Tryon receives 35 applications for town manager

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Town of Tryon is closing in on hiring a new town manager after receiving 35 applications for the position. 

Tryon Town Council met Tuesday, May 17 and heard from Mayor Alan Peoples, who said the application period for a new town manager has closed. Peoples said commissioners will do another narrowing of applicants and plan to get together next week to narrow the candidates down to between five and seven. Interviews for the position will begin in the next five-ten days, Peoples said.

Tryon has been searching for a new town manager since council decided to split the manager/fire chief position in February.

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The joint position was held by Joey Davis, who is now the fire chief but is serving as acting town manager until the town hires a new manager.

In February, Peoples said he hopes to have a new manager hired in June.

Peoples said earlier this year the decision to split the positions began with the last board of commissioners because of the burden of one person holding two major positions.

When there are a multitude of fire calls, Davis is not able to do a lot as the manager and when there is a lot to do as the manager, Davis can’t be fire chief, according to Peoples.

Both positions are 100 percent, full-time jobs, Peoples has said.

Davis is currently working on the budget for the town and will present it prior to a new manager being hired.

Davis was hired as Tryon’s fire chief in 2007 and was also named permanent town manager in May 2013. At the time, Davis also was the town’s code enforcer. Since, Tryon has hired a community development director to take over code enforcement and planning duties.

Davis served as Tryon’s interim town manager following the town firing two town managers previously.

Davis was appointed in February 2013 as interim manager following the town firing former manager Caitlin Martin (now Caitlin Martin Cothran, who is Landrum’s City Administrator). Davis was also interim manager after the town fired Justin Hembree, who was Tryon’s manager from January 2009 – January 2012.

At the time, town commissioners said the town would save money by having Davis hold dual positions, which he had done for a total of 13 months prior to being hired as the permanent manager.

Peoples said in seeking a new town manager, he is looking for someone who is strong in finance and able to work with all citizens and town employees.

Peoples also said he’s always looking for someone who will stay in Tryon at least five years. The average town manager in a small town stays three to five years, according to Peoples.

The salary for the new manager will depend on the person’s experience.