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Spencer welcomes new finance, code enforcement officers

SPENCER — Spencer welcomed its two latest hires at Tuesday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

Faith Wilson is the town’s new finance officer and James Osborne is taking over code enforcement for the town. The town publicly announced Wilson’s hiring in December, and this was the first appearance at a board meeting. John Sofley, former assistant city manager with Salisbury, was hired to help the town with its budget ahead of the interim installation of Dave Treme as town manager and stuck around temporarily to help with town finances.

Wilson said she was glad to be in Spencer. She previously worked with Thomasville City Schools as assistant finance officer.

“I’m excited to be here,” Wilson said.

Meanwhile, the town contracted for private enforcement services with the intention of later bringing the department back in house.

This is Osborne’s first time doing code enforcement work, but he said he is enjoying it. He retired from the Army National Guard in 2018 as a warrant officer. He worked on helicopters, troubleshooting avionics and electronics, and went on to continue to work in troubleshooting equipment.

Franzese said it may be the first time the board has heard a code enforcement officer tell the board he was having a good time.

Interim Town Planner Joe Morris, the final holdout of the interim administrators Treme brought with him from his former Salisbury staff, will be stepping back but not completely away from the town.

Morris said he has to reduce the number of hours he is working in the offices for retirement purposes and joked he has been trying to retire for 61 and a half of the 62 years he has been on the planet.

To fill in and help with routine planning services like assisting with permitting, the board approved a memorandum of understanding to contract with Salisbury Community Development to provide a part-time planning professional. The move will provide one full-time planning position with the employee’s time split between Salisbury and Spencer. Salisbury will cover the cost of benefits.

In other news from the meeting:

• Construction on Park Plaza is expected to begin soon. The project will renovate the town-owned part of the center for administration, police and fire service offices. The town plans to add a park to the property at some point in the future as a separate project.

• The town worked through a list to send to send with its voting delegate to the North Carolina League of Municipalities.

• Morris said the timing may be opportune for the town to apply for a grant from the Robertson Foundation of $10,000 to do study and cost analysis on the impact of accepting the land and developing the property expected to be added to the Stanback Educational Forest for outdoor purposes. Morris predicts there will be a number of funding opportunities available aimed at helping getting people outdoors and expanding trail access. The town authorized staff to apply for the grant.

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