In the first few months as Apex’s interim town manager, Drew Havens has dealt with a politically divided Town Council, frustrated teenagers, frustrated homeowners, frustrated elementary school parents and frustrated developers, to name a few.
He has done well enough that the Town Council decided Tuesday to give him more time to prove he deserves the job full time. The council decided to indefinitely suspend its nationwide search for a manager to replace Bruce Radford, who retired in December after running the town’s day-to-day operations for 14 years.
The council discussed Havens in a closed session for about 15 minutes, then emerged to tell him the news.
“Drew, I think you should take this as a vote of confidence,” Mayor Lance Olive said. “Keep doing what you’re doing.”
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They didn’t hire Havens outright, and the search could continue at a later date. But for now, Havens – who was the assistant town manager under Radford – has no competition for the top job. The council also didn’t set a deadline for a future decision.
Havens doesn’t always embrace the spotlight. He left the room just as the council was coming back out of the conference room, under the guise of throwing away some trash, and had to be called back in. But after council member Bill Jensen urged him to stay in good health because he might just be needed for a long time, Havens couldn’t resist a joke.
“I’ll be able to if you keep the meetings under five hours,” he said, glancing at the clock whose hands were hovering right around midnight.
That’s one thing he and the council agree on. Olive has repeatedly said he wants to find ways to make meetings shorter, as nearly every Tuesday night session in 2016 has lasted until early Wednesday morning.
Doran: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @will_doran