Still no new manager for Town of Tryon

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Town of Tryon is still seeking a new town manager after deciding earlier this year to split its combined town manager and fire chief position. 

Tryon Town Council met Tuesday, June 21 and heard from mayor Alan Peoples, who said council is still in the process of looking for a new manager.

Peoples said the town has received 35 applications and interviewed quite a few. Some applicants withdrew, according to Peoples. He also said he suspects council will conduct one or two more interviews.

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Peoples also alluded to council possibly not finding the right candidate at this time.

“And quite frankly, if we don’t find the person we want, we’ll close it, re-advertise and try again,” Peoples said.

Tryon has been searching for a new manager since council decided to split the manager/fire chief position, currently held by Joey Davis, in February.

Davis has continued serving as the town manager as well as the fire chief since council made its decision to split the positions. Davis decided to continue to be the town’s fire chief.

When the town decided to split the positions in February, mayor Peoples said at the time he hoped to have a new manager hired in June.

The decision to split the position, according to Peoples, came because the burden of one person holding two major positions was too much.

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 now 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 has 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.

The salary for the new manager has not been discussed publicly.

Tryon does not have a regular meeting the month of July following the annual budget adoption but did say this week if a town manager is selected, the town could call a special meeting to make the announcement and swear in the new manager.

Tryon recessed its Tuesday, June 21 meeting until Tuesday, June 28 at 10 a.m. in order to approve the new budget and approve budget amendments for the year.