Skip to main content

This media kit will provide information about the City of Salisbury, its government, leadership team, elected officials and more. Members of the news media will also find details about media requests, public records and covering City meetings.

If you have additional questions about the City, or are a member of the media seeking more information, please contact our Communications department at (704) 638-4460 or email

Reporting from an Emergency Scene

The City of Salisbury's goal is to allow the media as close access to the scenes of emergencies as safety allows and as quickly as possible. Salisbury emergency responders have media relations training, and understand the job you need to do.

For your safety, to maintain the integrity of any crime scene, and to allow our staff to provide the best emergency service, please stay outside of emergency response perimeters, usually designated with yellow tape or barricades monitored by the Salisbury Police Department, Salisbury Fire Department and/or the Communications Department.

Scheduling Interviews

Interview requests for print purposes or on-camera should be requested through the City's Communications Director at or (704) 756-4925. All requests will be addressed in a timely manner. When attempting communication, we ask that you identify yourself, the organization you represent, the reason you are calling, your deadline, and provide a contact number or email where you may be reached.

Public Records Requests

All official public records requests are handled through the City Clerk's Office​.

Media Requests

Media requests for citywide initiatives and the city manager's office can be directed to:

Director of Communications

Linda McElroy
Desk: (704) 638-4460
Mobile: (704) 756-4925

About the City of Salisbury

Salisbury is a town in and the county seat of Rowan County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 33,663 in the 2010 Census (growing 27.8% from the previous Census in 2000). Salisbury is the home to famed North Carolina soft drink, Cheerwine and regional supermarket Food Lion. It is one of only two cities in North Carolina to have gigabit capacity. Currently, Hotwire Communications and the City of Salisbury are in a long-term lease agreement to manage the former city-owned broadband system.

Salisbury has developed a strong record of historic preservation over the last few decades. It is the site of a noted prisoner of war camp during the American Civil War and has ten National Register historic districts. The city has many historic homes and commercial buildings dating from the 19th century and early 20th century, several of which are individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Salisbury is home to a vibrant downtown area that encompasses several blocks near the intersection of Innes Street and Main Street. The downtown area is dominated by small, local merchants.

The Salisbury community presents an area rich in cultural resources with tremendous citizen support and stewardship for arts and cultural development. Salisbury boasts a tradition of valuing arts and diligently strives to protect existing resources while linking arts and cultural resources to key economic, neighborhood development, educational, and social goals of the broader community.

City of Salisbury Vision

  • Culture of Excellent Customer Service
  • Quality Services for All Citizens
  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Inclusion and Diversity
  • Fairness and Equality
  • Commitment to a Team of Creative Problem Solvers
  • Partnerships with Community Organizations

City of Salisbury Mission

To enhance Salisbury’s status as a great HISTORIC CITY that provides a safe, livable environment for present and future generations with a focus on:

  • To complete all strategic plans successfully and effectively
  • To remain a livable community – with its own identity and sustainable growth
  • To be a model of neighborhood revitalization – using a holistic approach with quality facilities and services
  • To be a City and an organization which is free of discrimination and is inclusive
  • To be a place where children choose to return to live when they become adults – a place with a future, where things are done right
  • To be a City that promotes a positive business climate and economic opportunities for its citizens

Elected Officials

The City Council is the governing body of the City of Salisbury. The Council is comprised of five members who are elected on a non-partisan basis for two-year terms. Each Council member serves at-large and represents the entire City.

The City Council meets every first and third Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. Council meetings are open to the public.

Interested in learning about the City of Salisbury's election process? Below is a link to a memo from the City of Salisbury's lawyer to City Council on the election process, and a link to the School of Government on the process of modifying a city's charter:
Memo regarding Election Procedure (PDF)
Modifying A City's Charter

To speak during public comment:

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Anyone who wishes to speak virtually via Zoom during public comment must sign up by 5 p.m. on the day of the meeting. To sign up, contact City Clerk Connie Snyder at or (704) 638-5234. Those who wish to speak in-person can sign up in Council Chambers. All speakers will have three minutes. The same guidelines apply for those who wish to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Written comments received by 5 p.m. on the day of the meeting will be shared with City Council but not read out loud during the meeting. Additional information on audio access will be shared closer to the meeting date.

Though the meeting will be held in a hybrid format, to remain consistent with limiting physical interactions and the potential spread of COVID-19, the public is invited to attend the meeting virtually.

Watch the meeting via:

To view the full City Council agenda, visit

City Council meetings are recorded and archived using an online video hosting service called Vimeo. Recorded meetings are broadcast on WSRG-TV starting the following Thursday and are posted online to Vimeo as soon as possible.

Visit Video Archive
Portrait of Mayor Karen Alexander in front of city seal


Karen K. Alexander

PO Box 479 Salisbury, NC 28145-0479​

Portrait of Mayor Pro Tem Tamara Sheffield in front of city seal


Tamara Sheffield

PO Box 479 Salisbury, NC 28145-0479

Portrait of Council member David Post in front of city seal


David Post

P.O. Box 1666 Salisbury, NC 28145

Portrait of Council Member Anthony Smith


Anthony Smith

PO Box 479 Salisbury, NC 28145-0479

Portrait of Council Member Harry McLaughlin


Harry McLaughlin

PO Box 479 Salisbury, NC 28145-0479

City Leadership

Organization Chart

City Manager
Jim Greene Jr.
Phone: (704) 638-5227
Mail: PO Box 479
Salisbury, NC 28145-0479​ ​

City Manager
Richard J. White III
Phone: (704) 216-7533
Mail: PO Box 479
Salisbury, NC 28145-0479​ ​

City Attorney
Graham Corriher
Phone: (704) 638-5309
Mail: PO Box 479
Salisbury, NC 28145-0479​

Services Director
Kelly Baker
Phone: (704) 638-5233
Mail: PO Box 479
Salisbury, NC 28145-0479​
Department: Administration

City Clerk
Connie Snyder
Phone: (704) 638-5234
Mail: PO Box 479
Salisbury, NC 28145-0479​
Department: City Clerk's Office

Linda M. McElroy
Phone: (704) 638-4460
Mail: 217 South Main St.
Salisbury, NC 28144​
Department: Communications

Diversity, Equity &
Inclusion Director
Anne Little
Phone: (704) 638-5218
Mail: 132 N. Main St.
Salisbury, NC 28144​
Department: DEI

Sada Stewart Troutman
Phone: (704) 638-5239
Mail: ​217 South Main St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Department: DSI

Finance Director
Wade Furches
Phone: (704) 638-5302
Mail: PO Box 479
Salisbury, NC 28145-0479
Department: Finance

Fire Chief
Robert A. Parnell
Phone: (704) 638-4464
Mail: 514 East Innes St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Department: Fire

Human Resources
Ruth C. Kennerly
Phone: (704) 638-2168
Mail: PO Box 479
Salisbury, NC 28145-0479
Department: Human Resources

Land and Development 
Services Director
Phillip Lookadoo
Phone: (704) 638-5210
Mail: 132 North Main St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Department: Land and Development Services

Parks and
Recreation Director
Keisha Coxe
Phone: (704) 638-5299
Mail: ​130 S. Main St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Department: Parks and Recreation

Planning and
Hannah Jacobson
Phone: (704) 638-5230
Mail: PO Box 479
Salisbury, NC 28145-0479
Department: Planning and Neighborhoods

Police Chief
Patrick Smith
Phone: (704) 638-5333
Mail: ​130 East Liberty St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Department: Police

Public Works
Chris Tester
Phone: (704) 216-7554
Mail: ​303 W. Franklin St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Department: Public Works

Utilities Director
James D. Behmer
Phone: (704) 638-5202
Mail: ​PO Box 479
Salisbury, North Carolina 28145
Department: Salisbury-Rowan Utilities

Transit Director
Rodney L. Harrison
Phone: (704) 638-4498
Mail: ​PO Box 479
Salisbury, North Carolina 28145
Department: Transit

City Engineer
Wendy G. Brindle
Phone: (704) 638-5201
Mail: PO Box 479
Salisbury, NC 28145-0479
Department: Transportation


Map of city locations

1. City Hall

217 South Main Street Salisbury, NC 28144 | (704) 638-5222

(704) 638-5224
City Clerk's Office/City Council
(704) 638-4460
Media Inquiries/Newsletters/Website/Social Media/Access16/Salisbury NOW
Downtown Salisbury, Inc.
(704) 637-7814
Downtown Events/Economic Development
Parks and Recreation
(704) 216-7529
Activities/Programs/Sports/Leagues/Renting Parks, Shelters, Facilities

2. City Office Building

132 North Main Street Salisbury, NC 28144 | (704) 638-5332

City Management
(704) 638-523
Code Enforcement
(704) 216-7559
Nuisances/Overgrown Grass/Building Violations
Development Services
(704) 638-5208
Business Licenses/Inspections/Permits/Zoning
(704) 638-5200
G.I.S./Maps/Construction Standards
(704) 638-5303
Human Resources
(704) 638-5217
Job Applications/Risk Management

3. Salisbury Customer Service Center

1415 South Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Salisbury, NC 28144 | (704) 638-5300

Customer Service
(704) 638-5300
Service or billing for water/Trash/Recycling/Stormwater

4. Salisbury Police Department

130 East Liberty Street Salisbury, NC 28144 | (704) 638-5333

Victim Advocacy/Crime Stoppers/Report an Incident/Crash Reports
Dial 911

5. Salisbury Fire Station #1

514 Eat Innes Street Salisbury, NC 28144 | (704) 638-5351

Fire Admin/Fire Inspections/Life Safety Education/Child Safety Seats

6. Salisbury-Rowan Utilities

1 Water Street Salisbury, NC 28144 | (704) 638-5205

Customer Service/Billing
(704) 638-5300
Emergencies (after 4 p.m. and on weekends)
(704) 638-5339
Manhole Overflows/Breaks/Blockages/Backups

Salisbury's Story

In 1753 an appointed trustee for Rowan County named Edward Hughes was directed to enter 40 acres of land for a County Seat, and public buildings were erected. Two years later on February 11, 1755, a man named Earl Granville conveyed 635 acres for the “Salisbury Township”. [1] The City was built at the intersection of a Native American trading route and became an economic hub along the Great Wagon Road in North Carolina. In the late 19th century the City became a railroad hub as people traveled along the eastern corridor. [2] In the 20th century, Salisbury's economy grew into an industrial based economy, in a large part because of textiles and the numerous mills operating in the city.

Establishing the City

The community now known as Salisbury was first established as a county seat by the colonial Assembly in April of 1753. Originally known as simply Rowan Court House, its purpose was to provide settlers with the services of a court house and jail. The location of the court house was no accident, in that the site was near the intersection of two ancient Native American trails. Ultimately, the new court house would serve as the anchor for a new center of government, transportation and commerce in the area. Less than two years later, in February of 1755 the court house community was formally created as the town of Salisbury, the county seat of Rowan County. Land grants to several settlers soon followed, including one to James Carter, a surveyor in the area. [3]

Surveying and Creating Grid-Iron Street Pattern

Carter set to work laying out the lots and streets of the new town, devising a plan that had a total of 256 lots. (Not surprisingly, 67 of the lots were on property Carter had been granted.) At the center of his plan, he drew a square made up of four equal quadrants or wards, each four blocks by four blocks. Thus, the heart of the new town had 64 lots on a grid system of streets laid out in a classic rectilinear pattern.

Interestingly, Carter’s notion of the proper layout of Salisbury was not particularly original. Rather, it was patterned, like most other American colonial towns of the day, after the 1682 plan for Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s plan had three principle features: (1) a gridiron street system, (2) a system of open spaces, and (3) uniform spacing and setbacks for the buildings. Historians have noted that perhaps because it was a principal port of entry, Philadelphia was widely copied by later American towns, as the settlement of the country moved farther to the west.

Thus, most colonial towns, including Salisbury, took on a basic grid-iron or trellis street pattern. In Salisbury's case, this resulted in a series of streets running in a southwest to northeast direction, parallel to Town Creek, and another series of streets running southeast to northwest, perpendicular to the alignment of the creek. This layout created city blocks that were 400 feet long and 400 feet deep. Eventually this same basic street pattern would be extended out uninterrupted for five to ten blocks in all directions from the main intersection at the center of the square.

Within the grid-iron framework, a very compact town evolved. As Carter had envisioned, the major civic, cultural, and trading buildings of the day were built within a very short distance of the main intersection. A mixture of businesses and homes filled in the voids and spilled out a few short blocks away from the town center. Homes were large and lots small to keep walking distances to a minimum. Servants quarters and smaller houses for the underclass were also kept close, given the need to walk virtually everywhere. This pattern of development would largely define Salisbury's growth for the city’s first 150 years.[3]

The Rise of the Railways

During the period from about 1830 to 1900, numerous economic, social, and technological changes of the industrial revolution would take America, and to a lesser extent, Salisbury, by storm. Railroad lines, which totaled 23 miles nationwide in 1830, increased to 2,818 miles by 1840. The telegraph (1844) and the telephone (1876) revolutionized the speed at which information could be transferred. The invention of the passenger elevator (1852) and the Bessemer steel converter (1864) paved the way for the development of skyscrapers beginning in the 1880s. Gas lights and, later, electric lights (1878), revolutionized indoor lighting, and made the fire hazards of congested buildings less threatening.

Salisbury was by no means isolated from these revolutionary technological advances. With the arrival of the North Carolina Rail Road in 1855, Salisbury’s future became heavily intertwined with rail commerce and the growth it spawned. The rail line, which paralleled Main Street just two blocks down the hill toward Town Creek, established the southeastern border of the central business district. Before long, a number of commercial and industrial enterprises sprang up along the rail line. At the same time, smoke and ash blown by prevailing winds from the north and west made areas to the south and east of the city center "the wrong side of the tracks." As a result, a pattern of city growth was established which would see the most desirable residential neighborhoods of the future located largely to the west and north of the town center. This early pattern continues to this day.

As America was nearing the turn of the century, the influence of rail on Salisbury was to become even more pronounced. The Southern Railway Company selected a site just to the northeast of Salisbury for a large steam locomotive repair and maintenance facility. The Spencer Shops opened in 1896, and the Town of Spencer was officially incorporated in 1902. Thus, the northeastern boundary of Salisbury was fixed and an even greater impetus for expansion of the city to the north and west was set in motion. [3]

Growing and Congestion

By 1900, train traffic through Salisbury was at an all-time high, electric lights were in common use throughout much of the city, telephone lines crisscrossed the community, and a municipal waterworks was in use.

Even so, these technological advances had their downsides in many cities. When coupled with the enormous demand for labor to drive the machinery of the industrial revolution, overwhelming pressure existed to pack more people into less housing. After 1865, in fact, housing in large cities became congested to the point of plainly unhealthy conditions. By 1870, crowding in New York City tenement houses caused a city-wide equivalent density of 326 persons per acre (compare this with one family on a half-acre lot today).

The practical, unwritten principles of city design and natural development constraints which had ruled city form for the country's first 150+ years had given over to the excesses that unbridled technology and demand for labor wrought. Housing for the working class provided for little or no light and air. Sanitation was poor. Diseases spread quickly. Fire was a constant threat. The mood of the country for a different pattern of urban development was ripe for change. One technological innovation, not yet spoken of, would provide the means for this change in New York and, to a lesser extent, in Salisbury: the electric streetcar. [3]

Introduction of the Streetcar

Salisbury was not isolated from this new phenomenon of suburban idealism. From the early 1900s to the beginning of the second World War, the city of Salisbury underwent its first major change in urban form since the coming of the railroad in 1855. In 1905, Salisbury’s streetcar system was put in operation. In 1906, the Southern Development Company, capitalizing on the availability of the streetcar system, laid out a significant new development southwest of the city center, naming it Fulton Heights.

As Salisbury’s first "street car suburb," this 314 lot development employed a uniform, rectilinear street pattern. Mitchell Avenue, the neighborhood’s primary street, included a central median to accommodate the streetcar line. Most significantly, Fulton Heights offered the convenience of a short street car ride to the downtown for shopping and entertainment and, from there, continuing along Main Street to the Spencer Shops for work. Thus, the availability of cheap public transportation to new areas like Fulton Heights made possible the movement of Salisbury's working class to the suburbs. [3]

Fun Facts about Salisbury

  • The regional grocery store chain “Food Lion” was founded in Salisbury in 1957 by Wilson Smith, Ralph Ketner, and Brown Ketner.
  • Salisbury is home to two historic colleges. Catawba College (founded in 1851) and Livingstone College (founded in 1879).
  • The famed cherry-flavored soda “Cheerwine” was introduced in Salisbury in 1917.
  • The local daily newspaper “The Salisbury Post” was founded in 1905 and is headquartered in the downtown area.


[1] Rumple, Jethro. History of Rowan County. Salisbury: Elizabeth Maxwell Steele Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, 1916. A History of Rowan County, North Carolina. Web. 19 July 2017.

[2] Neal, Larry K. Salisbury. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2013. Print.

[3] Lewis, J. D. "A History of Salisbury, North Carolina." Salisbury, North Carolina. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 July 2017.

Subscribe to our newsletter

También disponible en español

Copyright 2024 by City of Salisbury, NC Terms Of UsePrivacy Statement
Back To Top