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November 9, 2018

Warrenton will hire a firm for town manager search

File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The council should have proposals from consulting firms by month’s end.
Warrenton Town Managers
• Brannon Godfrey, October 2015-18

• Ken McLawhon, 2002-14

• John Anizvino, 1989-2001

• Don Smith, 1986-89

• Ed Brower, 1962-86

• P.W. Ancell, 1960-62

• Sidney Shumate, 1923-60

• J.W. Shirley, 1920-23

• L.M. Clarkson, 1920

> Source: Town of Warrenton
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Warrenton’s council next week plans to take the first step toward finding a new town manager.

The council on Tuesday night, Nov. 13, will vote to advertise for proposals from consulting firms to recruit and screen candidates to succeed Brannon Godfrey, whom it fired last week.

“We could have a due date of Nov. 30 and have (the bids) back for you to review at the next work session” Dec. 6, Director of Finance and Human Resources Stephanie Miller told the council Thursday night.

For its last two town manager searches, the council has hired the Richmond-based firm Springsted Inc.

“I have a list of about 30 firms . . . this time,” Ms. Miller said.

“My assumption is we will go with the one with the best understanding of selecting a town manager for a town like ours,” Mayor Carter Nevill said Friday in an interview.

The council probably will select a firm at its Dec. 11 meeting. Town officials expect it will take six months to get a new manager in place.

“We have no desire to make this a prolonged process, nor do we want to rush it,” Mr. Nevill said.

The town in 2015 paid Springsted Inc. $22,000 to recruit, screen and help negotiate compensation for a successor to former manager Ken McLawhon, who left after 12 years on the job.

At the time, the town also hired a veteran interim manager to lead the staff until it filled the position.

It took 10 months to hire Mr. Godfrey as the town’s manager, who started the job in October 2015.

After three hours in closed session Oct. 30, the council voted, 5-2, to fire Mr. Godfrey immediately without cause. Doing so triggered a clause in the manager’s contract that required the town to pay him a lump sum of $77,500, half a year’s salary.

Veteran Public Works Director Edward “Bo” Tucker has served as the interim manager since then. 

The council hasn’t decided if it again will hire an outside interim manger.

“That is a discussion that council will have shortly,” Mr. Nevill said. “In the best interest of the town, if bringing in an interim is the best path to go, we will certainly do that.

“The fortunate thing is several names have already been submitted to us . . . . We have a plethora of options,” he added.

Overseeing a staff of 170 and budget of $34 million, Mr. Godfrey earned $155,000 a year.

Contact Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-878-6007.


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Keith Macdonald · November 13, 2018 at 7:19 pm
Let the Games Begin, with a fully competent and professional Town Manager removed from his post the "Inside boys" in the Warrenton politics will quietly slip into line - looking for their share of hand-outs and graft while the cat is away. It time for Warrentonians to step up - put their collective ears to the tracks and listen for the corruption and graft churning out of townhall. While no one is in charge of the brats that run this town run will be checking their bank balances daily.

From a purely financial perspective, the town council & new mayor have just wasted $77,500, half a year's salary for the needless pleasure of wanting to place a person whom they think they will be able to control in charge of the town. The total cost of hiring a new manager will include an additional $60K in fees for recruitment, tens of thousands in relocation costs, an additional allowance for purchasing a new home in town, etc. etc.

Perhaps the town council should focus on the Tens of dozens of vacant business in the CBD - the focus should be focused on ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
Rover 530 · November 11, 2018 at 8:44 pm
Can't the Council do anything by themselves? What were they elected for? "Yeah, lets spend money to do our jobs."
Tell It Like It Is · November 10, 2018 at 6:28 am
Who's the council member in the bottom left on their cell phone and not paying attention to the matters at hand??
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