Troy Pollard played a huge role in the development of Mint Hill, while serving eight terms (16 years) as Mayor of Mint Hill. The real estate broker and professional consultant became mayor in November of 1975 and remained in that position until December of 1991. And after he left office, he was often a write-in candidate for mayor.
“It was an honor to serve the town as mayor,” he says with pride.
After growing up in Onslow County, he was transferred to Charlotte by C.D. Spangler Construction Company. While working for another construction company, he was invited to serve on the town’s Planning Board. In that role he made presentations to town officials, worked with local banks and the county government, and shared zoning information with citizens. After Mint Hill’s first mayor, Bobby Long, chose not to seek a second term, it appeared that no one was interested in taking his place.
“I went to the Board of Elections on the last filing day to find out who was running for office,” Pollard recalls. “As I approached the door, several people handed me a bunch five dollar bills to pay the filing fee for the office of mayor. No candidates had filed for that seat until a newcomer to the town threw his hat in the ring about five minutes before the deadline. That is when I decided to enter the race.”
Pollard won his first race hands-down, as well as seven successive races. Under his leadership, the new town moved forward at a rapid pace. Mint Hill developed the Park on Wilgrove (including its lighted ballfields and tennis courts), bought the first truck and hired two employees to take care of maintenance, built a maintenance shop, acquired land, and built the first town hall.
During the early years of the town many people living on the outskirts of Charlotte sought annexation by Mint Hill, so the town grew rapidly. Today Mint Hill remains one of the most sought-after places to live in North Carolina.
“I was interested in Mint Hill as a whole and doing what we needed to do as a town,” Pollard says. “We met in various locations in town before we acquired the land and built the town hall. After we had looked for land for a long time, Commissioner John McEwen made a surprise announcement at a meeting in 1982. He said that he and his wife Scottie wanted to donate land for the town hall, if the town would accept it. The town’s response was a unanimous Yes. The town later purchased 10 more adjoining acres.
“We discussed different designs for the new town hall and decided to make a contest of it,” Pollard continues. “We were very pleased with the UNCC design, because it was functional. Half of the building would house the administrative offices and half would be meeting space. It would be heated by solar panels on the roof of the second story. We put the model on display, advertised it on television, and asked for comments.
“We built the town hall on time and within budget for around $800,000, without raising taxes,” he adds. “It only took about ten years to pay off the government bonds. The use of solar power was a good idea, but it did not prove to be satisfactory and was eventually replaced. I never had any regrets about our decisions.”
In addition to serving as mayor of the growing town, Pollard chaired the Metropolitan Planning Organization for 12 years. In that capacity, he helped decide where the Outer Belt (I-485) would go and played a vital role in the town having four entrances to the road. He attended every ribbon-cutting for every section of the road. When the last link between I-85 and I-77 was completed, Pollard was the first person the drive the entire length of I-485 – a distance of 67 miles!
Under Mayor Pollard, the town’s first Land Use Plan was developed and modified several times. Issues such as neighborhood connectivity were determined. The size of residential lots in Mint Hill tended to be large because of the area required for wells and septic systems.
“We went by county zoning until we developed our own,” Pollard recalls. “Neighborhoods such as Farmwood and Tarawoods were being built at a time when most people wanted large lots. Some lots in those developments were an acre in size. but some were not. Farmwood had its own water system, which worked fine for a while.”
When Pollard was mayor, the town had an administrative form of government, with the mayor and the commissioners making decisions. That changed to the managerial model that is in place today, with the town manager overseeing day-to-day operations, the budget, and various departments.
In addition to the many hats Pollard wore as a town official, he has been involved in community organizations such as the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department and the Community Health Alliance. He has given 42 years of service to the MHVFD and chaired the organization for 15 of those years (1995-2010). Medical services have located to Mint Hill because of Pollard’s work with the Community Health Alliance.
“I believe it is one’s responsibility to aid someone who needs help, guidance, or a visit,” he concludes. “I have been thanked many times for my contributions, and I always appreciate the acknowledgements. We need to help each other when we can. Everyone has a niche which they need to find. Doing that brings happiness and satisfaction.”