"There's two types of managers," Sears
said Tuesday, a day after the Kinston City Council
voted unanimously to approve his
"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."
, 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Before coming to Kinston, Sears spent nearly seven years as city manager of the town of Randleman.
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.
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
Name: Tony Sears