Wednesday, February 28, 2024

CFPUA hires new chief communication officer, keeps $65,000 PR firm contract

In early August, Executive Director Jim Flechtner said, since the authority did not have a communications officer or even a PIO on staff, Eckle & Vaughan's services were critical.

Peg Hall Williams is the new chief communications officer for the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority. (Port City Daily photo / FILE)
Peg Hall-Williams is the new chief communications officer for the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority. (Port City Daily photo / FILE)

WILMINGTON — The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has hired a new chief communication officer, a position that went conspicuously vacant during the recent GenX controversy. However, the CFPUA will still keep its contract with a public relations firm hired to help make up for that vacancy.

Peg Hall-Williams has filled the role left open for months by the departure of Mike McGill in late April. McGill left the CFPUA shortly before the authority held an internal meeting to discuss how to handle information about GenX that had not yet been made public. McGill claimed he wanted the CFPUA to have a plan for informing the public but was fired before a plan was developed; CFPUA Board Secretary Jennifer Adams declined to comment.

According to Lindsey Hallock, assistant to Executive Director Jim Flechtner, Peg Hall-Williams was hired on August 21, with a salary of $85,000. Hall-William was previouslythe Human Resources Communications Coordinator for the city of Greensboro.

Hallock said Hall-Williams has been helping to handle GenX-related issues.

“With GenX being a big issue lately, she’s been working with me on that,” Hallock said. “So that’s quite a bit to handle. Eventually she’s going to transition to other issues.”

Hallock has handled communications duties since McGill left, but the absence of a full-time communications officer was a large part of the rational for CFPUA’s $65,000 contract with Eckel & Vaughan, a Raleigh-based PR firm. (CFPUA initially contracted the firm on June 19 for $25,000 and then extended the contract by $40,000 on July 12.)

In defense of the contract, Flechtner said in early August that, since the authority did not have a communications officer or even a PIO on staff, Eckle & Vaughan’s services were critical.

However, while CFPUA again has a full time chief communications officer, the company will retain its contract with Eckle & Vaugh, according to Hallock.

“No, hiring (Hall-William) won’t affect that,” Hallock said. “As long as we feel we need those services, and we’re still covered by the amount we’ve contracted with them for, we’ll continue to use their services.”


Send tips or comments to reporter Benjamin Schachtman at ben@localvoicemedia.com, @pcdben on twitter, and (910) 538-2001.

CFPUA Contract With Eckle & Vaughan by Ben Schachtman on Scribd

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