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The Daily Tar Heel

Carrboro looks for new town manager


Carrboro government officials hope to have a new town manager by the end of the year.

Former Carrboro Town Manager Steve Stewart retired Aug. 1 after holding the position for 8 years — prompting the search for a replacement.

Stewart announced in April he was retiring, and the Board of Aldermen soon began to solicit proposals from various consulting firms, member Lydia Lavelle said.

The board looked at proposals from Springsted Inc., Developmental Associates LLC, The Mercer Group Inc. and Slavin Management Consultants.

The Board ultimately hired Springsted to assist them with the search for a new town manager, a process that is expected to cost $19,500.

“Just the way (Springsted) laid out how the process was going to be demonstrated clearly to us that they understood how Carrboro sees itself and what Carrboro values,” Alderman Randee Haven-O’Donnell said.

Former Assistant Town Manager Matt Efird was appointed by the board to serve as the town’s interim town manager during the search.
The role of the town manager is to implement the policies of the mayor and Board of Aldermen and communicate them to Carborro residents, Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton said.

“In reality what that means is supervising the town’s work on a day-to-day basis,” Chilton said.

“Everything from the trash that didn’t get picked up to planning the capital improvement program, developing budgets, agendas for board meetings, etc.,” he said.

“There is a lot that goes into it.”

Springsted recently interviewed the members of the board and is now meeting with department heads and other key staff members.

The company is looking to develop a profile of Carborro and to define the needs its future town manager would need to address, Chilton said.

Once a profile is developed, the next step will be to advertise the position to prospective applicants.

Once Springsted chooses a group of people it will present the group of candidates to the board. The aldermen will then narrow the group down to a smaller number and pick one, Chilton said.

“Carborro is an unusual community and it will be important to find somebody who understands our community,” he said.

Both Haven-O’Donnell and Lavelle agreed that the new town manager has to be fiscally savvy, since the new manager will have to deal with persistent budget issues.

And they said the person will have a tall order to follow.
“Our prior town manager in my view had all the qualities we are looking for,” Lavelle said.

“Very organized, very responsive to our concerns, very responsive to community concerns, knew how to keep the budget very tight and knew how to make the most of what we had.”

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