Monroe names interim city manager
Monroe City Council voted unanimously to name Robert Hites, Jr. as interim city manager. He will begin Jan. 6.
Assistant City Manager Greg Demko will serve as acting city manager until Jan. 6, in order to sign contracts and conduct city manager business.
Mayor Pro Tem Dottie Nash said after the vote that Demko did "an excellent" job as interim city manager between Wayne Herron and John D'Agostino, but she felt Demko was more valuable as a finance manager and needs to focus on the budget.
Hites, 61, retired last year after serving as the Statesville city manager for 15 years. He also served as city manager in Lumberton, Southport and Pittsboro.
He will be the third acting city manager this year, but Hites said that does not give him any pause.
"I think every city manager has his own relationship (with council)," Hites said. He said he thinks of it as a marriage and that the slate is wiped clean with each new manager.
He has not read the relationship study released earlier this year conducted by Parker Poe and said unless council wants him to he most likely will not.
He said in the past he has always started with a fresh start and hopes the council would see him as a fresh set of eyes.
Hites has done some preliminary research on budgets and financing and hopes to hit the ground running in January.
The council did not use a search firm or additional money to hire the city manager. They will use a firm to hire the permanent manager.
See more in the Friday paper.