Clinton began a new year by officially welcoming a new city manager at the top of Tuesday’s regular meeting.
Thomas C. “Tom” Hart Jr., with wife Megan and daughter Eliza by his side, was sworn into the office, Clinton Mayor Lew Starling administering the oath.
“We’ve had a long history in Clinton of excellent city managers, and this will be no exception,” said Starling, who welcomed Hart and his family.
It was announced back in November that Hart had been selected as the city’s next manager, which would put someone in the position on a permanent basis for the first time since April 2017. Hart was most recently the 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.
“It’s just a tremendous honor to be appointed to this post, and it’s honor to have my family here with me,” Hart said on Tuesday. “I intend to make them proud, I intend to make the Council proud, as well as my co-workers and the people of Clinton.”
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 (International City/County Management Association) manager next year, a prestigious designation awarded to managers who complete the rigorous developmental program.
Hart was selected from a pool of 46 candidates who applied for the city manager position.
“The selection process was long and arduous, but necessary,” Starling said upon the announcement of Hart’s selection. “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.”
Former manager Shawn Purvis left in April for a position in Apex. Following his departure, Robert Hyatt served in the interim post for months, leaving in mid-November. The city appointed its second interim city manager, Leonard Barefoot, as it continued the search for the next manager, which Starling said at the time was expected “real soon.”
Hart was named to the post just a week later. Upon the announcement, he said he looked 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.”
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