It was with great dismay that I read your editorial in which you continue to attack the Zebulon Board of Commissioners for refusing the reveal the names of the candidates for Zebulon Town Manager. You have been provided with N.C. General Statute 160A-168 and the supporting case law stating that we are not allowed to reveal candidates names and yet you have refused to state this in any of your reporting and now you are demeaning us, and your reporters continue to badger us, to break our obligation.
Candidates who apply are usually gainfully employed and do not want to jeopardize the relationship with their current employer or the relationship of their spouse’s employment. If we did not honor confidentiality we would be open to litigation and would also have a much smaller pool of applicants to choose from. This is especially true in small towns like Zebulon.
Along with the help of a professional search firm, our board is in the process of thoroughly vetting our candidates. We do not need to open the door for the media to undermine our efforts, or expose the town to litigation, by contacting and publishing the candidates’ names, their employers, their family or giving heads up to the employer of their spouse.
We have spent many hours in our search and our work is not done. Rest assured t hat when the time is appropriate we will divulge the candidate’s name, or names and not before.
Robert S. Matheny
Editor’s note: The writer is Mayor of Zebulon.