10 to Watch: Salisbury’s new city manager

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 3, 2015

Salisbury City Council is currently searching for a new city manager, a process it last went through in 2012.

Doug Paris was hired in July 2012 to take over for longtime city manager David Treme. Paris was still in his 20s when he was handed the reins to the city.

But, less than two years later, he was out of a job in bizarre fashion. After a five-hour closed-session meeting in June with city council, Paris stepped down. The decision was called a “mutual” one between council and Paris, but a reason for his departure has yet to be given.

Council began its search for a new city manager in November, and stopped accepting applications in late December. Over 50 people applied for the job, according to Mayor Paul Woodson.

Currently, John Sofley is acting as interim city manager. He was assistant city manager under Paris and has applied for the permanent position.

Council members have repeatedly said they won’t rush the search and want to find the right person for the job. A final decision isn’t expected until March at the earliest.

The city has contracted with a search firm, Developmental Associates, to aid in the search. Once the initial set of applicants is sorted through, the ones chosen for further scrutiny will go through a series of testing conducted by the search firm.

Whoever is chosen as the new leader of the city will not only have to manage the more than 400 employees who work for the city but will also be tasked with promoting Fibrant, the city-owned broadband system.