City is waiting for new leader
By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 6, 2011 1:50 AM
News-Argus file photo
Tasha Logan has been named interim city manager and will fill the leadership void for now.
Tasha Logan is not yet willing to comment on whether or not she has thrown her name into the running to replace recently departed City Manager Joe Huffman.
"I'm not going to say. I would love to tell you, but here in North Carolina, the council has a process that can remain closed at this point," she said. "And I think that out of respect for the process they have chosen to go through and also for other candidates that are applying, I'm not going to say what I'm doing."
But the city's interim manager said Friday she has made some key decisions regarding other significant leadership positions, Parks and Recreation director and police chief -- posts that are traditionally hired by the city manager.
Unless she is hired to replace Huffman, Ms. Logan will not name retired Chief Tim Bell's successor.
"I think that Jeff Stewart being appointed as interim chief, that's a decision we made collectively. We wanted to go ahead and put him in place to have some stability for the department and also for the citizens. Jeff has been here. He is familiar with the organization," she said. "But before we make a permanent decision on the police chief, you will know who the next city manager is. That's a critical part of the leadership team. They need to have some input on that decision."
But she will "move quickly" to replace outgoing Parks and Recreation Director Ruben Wall -- in an interim capacity until a permanent replacement can be identified.
"We're going to have to have someone step in and provide a leadership role. It's such a large department, it's springtime. ... So we're going to go through the process of putting in an interim there," she said. "Then we will start to advertise, because that's one that we will go ahead and bring on just because of the time of year -- the season. We're going to fill that one as fast as we can."
And as for finding a full-time hire to take on the role she now holds, the process is one Ms. Logan expects to be complete by the end of April.
"I don't know that there's a specific date, but the council wants to move forward fairly quickly. They don't want to have a long period of time where we have someone serving as interim," Ms. Logan said. "I appreciate that coming from the board because it shows they realize (the duties of city manager and assistant city manager) are a lot to be handled by just one person."