Hemann declines Red Bank manager offer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 21, 2011

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Randy Hemann has pulled his name out of consideration for the top job in Red Bank, Tenn.
“I am honored to have been selected by unanimous vote for the position of city manager in Red Bank,” Hemann said in a statement. “After weeks of prayerful consideration, I have removed myself as a candidate for this position.”
Hemann said he enjoyed interviewing in Red Bank and meeting Mayor Monty Millard and the city commissioners.
“They were very kind to me during the process, and I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors,” he said.
Hemann had no further comment. Millard did not immediately return a phone call from the Post.
Hemann had negotiated a higher salary than the $75,000 Red Bank commissioners originally approved for the position. Based on a nonbinding poll of commissioners, Millard said Red Bank would come close to matching Hemann’s salary at Downtown Salisbury Inc.
Millard said Hemann told him he makes $87,000 in Salisbury.
Hemann has been executive director for Downtown Salisbury Inc. since 1997. The organization recently gave him a $12,000 raise.
Hemann was up against four other finalists, all from Red Bank. City commissioners voted unanimously to offer the job to Hemann, apparently hoping to bring new leadership and ideas to the town of 11,000.
Millard said commissioners were surprised Hemann was interested in managing Red Bank, which has had problems with vacant commercial buildings and housing code violations. Several former and current police department employees are suing the city.
The commissioners fired the previous city manager, who had served for six years, by a 3-2 vote.
Salisbury City Council member Brian Miller, who serves as the liaison to Hemann’s board of directors and has worked with him since 1999, said Hemann is a man of integrity and character who has done wonderful things for Salisbury.
“It would be a tremendous loss for Salisbury if he makes a decision to take a position elsewhere,” Miller said when Hemann was considering the job.
Hemann, who’s never been a city manager, previously told the Post he wanted to expand the work he’s done for Downtown Salisbury and apply the same initiatives to an entire city.
“He has a skill set that translates beautifully to economic development,” said Mark Lewis, vice president of the downtown board of directors.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.