Local Politics

Garner Fills Town Manager Vacancy

Posted March 28, 2007

— Hardin Watkins, the former city manager of Suwanee, Ga., has been named as Garner town manager, officials said Wednesday.

Former Town Manager Mary Lou Todd retired two weeks ago after seven years on the job and 36 years as a town employee.

Watkins is a native of Hendersonville and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1988 and a master of public administration degree in 1990.

He has served as city manager in Suwanee since 1997. During his tenure, the city received a number of municipal honors, including the City of Excellence Award. He previously served as assistant to the city manager in Decatur, Ga.

"The Garner town manager position presents a new challenge for me professionally," Watkins said in a statement. "On a personal level, it offers a chance to return to my home state and work in very close proximity to my brother, nephews and niece."

Watkins is scheduled to begin work in Garner on April 30. Assistant Town Manager Rodney Dickerson has been named interim manager.


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  • Fence Straddler Mar 29, 2007

    The Town of Garner is a JOKE! There is problems there and nobody wants to talk about it. The police department has problems in its' management and admin staff (starts w/Chief Tom Moss) but again, nobody wants to talk about that. The police department as a whole is OK (re: requests for service, community policing, B.I.B.S Program, etc.) I know this personally. The entire Garner Town Management Structure is a JOKE! Mayor Ronnie Williams used to be an Alderman and I suspect he had some input in the Town Manager position being filled. I hope Rodney Dickerson doesn't take it too hard but this was a slap in his face. O'well, as you can see by the time this is posted I need to go to sleep to better serve the Town of Garner. Ya'll take care.

  • rosie48 Mar 28, 2007

    I could not agree more NCSUGarner. I know Rodney and he would be the best man for the job!

  • superman Mar 28, 2007

    It certainly is a big boast to the city employees knowing that when there is a vacany that they wont get the promotion. It is a real vote of confidence. Guess someone who knows nothing about the town can come in an fix everything. It usually takes a couple days for a new employee to come in and know what to look at and what the problems are. Lets give him a week to learn the ropes.

  • Hibbleton Mar 28, 2007

    Rodney Dickerson was the obvious choice for Town Manager. From years of working very closely with the Garner Board of Alderman, I am very disappointed with the Board denying Mr. Dickerson this opportunity. Rodney has shown through the past 5 years that he is capable of the job, but the current Board of Aldermen somehow did not have faith in him to be Town Manager. I hope the person they picked who knows nothing about the great Town of Garner will be a good manager, but no one can top Mary Lou Todd. Once again, the Town Board has made a mistake and this time it looks like it has gone too far to fix it.

  • Roach Mar 28, 2007

    I am relieved to read this. I was very worried about it.