Salem City Council appoints replacement for Lisa Garst


SALEM (WSLS 10) – Salem City Council Monday night unanimously voted to appoint James L. Chisom as Salem’s newest council member.

Chisom will fill the position vacated by Lisa Garst and serve out the remainder of her term, which expires on June 30, 2016.

Mayor Randy Foley and his fellow Council members considered a number of candidates before selecting Chisom during the closed session portion of tonight’s meeting. The subsequent vote for his appointment was unanimous.

“It was an honor to serve with Lisa and we all appreciate her service to the city,” said Foley. “We believe that Mr. Chisom will serve the city as an outstanding councilman in the next six months, and there’s no doubt that his previous experience on the Salem School Board and ties to his hometown will be tremendous assets.”

Chisom was born and raised in Salem and is a graduate of both Salem High School and Roanoke College. He graduated cum laude from Roanoke College in 1984 with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting. He is currently employed as a Senior Vice-President for Investments, Financial Advisor with Wells Fargo in Roanoke.
From 2000 to 2008 he served three terms on the Salem City School Board. He also is active in a number of civic organizations including the Salem and Roanoke YMCAs, the Roanoke Valley Booster Club and he a member of the President’s Advisory Board at Roanoke College.

“I have deep Salem roots and I care deeply about my hometown,” said Chisom. “Giving back is very important to me and I not only want to set an example for others, but for my three sons. I am flattered and honored to have been chosen for this position.”

Chisom, who resides in Salem with his wife, Kathy, and their three sons, is expected to be sworn-in and in attendance at the next Salem City Council meeting on January 11, 2016.
Before tonight’s meeting, Garst was given a key to the city by her fellow members on Council. She was first elected to the city’s governing body in 2008 and served seven years with her tenure officially coming to an end tonight. She will take over as the Director of Livable Roanoke Valley on January 4, 2016.

“I have every confidence that Mr. Chisom will do a great job for the citizens of Salem,” said Garst. “It was a privilege to serve on Council and I look forward to working with all of the members in a different capacity in the future.”

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