03/07/08 — County facilities head named

View Archive

County facilities head named

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on March 7, 2008 1:48 PM

With a 10-year facilities plan in the works and a long-range comprehensive plan about to be adopted, Wayne County Manager Lee Smith is spending the first few months of 2008 rounding out his executive leadership team.

Early this week, one new member was added to the group, which includes finance director Pam Holt, human resource director Sue Guy and emergency services director Joe Gurley. And sometime within the next month, Smith hopes to add a fifth member.

Starting Monday, Carl Locus, 47, will begin work as the county's new facilities director -- a position that actually has an expanded scope beyond its former buildings and grounds director slot.

"This is several bars higher than what we had previously over this department," Ms. Guy said. "This man is well qualified."

In hiring for the position, Smith and his team were looking for somebody who could not only oversee the supervisors of the day-to-day operations of the county's facilities, but, more importantly, who could understand blueprints, had a background in engineering and who could serve as a project manager.

And it was his experience in those areas that attracted them to Locus, an independent consultant from Fayetteville, who holds an architectural engineering degree and who was previously employed as the director of facilities at Livingstone College in Salisbury.

Locus also retired from the Air Force in 1992, after a six-year career that ended with him serving as chief of resources and requirement.

"I need somebody who can really take the reins on this capital planning," Smith said. "And he's got the people skills that we need."

Also in his favor was the fact that he was the consensus pick of the representatives on the interview team from the City of Goldsboro and county public schools.

They took part, Smith explained, at his invitation.

"I think there are some projects we can all partner on and I just wanted their perspective," he said. "We all have connections every single day, and I really wanted their input."

Now, Smith continued, once Locus reports to work, he'll be hitting the ground running with several supervisory positions to fill, the animal shelter construction well underway and bids about to be back on the Jeffreys Building renovations. He's also expected to conduct a review of the county's recently completed facility inventory and space studies in preparation for work on the jail, health department, social services and services on aging offices. His salary will be about $74,000 a year.

The other position is a director of information and operation systems -- formerly the information technology director position. This one, too, has undergone a bit of a facelift and is no longer simply an IT position.

It will pay between $60,000 and $95,000 a year, and interviews are expected to begin within a couple of weeks.

"I'm not really looking for a techie," Smith said. "I want to go a little further."