For now, Granite Quarry puts off search for new town manager

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 9, 2019

GRANITE QUARRY — Should Granite Quarry look at the town charter and consider changing its manager-council form of government?

“Even discussing it is a mistake,” Alderman Jim Costantino said Monday night.

And aldermen generally wondered how the topic even made it onto the board’s agenda under “old business.”

“I don’t even know where this is coming from,” Alderman John Linker said.

Suffice it to say that if it came up in previous meetings or retreats, the town board dropped it like a hot potato Monday night.

Linker said to move to any other kind of government in Granite Quarry would be slowing down and moving backward.

With the demands of growth the town is having, a manager-council form of government is the best to take it on, Linker added.

With that matter quickly put behind them, the aldermen confronted more old business Monday — the search for a new town manager.

Interim Town Manager Larry Smith’s contract runs out Aug. 6. Smith offered aldermen a draft schedule for recruitment of a new town manager. It called for starting the process July 15 and completing it between Oct. 7-10.

Smith said the staff also recommended hiring Centralina Council of Governments, to which Granite Quarry belongs, as the agency to conduct a search, “because they are the most economical and would be more suitable for a town our size.”

The council’s price would be $6,000 to help in the search. Other estimates from five firms ranged from $15,065 to $26,500.

Mayor Bill Feather said the board had delayed several times starting the process for hiring a town manager. “We have to do something sooner or later,” he said.

Linker said he couldn’t see spending a lot of money for a search firm when the town hasn’t even reached the end of Smith’s interim contract.

Linker said hiring a new town manager will be “one of the biggest, most critical decisions” the town board will make. He asked whether the town should wait until a new board is in place after the November municipal election.

Alderman Kim Cress moved to table discussion about a search until the board’s Aug. 5 meeting, which he noted would still come before Smith’s interim contract expired.

Later Monday, the aldermen went into closed session to conduct performance reviews for the interim town manager and town clerk.

The board also planned to discuss in executive session a purchase offer for town-owned property at 316 S. Main St. and a leasing offer for property on Faith Road.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.