2021 Salisbury Voter Guide

Salisbury voters: make your voice heard in this year’s election for mayor and city council!

Candidates for Salisbury Mayor (You may vote for one)

Karen Kirks Alexander

Occupation: Architect and urban planner

Background: I am seeking re-election as Mayor after serving two terms as Council Member, two terms as Mayor, President of NCLM, Executive Board of Centralina CCOG and local boards. Working together, we can leverage our taxpayers’ resources more effectively, netting improvements in public safety, economic development, jobs and quality of life.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
1: Continue positive trend in economic, workforce development with 423 jobs and $19,000,000 in direct economic impact and $38,000,000 indirect impact. 2: Public Safety Improvement through effective funding and training and community input through Police Advisory Board. 3: Strengthen neighborhoods through revitalization and increase homeownership through innovative down-payment assistance programs.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue – Affordable Housing:
I have been a member of the Salisbury Community Development Corp. for 25 years. I have provided pro-bono designs for affordable housing for low-income families to be able to own and build equity. During this time, we have returned over $1,000,000 of equity to homeowners.

More info at: facebook.com/KarenKAlexanderNC

Al Heggins

Occupation: Human relations and communications facilitator

Background: Wife, mom, grandmom and Army Veteran; Private Heggins started in the Adjutant General’s Corps and attained Captain Heggins in Military Intelligence. Her civilian career spans being a public school teacher, college instructor and dean, local government employee and small business owner. Heggins has served as mayor and mayor pro tem.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Top priorities are public safety, equitable access and hiring a city manager. Primary focuses are innovative practices to reduce crime, fully funding police and fire departments, increasing affordable housing, decreasing poverty, contracting with historically underutilized businesses, supporting budding entrepreneurs and selecting a highly qualified applicant to replace retiring city manager.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue – Police/community relations:
Police accountability and community relations go hand-in-hand for reducing crime and stopping violence. I want to establish a Congress of Neighborhoods and implement the evidence-based Cure Model to prevent violence. Both initiatives deepen neighborly relations, public decision making with local government, builds trust and holds police & community accountable.

More info at: AlHeggins.com

Candidates for Salisbury City Council (You may vote for four)

Jonathan S. Barbee

Occupation: Carpenter

Background: Salisbury native and Catawba graduate who is actively involved in the Salisbury community. Serves on City Tree Board, Rowan Transit Advisory Committee, and Rowan Historic Landmarks Committee. Graduated from Salisbury Citizen’s Academy, Leadership Rowan, and serves as an area director for the non-profit Toastmasters International.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Hiring a new Salisbury City Manager from a diverse pool of candidates. A fully staffed City Management team is paramount to economic development and growth. Addressing environmental issues related to silt build-up at the RSU’s pump site that results in upstream flooding at Grants and Towne Creek.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue – Affordable Housing:
Some members on Salisbury City Council need to stop setting the market rate which gives high cost in section 8 affordable housing. We spend more on expensive studies for affordable housing than implementation of actually investing money into our community. We become an incubator of lowering housing cost.

More info at: facebook.com/VoteJonathanBarbee

Jessica Cloward

Occupation: Real estate broker

Background: Trustworthy, honorable, defender and servant leader describe Jessica Cloward. As a mother, wife and entrepreneur, she knows how important public safety and economic development are to Salisbury. As a Christian, she understands how important God is to the city’s prosperity. Jessica’s goal is bringing success to all of Salisbury’s residents.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Public Safety: work with our police, addressing issues with the homeless population, and even the city’s litter problem to make Salisbury safe for all. Economic Growth: attract new jobs and keep current businesses successful to provide jobs for our residents and a larger tax base to take care of Salisbury.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue – Jobs for youth:
I would like to work with local businesses to identify opportunities for youth and work with local high schools and colleges to identify candidates for these opportunities.

More info at: facebook.com/Cloward4CityCouncil

Nalini Joseph

Occupation: District administrator with NC Guardian Ad Litem Program

Background: After 30 years of public service in the child welfare arena, with 23 of those years concentrated in management and leadership positions, I have decided to give back to my beautiful city of Salisbury. I possess a B.A. from Wesleyan College and a Master’s in Health Administration from Pfeiffer University.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Crime prevention and safety for all citizens. Economic growth; equal opportunity for all in the area of business and job growth. Increased support for Police and Fire departments. Partnership with our institutions of higher learning in Salisbury. A clean environment, with wellness and recreational opportunities for all citizens.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue – Jobs for youth:
Develop partnership between schools and businesses, creating internships and experiences so that youth understand they can be successful in their careers in Salisbury rather than moving elsewhere. Education in the areas of career building is needed: careers in medicine and technology are attainable; thereby increasing productivity and decreasing crime.

More info at: NaliniForSalisbury.com

Harry McLaughlin

Occupation: Owner of neighborhood grocery and meat market

Background: Currently owner and CEO of McLaughlin’s Grocery since 2017. Prior employment Special Agent with Department of Homeland Security.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
1: Crime reduction. 2: Home ownership availability and inclusion. 3: Growth of salary businesses.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue – Police/community relations:
The Police Advisory Board would meet to review incidents that lead to arrest. The board would review the arrests to determine if questionable patterns or techniques were administered during the incident. If discrepancies or questionable patterns were discovered, the police would notify the community of any new or revised policy.

David Post

Occupation: Mostly retired now, some pro-bono legal work

Background: I am a native of Salisbury and have served on the city council for three terms and previously served on the planning board. I’m a CPA and attorney with diverse experience working in government, business, academia and nonprofits.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Number 1 is hiring a new city manager who is an experienced, creative leader. The manager is Salisbury’s “chief executive officer,” who hires the police chief and department heads. I’ll also promote initiatives like neighborhood-based policing with bike patrols and the 0% interest loan program for minority- and women-owned businesses.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue – Affordable Housing:
The city is investing $500,000 to $1 million each year into low-income housing initiatives: down-payment assistance programs, home improvement programs, and neighborhood street and sidewalk improvements. The city has approved private sector development of over 1,300 units currently under construction. I will continue to support these initiatives.

Tamara Sheffield

Occupation: Senior Account Manager, PepsiCo Frito-Lay North America

Background: I’ve served two terms on the City Council. My experience at Frito Lay prepared me for this leadership role and taught me the importance of planning, collaborating and communicating. I do my homework, serve ALL of Salisbury’s citizens, and believe that “putting people over politics” is crucial in making decisions.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
Enhance Quality of Life: make Salisbury affordable, healthy and sustainable. Empower Community Partnerships: utilize and collaborate with local colleges, theaters, civic groups, hospitals, historic preservation groups, health services providers, law enforcement, etc. Energize Economic Opportunity: make Salisbury attractive to new business opportunities and support existing businesses and their employees.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue – Police/community relations:
In my four years, we’ve created a Chief Advisory board and added these positions to ensure community involvement: Human Relations Manager, Victims/Witness Advocate, City Attorney, four Police Officers, Deputy Police Chief, and Homelessness Advocate. I believe in not just saying it but proving it by investing in SPD and our community.

More info at: TamaraforSalisbury.com

Anthony Ray Smith

Occupation: Pastor and federal employee

Background: A Navy veteran. Employee with the Social Security Administration. Senior pastor of community-based church Mission House. A grassroots organizer and activist. Advocate for community youth.

My top 2 or 3 priorities if elected:
1: Address the uptick in violence. 2: Supporting and expand youth engagement projects. 3: Dismantle the historic inequities in our community.

Give an example of steps you would take to address a particular issue – Police/community relations:
Convene the city and stakeholder organizations to implement the cure violence model (which has reduced violence in major cities by 40-70%) to reduce violent crime in our community and improve community relations.

More info at: AnthonyRSmith.me

Voting Tools

Questions about Salisbury’s election?

Contact the Rowan County Board of Elections at 704-216-8140