The Cary Town Council on Thursday unanimously approved naming Deputy Town Manager Mike Bajorek the interim town manager after current Town Manager Ben Shivar retires at the end of September.
“I’m very thankful that council has placed their confidence in me to lead us through this transitional period,” Bajorek said Friday.
As the interim town manager, Bajorek, 56, will head the town beginning Oct. 1 for about $202,000 annually, which reflects a 5-percent raise from his current salary of $192,441. Meanwhile, the Cary Town Council will conduct a national search for Shivar’s replacement through Dallas-based firm Waters and Company Executive Recruitment. The council hopes to have some finalists to choose from by this fall with a new town manager in place by early 2016.
After Bajorek joined the Town of Cary in 1988 as assistant director of public works, he became the town’s public works director in 1996. He continued to rise through the ranks as Cary’s interim public works and utilities director, assistant town manager, and finally, the town’s first deputy town manager in 2013 as part of Shivar’s restructuring of town government.
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“We very much appreciate Mike’s willingness to step in while we do our due diligence and encourage him, as well as other qualified town staff, to apply for the permanent position,” Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said in a news release.
Bajorek said he plans to apply for the permanent position as the Cary’s town manager. But in the meantime, he said he wants to continue to keep the town’s wheels in motion.
“This is the time when we plan for the upcoming budget preparation, so there’s a lot of very important things that we just need to continue to move ahead with in the transition period,” he said. “Things don’t stop because Ben’s retiring. We are in a great position right now, but if you’re standing still, you’re going to get run over.”
Bajorek holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Military Institute and a master’s degree in business management from Central Michigan University. He is a graduate of the UNC School of Government’s Municipal and County Administrative Course and Public Executive Leadership Academy. He was deployed to Kuwait during Desert Shield before retiring as a Major in the Air Force Reserves.
The town is paying the search firm $23,500, plus $1,500 per day for each visit the team makes to Cary.
Shivar was promoted from assistant town manager to town manager in 2009 after a similar search. He has been with the town for 19 years.
Kathryn Trogdon; 919-460-2608; @KTrogdon