A consulting firm hired to help Wake Forest find a new town manager is asking for public input.
Durham-based Developmental Associates will help town leaders find a replacement for Mark Williams, who has led the town’s day-to-day business for more than 20 years. Williams plans to retire April 30.
The firm will host a public forum on Tuesday to hear what qualities residents want to see in their next town manager.
Public input will help Developmental Associates interview and assess candidates, said Mayor Vivian Jones. The town’s Board of Commissioners will make the final hiring decision.
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Jones said the company will be helpful to the board, which doesn’t typically deal with new hires.
“It’s a very thorough process and they’re using professionals all along the route, so I think we have a much better chance of getting someone we want,” Jones said.
Using a consulting firm allows for a more personal hiring process, said Virginia Jones, human resources director for Wake Forest.
During the search for a town manager, the firm might evaluate a candidate’s emotional intelligence, public-speaking ability and problem-solving skills through hands-on activities.
Developmental Associates helped Wake Forest find Ruben Wall, the town’s parks and recreation director, and Virginia Jones.
So far, Virginia Jones said, the town knows it needs someone who can continue the work Williams has done for years, including overseeing projects like Flaherty Park and the water and sewer merger with the city of Raleigh.
“It’s important that we get someone that’s going to keep the momentum going and respect the culture that is here while at the same time helping us to grow,” she said.
She said it’s imperative to get residents’ input.
“It’s a big deal for the town because we hope that person will be there for a while and help us continue to grow as we have in the past,” Virginia Jones said.