At long last, the City of Clinton has selected its next permanent city manager, the city announced late Wednesday.
Thomas C. “Tom” Hart Jr. will officially begin his duties on Dec. 29. Hart is the current town manager of Boiling Springs, N.C., a position he has held since 2012. He previously served as assistant town manager of Dodson, N.C., and worked as an intern in several North Carolina municipalities.
Hart earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science at Appalachian State in 2008 and a Master of Public Administration Degree in 2010. He has also completed numerous continuing education courses through the N.C. School of Government and is currently a candidate to become an ICMA-credentialed (Internation City/County Management Association) manager next year, a prestigious designation awarded to managers who complete the rigorous developmental program.
Hart and his wife, Megan, have a young daughter and look forward to relocating to Clinton.
“My wife and I both grew up in eastern North Carolina — Apex to be exact,” Hart stated. “We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to return to eastern NC. I am anxious to begin my duties as the city manager of Clinton. I look forward to helping the community capitalize on opportunities and meet challenges head on.”
The City of Clinton appointed its second interim city manager, Leonard Barefoot, last week as it continued the search for the next permanent manager, which Mayor Lew Starling said at the time was expected “real soon.”
It was announced at that point that last Thursday night, Nov. 16, would mark the end of Robert Hyatt’s tenure as interim and the beginning of Barefoot’s. Hyatt had served in the interim post since former manager Shawn Purvis left in April for a position in Apex. Hyatt retired from local government in December 2015 after 34 years of service, serving as town manager of Wallace and Clayton, assistant manager of Brunswick County and 16 years as manager of Davidson County.
Hart was selected from a pool of 46 candidates who applied for the position.
“The selection process was long and arduous, but necessary,” said Clinton Mayor Lew Starling. “I thank the members of our City Council for their patience and determination to select the right candidate to lead our city going forward. On behalf of the Council and citizens of Clinton, I welcome the Hart family to our community.”
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