Monroe to hire firm to find interim manager

Dec. 12, 2013 @ 05:08 PM

The Monroe City Council voted Wednesday to form a committee to hire an interim city manager and bring in an interim manager in North Carolina while they searched for a permanent manager. Also, to select a hiring firm that they felt could hire someone from North Carolina.

Council member Billy Jordan made the motion and Council member Lynn Keziah seconded it. The motion passed 6-2, with Mayor Bobby Kilgore and Council member Freddie Gordon voting against. 

The committee consists of Kilgore, Mayor Pro Tem Dottie Nash and Councilwoman Surluta Anthony.

Kilgore said before the vote that employees were named interim manager in the past and they have staff members now who are capable of doing the job. 

"I see no point in going out of this city" to hire an interim city manager, Kilgore said. "I see no reason to bring someone in here."

Kilgore said he opposed spending more money to bring in someone who would not know the city, the staff or where the bathrooms are in city hall.

"I see no reason to spend more to hire a search firm to find an interim city manager and then turn around and spend more money for another search firm to bring in a full-time city manager when, as I stated earlier, the city already has capable staff," Kilgore said.

"We've got qualified people," Kilgore said. 

It is not about a "personality test," but about moving the city forward, he said.

Assistant City Manager Greg Demko served as the interim city manager for almost a year after the resignation of Wayne Herron and prior to the hiring of John D'Agostino. 

Council member Debra Duncan said both the assistant city managers do "an outstanding job" but they need to move forward and need to move forward together. 

Kilgore said they need to move forward, but his speech still stands. 

Jordan said later that he thinks they need someone who has been a city manager in North Carolina who can help with a new budget and setting the foundation to move forward. 

The city has qualified people, but needs someone with a city manager background who knows what they need to do to receive help from the state General Assembly, particularly with the short session approaching, or the federal government, Jordan said.

"We have great people who are good at what they do," he said. 

He said he hopes the committee will work quickly to find an interim manager and in the mean time City Hall will run as it has in the past, with staff members handling the daily business. 

"If I thought that we would be in jeopardy" without a figure-head, we would not have taken this route, Jordan said.