Troutman Council bestows annual honors, praises Chief Selves and police officers
BY DEBBIE PAGE
During its meeting on Thursday night, the Troutman Town Council presented Chuck Gallyon and Karen Neilson Citizen of the Year recognitions and commended Troutman Chair Company as Organization of the Year for its many contributions to the community.
The council also wished a fond farewell to Police Chief Matthew Selves, who is leaving for a position with the N.C. League of Municipalities.
Mayor Teross Young congratulates Karen Neilson and Chuck Gallyon as Troutman Citizens of the Year as council members look on.
Mayor Teross Young said that retired Troutman Elementary teacher Neilson “will do absolutely anything for anyone in her day-to-day volunteer activities, which speaks volumes to her commitment to the Troutman community.”
Her 36 years in education “has made a positive impact on a countless number of children, many of whom she frequently still sees.” They seek her out to proudly share their accomplishments and life experiences, according to Young.
Since retiring, Neilson, always one to stay busy and help others, volunteers two days per week at the library. She is secretary of the Troutman Friends of the Library and also helps out with major events like parties and Summer Reading activities.
She also volunteers in several programs at Trinity Lutheran Church and for the Iredell County Board of Elections during voting periods.
“Karen has constantly demonstrated her love for her family, friends, and the Troutman community through her volunteer efforts and unwavering support,” Young added. “She more than deserves the title of citizen of the year."
Charles “Chuck” Gallyon, a longtime parade organizer, booster of Troutman, and community contributor, also received the Citizen of the Year commendation.
Young said that Gallyon “is truly an example of one who strives to make Troutman and Iredell County better for all of us and has for many years and in many ways.”
Young praised him for serving as chairman of the Troutman Independence Parade committee for 15 years and the Christmas Parade committee for four years. “He invests many hours and months into planning our parades, starting long before the actual event to assure its success.”
Gallyon makes sure that Troutman “is represented in a positive and professional manner,” added Young, who also praised his collaboration and organizational skills to pull many people together to achieve their common goal.
Young also noted his service as an Iredell-Statesville Board of Education member since 2012 and his dedicated service to the Kiwanis Club. He also recognized his years as Iredell County fire marshal and his service in the U.S. Air Force, from which he retired as a 1st sergeant, and the Air National Guard after 35 years of service.
The father of four and grandfather of five “is certainly dedicated to the Town of Troutman and its citizens,” said Young.
After the presentation, Gallyon paid tribute to Neilson, who taught his children, and to the Town Hall staff, whom he calls his “Troutman Terrifics.”
Jean Land of Troutman Chair Company accepts the Organization of the Year Award on behalf of her company.
Jean Land, who owns Troutman Chair with husband Champ, accepted the award on behalf of Troutman Chair, a company which Young described as a “faithful, consistent partner in our community.”
The company has been the title sponsor of the Troutman Business Council’s Front Porch Fest for the past five years, investing over $6,000 in this specific event alone, according to Young, as well as time and other resources.
The company also hauls a truckload of rockers to each Party in the Park event for citizens to enjoy. “If you haven’t had a chance to sit in one of their chairs, you are missing an opportunity,” Young added.
“Personally and professionally, this organization and its owners continue to offer a great deal of support, encouragement, and community camaraderie for staff and the Town of Troutman.”
The company deserves the recognition for its “quality product, upstanding reputation, and community presence.”
Land said, “This is a first. This has been so much fun, not only to own Troutman Chair but to be involved in this community because everybody is so nice. There’s a lot of great things going on and so welcoming. We just totally think that y’all rock almost as good as we do!”
Recounting a recent trip to Asheville, council member Paul Henkel shared that he appreciated the comfort of one of the company’s chairs as his family shopped. Mayor Young also enjoys the Troutman rockers as he waits at the Charlotte airport on his frequent business trips.
NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT WEEK
The council also passed a proclamation recognizing National Peace Officer's Memorial Day during National Law Enforcement Week, which is May 12-18. This week honors the approximately 900,000 law enforcement officers who serve in communities across the United States.
More than 20,000 law enforcement officers in the United States have made the ultimate sacrifice and been killed in the line of duty since the first law enforcement officer death in 1791. The Peace Officers Memorial Day 2019 honors the 163 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty during 2018, with nine of those being officers in North Carolina.
The Iredell County National Police Week Memorial Service honoring fallen officers will be Wednesday, May 15, at 3 p.m. at the Mooresville Police Department.
So far in 2019, 39 law enforcement officers across the United States have the ultimate sacrifice, including Mooresville Police Officer Jordan Harris Sheldon who died on May 4 after being shot during a traffic stop.
Through the proclamation, the Troutman Town Council publicly salutes the service of law enforcement officers in the community and in communities across the nation. The council formally dedicated the proclamation in memory of Officer Sheldon.
Chief Selves commended the Troutman officers who have stepped up to help Mooresville out after the tragic loss of Officer Sheldon. He said the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office and departments from Statesville, Davidson, Huntersville, and Cornelius have also taken shifts.
The Cabarrus County sheriff is also sending 24 officers to the Race City Festival to allow Mooresville officers more time to grieve and recover from their loss.
“That’s what National Police Week is all about, agencies stepping up and supporting officers in a time of need,” said Selves.
Mayor Young thanks Police Chief Matthew Selves as he departs for a new position with the N.C. League of Municipalities.
CHIEF SELVES FAREWELL
Mayor Young, in honoring Selves, said that in his 12 years of service in Troutman, he has “done an outstanding job in the community and has been engaged in many activities.” The mayor also commended the work that Selves has done to keep the area’s schools and children safe.
Though Selves will be based in the Troutman area in his new position, “we’ll miss him at the helm, but he will not be far from us.”
One officer joked that he will look forward to supervising Selves when he comes back as a part-time reserve officer, which Selves promised to do to keep himself current with “boots on the ground” issues in law enforcement.
Town Manager Justin Longino said the staff will miss Selves. “I have enjoyed working with him as my first police chief in Troutman. You couldn’t ask for a better one. We’ll miss him around the office, his sense of humor. We’re glad he’ll still be around to work with us.”
Longino also warned Selves to show up on his last day on Friday to eat the cake they will have for him.
Selves’ daughter Elizabeth joked that being a “police daughter isn’t always easy -- long nights, lots of worrying, not to mention boys do not want to date you for some reason.”
“But it’s always been an honor, and I’ve been blessed to know that it's my own father protecting my school. I’m going to miss that. Thank you, Daddy. Thank you for being my hero and making us proud of you.”
Mayor Young presented Selves a plaque honoring his service to the town and community.
The J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Library Program Director also thanked Selves for fostering a great relationship between the library and the department, both in protection and volunteers for library activities.
Selves poses with daughter Eleanor, son Samuel, daughter Elizabeth, and wife Leigha after being honored by the Mayor and council.
PARKS AND RECREATION REPORT
Parks and Recreation Coordinator Emily Watson updated the council on ongoing and upcoming events.
The Farmers Market at ESC Park Pavilion (4 to 7 p.m.) and the Yoga in the Park (7:30 to 8:30 p.m.) got off to a successful start this past Tuesday and will continue through September 24. More vendors will join as their growing seasons progress.
Front Porch Fest is being finalized, with more than 90 vendors currently committed to sell their wares. The Saturday, May 18 event, running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature food, music, and fun for the whole family at its new location at the Iredell County Fairgrounds.
On Sunday, May 19, the Back the Blue 5K will start at 7 p.m. “Sadly, because of the situation in Mooresville, our numbers have grown. Prior to the shooting, we had 84 signed up. Now we have over 220 registered. Though it’s good to see the support of the event increase, the people rallying around this, it’s sad the reason why,” said Watson.
NEW PLANNING DIRECTOR
Longino introduced new planning director George Berger, who “hit the ground running” Thursday. The interim planning director, Katherine Hebert Godwin, will stay on until the end of the month to ease Berger’s transition in his new position. Berger has years of experience in a variety of planning settings.
“I have been warmly welcomed by staff today,” Berger said, “and I can see why you all have such a wonderful town, a wonderful community because of the ability the mayor and council have to work with the staff and the citizens.”
“Even in one day I can see how great of a place Troutman is. If you have any questions or have anything I can help with, just let me know,” he added.
The council also:
► Passed capital project fund ordinances to establish the Children’s Hope Alliance Sewer Extension Fund, the Richardson Greenway South Fund, and the Downtown Sidewalk Fund.
►Removed the proposed “Ban on Registered Sex Offender from Town Parks, Greenway Trails, and Recreation Facilities” from the agenda. The council wants to delay consideration until its June meeting to allow Town Attorney Gary Thomas more time to research the issue.