Purvis formally resigns; search process ensues

By: By Chris Berendt - cberendt@civitasmedia.com

The City of Clinton will be hiring a search firm to assist with two phases of the transition to a new city manager, one for an interim leader and a second for a permanent replacement.

The resignation of current City manager Shawn Purvis was made official on Tuesday. Purvis formally announced his resignation as of April 20. He has accepted the position of assistant town manager for the town of Apex.

Purvis began his career with Clinton as assistant city manager in May 2008, overseeing the Finance, Recreation and Fire Departments. He also served as liaison between the city, residents and consultants for the city’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) projects.

In 2011, Purvis assumed the role of finance director and served the dual role of assistant city manager and finance director until the departure of then-City Manager John Connet in May 2013. The Mayor and City Council appointed Purvis as the interim manager the same month and officially made him city manager in November 2013.

Purvis’s work in Clinton includes implementation of the city’s first capital improvement plan and restructuring the development of the annual operating budget.

“The city’s six consecutive Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards, increasing fund balance, and strong financial condition exemplify the results of these efforts. The city’s budget also received special recognition for capital budgeting and as a communications tool,” the city said in a prepared statement.

Five successful CDBG projects totaling over $3 million were completed under Purvis, improving conditions for more than 100 households. His involvement in the city’s downtown revitalization efforts include helping introduce new incentive programs and developing a partnership with the Sampson Arts Council to commission Clinton’s first public art piece.

“He was responsible for helping procure the grants and donations needed to fund the ‘Milling Around’ art wall,” the city statement noted. “During his tenure as city manager, the city developed the Clinton 2035 Comprehensive Plan and implemented a branding and marketing initiative. Recently, the city began expansion of its water production capacity with a new elevated tanks, new wells, and water plant addition.”

Mayor Lew Starling said Purvis would be missed by the city.

“With regret, I received a letter of resignation from Shawn Purvis, our city manager,” Mayor Lew Starling said at the end of the City Council’s Tuesday meeting.

“He has assured us he will get the budget out before he goes. If not, the police chief will bring him back,” the mayor joked. “He’s done a wonderful job for us and we thank him. We will talk more about that at the next meeting.”

Starling directed Purvis to contact a search firm for two phases — an interim manager and a permanent replacement. Purvis, previously reflected on his nine years with the city at the end of last week, when news of the impending announcement came to the Independent’s attention. A modest Purvis praised the many people who make the city go, and said that progress will continue to happen when he is gone.

“I can never fully express my gratitude to the City of Clinton and the community I have been a part of. I have had wonderful opportunities presented to me by John Connet and the Mayor and City Council,” Purvis stated. “I am proud of the work City Council, staff and I have been able to accomplish in order to make Clinton a great place. My time here has been invaluable and I will truly miss all the people I have been fortunate to work with and befriend.”


By Chris Berendt


Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.