The History of Spencer, NC




We must hold our leaders accountable


The Town of Spencer exists today only because a progressive railroader named Samuel Spencer.  He was a forward thinker.  He was a Progressive Railroader.  His forward thinking is why a large steam engine repair facility was built two miles north of Salisbury.  The town sprang out of this construction.   About twenty-five years ago a 60 year old  term hit the political scene.  Many politicians have for that time inserted the term PROACTIVE into their speeches.  Politicians often use the word and really don’t fully understand it’s meaning.

Proactive:   intending or intended to produce a good result or avoid a problem, rather than waiting until there is a problem:

taking action to make changes yourself rather than reacting to things that happen:

  Let me give you a few other words that mean the same thing.

  1. Visionary
  2. Preemptive
  3. Insightful
  4. Farseeing
  5. Forward-looking
  6. Positive
  7. Down to business
  8. Taking the initiative

Now let’s apply these thoughts to what happened at the end of the February Town Hall meeting.  About the last thing on the agenda was a discussion on the use of UTVs on Spencer streets.  Right off the bat Alderman Chilcott jumped in and started quoting NC regulations forbidding the use of UTVs on state highways.  Alderman Boone jumped in and had a few words about the issue.  Alderman Hovis had a few words to say.  Now to bring all of you up to speed, no one’s name was mentioned.  There was concern that a few town folk had complained about a resident operating his UTV and he thought “he was above the law”.  The principle reason for this action was a vindictive action toward one operator.  His name is Dan Patterson.  To give you all a little history.  I purchased the UTV six years ago to use in my business.  Primarily it is used to service my home property and my rental houses.  I store dirt, mulch and stone on my property at the corner of S. Yadkin Avenue and Third Street.  I drive the UTV from my home to the lot and load these materials on it and drive two blocks and dump the materials directly onto the shrubs and yard.  For six years I have operated the UTV on Spencer streets with no complaints from home owners or the Spencer Police.  I suppose my operations have been ignored.  I also have a farm that is located 100 feet from the town limits that I maintain and service.  A little more about the complaint.  WHY now have the complaints started?  Now let’s remember how this letter starting in talking about being PROACTIVE

A while back Alderman Chillcott rode in my UTV to look at several code violations.  She was the Code Enforcement Officer.  WHY did she not question me about my use of the UTV? 

A while back just before October Tour the Historic Preservation Committee passed out a list of homes and locations in town that needed volunteers to clean them up.  Well Alderman Boone and his wife for two days accompanied my wife and me cleaning, clearing brush in front yards.  My wife and I were traveling in the UTV.  We were not joy riding but carrying chain saws, weed eaters, blowers and loppers.  There were no complaints from this alderman.  WHY? 

For the last six years my UTV has been used to haul dirt to fill holes and low spots on home owners property between the sidewalk and curb.  Has been used picking up litter in our section of the town.  It has been used to haul my blower and have many times seen the town leaf truck and walked in front of the truck blowing leaves into piles so the truck would do a better job.  It has been used in cutting a trimming dead trees and limbs that dangerously hung over the road. 



September 14, 2016

In other business, the board:

·        Held public comment. Dan Patterson talked about the need for fixing sidewalks around town and cutting back bushes so that people could safely walk on the sidewalks.

July 16, 2016

According to the meeting agenda, Alderman Mike Boone asked that the board consider the conditional use of golf carts on Spencer streets.

Boone said in an email that many Spencer residents own golf carts and some have said they wanted to be able to drive them in the streets legally. He said he wanted to be sure the rest of the board was in agreement about the subject, and also wanted to hear advice from the police chief.

“I personally believe golf cart travel is good for a small community as it is a ‘green’ form of transportation  and the people that ride them tend to stop and talk with their neighbor, meet at our restaurants, shop local, thereby making our town a tighter knit community,” he wrote in an email.

These are PROACTIVE thoughts by Alderman Boone.


What should have been done.  The mayor, Chillcott and Boone being PROactive could have given time to the other aldermen and asked them their opinion and then referred the issue to the Planning Board for further research.  Then ended the meeting.     



With October tour a month away I contacted the town about hauling dirt to fill these two low spots to help in mowing, making it safer for pedestrian walking and make it safer for the new church attendees to walk.  After weeks of waiting it was never repaired.  I ended up hauling 10 loads of fill dirt from my 3rd. Street lot to fill the low spots in the curb is still open.  My wife and I seeded and strawed the two areas.  The Mayor informed me that it is not legal to perform work on street rights of way.




This is the letter sent to town office and date.  The repairs were never made.  This is NOT PROACTIVE.  When I repair it this week it will be REACTIVE.  Being PROACTIVE the street department would have fixed the hole years ago.


Town Manager,

Public Works Manager,

Rev. Thomas McDonald, Pastor, CrossLife Church of Spencer


With the startup of a new church in Spencer at the location of the 1st.

Baptist Church location,  I noticed these three public safety issues while pruning the hedges:


There is chunk of concrete missing and two open grassy areas out front that need to be filled to top of curbing and sidewalks to insure no turned ankles.


Also please verify the trash pickup day for the church and if containers are picked up at rear of church at parking lot or the street side.



Dan Patterson


My final comment.  Since the hole in this concrete is in the NO man’s land between the curb and sidewalk it must be the property owner’s responsibility to repair the hole.



If your on the right track and stay there long
enough you will get run over