|J. Scott Padgett
J. Scott Padgett was elected to the position of Mayor in 2001 after serving on the City Council since 1995. A longtime resident of Concord, Scott is a retired elementary school principal who received his undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University, Master of Education Degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and an Advanced Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Very active in the community, Scott is a member of the Concord Rotary Club (Paul Harris Fellow and former Board of Directors member), and All Saints Episcopal Church. He is a past member of the North Carolina League of Municipalities Board of Directors, is an active participant in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and is a current board member of the N.C. Metropolitan Mayors Coalition. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Cabarrus Boys & Girls Club and Cabarrus Bank & Trust. He is a member of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, and has been honored with the Order of The Long Leaf Pine.
Prior to becoming an elected official of the City, Mayor Padgett served as a member of Concord’s Planning and Zoning Commission. He is married and has one child and three grandchildren. Mayor Padgett states, “I have always been impressed with the leadership in Concord, and it is an honor to serve the citizens. We have many challenges today, but they are no greater than those faced by our forefathers. Working together, we can make this an even better place in which to live and work.”
A Message from the Mayor
Legacies of Service
In June, the City Council adopted a balanced budget of over $227 million for the new fiscal year that started July 1. The property tax rate remained the same as it has for the last four years at 48 cents per $100 valuation. Concord's property tax rate has been extremely stable for many years, providing taxpayers a tremendous value in services while being among the North Carolina's full-service cities over 40,000 in population with the lowest tax rates. In fact, Concord's tax rate is the lowest of the cities that do not charge a separate fee for residential solid waste services. Learn more about our current year budget at concordnc.gov/budget.
The City Council is able to adopt a budget each year without some of the drama and agony that is common for other government organizations, due to the work of City Manager Brian Hiatt and the fine City staff. They are careful to put together a recommended budget each year that is based on City Council's goals and priorities as established months before in the annual planning session. This planning process, combined with ongoing communication with the City Manager, has resulted in a pattern of elected leadership that is particularly consistent and steady, especially for the public sector.
Looking at our current elected officials, most citizens will notice a blend of experienced and fresh perspectives. I think this is an important composition for our City Council. With that said, Dave Phillips and Jim Ramseur, two of our longest-serving current Council Members, have decided not to seek reelection upon the end of their terms this year. Both were elected to City Council in 1995, but their service to the community goes back much further than their twenty years as elected officials. These friends and colleagues of mine spent nearly as much time preparing to serve on Council as they did in office, which is why they were so successful and served for so long. They both are deeply rooted in the community, were successful in the business world, and have a passion for being civic-minded.
Dave is a lifelong resident of Concord and recently retired after 36 years with Duke Energy Carolinas. He is a member and former President and Director of the Concord Rotary Club, is a member of the UNCC Alumni Association, Board of Directors of the Historic Cabarrus Association, Inc., Board of Directors of the Archdale-Trinity Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors of the Union County Community Arts Council, Board of Directors of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors of The Cabarrus County Community Foundation, has served two terms as Concord Mayor Pro-Tem, and is a Life Member of the National Eagle Scout Association. Prior to being elected to City Council, David served on Concord’s Planning and Zoning Commission. He also is one of the City's representatives on the Water and Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County (WSACC) Board of Directors. He has several interesting hobbies including model train collecting.
Jim, also a Concord native, is an Air Force veteran and retired as CEO of local contractor Turner-Baxter. An active member in our community, Jim has served on the Board of Directors of Concord Downtown Development Corporation and Historic Cabarrus, and was Vice Chairman of the City's 1996 Bicentennial Committee. He is a Past President of the Concord Jaycees, and in 1977 was presented the Distinguished Service Award. Jim served as Mayor Pro-Tem of the City Council from 1997-1999, and again in 2007 and 2013. Prior to City Council, Jim served as Vice Chairman of the Concord Planning and Zoning Commission and Chairman of the Concord Historic Preservation Commission. It is not a stretch to say he is one of our greatest local historians, and has an incredible collection of post cards and photographs depicting Concord's first 220 years.
Dave and Jim are the epitome of good citizenship, and they have always been fully engaged in the community. When they were elected 20 years ago, Concord's population was about 42,000—about half of what it is now. Concord Regional Airport was in its infancy. The hospital was called Cabarrus Memorial and major employers were Fieldcrest-Cannon, Philip Morris, and Concord Telephone Company. There was no such thing as "Exit 49," but there were some concepts about a place called "King's Grant."
Much has changed in Concord since then, but not the quality of Dave and Jim's leadership. They have focused on the community and continuing the legacy of service started City elected officials that came before them, always striving to move Concord into the future.
They know from experience that public service involves much personal sacrifice, and they have gladly accepted the role and all that comes with it because public service means that much to them. As their colleague on City Council for six years and then as Mayor, I have been able to see how Dave and Jim considered the variety of issues and challenges that have come before the Council. No matter the subject, they always made decisions based on the facts and the best outcome for Concord, even when not popular in the moment. We all owe them our gratitude for this approach and the quality of life we enjoy as a community due to their leadership. I hope you will enjoy the special feature on them in this issue to learn more about their service from their perspectives.
As David W. Phillips and James E. Ramseur complete their fifth terms on City Council, their service coincides with a milestone in the making for nearly as long as their tenure: the new City Hall on Cabarrus Avenue. With the same steady, intentional leadership, they planned for this new chapter by first upgrading the City's operational and public safety facilities, then staying on track to plan, design, and construct a City Hall fitting of Concord today and tomorrow. Their final meeting in December will be a special one, not just because of being the first in the new facility, but also because of what their service has meant to this community for the last decades.
I will miss both of them greatly as colleagues, but know we have not seen the end of our friendships or their service to Concord. I thank them for all they have done and look forward to seeing what's next.