The Garner Town Council will meet behind closed doors Wednesday evening in a special meeting to talk about the “qualifications, competence, performance, character, fitness or conditions of appointment of an individual public officer or employee.”
When asked Friday morning what that meant, council member Gra Singleton said the wording didn’t necessarily mean that the town council would appoint interim Town Manager Rodney Dickerson as town manager.
“We’re going to talk to Rodney,” he said. “A couple of people have talked to him individually, but we want to talk to him as a group and this gives us a chance to sit down with him.”
Dickerson, who expressed interest last month in the job, would appear to be a leading candidate for the top spot if he applies. His goal has been to become a town manager or an assistant city manager in a big city.
He and his family live in the eastern Wake County, between Garner and Knightdale, and he would likely have to move to Garner town limits if he is hired.
Dickerson, a Duke graduate, has served as the assistant town manager for 15 years and has been the interim three other times. He first served as the town’s interim manager following the retirement of Mary Todd. He later served shorter stints as the temporary leader when others were out on extended sick leave.
Dickerson was also a finalist for the position in 2007 with Hardin Watkins, who eventually landed the job on a 4-1 vote. Watkins’ last day on the job as the town manager of Garner was on Jan. 4. He accepted a city manager position in Burlington, which paid $30,000 more.
Both Mayor Ronnie Williams and council member Jackie Johns have said they want Dickerson to be the next town manager. While other council members have declined to say whether the would commit to Dickerson at that time, each has said he would make a good fit.
Council member Buck Kennedy has said the council will explore hiring internally or expanding a search for town manager to outside of Garner.
There’s no end date in sight for Dickerson’s term as interim town manager. The council is still searching for a finance director to replace Emily Lucas, who resigned in December.