Greenville NC – Manager Search


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–City Manager Search–"Most Important Decision We Will Make"

–Police Chief Search

–Infrastructure Needs

–Email Controversy


CITY MANAGER SEARCH–"Most Important Decision We Will Make"

Last night, the City Council agreed to solicit proposals from executive search firms that can do a nationwide search for a city manager.


We set a deadline for proposals to be in by February 14, and we will meet on Feb. 16 at 6 pm to decide which firms we want to make presentations to the Council on Feb. 21.


The League of Municipalities consultant, Hartwell Wright, said  that short of dealing with some major disaster, picking a manager is likely to be the most important decision a Council makes.  I agree.  I am so disappointed Manager Bowers–a seasoned  manager with strong manaagement and budget skills–is leaving and that we have to go through this complicated and expensive process to find another manager.  However, because of the important role they play and that they can stay for many years in a city, it is critical that we move carefully and wisely to do all we can to ensure the best possible candidate pool.


The search firm will start  by interviewing city leaders to construct a profile of what is wanted in a manager.  The  entire process culminating in hiring a new manager is likely to take 4-5 months and cost an estimated 30,000.  The City Council will soon choose an interim manager.



In our Council-Manager form of government, the City Council hires only the city manager, the lead attorney, and the clerk.  The city manager hires the police chief.


The search process for a police chief, since the city manager will probably utilize a firm that is most capable of doing a nationwide search, is likely to take about as long as that for a manager and cost about the same amount.  Manager Bowers will likely make the police chief search about 3 weeks longer than the manager search, so that the new manager can choose a chief from a short list.  This makes sense because any new chief is likely to want to know what manager he or she is going to work for.




At the planning session,  Public Works Director Wes Anderson discussed the city’s significant infrastructure needs, such as water, sewer, and streets.  Despite the challenges presented by the recent 3 resignations, and the distractions that hopefully won’t but could come from that, it is important that we address big and long-term issues like infrastructure, while we continue uninterrupted routine services to citizens.


I note in the February issue of Smart Money, published by the Wall Street Journal, that to  keep pace with the world’s growing population, governments and the private sector will have to spend at least 53 trillion on various infrastructure projects by 2030.  So, we are not alone on this matter, and it is critical that we address such issues so that we continue to provide the context for economic development and quality of life for our citizens.


The previous Council worked over several months to take several difficult actions to reign in the potential long-term fiscal problem of OPEB (other post-employment benefits), which I called the "OPEB Gorilla" and talked about quite a bit in this newsletter.  Infrastructure is also a long-term, big issue and important to address.  At the planning session, we placed infrastructure in  our goals.  As we begin the several month long process of constructing a two-year budget plan, it will be important that we think long-term and make sure we give adequate attention to infrastructure.


An email by Chief Anderson about a downtown tragedy, narrowly averted, was released to the press by the city attorney, at the request of the press.  I’m sure this will be well covered in the media, so I won’t address it here.


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I have a vision of Greenville as a vibrant business, educational, health, and cultural leader in North Carolina; a powerful economic center with many biotech, green, ecotourism, and other industries; a beautiful, walkable, bikeable, inclusive, safe city with a dynamic uptown; and a city famous for its towering oak trees, flowered parks, clean air, and healthy citizens who know their neighbors.  A beautiful city, serving our region, does not just happen.  We must act today to make sure our city is a place where we and our children and our grandchildren will enjoy living, working, and serving.   –Calvin

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This email newsletter is sent about twice-monthly to anyone who has expressed interest in my views on local and other issues, regardless of where they live.  Please let me know of any factual errors in this newsletter.  The city maintains an excellent and informative website (, where City Council meeting videos, upcoming agenda items, government services updates, city cable channel programming, and other information can be readily accessed.  This mailing will provide, among other things, my commentary on controversial and/or important issues.  I intend for it to be useful, without overwhelming anyone’s mailbox.  This newsletter is separate from a regional newsletter, posted about once every couple of months, where I discuss efforts to promote, for economic and quality of life purposes, nature-based eco and other sustainable tourism in eastern North Carolina.  I also produce an occasional newsletter about religion-related academic and/or cultural events in the area.  I write a column for the Greenville Times (, a free newsprint magazine covering Greenville and Pitt County that is published monthly and distributed in high traffic locations in Greenville and Pitt County.  Encourage the retail businesses you patronize to carry this popular magazine.  To access some archived columns, google "Calvin Mercer Facebook" or go to  My website is
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Calvin Mercer | 210 Quail Hollow Rd. | Greenville | NC | 27858

Police Chief Resigns After 6 Years On The Job – WCTI 12

GREENVILLE — Greenville Police Chief William Anderson will be leaving the Greenville Police Department to become the Police Chief of the City of Asheville.

"Chief Anderson has been an innovative and dedicated leader of the Greenville Police Department," said City Manager Wayne Bowers. "He has built a strong community-oriented policing foundation for the Department, initiating the Police Athletic League program and implementing the district policing concept. He will be missed in Greenville. I congratulate him on his new position." (More)

Note: Some have been calling for the Chief to resign for quite some time now. C. Dancy II – DCN Publisher

See related:

Chief William Anderson

Civil rights pioneer, Garrett, dies – Source: The Daily Reflector

A pioneering black businessman and Civil Rights leader in Pitt County died Saturday at the age of 96.

Denison Dover “D.D.” Garrett died shortly before 7 a.m. from a heart-related condition, his son, Michael Garrett, said. (Read more)

Note: I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet such a man. I have been in meetings with him Greenville and across the state. I admired him for his tenacity and will power being in his 90’s. I remember several years ago when we had a meeting in Durham NC I passed him on the highway and I told him he could have rode with me however I live in Pinetops. I love the opportunity to ride in the same vehicle or to have one on one conversations with men such as Bro. Garrett because one could learn so much history.

Bro. Garrett was still fighting to make the world a better place at the age of 96 when countless young folks sit back and do nothing.

Thank you Bro. Garrett for all you have done, it is time to rest now. Curmilus Dancy II – DCN Publisher

See related:

DD Garrett (1914-2011) passed this morning with his hand on the Freedom Plow.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) To Visit Pitt County


The Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children will host a team from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) on March 16, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Center Chapel, located on the corner of w.5th Street and Tyson Street, in Greenville.  The OCR visit is part of their investigation of a civil rights complaint filed by the Coalition on behalf of students that were excluded from participation in classroom instruction, were suspended from school for dress code violations, were excluded from extra curricular activities due to dress code violations, or were denied college scholarships due to dress code violations.  


Parents that have children that have been affected by Pitt County School Dress Code are urged to attend this meeting and share thier experiences.  OCR will interview affected individuals and hear testimonies about how the dress code has impacted parents and students. 


The Coalition found evidence that Pitt County School’s dress code policy disparately impacted African American students and was used by the District to:


·         Exclude African American students from college scholarships.

·         Exclude African American students from extra curricular activities such as honor clubs.

·         Exclude African American students from classroom instruction thus increasing the achievement gap.

·         Increase financial contributions to Pitt County Schools from clothing manufacturers and clothing retailers at the expense of African American families.


This is a District wide issue impacting African American students across the county in all high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools.  Please plan to attend and spread the word to others who have children that are affected.  If you are to end this discrimination we must stand up and be counted.


Rev. Ozie Lee Hall, Jr., President

Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children

Post Office Box 1699

Winterville, NC   28590

Feb. 23 Community News – Source: The Daily Reflector


Literacy family program

Literacy Volunteers-Pitt County will offer its Family Read Program from 10-11 a.m. and from 6-7 p.m. today, March 2, 16, 23, 30 and April 6 at 105-A E. Arlington Blvd. The program combines children’s book and adult conversation to initiate family communication and quality time through reading. For more information, call 353-6578.

Councilwoman dismisses racial motives in arrest – Source: The Daily Reflector

A Greenville City Council member does not believe her weekend arrest is a racial issue, her employer said Thursday.

Dennis Mitchell spoke on behalf of District 1 representative Kandie Smith in front of City Hall Thursday morning. He is chief executive officer of ReStart Behavioral Health Care and a member of the city’s Redevelopment Commission. (Read more @ The Daily Reflector)

Note: So what if it turns out to be about race? But the reports that were read at the SCLC about the incident race was mentioned.

I attended the SCLC meeting this week and I did not hear anyone speak on behalf of the councilwoman. However I did hear some folks discuss the issue of the Chief’s resignation. I wonder why was it so important to dismiss the racial motives in the arrest but has yet to make a statement about the incident which to me is way more important. Those who ask for the chief’s resignation can do that without her permission so that is irrelevant. I believe a press conference to address what happened the night of this incident would be a step in the right direction because it would tell her side of the story and also she could answer any questions the media may have. I will continue to follow the councilwoman and those who are asking for the Chief’s resignation.

See related: Kandie Smith

Letter: Different Smith, same downtown

Breaking News: Police brutality/misconduct, attack against our Greenville black elected official

To Pitt County NAACP Executive Officials,

I have been called and alerted on a very unfortunate incident that took place in the downtown night area of the city of Greenville on Saturday evening or early Sunday after 12 am, of the arrest of one of our only two elected blacks on the Greenville city council, Ms. Kandie D. Smith.

Upon getting the call about the incident I called Ms. Smith and is very disturbed. Ms. Smith was in the down town area to observe the activities and actions of the citizens and police in the downtown and night area. This was being done as a result of numerous reports of police brutality and the use of excessive force against blacks and other people of color in the down town and night area. Ms. Smith was approach by two white Greenville Police officer who indicated that she was trespassing and needed to move on. She informed them that she was not in no-trespassing area, and why wasn’t they addressing whites who was in the same immediately area. When she proceeded to move further the office grabbed her and put her in a choke hold, twisted her arm, put her in handcuffs and put her under arrest. She identified herself as a member of city council and he stated that he didn’t care. She was arrested and placed under bond. The black police chief refused to demand her release. We have another problem added to the many our branch have already received of this similar type action from white police officers who are out of control. We have met with the police chief on several occasion along with the city manager in order to address these complaints. This is just an example of the magnitude of the problem of police misconduct and the continue use of excessive force on our citizens of color in Pitt County as well as other areas. They don’t care what your titles are and what position you may hold, you are still judge first by the color of your skin in this country.

For over 100 years the NAACP’s mission has been to fight racial discrimination; although victories have been won through our efforts and the efforts of many, many others, there are still great struggles ahead.

One of the most important is in the field of criminal justice. We know race is the main determinant of treatment in the criminal justice system, it determines the frequency of arrest, the gravity of the charge, treatment at trial, and severity of punishment.

Our task is to fight for fairness and justice in the system, to ensure that race and racial discrimination play no role. As you all know our branch along with other units are the front-line troops of the movement for justice and fair play.

I have made calls to the mayor and city manager, but I am yet to have received a return call from either. I am also in touch with other civil right organizations in the area and also Craven county since we are dealing with similar issue in that area.


Calvin Henderson

See related: Greenville city councilwoman arrested

FIRST ON WITN: Greenville City Council Member ArrestedSee picture

Note: I met Ms. Smith during a Get Out The Vote Rally back in November when she ran for Pitt County City Council. I was also in her presence during the candidates forum in April. Although I don’t know her on a personal note she does not seem to be a person who would disrespect the law.

I am scheduled to attend a meeting in Greenville on Tuesday night and I am quite sure this will be on the agenda however this is not the main thang.

Check back later for an update on this unfortunate incident.

I edited the letter above.