Nashville hires new manager
BY WILLIAM F. WEST
BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
NASHVILLE — The town of Nashville is going to have a new town manager and he's going to be coming from the Midwest.
Randy Lansing, who's presently the city administrator in Garner, Iowa, was hired Tuesday as town manager by a unanimous vote of the Nashville Town Council.
When the council voted to approve the contract for the new manager, the name of the person who was hired was not immediately disclosed. Councilman Larry Taylor asked Mayor Donald Street to provide Lansing's name to the audience.
Street did so and added, "We searched high and we searched low and we talked to lots of people — and this person has got the even balance of everything we think we need."
Street then told the audience of Lansing's present position in the Hawkeye State.
As the audience sat silently or spoke in low tones of voice, Street smiled and laughed, "I thought there would be some excitement."
Taylor told Street he thinks the audience may be somewhat hesitant because he said Garner, Iowa. Taylor said while that is quite a distance away, he called for Nashville citizens to give Lansing a fair shake.
Of the selection of Lansing, Taylor said he hopes citizens understand that "this council didn't just do it all on their own."
"You had a search firm — and we had numerous applicants to come before us," Taylor said. "And they went through a lot of questions and answers and testing."
Taylor said that applications came in from all over, even from longer distances than Iowa, and that Lansing ended up being one of two finalists.
"As it stands now, I personally think we made a good choice — and I hope he doesn't disappoint us," Taylor said. "But we got the best of the crop that we had to choose from, I think."
Street agreed, saying Lansing "has had over 20 years in the business."
Street told the Telegram that Lansing is going to report for work in early June and is going to be paid $110,000 a year, with Lansing's contract to be for three years and renewable for each year after that.
Street also told the Telegram that Lansing is going to receive up to $5,000 to help with moving expenses.
Nashville's town government has been operating with temporary management after Hank Raper was fired by the council in June.
Street emphasized Lansing has worked in local government in numerous places.
"He is highly thought of in his business," Street said. "He is greatly respected — and we're lucky to get him."
Councilman Charles Taylor said Lansing has an interest in North Carolina because his daughter works in the Research Triangle Park.
"So he wanted to come to North Carolina anyway," Taylor said.
Street said the daughter told the father, "This is the place you want to go."
Additionally, Street said Lansing was under consideration by another municipality in eastern North Carolina.
"And after looking at them, he came here and said, 'This is the ideal place'," Street said.
Councilwoman Kate Burns said she is both excited and confident in the decision she and her fellow council members made.
"It was long, thoughtful process that we went through — and we definitely chose the best candidate out of those that we had," Burns said.
She also said she hopes Nashville residents are going to give Lansing a chance.
"And I know as soon as you meet him, you will like him just as much as we did," she said.
Councilwoman Louise Hinton didn't comment about Lansing during the council meeting.
Asked afterward about the hiring, Hinton said she likes Lansing and is going to give him a chance but she made clear she is a wait-and-see person.
"You never know until someone is in place — and we've been burned," Hinton said, a reference to Raper.