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Wrong Tony Sears?

Mr. Tony Sears

City Manager

Kinston Free Press

Direct Phone: (252) ***-****       

Kinston Free Press

2103 N. Queen St.

Kinston, North Carolina 28502

United States

Company Description

The Free Press is the official student newspaper of the University of Southern Maine. Our mission is to be the definitive source of news and commentary for the USM community. We are funded by advertising sales and through a student activity fee. The Fre... more

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Background Information


Board Member
Lenoir County Crimestoppers


Appalachian State University

Master's of Public Administration

Appalachian State University

bachelor's degree
political science
Appalachian State University

Web References (199 Total References)

"No one has made a decision ...

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"No one has made a decision to remove those trees," Kinston City Manager Tony Sears said Tuesday. When Kinston City Council discussed converting Queen Street to a two-way road with diagonal parking they had a meeting at the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library to discuss some options for the city's main street. One of the options was replacing the trees on Queen Street. Residents were given a few options, including keeping the trees, and shown some other trees that could take the current holly trees' place. Residents who attended the meeting voted to change the trees. "The 60-plus people who attended the public meeting wanted different trees," Sears said.

"We don't want anything that is going to damage the sidewalk, and we also don't want anything that is going to damage the utility lines that are on Queen Street," Sears said. The new trees that residents selected at a public meeting earlier this year could have a different root system. Some members of the community are worried that the loss of the trees would change Christmas decorating downtown. The current trees are festooned with lights each year. "I'm not sure if the reason to select a tree for downtown should necessarily be based off Christmas; other communities have ways of lighting their downtown and celebrating Christmas without the use of holly trees," Sears said. The trees on Queen Street are roughly 60 years old. "I understand the reason people like the holly trees is because they are nostalgic," Sears said. The state Department of Agriculture has offered to help the city with any decisions they make about the trees in the future. "We're not quite ready to dive into that selection process yet," Sears said.

"This is unrelated to the other ...

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"This is unrelated to the other work on Queen Street and this is the type of problem we are trying to prevent in the future," Kinston City Manager Tony Sears said. The current sewer lines under Queen Street are scheduled to be replaced sometime in June due to their age. City officials hope that by replacing the lines, repairs like this won't happen as often in the future. Right now officials don't know when the project will be done and the intersection will reopen. Sears said this process could take a while because the hole will be really deep and big. "It's a safety issue; we have to open up an area bigger then what is needed for all the safety standards the city is required to meet," Sears said. Officials said due to the line being so old, there could be a problem with deterioration which could make the process take longer. "Sometimes they have to take out more than they wanted to to get to a good section they could piece back together," Sears said. Officials would like to see the work finished quickly but want the repair to hold. "It's more important to repair this once and get it squared away and not have to come back a second time," Sears said.

"This is an upfront renewal of ...

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"This is an upfront renewal of 12 years," Kinston City Manager Tony Sears said when the city agreed to the lease in July.

Kinston City Manager Tony ...

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Kinston City Manager Tony Sears said officials have already used the equipment they are looking to purchase and want to get away from heavily-regulated land application. "We want to change the end product that we have, going through the process with the state and the company and try to land-apply it were trying to change that and have a different product," Sears said.

"You could eventually use this product as a fuel source, to be burned, the problem here is it costs a little bit more than we thought and the reason why the state's interested and why we're doing it is because nobody really has done it," Sears said. Some businesses are already interested in the project and have already contacted the city to purchase the products of the dryer as fertilizer, Sears said.

City Manager Search | BJ Murphy, Mayor of Kinston

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"There's two types of managers," Sears said Tuesday, a day after the Kinston City Council voted unanimously to approve his contract. "There's the managers who are long-term managers who are content where they're at, and there's other managers who seek challenges; to be honest, that's part of the draw to Kinston."

Sears, who will start work Nov. 2, said he made several visits to Kinston in recent months and conducted research on the issues facing the city.
"I don't have all the information I need right now to be making informed decisions (on issues), and that's one of the things I need to do when I get there, is sit down with the department heads and the staff and get caught up on the issues," he said.
He has spent the last seven years as manager of the Randolph County town of Randleman, which has a population of about 3,600.
Kinston, by comparison, has a population of about 21,000, a current budget of $99 million and a workforce of 65.
Randleman's fiscal 2012 budget is $6.1 million and its workforce numbers 50 - it is 51 including Sears.
Sears stressed the experience and talent of Kinston's department heads and staff would help make the transition to a larger city easier - he also said he was looking to make the move to a larger community after seven years in Randleman.
"When you've got experienced department heads that can do the right thing, and you trust them to do the right thing, that makes the transition a little bit easier," he said.
Sears described Kinston residents as "extremely friendly and welcoming."
He said one of the most important lessons he has learned in his previous management positions is to build up a good support staff.
"Surrounding yourself with good intelligent people is what you do to have a good, effective government, and I'm lucky that that's already in place," Sears said of Kinston.
Sears was among 50 candidates who applied for the Kinston city manager's position, and Councilman Will Barker said the field was narrowed down to three finalists, including Sears.
The council offered him the position on Sept. 23, and he accepted on Sept. 27, Barker said.
"He had checked us out, he had done his homework and he just had an air of confidence about him," Barker said of his impressions of Sears.
The City Council unanimously approved his contract Monday, for which he will receive an annual salary of $110,000.
Randleman has had major problems in recent years with the maintenance of its water and sewer infrastructure, and Sears has worked to get those problems fixed.
"Tony admits he doesn't know it all, but he's also smart, honest, and knows how to finance on a shoestring," Murphy said.
Sources: Free Press archives, Tony Sears, N.C. Employment Security Commission
KFP: Tony Sears is new Kinston city manager
Tony Sears, 34, who is currently serving as Randleman's city manager, was tapped as Kinston's newest city manager Monday.
Sears is scheduled to start work Nov. 2.
In brief remarks before the council Monday, the new city manager said he was looking forward to coming to Kinston.
"Obviously Kinston has some issues, and I look forward to sorting those out and helping the city move forward," he said.
Before coming to Kinston, Sears spent nearly seven years as city manager of the town of Randleman.
Sears is married with two sons, ages 9 and 7. Monday was his youngest son's birthday.
He attended high school in the Wake County town of Apex, and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in political science, with a concentration in town, city and county government.
He also minored in community planning and history. Sears earned his Master's of Public Administration from ASU in 2002.
In addition to serving as Randleman's city manager, Sears interned with the town of Troy in 2000 and Apex in 2001. He was town manager for Kenly in 2002 and 2003.
Sears will take over the reins from Interim City Manager Bill Ellis, who has been at City Hall since July 1.
"I'm just happy to be here, and I just can't wait for 30 days to be up," Sears said.
Name: Tony Sears

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