12/16/04 — Welcome! An admired city manager is headed for Goldsboro

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Welcome! An admired city manager is headed for Goldsboro

By all accounts, Goldsboro can anticipate with pleasant excitement the arrival next month of Joseph R. Huffman to be the city manager.

Huffman was selected by the City Council on Tuesday to succeed Richard Slozak, who is retiring after 18 years as manager and 33 years altogether of service to the city.

Slozak will be missed. He has been a man of foresight, a creative leader. Some of his accomplishments — such as the modernization of Goldsboro’s sewer treatment system — have benefited not just Goldsboro but the entire county.

His will be difficult shoes to fill, but Huffman seems to be up to the job. In Laurinburg, where he has served as city manager for the last five years, there is sadness over his departure and concern that he, too, will be difficult to replace.

“Goldsboro probably doesn’t realize how blessed it is with the recent hiring,” said an editorial in the Laurinburg Exchange.

As well as a bright, effective manager, Huffman is known as a consensus builder, a man who believes in bringing the people into the government’s business. That disposition will serve him well in Goldsboro, and it will serve the public well.

Huffman, who worked as a prison guard early in his career, decided to go to college and graduated magna cum laude from Appalachian State University.

His experience since then seems perfectly suited for a Goldsboro city manager. Fifteen years ago he earned a graduate degree in public administration at Appalachian State. His first next job was at Elkin, where he rose to town manager. He then served as city manager in Havelock for five years, a stint that gave him experience in a military community. He went to Laurinburg as city manager five years ago.

According to those who know him there, his personality is as valuable an asset to him as his education and experience.

Outside of work, Huffman has been particularly active in United Way, Rotary and Chamber of Commerce activities, among others. He is married and has two daughters, ages 14 and 11.

Replacing Richard Slozak was an intimidating challenge for Mayor Al King and the City Council. It was the most important job they have faced in years, and apparently they did it well.

Published in Editorials on December 16, 2004 11:01 AM