Message From the Mayor

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 

It's Our City

2016 has been a difficult year for country. We have seen communities across the United States impacted by violence that feels like a shockwave we can't avoid. It hurts every time we read a headline or get a notification of the most recent act of violence. We wish it could be the last time we have to receive such bad news, while bracing for the next.

The repeated incidents have affected various segments of society in different ways, causing many of us to become numb with grief and sadness, some of us to tune it out as noise, and others to be deeply moved into action. Although in most cases this year's violent acts targeted specific groups of the US population (and indeed even worse overseas), I believe that each of these is an act against us all. The individuals who turn to violence are striking against the good people that make up the majority of our nation and world. We all mourn together as a human family with each senseless act.

The ripples of each stretch to countless places where people know or empathize with victims. Concord was especially affected after the June 12 shooting in Orlando, where Shane Tomlinson was among the dead and a local family was grieving. Our hearts were broken. Shane was an extraordinary young man from a fine family. He was a 1999 graduate of Northwest Cabarrus High School, and there are many people in our community who loved and remember Shane from his youth.

As a mayor, it is especially disturbing to see the story play out in community after community, knowing Concord could be the place on the news just as easily as somewhere else. Just like any other disaster, we do not get to choose where and when it happens.

However, we as individuals and a community do choose how we respond. I was very proud of two moments this summer where our community chose to come together in solidarity.

The first came on July 12, when the community had an important conversation about law enforcement, building trust, and what we all can do to support each other. Elected officials, Police Chief Gary Gacek, Sheriff Brad Riley, and many other law enforcement offices had a dialogue with community members, including representatives of the NAACP, Mothers of Murdered Offspring, Logan Community Association, Logan Ministerial Association, and Multi-Cultural Community Student Union. The lines one might perceive or expect of law enforcement talking with community members quickly went away because in fact, we are all the community together. Deputy Police Chief Betty Stocks was one of several who spoke from the heart; while she has worn the badge for 25 years, she has been a member of the community her entire life. I cannot stress how important it is for us to remember this fact as we continue to encounter each other in our daily interactions.

The following week, all of Concord's 161 sworn officers were "adopted" in a show of support. Leah Grasty is the wife of Officer Wes Grasty, who represented Concord Police at officers' funerals in Dallas, Texas. It is not surprising that a police spouse would want to support law enforcement. What is remarkable is that within 36 hours of announcing her adopt-a-cop idea, Leah had received cards and gifts for every Concord Police Officer. After making the delivery her idea has spread, with similar efforts underway for other local agencies.

These are the moments that make our community stronger and make us better people. They make it clear that we are not living in my city or your city. Not his city, or her city, or their city. In this time of political debates over to whom the country "belongs," I think Concord provides the answer the entire United States should hear.

It's our city. It's our country. All of us—we're in it together without exception. Let's focus on what we can do to love our neighbors and support each other on a daily basis.

Speaking of support, I want to sincerely thank Uwharrie Bank and Carolinas Healthcare System, our hometown presenting sponsors for the 2016 Christmas Tree Lighting and Fireworks on November 18. We could not do this event without their partnership, and it certainly speaks to the type of community we are fortunate to have here in Concord.