At a special called meeting of the Henderson City Council Thursday afternoon, a human resources consultant with the NC League of Municipalities (NCLM), Hartwell Wright, appeared before the board to discuss the process of replacing retiring Henderson City Manager Frank Frazier.
Wright, who is a resident of Vance County and was a City of Henderson employee some 15 years ago before going to the NCLM, indicated that three things were needed to get the process started: an administrator, a group of people who would be conducting the search and if the search would be performed confidentially.
The board indicated, and confirmed to WIZS News after the meeting was complete, that Frazier will administer the process from a logistical point of view, that the entire board would work together as a unified body to conduct the search, rather than having a committee or consultant do it, and that the search would be performed confidentially. In other words, applicant names will be held in strict confidence.
What will not be confidential is updates to the public. Wright urged that local media be kept up to date so citizens would be kept up to date on where the City was in the process and so forth.
Wright said the word professional over and over, and the board members, mayor and city attorney very much agreed that the highest of professional standards would be used to complete the process. Councilman William Burnette said, “We were elected to find the best.”
Wright told the board that this decision is as “important a decision as you will do.” He said, “Your manager is your ambassador, your ambassador to your citizens.”
The next step is to build a profile, and it was suggested that each council person write down four things he or she was looking for in a manager. Then, the board can agree on the most important.
The entire process is expected to take no less than six months, which is within the timetable that Frazier has already expressed, as he has essentially indicated he would stay on into 2020 until a new manager was hired.
Wright urged the council to “use the profile as a measuring stick, and you’ll be closer together” as a group leading up to the decision.
From the sound of it, all applicants can expect a professional process, fair practices and a council that will be administering the process as a well-informed and unified body.