Havelock City Manager Jim Freeman announced Monday night that he would soon be retiring from the job he has held for the last seven years.
Freeman said in a letter to commissioners that his last day would be March 31.
"There was no magic reasoning behind that date other than it was in the planning process for probably a little over a year," Freeman said of his decision. "It’s a little bit hard. I spent almost 33 years in municipal government since the 1970s. After that amount of time, it’s time for somebody else to take the reins. I will always love Havelock and will always help Havelock out in anyway I can."
Freeman, who is 61 years old, took the oath of office in Havelock on Jan. 7, 2005. After his retirement becomes official, he plans on spending more time with family.
"Now we have a grandkid and hopefully trying to produce some more with my other kids," he said. "The other thing of concern is that all my life, the 30 some years, my wife has followed me around where I went. Her family’s in the Iredell County section and it’s probably time to get home with her parents not doing too well. They’re in the late 80s.
"We actually own a couple of acres up in that area so I think within the next couple of years we’ll probably be looking at building and moving that way to be closer to her family."
Freeman said he did not know if he would be involved in the process of picking his successor.
"That’s really up to the elected officials," he said. "There’s a number of ways you can go about the process. The League (of Municipalities) can help them out. Consultants can help them out. They can do the process themselves."
He said that the city may look to have an interim city manager before the position is filled on a permanent basis.
Freeman’s departure coincides with staff work on the 2013-14 budget, but he said the process would not be affected, citing the work of Finance Director Lee Tillman.
"Thank God for Lee on that," he said. "She knows her stuff. We had actually moved the planning process of the budget up and did a lot of planning getting the departments started in December on their CIP (capitol improvement plan).We’re going to go through the process and move things up just a little bit faster."
Freeman’s announcement was not the only one involving city personnel on Monday night. Freeman announced that Katrina Marshall had accepted the position of planning director for the city and would start work Jan 28.
Marshall had served as Carteret County’s planning director from 1992 to 2010, and prior to that, worked in the Carteret County tax office for three years.
"She handled a lot of the enforcement planning building codes and things of that sort, which is a good background," Freeman said. "She knows the military. She knows some of the players in this region. She’s kind of a known quantity and she will help out the city in that regard. We won’t have a learning curve like we would have with somebody from the outside."