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The Daily Tar Heel

Carrboro hires Marie Parker as new assistant town manager after national search

Carrboro Town Hall stands tall on Monday, March 27, 2023.

Marie Parker, the executive director of Wave Transit, has been selected as Carrboro’s new assistant town manager.

Parker is set to start on June 5. She will work alongside Town Manager Richard J. White III and Chief Race and Equity Officer Anita Jones-McNair in the Carrboro Town Manager’s Office.

Parker, a graduate of N.C. State University, has over 23 years of experience in the public sector. Most of her experience is in public transportation, as she was a general manager at GoRaleigh prior to moving to her current position as executive director at Wave Transit, the Cape Fear region's public transport authority.

She is a member of the International City/County Management Association and received training in local government management from the UNC School of Government.

Her experience in these positions includes finance, operations, project management, budgeting, public engagement and planning. She also works regularly with local municipal and county government leadership. 

She said these skills will be transferable to her role as assistant town manager, where she will be expected to manage capital projects, budget development and staff support for Carrboro.

“It's such a progressive, forward-thinking town and has such a great vibe," Parker said. "Glad to be a part of it, and hoping that I can be a great facilitator of the progress that's happening. I just want to be the most effective, dynamic, impactful leader as possible and just become an integral part of the team that’s already there."

White said the national search for candidates resulted in over 100 applications. He said the pool was narrowed by a sequence of three panels — one with the town manager, one with Town department directors and one with regional deputy and assistant town managers.

Parker said the process was rigorous, but that she was able to meet leaders from both Carrboro and other communities.

She will oversee the Departments of Planning, Zoning, and Inspections; Housing and Community Services; Economic Development and Public Works.

“She’s bringing a number of transferable skills that go beyond transit, in terms of managing staff and operations, human resources, staff development, planning, budgeting, project management,” White said. “All of those skill sets will be very valuable to the Town.”

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils said in a tweet that Parker’s hiring is beneficial to Carrboro’s effort to implement the Carrboro Connects comprehensive plan.

The Carrboro Town Council adopted the plan — its first comprehensive plan in over 20 years — in June 2022. It details growth and development initiatives to be implemented in Carrboro through 2042. These initiatives helped to inspire projects such as race and equity commissions, the Community Climate Action Plan and expanded public transportation and affordable housing.

White said Parker will be directly responsible for the implementation of the comprehensive plan.

Carrboro Mayor Pro Tem Susan Romaine said the Town Council approved a strategic plan in January, which prioritizes some of the initiatives in the comprehensive plan to implement in the next 12 to 18 months. 

She also said she is excited for Parker to start her work with the Town.

“She brings with her extensive experience that will be very relevant to some of the same things that we are doing here in Carrboro,” Romaine said. “She has a proven track record as a leader. And she's coming in at just the right time, as Council looks to implement our comprehensive plan and, specifically, the strategic plan.”


@DTHCityState | 

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