Spencer approves contract for new town manager

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 17, 2020

SPENCER — On Tuesday, the Spencer Board of Aldermen approved a contract to hire Peter Franzese as permanent town manager.

Franzese will officially begin Saturday, the day after interim manager Dave Treme ends his stint with the town. Franzese was named assistant town manager in September and comes to the town from Concord, where he served as public affairs and projects manager for the city.

He will be compensated with a $80,325 annual salary and will be eligible for a 2% salary increase after the town’s six-month probationary period. Franzese will receive town benefits and a $60 stipend to pay for cellphone costs.

The board approved Franzese’s contract unanimously, and he asked for a few minutes to share his gratitude with the board.

“As long as it’s not a David Treme few minutes,” Mayor Jonathan Williams quipped.

“This has been a wonderful two months of transition here to Spencer,” Franzese said. “And I couldn’t have asked for a better transition, in terms of you the board and the mayor, but also in terms of the community and the people I’ve met. It’s been a pleasure to meet folks here. This is a really special place.”

Franzese said he wishes he could have worked with Treme earlier in his career and had more than a couple months to do so.

“This has been like going on a spiritual retreat in public service,” Franzese said. “And I say that with all genuine meaning behind it.”

Treme said Franzese has been learning from him and vice versa.

“His communication skills are excellent,” Treme said, adding that, while he has performed communication work in the past as needed, it is not his best skill.

Treme said the board was looking for someone who is skilled at communicating with employees and the community to establish partnerships.

“He is well able to do all of those things,” Treme said.

Franzese said watching Treme work has been helpful to him and complimented him on his success as long-time city manager in Salisbury.

“To hear it from the man himself and watch him do it is a whole other thing,” Franzese said. “He has his priorities right and they purvey throughout everything he does.”

Treme served as interim for a year-and-a-half, and brought other people he worked with in Salisbury to help him set up a new administration in the town.

Among the achievements in his time with the town are several large grants and the upcoming construction at Park Plaza, which will create a new municipal complex for the town.

The town will hold a drive-thru sendoff for Treme at 3 p.m. on Friday at Park Plaza.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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