Mayor Ken Talton and town board members began the process of selecting a new town manager during a closed session last week.
They narrowed a field of 13 applicants down to four.
Face-to-face interviews with the remaining candidates are scheduled for Oct. 26-31.
Talton wants to fill the position by late November.
The town manager spot has been vacant since Charles Brown took an early retirement effective July 3.
Jammie Royall, the town’s special projects director, is an applicant to replace Brown.
Hopefully in the days ahead the mayor and the board will give serious consideration to the candidate who has local connections and knows the local color and populace.
It will be difficult for an outsider to adjust.
Royall is currently acting as interim manager and has done a good job since he took the interim position last July.
He is a native of Mount Olive and certainly knows the local population and the issues.
Royall has applied for the town’s top administrative seat and in this reporter’s experience of dealing with him, I am confident he can handle the job.
Royall is the first African-American to ever hold the town manager position.
When he was appointed on July 13 as interim manager, it was a clear signal from the town board that he has their support and confidence.
Royall tells me he has had nothing but support from the town board and residents since taking the top seat job.
Hopefully, whoever is chosen to lead the town in daily operations will have total support from the mayor and the five-member town board.
The town is moving in the right direction and the new town manager must be allowed to do what he will be hired to do — manage the town.
Any attempt in any form at micro management has no place in the reality of getting the job done.
Business is business and whoever takes on the town manager position should demand that up front or decline the position.
I see that as what will happen.
If it does not, the Tribune has a responsibility to let you folks, who pay the bills, know.