The town council is expected to remove the interim tag from Rodney Dickerson’s title and make him the new town manager, a council member and the mayor confirmed.
“The public has known for some time that Rodney is a likely person to be appointed,” said Mayor Ronnie Williams. “However, nothing is official until the contract has been signed.”
Said council member Gra Singleton: “Unless there is a big hiccup along the way, I think that’s the goal the council is working towards.”
The announcement will be made at the council’s work session Tuesday evening, Singleton, Williams and council members Buck Kennedy and Ken Marshburn said.
A few weeks ago, the council met with Dickerson behind closed doors to talk with him about the position.
And this past Tuesday, council members had a closed work session to work out some details of Dickerson’s contract.
“I think it would be nice to have someone named,” Singleton said. “I think some citizens have been asking. I think staff is interested to know, and once the decision is made and the manager is named, people will be happy.”
Dickerson, 48, a Duke University graduate, has worked for the town for 15 years. He was appointed assistant town manager in 2004.
He was named the interim town manager in December when Hardin Watkins resigned after seven years to become the city manager of Burlington. The position in Burlington paid about $30,000 more.
Dickerson was also a finalist for the Garner job in 2007 with Watkins, who eventually landed the job on a 4-1 vote. Watkins’ last day as town manager of Garner was Jan. 4.
Dickerson was a heavy favorite among council members for the town manager position this year. Each council member said they value his relationships and rapport with his staff.
“He’s been great to work with, easy to talk to, and he’s fair,” Reggie Buie, the town’s neighborhood improvement director, said last week. “I think he’d be great for the community. Great for staff and great for the community as a whole. He’s been there a long time, and he knows the ins and the outs.”
Dickerson played for Duke’s football team while there. He started on defense for Duke when the Blue Devils tied for first in the ACC and went to the All American Bowl in 1989 in future Hall-of-Fame head coach Steve Spurrier’s last season as coach.
After graduating Duke in 1990, Dickerson received a master of public administration from N.C. State in 2001. He completed the UNC-CH Public Executive Leadership Academy in 2007.
Garner now has a little more than 27,000 residents and has experienced a flurry of commercial growth in recent years, including the White Oak Shopping Center, a Cabela’s outdoors store and the Greenfield Parkway business park. Voters approved a $35.7 million bond in 2013 that has built a police station and will be used to construct sidewalks, greenways, a new town hall and a recreation center, among other things.
In a few years, the southern leg of N.C. 540 will be built and is expected to spur housing growth near the route as it passes just south of Lake Benson.