A seven-month search is coming to a close in the town of Elon for its next town manager. The Board of Aldermen has offered the town manager position to one of the two final candidates.
Mayor Pro Tempore Ron Klepcyk, Alderwoman Emily Sharpe and interim town manager Robert “Bob” Morgan declined to release the name of the candidate offered the decision. The only information released is that the candidate is a male not from Elon. They declined to release the candidates name because the man has not accepted the position.
The contract for the interim town manager has been extended from Oct. 15 to Dec.15, the town hopes to fill the position by that date.
The search for a new town manager began after Richard White III announced his resignation in May. The Board of Aldermen members in office before the municipal election were responsible for hiring the new town manager. The board interviewed three final candidates. One candidate removed themselves from the running.
The town has been operating under an interim town manager, Robert “Bob” Morgan since July 26. He has worked in local government for 37 years and equates the job to being the CEO of a company.
According to Morgan, the town manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the town, puts the budget together and takes policies to the board to run the towns. He said this system mirrors a business model.
Prior to the start of the search, a committee was formed to help expedite the process of finding a new town manager. According to Alderwoman Sharpe, the committee was composed of Mayor Pro Tempore Ron Klepcyk, Aldermen John Peterson, town residents including Monti Allison — who won a seat on the Board of Aldermen in the municipal election — and a representative from Elon University.
Bob Shea, vice president for business finance and technology, said he was asked by President Connie Book to serve on the search committee to represent the university.
“I participated in resume review, interviews, and the committee made recommendations to the alderman (sic) who have responsibility for the decision,” Shea said via email.
According to Sharpe, six finalists were interviewed by the committee. From there, three finalists were then interviewed by the Board of Aldermen. Sharpe said it is important to her that the new town manager interacts well with the staff.
“One of the questions that I asked during the interview process is, ‘How do you see your first few days as the new town manager? How are you going to get to know the staff?’ and then, ‘What is actually your management style?’ Because the town staff, they run the town,” Sharpe said.
Similarly, Allison said the new town manager needs to have personable qualities and that the committee recommended candidates to the board who possess such attributes.
“We presented them with three viable candidates who could sit in and adapt to the culture and personality of our town,” he said.
As someone with 37 years of experience in local government, Morgan said education and experience working in city or town government are not the only important factors, but “the ability to work with people work with staff” is a significant quality to possess.