If Garner Town Council members decied as expected on Tuesday night to name Rodney Dickerson as the town manager, they will have, collectively, made a wise decision that says as much about loyalty as it does capability.
Dickerson has proven to have both qualities during his stint with the town of Garner. First named an assistant town manager in 2004, Dickerson has served a handful of times, including right now, as the town’s interim manager. He has stayed in Garner despite being a finalist for the manager’s job in 2007 and not getting the position. Now it’s his turn and we expect him to reward the town many times over the next 15 or 20 years with decisions that take to heart Garner’s best interests.
There may be times when doing that flies in the face of what council members want, but we expect council members to accept that and move on to the next item of business. A town’s manager, though he or she often is, should never be the focus of political decisions.
Dickerson has also proven his skill as a manager. He has been swift and sure in his decision-making and he has been involved with all aspects of town management, as part of the town’s executive team. He has been an integral part of the budget process and he knows how to manage difficult situations with a calm demeanor.
Town staffers get along with Dickerson, which is important to any organization. When rank and file employees value their relationship with the boss, they are always willing to reflect the manager’s attitude toward matters from customer service to the quality of their work. That kind of stuff may be invisible to most taxpayers, but it matters a lot in the efficiency of the town’s operations.
Naming Dickerson to the manager’s post on a permanent basis will be the best decision council members have made in quite a while.