Erin Smith Staff writer
February 28, 2014
BLADENBORO — Rumors and speculation have been running rampant with regards to the future of the now vacant town administrator’s position in Bladenboro. That future just got a lot clearer Friday.
Mayor Rufus Duckworth said Melanie Hester is the interim town administrator and will remain in that capacity until June 30.
“July 1 we will begin our new fiscal year, and she will be named to that position then,” said Duckworth.
Hester has served as the town clerk in Bladenboro since June 2004 and, prior to that, she served as town clerk in Clarkton from 1997 to 2002.
Duckworth said Hester has been “very helpful” to the board during the transition to the town’s new form of governance.
He said that, when the former board changed the town’s charter in November, they also added language that said the position did not have to be advertised.
In a special called meeting in November, the board, according to reports, voted to change Chapter 32 of the town’s ordinances from reading “shall” to “may” with regards to advertising the newly created town administrator role. In that same meeting, the board voted 3-2 to name former Town Manager Delane Jackson as town administrator. Jackson later resigned from the position and accepted a severance package totaling $31,000.
In that same November meeting, Councilman Larry Simmons submitted his resignation from the board and the board named Terry Nance as his replacement in January.
Along with the resignation of Jackson, the town’s attorney Wes Johnson also resigned his position. The board chose Elizabethtown attorney Alan Maynard to fill that vacancy.