After a three-month search Holly Ridge has hired a new town manager.
Carin Faulkner was chosen out of 18 total applicants at a special closed meeting of the Holly Ridge Town Council, said Town Clerk Heather Reynolds. The Holly Ridge Town Council announced a $70,000 salary for Faulkner following their closed session, Reynolds said.
The Jan. 16 meeting was the second closed session discussing applicants, Reynolds said. The first was held on Dec. 21.
The town has had an opening for the position since Joseph Pierce submitted his resignation in October, and Billy Joe Farmer took over as interim town manager on Nov. 6. Farmer started his career more than three decades ago in Holly Ridge and is now retired, Reynolds said.
The applicants were narrowed down with some being brought in for interviews, said Mayor Anita Dingler. Many of the questions being asked were in regards to examples of how the applicant has or would handle specific situations.
“Most of (Faulkner’s) answers were what we were looking for,” Dingler said, adding that Faulkner’s experience was what the town needed, focusing on growth and looking forward.
Faulkner has worked with the Town of North Topsail Beach for nine years and submitted her resignation for her current position of town clerk on Jan. 17, she said. She was making $82,517.50 in the position.
“I saw that it was an opportunity to stay in the community,” Faulkner said of applying for the manager position.
Richard Peters and Walt Yurek, aldermen for North Topsail Beach, said they’ll both miss Faulkner. She had a heavy workload and was good at her job, Peters said. Yurek agreed, saying Faulkner is a hard worker and he’s happy for her to move up into a new position, though she’ll be hard to replace.
North Topsail Beach will have some “pretty big shoes to fill,” Peters said.
Farmer’s last day has yet to be determined, but Dingler said she hopes to keep him on about a week after Faulkner begins on Feb. 5. Farmer can help with the transition, Dingler continued, sharing background information on the town and helping her become familiar with her new role.
Reporter Amanda Thames can be reached at 910-219-8467 or Amanda.Thames@JDNews.com