Carrie Spear had never been on any board or commission in Charlotte but this year she decided to throw her hat in the ring for Selectboard. On Town Meeting Day, Spear, best known as owner of Spear’s Corner Store and organizer of the annual East Charlotte tractor parade, defeated incumbent Charles Russell 608 to 523 to win a three-year seat.
“It was the right time of my life,” said Spear of her decision to run. “I felt like everything was in place to do it. People have been asking me to run for years but this year I felt like it was the right time.” Spear insists she has no set agenda for her term. “As we sit down at the first meeting we’ll talk about who wants to do what and I’ll do whatever makes sense,” she said. “I just want to see things calm down and move forward.”
Spear moved to Charlotte 22 years ago and is amused that the history of the town is filled with settlers from Duchess County, N.Y. which is where she was born. Spear has spent her life in retail sales and “people service” and was happy to purchase Spear’s Corner Store with her husband 14 years ago. “The store just called to me,” she said. “I had been looking for a different career and the store was for sale.” Fourteen years at the helm has not dimmed Spear’s ardor for the business. “I still love it,” she said. “I love working in the town I live in. I love watching the local children grow.”
Spear is probably best known for the East Charlotte Tractor Parade, an annual event which will celebrate its fifteenth year this October. “We bought the store in April and in May a beautiful rusty old tractor came by and I suggested having a parade,” she said of the celebration which has grown over the years and is one of the most popular fall events in the county. One of the reasons Spear wanted the parade was to celebrate the history of Baptist Corners where her store is located. Locals were afraid that with the advent of E-911, that name would get lost and Spear was determined that would not happen on her watch.
“I’m looking forward to serving on the Selectboard,” said Spear. “I have a lot to learn but I also have a lot to give.” Spear is happy to be serving on what she believes will be a diverse municipal body. “We’re all different and we’re at different stages in our lives,” she said. Spear’s husband’s family has been involved in town government for years and she wants to continue the family tradition of service. “If I end up doing a good job I’d hope that I’m setting a tone for the younger couples in town,” she said. There is one thing that Spear is certain she’ll be doing as a member of the Selectboard. “I think I’ll smile when you come into the meeting,” she said. “I won’t frown at people.”