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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Carolina Beach continues the search for Town Manager, making headway

The Town of Carolina Beach is still searching for a new town manager

CAROLINA BEACH — It has been six months since the Town of Carolina Beach decided to part ways with its recently hired town manager Lucky Narain. Since his contract termination in June, Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin has served as the interim Town Manager, but many are wondering — when will the town find a full-time replacement?

This is not the first time Parvin stepped up to fill a vacancy at the town manager level, in September of 2018 the town parted ways with then-Town Manager Michael Cramer who had served the town for several years. Between the letting go of Cramer and hiring of Narain, Parvin took charge of the town.

Both Cramer and Narain were given significant separation packages as part of their contracts. Narain and Cramer were paid out a 6-month severance, about $60,000 per manager — that means the town will pay approximately $120,000 in the past year to managers no longer working for them.

When the town decided to hire Narain, town leaders took it upon themselves to conduct interviews and find who they thought was the best candidate.

This time around town leaders are utilizing former New Hanover County Manager (and previous interim manager for Carolina Beach) Bruce Shell as a consultant to help find the right fit.

Making headway

The town recently saw a change of leadership: LeAnn Pierce, former councilwoman, is now Mayor and two new councilmembers were sworn in earlier this month. Since then, elected officials have already held several interviews for the position and made headway even before the new council was seated.

“We had over 40 people apply and we have only a handful left,” Pierce said, regarding the number of candidates left.

While she could not speak to specifics since it is a competitive process, she did say town leaders met on Thursday for several hours to discuss candidates and will meet again next week to do the same.

There is no definite timeline in place for hiring a new manager, however, Pierce said she would like to have someone hired in time for budget season (which is actually already underway).

The Town Council’s annual retreat is in January and Pierce hopes to have a Town Manager ready to go by that time.

Pierce also addressed the question as to whether or not Parvin would be in consideration for the Town Manager position. As it turns out, Parvin has not asked to be considered for the position, but if he had, he would have the job, Pierce said.

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