ALBEMARLE — The City of Albemarle’s mayor, Ronnie Michael, was honored by the N.C. Department of Commerce as a 2021 North Carolina Main Street Champion.
“I’m humbled to receive this award,” said Michael in the mid-March announcement. “I’ve lived here my entire life and it brings me great joy to work on behalf of our City every day. It’s personally gratifying to see the development happening in our downtown area. Our downtown and the entire City of Albemarle has a bright future ahead of it. Everything we do is due to the great volunteers and city employees that make this award possible.”
The N.C. Department of Commerce and its N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center give out “N.C. Main Street” awards each year. They base the awards on whether nominees are pursuing the “four points of Main Street Approach to downtown revitalization,” which are economic vitality, design, promotion and organization.
“Main Street Champions are the key to success in downtown revitalization,” said Liz Parham, director of the N.C. Main Street and Rural Planning Center, in the press release. “They possess courage to move downtown forward; they fight for positive change and do that with creativity and innovation; and they actively get things done, while staying focused on the downtown’s economic development strategies.”
The release pointed towards Michael’s three decades of service in Albemarle, including as police chief, on the city council and then as mayor since 2013. They also noted that in 2013 he became a board member on the Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation and “has worked diligently behind the scenes to cultivate the continued downtown development happening now in Albemarle.”
“On behalf of my fellow members of City Council I want to congratulate our colleague, Mayor Ronnie Michael, on this well-deserved award,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Sue Hall. “We’re grateful for Ronnie’s years of dedication to our City going back to his time with the Albemarle Police Department. This council looks forward to continuing its work with Ronnie on finding ways to help our City grow and develop and improve the future for its residents.”