11/10/05 — Mount Olive manager sets retirement date

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Mount Olive manager sets retirement date

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on November 10, 2005 1:50 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Ray McDonald said today he plans to retire as town manager for the town of Mount Olive.

McDonald said he will submit a retirement letter to town commissioners during their Monday night meeting. His retirement will be effective Feb. 2, his 69th birthday.

"I'll have seven years in at that time," McDonald said.

McDonald has been involved in local politics for 30-some years. He was the mayor of Mount Olive for 13 years and spent three years on the town board. He also served as a Wayne County commissioner.

"There comes a time when you realize it's time to move on to other things," he said.

McDonald said he has had an interesting life, a good life.

He was one of Wayne County's first dispatchers around 1960. He took the job after a three-year tour in the Army. He was offered a job with Carolina Power and Light Co., but the addition at the Quaker Neck electricity generator wasn't finished yet. It would take another six months before he could start work there.

He worked for CP&L for about 10 years in the 1960s and then came back home to Mount Olive to run his own business for 16 years. He was an electrical contractor and sold appliances in the block of downtown Mount Olive where Curves is currently located. The store was Summerlin Electric, which McDonald bought from his father-in-law when he retired.

McDonald closed the business in the mid-1980s and went to work for Virginia Power for a couple years, then to Duke Power.

He was nuclear certified, and the company paid him for exposure to radiation.

The radiation never caused any health problems, McDonald said, although he got some warts on his hands. One day, he said, he looked down, and the warts were gone.

"I've had a fascinating career," McDonald said. "I've had only three or four jobs all my life. They were all related except for the dispatcher job."

This will be his second retirement.

He retired after 13 years with Duke Power in 1999 when he was 62 years old. He said when he came back home to Mount Olive, the town offered him the job of town manager.

"I was going to do it two years, and now I've been here seven," he said.

He said he plans to spend his new free time taking his wife to timeshares in Mexico and Florida that they have visited only once or twice in the past seven to nine years.

McDonald said he is thinking about doing some work helping a town or a county government find grant money. He said he will talk to representatives of a town Friday, but at this point, he is just thinking about it.