Spencer town manager resigning in November
SPENCER — Spencer Town Manager Larry Smith, who has served with the town since March 2000 and as town manager since May 2005, will be resigning his post effective Nov. 30.
Smith informed town board members individually on Sept, 25 to allow them time to consider transition options before formally discussing it at the regularly scheduled Oct. 13 board meeting.
“Although we have been able to successfully accomplish a lot of our projects and goals this year, we still have a fairly hefty agenda to go. Giving sincere consideration to the remaining deadlines of some of our major projects and initiatives, I feel confident that this extended notice should allow enough time to complete those pressing items, keep all key projects moving forward and allow for a smooth and orderly transition period,” Smith said in a statement.
Mayor Jody Everhart said that Smith’s dedication, leadership and management abilities have been greatly appreciated by each of the different boards of aldermen under which Smith has served.
“You’re always going to have different personalities and points of view on a town board. Larry has always tried to respect the politics, help us determine consensus on the direction that the board wants to go and then accomplish a list of goals that has sometimes been overly ambitious. I don’t think a lot of people realize how much extra personal time and effort Larry put into this job,” Everhart said.
After completing his undergraduate degree at N.C. State University, Smith joined the United States Marine Corps. He received his honorable discharge from reserve status in January of 2000.
Spencer Police Chief Mike James recalled Smith’s reference to the principles of “mission accomplishment and troop welfare” as encouragement to the management team on several occasions when workload was particularly heavy.
“Accomplishing the goal was going to happen, but he always makes sure we keep our employees’ welfare in mind as well,” James said. “If we didn’t have the resources, he’d either find them, do it himself, or come up with an alternate solution.”
He added that Smith has always supported staff and been careful not to micromanage the departments, encouraging department heads to find the best solutions based on their expertise.
“It has truly been an honor to serve the Town of Spencer these past 15 and a half years,” Smith said in the statement. “I am very grateful for the immense support I have received from the respective boards of aldermen, citizens and employees during my time here. We’ve accomplished some amazing things, some of which are still the model and envy of many of our professional peers.”
Everhart said Smith leaves behind quite a legacy.
“He worked hard with Davidson County’s Tourism Director William Deal to help develop plans to tie Spencer and Rowan County in with the Wil-Cox Bridge development, which will be a huge impact to our economy and tourism opportunities. He helped bring the Carolina Thread Trail back to life in Rowan County and got us the DOT Bicycle and Pedestrian planning grant as strategies to boost the economy and enhance quality of life for our residents. He got us into the Small Town Main Street Program, and our downtown did more than a million dollars in improvements last year. He’s continued to partner with the LandTrust and has helped develop our Stanback Forest, ‘Spencer Woods,’ project well beyond our expectations. Plus, he’s continued helping us develop residential and housing strategies to continue improving our neighborhoods. And that’s just a few things I can think of off hand.”
Smith says he is proud to be leaving the town in excellent financial shape, with efficient operations, and capable staff who “know the town intimately and are well trained to help keep operations flowing smoothly during the transition.”
Smith said that the board’s leadership and the strategic plans the town has developed will help to continue ensuring Spencer’s success and sound fiscal management well into the future.
The Board of Aldermen will formally discuss how it wishes to proceed with the transition process at its next regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 13.
Everhart said the board will publicly announce any details of the hiring process for a new town manager as the details are decided.
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