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Heidrick declines filling county manager vacancy; applications to be taken until July 31

Commissioners agreed Monday to immediately start advertising for candidates for the upcoming county manager vacancy following Rowan County Finance Director Leslie Heidrick’s decision to stay where she is.

When Rowan County Manager Gary Page announced to commissioners about a year ago his plans to retire, he recommended the board move Heidrick up to assistant manager over administration.

“The commissioners said OK. In the spring, I told them my last day would probably be Aug. 30,” Page said. “The idea was, there would be continuity when I retire (with Heidrick assuming the role).”

Heidrick declined the offer from commissioners to step into the county manager’s position following Page’s retirement, necessitating commissioners begin the process of finding Page’s successor.

“I really enjoy my current position with its mix of assistant county manager and finance duties,” Heidrick said. “I am also in the early stages of two major projects — a software conversion and an update to the capital improvement plan. I’d like to remain an integral part of each.”

Having worked in Rowan County for almost 17 years, Heidrick said she will serve as interim county manager if needed during the process.

Page said Heidrick has done so in the past.

The county will be taking applications for the position through July 31, Page said.

“It’s about six weeks. Commissioners will get all the applications, and human resources will go through them and nail them down to the top 10,” Page said.

Commissioners then will choose to interview a few select candidates in order to cut the pool down further.

“If commissioners go through the whole thing and don’t find anybody they like, they start over,” Page said. “They could start looking at (the candidates) Aug. 1 and might have someone picked by the end of August.”

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