Mint Hill Remembers Eight-Term Mayor and Community Champion Troy Pollard

Troy Pollard with Joy Greear in 2015, taken as they were moving dirt to prepare the land for the roads and the footings for the hospital.
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MINT HILL, NC – On Saturday, January 16, Troy Pollard passed away at the age of 86.

Pollard is remembered fondly by the town of Mint Hill as an eight-term mayor who played a huge role in shaping the town as we know it today.  When Mint Hill’s first mayor, Bobby Long, decided not to seek a second term in 1975, Pollard found himself at the Board of Elections on the last filing day wondering who was running for office.  Spurred on by citizens standing by the door handing him $5 bills to pay the filing fee, Pollard decided to enter the race.

Facing only a newcomer who threw his hat in the ring five minutes before the deadline, Pollard won the race in a landslide, and he would go on to win seven subsequent elections.  With Pollard at the helm, Mint Hill grew rapidly.  Under his leadership, Mint Hill developed the Park on Wilgrove and built the town’s first Town Hall, now occupied by Mint Hill’s police force.

Troy Pollard with Governor McCrory
Troy Pollard with Governor McCrory

As chair of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, he helped decide where I-485 would be situated and was a vital part of obtaining the town’s four entrances to the beltway.  Moreover, he helped create the Town’s first Land Use Plan, making a long-term impact on things like residential lot size and neighborhood connectivity.  Mint Hill’s large lots and easy access to I-485 continue to make it a desirable location for homebuyers who want a small town, rural feel with easy access to uptown.

Pollard’s impact on Mint Hill stretched well beyond his eight terms as mayor.   Pollard directly impacted countless lives with his decades of service to the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Ambulance Services.  One of those lives is Jeremy Russell.  When Russell was impaled by a commercial eggbeater in 1984, it was Pollard who arrived in the ambulance to provide assistance.  Five years later, when Russell’s father summoned an ambulance for chest pain, it was again Pollard who arrived in the company of Chief Paul Campbell.

Russell’s father passed away that night, but his decades-long friendship with Pollard was just beginning.  Russell would go on to work with Pollard in different capacities over the next 21 years with the Town and the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department.  Today, Russell remembers Pollard as a mentor, a father figure, and above all, a true friend.

“The countless emergency calls that he answered within the Mint Hill community and Mecklenburg County have probably touched the lives of more people than can be imagined,” says Russell.  “For a long period of time, his EMS duty night was Friday night.  Why Friday? Because no one else wanted to volunteer their entire Friday night, week after week. He would also leave his office, day-in, and day-out to come to drive a fire truck to a call, leaving whatever was at hand on the desk when he knew someone was in need.” 

Pollard was also instrumental in bringing a hospital to Mint Hill.  “He went to all the community events we hosted and traveled to the state capital during the certificate of need process to say how important it was to have a hospital close to home,” says Roland Bibeau, former President and COO of Matthews Medical Center.  “He continued to support not only the Mint Hill’s hospital but also to be a big partner of mine for the Matthews Medical Center.  When he saw something we were striving for, whether it was the Women’s Center or expanding the fifth floor, Troy was always there to lend his voice.”

Like Russell, Bibeau not only remembers Pollard as a colleague but also as a true friend who wasn’t afraid of a healthy debate.  “One thing I always admired about him was he always had that calmness to him,” says Bibeau.  “I always called it the ‘words of wisdom.’  In the world we live in now, folks aren’t always prepared to hear wisdom, but he did it in such a gentlemanly way.  I really just treasure my time with him.”

Troy Pollard with Sue Myrick
Troy Pollard with Sue Myrick

Even when he wasn’t officially serving the community, Troy remained a passionate supporter of others who wished to serve their community.  “One of the main reasons I ran for public office was to emulate many of the things Troy showed and taught me over the past 30 years,” says Russell, who is a member of the Village of Lake Park Town Council.  “I ran unsuccessfully in 2017 and was successful in 2019.  Troy was a substantial influence in my decision to pursue public office.”

I met Troy many years ago at Penny’s Place,” recalls Mayor Pro-tem Dale Dalton.  “I never had any personal dealings with Troy other than attending the Fire Department Board Meetings.  However, when I decided to run for Commissioner in 2012, I asked Troy what he thought,” continues Dalton.  “Troy advised me to run and supported me all the way.  Over the years, Troy and I spoke many times, and he was always interested in what was going on in town from my perspective.  I will miss him!”

It’s a sentiment shared by the many people fortunate to call Pollard a friend.  “Troy Dwight Pollard was a fine man, a great and faithful servant, a superb mentor, and a wonderful leader,” says Russell.  “ I will miss our calls and our visits and our dinners. I will hold close to my heart all the memories from the last 30 years. and I have great comfort that Troy will forever rest in peace.”

“First of all, he was a Godly man,” says Bibeau.  “Second of all, he was a family man. Third of all, he was a community champion.  Didn’t matter what he was championing: you knew if Troy was involved, it was definitely a need for the community, and he was going to do everything he could to support it.”

And it’s exactly how Troy himself would like to be remembered.  “I believe it is one’s responsibility to aid someone who needs help, guidance, or a visit,” he stated in a 2017 Mint Hill Times article by Carol Timblin. “I have been thanked many times for my contributions, and I always appreciate the acknowledgments. We need to help each other when we can. Everyone has a niche which they need to find. Doing that brings happiness and satisfaction.”

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: