Hyde County board appoints new
chairman as interim county manager
By CONNIE LEINBACH
Hyde County Commissioners, in a special meeting last night, voted to
hire board Chairman Barry Swindell of Currituck Township as a paid
interim county manager until a new manager is hired.
The commissioners, at their Dec. 3 meeting, fired county manager Mazie
Smith, who had been in the position since January 2011.
most recent action was not on the official agenda, which only listed
“public comments,” a “closed session,” and “authorization for
signatures on checks.”
After the half-hour closed
session, Commissioner John Fletcher made the motion to appoint Swindell
as interim county manager after a motion that Swindell abstain from
Swindell will be paid $50 per hour and will work only five or six hours
a week, noted Fletcher today.
a retired lawyer, also said that, “as far as I know,” it is the county
can legally pay an elected official as an employee.
“This will be a whole lot cheaper than when we hired the last interim
manager who cost us $3,000 a week,” Fletcher continued.
He was referring to David Smitherman of Winston-Salem, who was interim
county manager in 2010.
“The volume of work in Hyde County only needs someone full-time three
days a week.”
asked if the commissioners had considered in their closed session
appointing a current county employee as interim manager, Fletcher would
say only that “it was discussed.”
Swindell today said that things have been running smoothly in the last
“In theory, this is just a 15- to 20-hour a week job until we get a new
manager,” he said.
a general contractor by trade, also noted that the general statute
allows for an elected commissioner to be appointed acting manager with
An Internet search of the North Carolina general statutes
shows that general statute 153A-84 governs Interim county
managers: “Whenever the position of county manager is vacant,
board of commissioners shall designate a qualified person to exercise
the powers and perform the duties of manager until the vacancy is
filled. The board may designate the chairman or some other
as interim manager; for the interim the chairman or member shall become
a full-time county official and the board may increase his salary
pursuant to G.S. 153A-28.”
G.S. 153A-28 says, in part: “In
addition, if the chairman or any other member of the board becomes a
full-time county official, pursuant to GS. 153A-81 or 153A-84, his
compensation and allowances may be adjusted at any time during his
services as a full-time official, for the duration of that service.”
Statute 153A-81, that governs administration in counties having
managers, says, in part: “…Confer upon the chairman or some other
member of the board of commissioners the duties of county manager. If
this is done, the chairman or member shall become a full-time county
official and the board may increase his salary pursuant to G.S.
The commissioners have posted the county manager job
with an application deadline of Jan. 15. After that time, the
commissioners will review the applications.
“Hopefully, by mid-February or early March we’ll have a full-time
manager going into budget season” he said.
Swindell said he will travel to Ocracoke to attend meetings as
“If any issues come up that need to be addressed, I will come over,” he