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Commissioners to offer county manager job

The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Monday decided on a candidate to offer the county manager position being vacated at the end of this week.
Commissioners Chairman Jim Sides declined to name the candidate, saying he would first ask that person if he was interested in the job. Sides said the board, if its finalist accepts the job, could approve a new county manager at its regularly scheduled Sept. 2 meeting, at the earliest.
He said the board wouldn’t call a special session to hold a vote.
“We have one that we will be talking to about the job to see if he’s interested,” Sides said. “Until that happens, we won’t vote in open session to hire anybody or announce who that is.”
The commissioners met at 4 p.m. to discuss finalists for the county manager position. Chairman Jim Sides said 13 candidates applied for the position. Sides said commissioners considered four finalists during its Monday meeting, narrowing the field to one.
The meeting went into executive session seconds after 4 p.m. The commission reconvened at 4:49 p.m. and immediately adjourned.
Current county manager Gary Page is retiring. His last day is Friday.
Sides said the ideal start date for the new county manager would be Oct. 1. The reasoning for the date is to give the finalist time to tender a three- or four-week notice, Sides said. He said all of the candidates considered were currently employed. He declined to say where they are from.
The manager search began in June following county Assistant County Manager Leslie Heidrick’s decision to decline the job. The commissioners first offered Heidrick, also the county’s finance director, the job before soliciting applications.
Before Monday’s meeting, Page said he turned in retirement paperwork on May 5, shortly before party primaries. Though he originally planned to turn in retirement paperwork in 2013.
“In about September of last year, I planned to tell the board that I was retiring,” Page said. “Then there was the effort to buy the mall and the mediation with the schools.”
When he retires Page will end just over six years as the Rowan County manager. He started his current job in 2008 after spending time as an administrator for several smaller municipalities and counties in both North and South Carolina.
According to the county website, Page’s salary is $137,838 per year.
Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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