PINEVILLE – When you look back at the past 144 years, 2017 could best be summed up as a transitional year for Pineville as it continues to manage growth while welcoming a steady stream of newcomers.
Here’s a look at some of the town’s biggest newsmakers over the past year:
• Leemon Brice – Brice served as interim town manager for the first few months of the year, giving elected leaders time to hire a replacement to fill the void left by Haynes Brigman. Brice offered them options to raise revenue. They decided on increasing the tax rate from $0.35 to $0.38 per $100 valuation on property.
• Jeff Clark – Clark owns the Pineville Ice House, which sought permission from the town for a 15,000-square-foot expansion to accommodate an additional skating rink. The ice house supported causes like the Alexander Youth Network and Skate for Zach, while training hockey and ice skaters to championships.
• Kristy Detwiler – Detwiler has directed the parks department for more than 25 years, overseeing events like the Rockin’ & Reelin’ series and Fall Fest. Her department also coordinated on the development of a splash pad and enhancements to Little Sugar Creek Greenway from I-485 to Polk Historic Site.
• Jack Edwards – Edwards won a third term as mayor in the general election by earning 57.3 percent of the vote in a three-person race that included formidable opponents in Councilman David Phillips and Amelia Stinson-Wesley.
• Joe Maxim – Maxim was the leading vote-getter among town council candidates in the November election, earning him one of two open seats. Maxim, a director of SEC reporting for a Ballantyne manufacturer, sought to work with neighboring towns to find solutions to shared challenges.
• Rob Merchant – Merchant serves as police chief. The town sought to make officer recruitment more competitive by raising starting salaries, as well as paying recruits as town employees while they attend police academy. In return, officers work two years with the town after graduation.
• Dahleesia Oates Johnson – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools recognized Johnson as the Beacon Learning Community Teacher of the Year, as well as a finalist for top teacher for the entire district. The Charlotte native teaches at Sterling Elementary School.
• Melissa Rogers Davis –Davis won the second and final available seat on the Pineville Town Council, knocking out incumbents Christopher McDonough by 37 votes and Les Gladden by 177 votes. Davis is no new face. She just chose not to run for re-election in 2015.
• Richard Sheltra – North Carolina named the bridge on South Polk Street after Sheltra. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation recognized Sheltra in October by including him on its 2017 Roll of Honor. Sheltra, 20, died in April 2016 fighting a three-alarm fire.
• Jane Shutt – Shutt started Pineville Neighbors Place to give struggling people a local avenue for resources rather than going to Uptown Charlotte. Its second annual Pineville Potato Drop bagged and distributed 40,000 pounds of potatoes to various agencies.
• Ryan Spitzer – Spitzer became the town manager of Pineville after serving the same role for nearly two years in Strasburg, Virginia. He presided over continued efforts to clean up the historic Cone Mill for economic redevelopment. The project has been delayed due to asbestos removal.
• Scott Warren – Warren serves as site manager for the James K. Polk Historic Site, which held its 25th annual President Polk Birthday Celebration in November. The site welcomed the Slave Dwelling Project in September for a weekend of unique programming about Southern culture.