New Nashville manager takes office
BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Thursday, June 6, 2019
NASHVILLE — Randy Lansing was sworn in as Nashville’s new town manager on Tuesday.
“I felt like I was taking my wedding vows again,” Lansing quipped to the Telegram with a smile and a laugh after the town council’s monthly meeting.
During the meeting, Lansing, with his wife, Luanne, at his side, was administered an approximately minute-long oath of office by Mayor Donald Street.
After the completion of the ceremony, Street said to Randy Lansing, “Welcome to the army.”
“Thank you, mayor,” Lansing told Street as the audience applauded.
“We’re very happy to have you with us — and we’re looking forward to a long tenure,” Street told Lansing.
Lansing then took his seat alongside Street and the town council.
The council on April 2 unanimously voted to hire Lansing, who had been city administrator in Garner, Iowa.
Lansing succeeded Leonard Barefoot, who had been serving as the town’s interim manager.
Lansing told the Telegram he believes he has big shoes to fill and a big responsibility ahead but is looking forward to the job.
He said he had the opportunity to meet a lot of the town’s department heads and staff earlier Tuesday.
“And it looks like we’ve got a great staff in place,” he said. “And I’m eager to get to work and work with them — and work on the town’s issues.”
He also said he met Nash County Manager Zee Lamb earlier Tuesday.
Tuesday evening’s town council meeting was additionally a farewell for Barefoot, who succeeded former Smithfield manager Pete Connet as Nashville’s interim manager.
Connet was brought in on a temporary basis after the council fired Manager Hank Raper in June 2018 amid allegations Raper was rude to residents.
Barefoot had been manager in Sanford and, like Connet, has since served as interim manager of a variety of municipalities in the state.
This was the second time Barefoot served as interim manager in Nashville.
Barefoot first came aboard on a temporary basis in Nashville in August 2015 because Preston Mitchell, who had been manager for nearly a decade, left to become manager in Reidsville.
Barefoot also has a sense of humor, as shown when he told the audience at Tuesday evening’s town council meeting of some of the town government’s employees recently taking him out for breakfast.
He said the employees gave him an engraved inbox and said one of the employees told him, “We got this for you in case you come back for the third time.”
He said he replied, “Well, I’m going to be cremated — and it’s just about the right size to put my ashes in because that’s what you’re going to have to do to bring me back again.”
Lansing, who was hired by the town council at a salary of $110,000 a year, brings an extensive background in government service to Nashville.
Lansing had been city administrator in Garner since December 2012.
Prior to that, he was city administrator in Cascade, Iowa, for approximately 13 years, and was city manager of East Dubuque, Ill., for approximately three years.
His background also includes having worked for the Des Moines Public Housing Authority. He also was economic development coordinator for a regional planning commission in Iowa and also was economic development director in a county in Illinois.
During Tuesday’s town council meeting, Street told the audience he and his wife were in the Midwest recently and stopped in Garner to visit with Lansing, the mayor, officials and business people there.
“And they were very sad to see him leave,” Street said. “But he was smiling all the time because he’s looking forward to warm weather.”