working for our citizens.

Furr: I have been a member of the Albemarle community my entire life. Albemarle is my home and I want to do everything necessary to help make Albemarle an excellent city. Albemarle is an integral part of Stanly County. It is vital that Albemarle have outstanding leadership.
Albemarle is facing many challenges including a drug epidemic, infrastructure problems, issues with public housing and a large population increase from Charlotte and the surrounding areas. The problems we face will continue to grow.

In order to face these challenges, the leadership in Albemarle will need to come up with good solutions that are cost effective and efficient with tax dollars.

I believe that I can be part of the solution to many of these issues facing Albemarle.

Hunt: I have spent all of my adult life serving the citizens of Albemarle and desire to continue to do that as a city council member. I feel like there are things that can be done to make Albemarle even better than what it is now and I would like to be part of those improvements.

D. Morgan: I have been active in our community my entire adult life. At 23, I was elected to serve as a county commissioner. I served three years as chairman during two active and productive terms.

Our boards built the Agri-Civic Center, developed the Stanly County Senior Center and brought in 10 new industries.

My genuine love for Albemarle is evidenced by the numerous boards I have served on and in civic organizations. I served as the charter president to reactivate the Albemarle Jaycees and as a member and officer of the Albemarle Lions Club.

In 2005 my family and I rehabilitated and remodeled the Historic Pontiac Building at 5 Points. It continues to serve our City as a beautiful restaurant, Five Points Public House, today.

On historic designated Pee Dee Avenue, I was co-partner in the restoration of two historic houses. These once dilapidated houses are both beautiful homes to two families today.

Presently, Mellanie, both boys and I are working to rehabilitate and repurpose the Historic Five Points Cleaners Building at 303 Pee Dee Ave. in Downtown.

On Council, I will continue to work to preserve the beauty of our past while working for a prosperous future for us all.

Whitley: I’ve been honored to represent District 4 for two terms and believe we have made tremendous progress. If voters agree with the City’s direction, I would appreciate their continued support.

We completed numerous public-private partnerships such as; Central School Apartment project adding 53 apartments and a theater, Pfeiffer University’s project in which the City provided property for Pfeiffer’s downtown campus, 1st and Main Apartments, Residences at Albemarle Hotel, and Uwharrie Brewing Company.

These projects added 111 apartments, several hundred students downtown, and the City’s first brewery. We worked with Preservation North Carolina to preserve a historic building which was to be demolished and did a public-private project to bring Carolina Tree Top Challenge to the City.

We changed the structure of City Council to non-partisan to allow more citizen involvement.

We purchased a 282-acre site for the Albemarle Business Park.The business park is under construction and we are beginning to receive inquiries from companies.

We have taken major steps to rebuild our water and sewer infrastructure. Other accomplishments include development of a strategic plan to guide budgeting, a way finding sign project, Charters of Freedom monuments and updating ordinances to promote residential development.

3. Why do you think you are the most qualified candidate for the position?

Bramlett: I will let my record speak for itself. Over the years I have served on numerous boards and committees. I am extremely proud of having served over 30 years on the Board of Trustees of Pfeiffer College/University, five of those as chairman. I have also served as a trustee of Stanly Community College.

I am proud of having helped start Bank of Stanly, now Uwharrie, and presently serve on the Board of the YMCA and the Historical Properties Commission.

I have also served the jewelry industry at the state and national levels. In 2001 I received the Robert Shipley award, the highest honor given in the jewelry industry.

Over the years God has been very good to me, giving me the opportunity to serve in many capacities at all levels in education, business and cultural affairs

In Albemarle, I have had the opportunity to participate at the owner’s level in a retail business (Starnes Bramlett Jewelers) downtown, a position that enables me to view first-hand the kinds of issues we are facing going forward.

I know what hard work is. I have worked all my life, and I will put forth that same effort to make Albemarle a better place.

Hopkins: I feel like I am the most qualified candidate for this position being that I have 25+ years of government experience working under the City of Albemarle before my retirement. I am used to working with budgets, getting a feel for needs through customers, excellent communications and transparency with my experience as a customer accounts manager.

I have seen what other departments do for the City of Albemarle by taking care of aspects that residences and business of Albemarle need for value.

Lastly, I am a people person, loyal, honest, trustworthy and wear my duties and servicing the public on my sleeve.

T. Morgan: My willingness to advocate for what is needed in our community stems from being a public servant for 30 years.

I have proven myself to be a leader who has always taught my mentees to treat others the way they want to be treated. When serving our community, I understand that it is a necessity to have an open door policy so that you are able to understand the community’s needs.

Denton: During my employment with the City of Albemarle’s finance department, I built a working knowledge of policies and procedures and rapport with staff across all city departments. I believe I am the candidate with the broadest knowledge regarding all city operations and the financials that support the services provided.

Being an unaffiliated candidate will significantly benefit our community as I will seek new perspectives and approaches to the hurdles we face. I desire to represent people, not parties. I believe that our governing body and committees that impact our neighbors must seek input from individuals with different life experiences.

Being a father of two young children and in the middle of my career, I will offer a unique perspective and relevance to the council that is not currently represented.

Furr: I am an effective leader through my different experiences in the United States Army, Stanly County Schools and my family’s business.
No matter what capacity I have served the most important part of the organization is the people. The people who you work with as well as the people you serve are the most important.

I believe strongly in servant leadership. By taking care of people, in this case the people of Albemarle, is where we can make the greatest impact. Servant leaders understand that it is important to help those that struggle.

I also understand the importance of business and why it is critical that Albemarle attracts businesses with good paying jobs. Without good paying jobs, Albemarle will continue to struggle as some of our best and brightest people will leave the city for good paying jobs elsewhere.
It is also important to be mindful of the tax dollars that are collected and do our best to spend those dollars in the most effective way that serves all the people of Albemarle.

Hunt: I have lived and worked in and for the city almost all of my life. I had the opportunity to be included in budget planning sessions with the police department and understand the budget constraints on each of the cities departments budgets.

I am level-headed, consider all of the facts before making a decision and am capable of making my own decisions without being influenced by others.

D. Morgan: Everybody can come up with a resume of qualifications for any job or position they want badly enough. Some may appear more glamorous than others. Mine, however, are simple and unique to me.

I had a great childhood before my mom suddenly died of a cerebral hemorrhage. But then, I got to work with my dad and family at the car dealership.

After going to East Carolina University, I went back to the dealership, Mellanie and I got married and we proudly raised and educated our boys.

In 2008 I had a near fatal accident which changed life drastically.
After spending three months in the hospital, I came to the conclusion that God healed me, somewhat, for a reason.

He healed me just enough so I could have a gratifying life. However, my new calling was to stay active in my community and be a voice for others whether like me or not.

Even from this wheelchair, His plan continues to work. I now notice things not easily accessible to all yet I still know a prosperous economy benefits us all.

My unique qualifications are because of my past experiences and to offer input from a different viewpoint.

Whitley: I feel my background in banking and graduate degree in business gives me the skills needed to evaluate complex financial decisions presented to City Council.

My time on Albemarle City Council, as well as Stanly County Board of Education and other boards, has helped me realize the importance of working with others on projects and issues and not letting personalities and personal opinions come into play.

The most important consideration is what is the best overall decision for the residents of Albemarle.

My military background helps with the discipline and teamwork needed to stay focused on the mission at hand and how to achieve the goal we are working toward.

Since I was born and grew up in this community, and my family has been here for generations, I have a vested interest in doing what is best for our city and county.

4. What do you think are the biggest issues most impacting residents in your community?

Bramlett: Number one on my list is economic development. We now have a very low unemployment rate, with numerous hiring opportunities in all phases of business and industry.

However, we are sorely lacking in job opportunities that pay family support wages. There is a special need for helping individuals start and grow their own businesses.

Number two on my list is education. Stanly County is rare among counties in North Carolina in that we have both a community college and a four-year institution.

Unfortunately, we are not known for having an outstanding elementary/secondary system. Many of our citizens have chosen to send their children to private and charter schools or to educate them at home. This situation strongly impacts our ability to attract professionals and industry management and owners to live and work here.

I am strongly supportive of our police, fire, street and utility departments and look forward to working with them to keep our community safe and attractive.

In acting on proposals for new housing developments, we need to make sure the new homes and apartments are of the kind and quality that are consistent with the kind of community we want to be.

Hopkins: I see an issue as a need to address is potential flooding areas. I also see needing to have a future stormwater resolution that could capture and treat storm water runoff from properties.

There are areas of abandoned properties that need to be addressed as well to enhance the beauty of neighboring areas.

T. Morgan: Watching how much the cost of living has gone up over the last few years has been eye opening. We need to see more opportunities for better paying jobs here in Albemarle instead of our locals driving out of town to find better pay.

Our teachers, nurses, police, fire and paramedics are all short staffed.
Our city is growing, new housing developments are on the rise, but in order to fill those houses, we need bigger and better for our city.

Denton: The members of our community desire safety and stability, reliable infrastructure, sustainable growth, government transparency and fiscal responsibility. I believe the City of Albemarle has struggled to meet today’s standards due to a lack of investment for many years.

The city’s services are more integrated into our daily lives than we may realize.

The City of Albemarle provides emergency response and utilities to every home and business in our city.

These services must evolve to meet the demands of today’s environment. We all know that there is currently a considerable amount of development and investment happening in our city.

I often hear concerns regarding sustainability. I believe our community leaders should be out in our community seeking input regarding these concerns, not paying consultants to do so.

Government transparency is of utmost importance. As community members, information should always be easily accessible and understood. We must be aware and accountable for how funds are allocated.

With many needed projects in the pipeline, there will be more needs than funding in the foreseeable future. For every dollar budgeted, I will ask myself what the benefit to the citizens and ratepayers would be.

Furr: Albemarle has many challenges including incidences of drug use and addiction, infrastructure problems, issues with public housing, and a lot of folks moving here from Charlotte and the surrounding areas. Crime continues to be a big concern in Albemarle.

This is putting pressure on the city and its residences. Compounding this issue is also a shortage of police officers and other city employees in critical jobs.

If elected, I’ll work with our elected officials to problem solve these issues and find ways to recruit and retain excellent employees and address these problems while working to ensure our tax dollars are spent wisely and efficiently.

Hunt: As for the residents in District 2, housing developments are currently under construction with plans in the future for more developments.

I would like to ensure that proper infrastructure is in place to accommodate the future needs for these developments.

I would work towards having sufficient personnel to handle an increase in volume of electricity, traffic and public safety coverage.

D. Morgan: Anything impacting current Albemarle residents creates an even larger impact on families, businesses and industry that want to stay here or are considering a move to Albemarle.

The lack here of good paying jobs to support a family has been needed for years. If we want to grow to adequately populate our schools so a variety of classes and opportunities are offered we must attract more businesses and industry.

Also, bringing in more businesses and industry increases our tax base so the tax burden isn’t just for those of us here now.

Attention to our roads and sidewalks is so very long past due. Heavily traveled thoroughfares and their sidewalks are terrible. I am aware of many others, but Pee Dee Avenue and Montgomery Avenue are two main streets that carry vehicles and pedestrians east and west to connecting streets. Travel to East Albemarle, Downtown, the hospital, four schools and a host of other places most often involves these two city streets.

Trash on curbsides and in our streets has gotten out of hand. Un-kept lots, unoccupied/deteriorating structures seem to be everywhere.

The city is certainly no leader as they have some buildings that need attention, too.

Whitley: Staffing continues to be a concern. With competition from private companies and municipalities we are continually recruiting positions in the Fire Department, Police Department and Electric Division of Public Utilities.

Salary studies need to be updated regularly and total compensation packages updated to remain competitive.

Street paving is also a constant issue Council has attempted to address. We contracted a company to assess our streets and propose plans to get the most out of our paving dollars.

Although the City has increased local funding every year for paving, the state’s Powell Bill funding has not increased significantly, so funding has been insufficient to maintain our streets. As gasoline sales tax continues to decrease, new road funding options will have to be approved by the NC Legislature.

Another issue to impact local residents is residential growth. Recent applications for residential development is unprecedented in Albemarle and is partly a result of our low cost of land, water and sewer.

Although recent increases in interest rates and cost of building materials will cause a temporary slowdown, the growth will eventually return. To manage this growth, city staff and Council will need to continue evaluating the impact on city services and infrastructure.

5. What would you focus on if you got elected/re-elected?

Bramlett: We need to mobilize the many offices and agencies within Albemarle and Stanly County involved in economic development in a concerted effort to proactively go after high-tech, high-paying jobs. Albemarle has the infrastructure and utilities to support such an effort.

While doing that we need to make certain that our city and county offices are cordially receptive to new business and industry and do all in their power to help folks negotiate the multiplicity of rules and regulations that can sometimes get in the way of new development.

We need to make a special effort to help individuals and small groups start and grow their own small businesses.

We need to sensitize our citizenry to the need for a first-class public school system.

We need to take advantage of our position as “Western Gateway to the Uwharries” and work with local and state agencies to build a strong tourism segment of the economy.

Our geography and climate position us well to attract a strong retirement community.

We need to provide some financial support for the local arts and cultural efforts that are so important to the kind of community we strive to be.

Hopkins: My focus would be on the city’s infrastructure of utilities that residents and businesses of Albemarle will continue to use.

As Albemarle continues to grow through the housing and business infrastructure, electric, water, sewer, trash, recycling and street services are very valuable to keep maintained and well serviced throughout the lifespan.

Our beautiful parks and recreation areas are beneficial as well. They offer many services and may need continued expansion on potential new adventures that may arise in the future. I would like to focus on public housing.

There needs to be a continuation of the process that has been determined on getting locations updated, maintained, monitored, and audited on a yearly basis for transparency.

T. Morgan: My focus would be on growth. We owe it to our next generation to set up our city to be a place they can call a forever home; a place where they are paid enough to live and work here without having to outsource jobs.

Supporting the expansion of local business and bringing in new business will be a great place to start. Building a safe environment for new ideas is key to this success.

Denton: If elected, I will focus on being present in our community, easily accessible and accountable to our citizens, ratepayers and employees serving Albemarle. I will focus on meeting our current needs and preparing for growth by balancing financial stability and investing in resources. It will be a priority to ensure that the members of our community are heard.

I will continually work to create an inclusive environment that searches for opportunities to improve the quality of life for our community. With an annual budget of over $75,000,000 that impacts over 16,000 citizens and a wide array of services, local elections have a lot at stake.

The decisions city leaders make today will not only affect us now, but will continue to shape our city for future generations.

Our community can be the perfect place to raise a family, operate a business and live during retirement.

Furr: First and foremost, we have to keep the trust of the people of Albemarle by protecting their tax dollars and ensuring that they are used in the most effective way to help people. If we can reduce taxes that would take a burden off a lot of families struggling.

We must find ways to attract new businesses to Albemarle as well as helping businesses already here grow and succeed. Good paying jobs are what people need.

With crime continuing to be an issue it is important that Albemarle Police Department have the resources they need as well as staffing and the man power necessary to protect the people of Albemarle.

We need to make sure we have good communication and oversight when it comes to public housing.

It is vital that we address problems in a timely manner.
Albemarle helps Stanly County in a variety of ways including with water and sewer. If we are to continue to grow as a city we must continue to update and modernize our city infrastructure.

The problems facing Albemarle can be overcome by working together to come up with excellent solutions.

I hope you’ll allow me the opportunity to serve the people of Albemarle.

Hunt: I would focus on the homeless issue, using available resources to work towards a solution.

I have had several people ask me about the conditions of some of the roads. While I am aware that some roads inside the city are state maintained, there are several roads that need work.

As Albemarle continues to work towards revitalizing downtown, there are some eyesores that need addressing, especially in District 2.

D. Morgan: My focus is to make our city “the diamond” instead of being “a diamond in the rough!”

Our streets, our sidewalks, the un-kept structures, lots, good paying job development and new or expanded business will be at the forefront.

Also, some major projects either need to be finished or the asset sold.
Millions of tax dollars have been spent on the Albemarle Business Park. Five+ years later it still isn’t ready.

The Ingram Park on 24/27 closed years ago. Either develop the property or sell it for a reasonable price.

Over a million tax dollars are invested in the Wiscassett Mills Property off 52 Bypass. It’s time to sell or develop.
Over $350,000 spent for three vacant buildings and a parking lot on Pee Dee Avenue. It’s time to sell or rehabilitate. I am an unaffiliated/independent candidate for Albemarle City Council representing District 4.

My pledge is to be available to you, election year or not. My cell number is 704-984-1129, Facebook page is David Morgan and email address is davidmorgan@ctc.net.

Contact me anytime. I will appreciate your vote, and your support of me to others, to be a fresh voice on our City Council.

Whitley: My focus will continue to be on projects and initiatives already underway. The top priority is to insure the Albemarle Business Park is promoted to bring new jobs to Albemarle.

North Carolina was the fourth fastest growing state in 2021 and production of goods and services grew ahead of the national average. With NC’s growth expected to continue, and Albemarle’s proximity to Charlotte and other population centers, we are well positioned to attract industry to our park.

Removal of substandard, dilapidated residential and commercial properties has been a priority for Council. We will continue efforts and funding to work with owners in removing dangerous properties throughout the city.

A strong commitment of mine is to continue support of downtown area through actions such as support of Pfeiffer’s expansion efforts and support of small businesses through public-private partnerships.
I represent City Council as chairman of the Catalyst Grant program and will work to continue that effort to fund projects for downtown businesses that will have the biggest economic impact for Albemarle.
We also support businesses through efforts such as social districts, the planned alleyway project and the wayfinding project.

A vibrant county seat where people want to visit and live is good for all of Albemarle and Stanly County.