City Election Preview: Mitchell has clear route in District 5

Salisbury voters go to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 3.  In District 5, Council Vice President Laura Mitchell is running unopposed.

Laura Mitchell

Here’s Laura Mitchell’s advice for Salisbury: Fill your own dance card. Market yourself. Find companies looking for expansion.

The 50-year-old incumbent, who is running for re-election with no opposition, like all candidates, is concerned about the crime rate. After two young men were killed in Salisbury last summer, she called community events like National Night Out a healing experience for citizens, but much more must be done.

“Crime is down, but there are a lot of petty crimes going on. Juveniles and drugs are problems,” she said, adding she is working with Police Chief Barbara Duncan about addiction programs that have been successful nationwide. She said she is watching their successes, and how they can be used locally.

While more jobs are needed in Salisbury, Mitchell doesn’t believe it’s the government’s job to create them. Instead, the government should create the environment for jobs, said.

That can be done with a little ingenuity, maybe scavenger hunts for college students, since so many are unaware there is a downtown, with shops and restaurants, as well as community events such as 3rd Friday.

Mitchell, a retired accountant, said seeking re-election “was a very easy choice for me.”

“I really enjoyed working on everything we got done. I learned a tremendous amount and met a lot of incredible people. And, I’ve been able to help a lot of people. It’s just been a lot of fun,” she said.

She said she’d like to see property at Ann and Short streets, where a former laundry was, used to build a community center for children and as the new home for the Stop the Violence program. She said she’ll look for funding for construction.

“If we could put an indoor basketball court and computer lab and perhaps, outside, another basketball or tennis courts, to seal the ground, since it was contaminated, that would be a great way to invest,” she said. Fuel tanks were buried underground.

“We have playgrounds nearby but what do these kids do in the winter?” she said.

“We need to talk about how to engage kids and get them to participate  in the community. I prefer to invest now rather than pay later,” she said.

She said she’s focusing “on making sure we have good voter turnout.”

“There are four contested races and we need to be sure people get involved, that they know what’s going on, make choices and cast votes to keep the momentum going that we have now. We had years of negativity and I really don’t want to go back to that,” Mitchell said.

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