Published: Nov 06, 2012 03:30 PM
Modified: Nov 06, 2012 03:26 PM
MORRISVILLE - The towns community and public services director will serve as interim town manager while the Morrisville Town Council searches for a replacement for John Whitson, who is leaving the post next month.
Council members said Tony Chiotakis was the obvious choice to temporarily fill the role, because hes done the job before. When the council was seeking a town manager in 2003, Chiotakis, who was the assistant town manager at the time, served as the interim manager and handled the towns day-to-day operations.
I appreciate the confidence exhibited by the council, Chiotakis said. We have a strong management team here, and we are all going to be working to make the transition successful and positive for the employees and the citizens.
Chiotakis has worked for the town for 21 years. He served as the towns first full-time fire chief.
But Chiotakis said he has no intention for applying for the full-time manager position.
I like to work from behind the scenes, he said. Im a low-key kind of guy.
The council plans to hire a professional search firm to find a permanent town manager. The town could pay about $15,000 to $20,000 for the service, according to early estimates.
Chiotakis will officially take over on Whitsons last day, and the two will continue to work together until then.
Whitson, who has served as town manager for nine years, is becoming the city manager of Texarkana, Texas. He said he wanted to be closer to family members who live in that part of the country.
The council appointed Chiotakis as interim manager on Oct. 30, less than a week after Whitson announced he was leaving.
Mayor Jackie Holcombe said the council made it a point to act swiftly.
It could take up to six months to find a new town manager, said Hartwell Wright, human resources consultant with the N.C. League of Municipalities.
Wright has advised the council on the best steps forward in the hiring process.
This is one of the most important decisions that you will make while in office, Wright told council members. This is the face of Morrisville. This decision affects everybody. ... Take as long as you need to take to find the right person.