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‘Best thing for the town’: New manager Hosey talks Landis’ future

By Liz Moomey
liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

LANDIS — New Town Manager Roger Hosey said he initially wasn’t interested in the job. 

Amid a State Bureau of Investigation probe into two former town employees and the beginning of a municipal election cycle, the Landis Board of Aldermen voted Aug. 5 to make Hosey the town manager.

Hosey, 39, stepped up from interim financial officer and deputy police chief slot, replacing interim Town Manager and Police Chief Kenny Isenhour and, before that, Reed Linn, who resigned when allegations of embezzlement arose. Hosey said plans are for him to be police chief after the end of the year, when Isenhour plans to retire. 

Hosey said, with pressure from the state treasurer’s Local Government Commission and the board to permanently fill the town manager position, he agreed after prayer and talking it over with his family.

“I felt like it was the best thing for the town to step up and do it,” Hosey said.

And while citizens immediately flocked to Hosey after the board approved him as the town manager, raising concerns that he had too much power, Hosey said he’s not seeking power, just hoping to save money, with the police chief and town manager positions combined.

He estimated the salary savings to be $30,000 because plans are for the town to hire a new officer when Isenhour retires instead of a new chief.

Hosey said his appointment also provided some ease for the staff who were unsure about their future with an outgoing mayor and two aldermen seats up for grabs. Some employees were worried that many new faces at once could result in some employees being fired or laid off. 

“I didn’t ask for this,” Hosey said.

Regarding his role as the information technology network manager, Hosey said he will still provide some IT duties for the town, such as helping fix a police officer’s computer, but larger projects will be outsourced. His personnel file confirms that, as his position as IT network manager ended on Aug. 6.

Hosey first came to Landis as a police officer in 2007 after previously working in information technology as a network engineer and volunteering as a reserve police officer for China Grove.

Hosey said he’s seen questions about whether he was aware of the embezzlement Linn and former Finance Officer Ginger Gibson are alleged to have committed because of his role as IT manager. And he responded forcefully to claims that he should have known.

“I’m not going to do something unethical to discover something unethical,” he said. 

Hosey said that there are eight applicants for the town’s finance officer position. And he said none of them are current town employees or Landis residents. The application period ends in September.

Hosey said some citizen concerns center around from Linn simultaneously being head of the fire department and town manager. He said Linn wearing multiple hats did not aid the alleged facilitation of illicit disbursements. And he said now there are checks and balances in place. Aldermen and the town’s CPA, for example, have view-only access to the town’s bank accounts.

Checks and balances work “unless checks and balances are both in on it,” he said, referring to Linn and Gibson.

Hosey said the town is in better financial shape, the best it has been in years.

He said he hopes when the SBI makes its decision, including potential brining indictments, angst and anger will be directed where it should be.

Hosey said he is doing what he can to best serve the town.

“I’m damn sure not going to steal from the town,” he said.

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