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Graham Corriher

Title: City Attorney

Municipality: City of Salisbury

Position Interested In: Attorney At-Large

Tell us why you would like to serve in a leadership position at the League. In particular, specify goals you would like to accomplish as an officer or board member and indicate how, if attained, they will help to achieve Vision 2030 – the League’s future vision of how cities and towns will operate in 2030.

My goal for serving on the board is to realistically identify problems that can be solved and to solve them. And, as a corollary, to identify what other governments, organizations, people, resources, or powers we need to solve those problems. The League has an operating principle of “productive partnerships with counties, other governments, and the private sector.” That captures Salisbury’s focus and experience for the last several years. Salisbury has successfully managed to work through local issues with the county and with neighboring municipalities to achieve orderly growth in a time of increasing urbanization. Salisbury also has a rich history of partnering with the private sector to solve problems where Salisbury either does not have the resources or the powers to solve.

Tell us about your experience as a municipal official. You may want to include information on your service on the municipal governing body, other related boards and special areas of interest.

Except for a few years in the 1980s, Salisbury has relied on contract attorneys for its legal needs. In 2018, I was hired to (re-)establish the Salisbury city attorney’s office, becoming the first in-house attorney in over 30 years. During my tenure as city attorney, I have advised all 15 of our city departments (including a water/sewer utility and the police department). While the scale of the issues facing Salisbury (and other smaller NC towns) may be different than other larger urban municipalities, the complexity is the same. During my tenure, I have relied tremendously on the advice of my colleagues throughout the state but have also become a trusted advisor to them.

Tell us about your educational background, professional experience, and/or community or civic activities. 

I attended public elementary, middle, and high school in Rowan County. I have a bachelor's degree in history from NC State University and a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. 

Prior to being Salisbury's city attorney, I spent six years in private practice in both Raleigh and Salisbury. My work in private practice included being town attorney for Granite Quarry and specialty counsel for local school districts throughout North Carolina. Prior to law school, I taught high school social studies at North Rowan High School. 

My civic service includes being a member of the board of directors for F&M Bank, for the Rowan County United Way, and for the NC Association of Municipal Attorneys. I have previously served on the board of directors for the Rowan Museum and the Salisbury Rotary Club. 

In 2023, I completed the Lee Institutes’ American Leadership Forum, a year-long course for leaders in the Charlotte region.

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Have You Participated in Any NCLM Events or Committees? 

  • Town & State Dinner or Town Hall Days

  • Affiliate Organizations: NCAMA Board of Directors

Please provide any other information you would like the Nominations Committee to consider.

Thank you for considering my application. The only thing I would add is that the other nominee presented by the NCAMA, Emanuel McGirt, is a smart and skilled attorney, a great leader, a trusted colleague and advisor, and a friend. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Emanuel during my years of membership in the NCAMA. Regardless of who is selected, you will not make a wrong choice. Thank you, again, for your consideration.

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