Commissioner Craig Pierce Discusses his Commitment to All Rowan County Citizens, his Commission Accomplishments, and Future Goals

Posted on March 11, 2018

RFP Staff/Craig Pierce, County Commissioner

♦ I am a Rowan County Commissioner who was elected twice to serve our citizens. I’m committed to completing the water and sewer project I’ve been working on the past six years. I require this term to give me the time I need to complete this critical Rowan County infrastructure project.

During my first term I was able complete several projects changing the face of Rowan County. The previous board worked hard together and with our forward thinking and conservative focus were able to purchase the former Salisbury Mall, for pennies on the dollar, to house county offices neglected by past boards.

The current commission’s leadership has completely abandoned the purpose in that purchase and hindered progress on taking care of county needs in favor of special interests in Salisbury and in doing so, harmed both the County and our citizens in Salisbury.

I brought our Animal Control up to a standard that truly represents our County. By removing the department from The Health Department, we were able to eliminate an additional expensive layer of government, making it easier to direct necessary changes to move things forward and protect our animal friends.

Working from the first meeting in 2012, I started making changes such as the elimination of the gas chamber in favor of euthanasia by injection. But this was only the start. With the change came a new attitude about how our County was viewed by the animal public.  This brought us a benefactor that stepped up and donated a new facility for the welfare of our feline population.

We have moved our County from one of the least effective in adoptions to one of the top three in the State.  This was all because of the rescue groups and volunteers who came to the shelter because of the changes made. There are current plans by those same people to construct an additional facility for our canine population. This remains on my radar to continue making improvements as the needs identify themselves.

The airport had my attention even before I was elected to the Commission. As Chairman of the Airport Advisory Board, I was able to convince the Board of Commissioners at that time to construct our first hangar capable of housing large airplanes and jet aircraft.  This proved a powerful catalyst for rapid and much needed growth.  Once elected, the Board took things even further by De-annexing the Airport from Salisbury who let it languish. They forcibly annexed the Airport, doubling the tax rate, and strangling the growth potential of this economic engine.

Today we have a second large hangar, constructed business offices for on site companies and added a new conference room for those that fly in for meetings. With the improvements made on the grounds, ramps, runway and terminal, we have positioned our airport to handle the growth and demand that will be coming to our County. A new parkway coming to the area will take those wanting to go to the Airport directly from the interstate to the property. A runaway project of crowning and grooving is current on schedule for this Spring and an runway extension is also in the works. We have come a long way from where we were 8 years ago. I want to make sure we continue this growth.

During my time on the Board, we have dedicated ourselves to our growing Veteran population.  Moving from one Veteran Service Officer working out of  a small office at our retirement center to a new facility featuring three VSO’s with administrative assistants and an inviting atmosphere for our veterans to gain the services they need and deserve.

Education was a priority from my first day in office. We were able to end the controversy over the central office issue and agreed to funds build a new West Elementary. This was accomplished in 2013 and construction began in 2014. By then the commission’s composition changed and the new members wasted no time in claiming credit for work done before they were ever elected.  This would become a common trend with the current Board.

My determination to see initiatives to a successful conclusion is my reason for asking for one more term on the Board. I witnessed a pattern by the current leadership of much ballyhooed projects that are only good for the print media to write about and then nothing materializes.  Just like we see happening now in our once great county seat. We can not afford to have this happen to our Water and Sewer Program.

I do not have confidence with the current leadership that the water and sewer project will be completed. With my commitment and leadership this will happen in a timely fashion.  This is my promise to our citizens, just as it has been since my first campaign, and will be my main focus to bring growth, jobs, revenue and a better way of life for all citizens.

The Last Known Sketch of the I-85 Gateway “Clown” Signs that Thankfully Never Materialized:

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