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Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:15

Consultant talks traits for new town manager

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The clock is ticking on what will be a rigorous and thorough process to replace long-time Waynesville Town Manager Lee Galloway.

A series of meetings was held in Waynesville Nov. 16-17 by the firm hired to steer the town through the process, Developmental Associates. The firm’s Stephen Straus met with aldermen, town staff, the business community and the public to gauge their perception of challenges facing Waynesville and important traits for a new manager.

“I can tell you there will be a lot of interest in this job. The town of Waynesville is in an enviable position,” Straus told about 20 community members attending one of the public sessions.

Straus said Galloway’s long tenure in Waynesville and his leadership role in state local government associations means a lot of potential managers are aware of the town and its reputation.

“We have contacted some people who are in this profession, and there are others who just know. There is lots of interest,” Straus said.

At one of the public sessions, there was universal praise for the job Galloway has done in Waynesville. Former Mayor Henry Foy touted the town manager’s demeanor in handling problems, wondering how Developmental Associates’ process will find a similar personality.

“You never see anyone come into Lee’s office who leaves mad,” Foy said. “How do you evaluate that kind of professionalism?”

Straus said perhaps the most important tool he has in finding someone who possesses similar traits to Galloway is Galloway himself.

“Quite often a community or a board does not want a departing manager’s input, but that’s not the case here. Lee has already helped me get names, and he will help look at credentials,” said Straus.

Some of the challenges facing Waynesville, according to those attending the meeting, are: aging infrastructure; continuity of land-use planning; maintaining the emphasis on walkable communities and smart growth; economic development; and realizing that Waynesville is a tourist town.

According to Straus, the town board is still working out what the salary range will be for the new manager. He hopes to post the employment ad in newspapers and professional journals after Thanksgiving and run it the entire month of December.

Following that, the plan is to start screening candidates by Jan. 9, and narrow the pool to about eight candidates. At the end of the process, Straus said the town board will likely ask up to four candidates it thinks are capable of doing the job to visit Waynesville. The board’s challenge, he said, will be to determine which of those is best suited for Waynesville.

Galloway started working as Waynesville’s town manager in March 1994 and will retire in June 2012.

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