‘Heartbeat of this town’: NC mayor praised by residents dies after decade of service

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Michael Alvarez, who served as mayor of the Union County town of Indian Trail for the past decade, has died, town officials said Wednesday.

“It is with heavy hearts that the Town of Indian Trail shares the passing of Mayor Michael Alvarez,” the town posted on Facebook, calling him a tireless public servant.

“Residents knew that Mayor Alvarez was only a phone call, email, or Facebook post away and would do whatever he could to help resolve an issue,” according to the post. “Whether it was fundraising for a cause, getting a pothole repaired, or delivering meals, he advocated for Indian Trail and its residents at every turn.”

Alvarez died of cancer Wednesday morning surrounded by his family, WSOC-TV reported.

The 52-year-old was in his third term.

Alvarez was a familiar presence at town events and supported local businesses, the Union County Sheriff’s Office, VFW, American Legion, the Boy Scouts and many other local organizations, officials said.

He started the Mayor’s Tree Education Initiative, in which he spoke to elementary school students about tree and environmental education, according to the town.

“And he was always willing to talk to students about local government and his duties as mayor,” officials said in the post.

“His goal was to work for the people and help solve problems in the community,” according to the post. “It is safe to say that throughout his decade as mayor, he accomplished those goals and more.

“Even during his toughest health battles, he never stopped working for the residents of Indian Trail,“ officials stated. “He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, and his loss will be felt by the entire community.”

Michael Alvarez, who served as mayor of the Union County town of Indian Trail for the past decade, has died, town officials said on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022.
Michael Alvarez, who served as mayor of the Union County town of Indian Trail for the past decade, has died, town officials said on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022.

Late mayor praised by residents

Condolences poured in on Facebook.

Calling Alvarez “the heartbeat of this town,” a couple suggested naming the library or town hall in his memory.

“He took his time to respond to me about an issue which no politician has ever done!” a woman wrote.

“He followed through and was a man of his word,” posted another woman. “The next mayor will have some huge shoes to fill.”

If someone can fill them, another woman wrote, calling Alvarez “irreplaceable.”

The town will post information about services for Alvarez when available.

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