Kannapolis operates using the council-manager form of government, the City Council acts as the legislative body in establishing policy and the City Manager handles the day-today implementation of these policies and the management of the City organization. The City Council appoints the professional City Manager, who also serves as the Council’s chief advisor, and the City Manager oversees the employees of the City.
Administration includes the City Manager, Deputy City Manager, City Clerk, City Attorney, Communications Director, General Services Director, and an Executive Administrative Assistant.
Mike Legg serves as the City Manager for Kannapolis, a position he has held since 2004. Prior to 2004 he was Deputy City Manager for a number of years. Mike is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His professional career since 1989 has included employment with the City of Charlotte NC, the City of Cape Coral, Florida, the Western Piedmont Council of Governments in Hickory NC, Vice President of Benchmark, Inc. in Kannapolis through which Mike served as the City’s Planning Director for several years. He has worked in various capacities for the City of Kannapolis since 1995. He has been involved in dramatic change in Kannapolis over the past decade with the transformation of the community from a textile based economy to a regional economy with expanding roots in biotechnology and tourism.
Community Involvement and Affiliations:
- International City and County Managers Association (ICMA)
- NC City and County Manager’s Association (NCCCMA)
- Vice Chair, Water and Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County (WSACC)
- Kannapolis Rotary Club (President in 2015-16)
- Board of Directors, Kannapolis Education Foundation
- Board of Directors, Foundation for the Carolinas - Cabarrus
- Board of Directors, Cabarrus Arts Council (past)
- Board of Directors, United Way of Cabarrus (past)
Deputy City Manager
Eddie Smith has 21 years of NC local government management experience, serving the last 15 years as the Deputy City Manager. He has direct responsibility for Human Resources, Police, Fire and the two Assistant City Managers.
His leadership roles include being a Past-President of Kannapolis Rotary Club and Sponsorship Chairperson for the NC City & County Managers Association; he also contributes his time as a member of various community board’s including - Cabarrus Area Crime Stoppers, Cannon Memorial YMCA, Cabarrus Academic Learning Center, and Upward Basketball. Eddie holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master’s in Public Administration, both from Appalachian State University, as well as a certificate for participation in the NC Municipal Administration Course and Public Executive Leadership Academy, both through UNC-Chapel Hill.
Assistant City Managers
Eric Davis began working for Kannapolis in 2010 as the Director of Finance. He was named Assistant City Manager in 2020. A graduate of Appalachian State University he holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration. His previous positions include serving as the Town Manager of Mount Holly, China Grove, Seven Devils, and Sawmills.
The departments of Information Technology, Finance, General Services and Parks and Recreation are under his supervision.
Wilmer Melton joined the City in 2001 as the City’s first Water and Sewer Utilities Director. He was named Assistant City Manager in 2020. His experience includes leading the master plans for water and wastewater, renovation of the water treatment plant and obtainment of the Interbasin Transfer. He has a bachelor’s degree in construction management from North Carolina A&T State University.
The departments of engineering, water, transportation, planning and environmental services are under the direction of Melton.
Assistant to the City Manager
Kristin Jones is the Assistant to the City Manager. She was previously, employed by Cabarrus County as the Budget Performance Manager and the City of Kannapolis as a Budget and Management Analyst. Kristin graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration.
Walter (Wally) Safrit, II serves in the capacity as City Attorney. A graduate of Erskine College with a bachelor of arts in history and government, Wally earned his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. After practicing law in Charleston, S.C. for three years, he returned to his childhood home of Kannapolis where he joined the firm of Carlyle Rutledge. He has served as the city's attorney for 30 years. A member of the Cabarrus County Bar he is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Wally is active in many community groups including the Kannapolis Education Foundation Board, Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Board, Kannapolis Rotary Board, Cannon Memorial YMCA Corporate Board and the He's Alive Church Board of Directors.
Bridgette Bell has served as the City Clerk since 1987. One of the primary responsibilities of the City Clerk's Office is to maintain and preserve the permanent and legal records of the City, which includes all minutes of Council meetings, ordinances, resolutions, proclamations, contracts, maintaining the city codes, procedures and policies, and all other documents required by law. The City Clerk attends Council meetings, transcribes minutes of the meetings and prepares them for the permanent records. The City Clerk also performs City related administrative support for the City Manager, Mayor and City Council.
Through the NC Association of Municipal Clerks Program, Bridgette attained her designation as Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) and in 2010 was awarded by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks’ (IIMC) the designation of Master Municipal Clerk (MMC). She is a member of the IIMC as well as the NCAMC, having served on the NCAMC Board of Directors, representing District 8 and served on the Site Selection and Membership Committees.