HIGH POINT — New High Point City Manager Tasha Logan Ford says service to residents will be the watchword of her administration.
Speaking to the media at her introductory press conference Thursday at City Hall, Logan Ford said local government is often the first place people turn for help even when their issue doesn’t fall under the city’s authority to resolve.
“Living out our values has to be more than just words,” she said. “It must be demonstrated in our deeds, from police to planning to parks to procurement. We must do the work to bring the goals to fruition, realizing the value of each individual, no matter which part of High Point they call home.”
Logan Ford, who started the job Monday, said she plans to spend her first few months learning the organization and the community, learning how city staff operate, meeting with City Council members, setting expectations and building relationships.
“I’m excited to be here and to give this community the best that I have,” she said.
One issue confronting the city is a surge in homicides, with 11 so far this year, after 12 in all of 2020.
One of the first meetings she attended on the job was Tuesday’s neighborhood response to the recent, unrelated killings of two children, one a 15-year-old and the other a 6-year-old.
“More than anything, what I’ve seen be successful is when you have community members involved and working collaboratively with the police department,” Logan Ford said. “There seems to be a foundation for that already in High Point. How do we think about crime, not just from committing the criminal act, but also providing some of the support from local agencies to make sure that there are some alternatives within the community.”
The High Point Police Department has a deficit of 26 sworn officers, and Logan Ford said she recently attended a new-hire orientation and saw that there are six police recruits going to Basic Law Enforcement Training.
“So it was an opportunity for me to meet them as they’re starting their journey with the city of High Point,” she said.
Logan Ford was an assistant city manager with Winston-Salem when she was hired by the council in May.
“I’m often asked about how it feels to be the first African American (and) the first woman to serve as the city manager of High Point,” she said. “First, I would have to say it’s by the grace of God and the strength that he gives me each day that I’m standing here on the shoulders of many pioneers before me.”
She credited her parents and other family members, including her maternal grandmother, who was widowed at a young age with seven children.
“My mother lost her father when she was 2 years old,” she said. “My mother also became a parent at a young age. But she continued with her education and instilled in me a love of reading and exploring. When there were things that she didn’t know, it wasn’t uncommon for us to go to the library and pick up a book or talk to someone in the neighborhood.”
She also credited “High Point pioneers,” for helping pave the way for her, citing by name Katharine Morgan Kirkman, who became the first woman council member in 1951, Judy Mendenhall, High Point’s first female mayor in 1985, Samuel Burford, the first Black council member in 1971 and Bernita Sims, the first Black woman elected to council and first Black mayor.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 336-888-3531