The Cary Town Council started off the new year with a new national search to find someone to replace Town Manager Ben Shivar, who retired Sept. 30.
At a special meeting Monday, the council met in closed session with consultants Waters and Company Executive Recruitment, a Dallas-based firm conducting the search, to give feedback on the process so the search could resume as soon as possible.
The consultant is scheduled to return to the council six to seven weeks after reposting the position. The council decided to restart the search in December after not coming to a unanimous decision on any of three finalists, which included one internal candidate and one from outside the state.
Although this is the second go at the search, relaunching the process is not expected to cost the town any more money, officials said.
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Also Monday, the council unanimously appointed Ginny Johnson, town clerk senior administrative assistant, as interim town clerk. Town Clerk Sherry Scoggins left the post Jan. 8 for a job as special assistant to the town manager in Wendell. Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said he expects it will take at least 60 days to hire a new clerk.
Chapel Hill changes
Mayor Pam Hemminger, who made history by unseating Chapel Hill’s incumbent mayor in November, started the new year with a few changes in how the Town Council handles its business.
The town is now posting citizen petitions and public hearing topics online, so that residents can track the progress or speak out about issues that interest them, Hemminger said. She also urged the council, which added three new members in November, to set a different tone for the year.
Meetings have turned tense in recent years, as residents accused town staff of overlooking important details and negotiating back-door development deals, and charged council members with not listening to their concerns.
Hemminger has pledged that her administration will be different.
“I will tell you that every citizen has the right to speak their opinion, and opinions aren’t right or wrong, they’re opinions. And we’re going to strive as a council to respect the fact that you have your right to your opinion and we’re going to listen, and we’re going to try not to interrupt you or tell you things,” she said. “This is your chance to tell us and our chance to listen.”
▪ Angeline Echeverria, the executive director of El Pueblo, will speak to the Wake Senior Democrats on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at the Crabtree Marriott in Raleigh. The meeting starts at 11 a.m. with lunch followed by the program at 11:30 a.m.
▪ The League of Women Voters of Orange, Durham and Chatham counties is hosting a discussion on the “Status of Medicaid Expansion: What’s on the Political Horizon” on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive. League president Janet Hoy and Adam Linker from the N.C. Justice Center will review the 2016 election cycle and the Medicaid reform waiver process, as well as ongoing efforts to expand Medicaid in North Carolina.
Compiled by Kathryn Trogdon and Tammy Grubb
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