Commissioners officially hired former Brevard City Manager Joseph Moore II as Zebulon’s new town manager following a closed session on Wednesday.
Moore, 49, is a Charlotte native who has worked as an engineer with firms in Raleigh, as the associate director of engineering for the town of Cary, and from 2009 until March of this year as city manager in Brevard. The county seat of Transylvania County, Brevard has a population of about 7,600 – slightly larger than Zebulon’s.
In Zebulon, he’ll take over a position that has been vacant since November 2014, when former town manager Rick Hardin resigned following his second arrest for allegedly driving while impaired in the past seven years. Moore’s first day on the job will be Aug. 3; he is to be sworn in during a town board meeting that night.
Former Zebulon fire Chief Sidney Perry has served as the town’s part-time, interim town manager since Hardin’s resignation.
Hardin’s final salary was $113,657. Moore’s starting salary will be $118,000.
Town leaders had hoped to fill the position by the end of April but the two finalists in what was a lengthy search process “did not work out,” according to Zebulon Mayor Bob Matheny.
In the meantime, consultants helping Zebulon in the search brought together the town and Moore, who wasn’t an option during the initial search process, Matheny said. Moore applied for the job after initial conversations with town leaders.
“(Moore) seems to have the education, the skills and the demeanor for management,” Matheny said. “I think Joe is a very visionary-type person, which is good for us. I like people who think outside the box.
“And everyone who has spoken to us about him is really complimentary and glowing in saying you guys are really lucky; you’ve got a great man.”
Matheny said Moore examined the town as hard as the town examined Moore.
Moore said that would be a good way to describe his interview process.
“We were both looking hard and wanted it to be a good fit,” said Moore, who resigned his job in Brevard in March following a lengthy closed-door meeting by town commissioners that stretched over two days.
Moore holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from N.C. State, and a master’s in public administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. His familiarity with the Triangle was only part of his attraction to the Zebulon job.
“As far as what really piqued my interest, I did see a tremendous amount of growth potential, and I see a strong industrial base, but I also see a growing residential base,” Moore said of Zebulon. “The final thing that sold me was when I took a look at what the mayor, board of commissioners and citizens did in rallying to save that (Wakelon) building and turn it into the municipal complex. That told me they have a community that is civically minded and really believes in good government.”
Moore is married to Abby Moore; they have a daughter named Emma. The incoming town manager hopes to move to Zebulon within a week.