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Smithfield names new interim town manager

Posted July 19, 2011

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— The Smithfield Town Council selected a new interim town manager on Tuesday. 

Richard Hicks, a former town manager of Farmville, will take over from C.L. Gobble, who has been in the position since May. 

Gobble said he was being replaced because as a retiree he is only allowed to work full-time for a certain number of months. 

The search for a permanent town manager could take up to six months, so the town council decided to hire another interim manager, Gobble said. 

The Smithfield Town Council fired Town Manager Eric Williams in May after learning he handed out raises to four department heads, despite the council's decision to withhold raises because of a tight budget.

An investigation by the North Carolina League of Municipalities also determined that some employees were allowed to cash in unused vacation and sick leave.

Town Clerk Debbie Godwin and payroll clerk Lynn Powell quit their jobs after Williams' firing.


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  • ranquick Jul 20, 2011

    Now he needs to clean house of some of the people who have robbed the people of SMithfield for years. Every place I evey lived I NEVER seen Elelctric bills as high as I have here. The EMS chardge residents for service when I thought we pay taxes for that. WHat a rip off!!!! The firdaepartment got *)K to build onto the present building from the Eleictrial Department and I am told it was not part of General Fund. SOmrthing is rotten in smithfield!

  • bigal02282 Jul 20, 2011

    I gotta tell ya, I see Smithfield, I think HAM and then see "Gobble" for a name..... could life be any more entertaining? wAIT, IT could. Someone call ICE and tell em to check out the Smithfield packing plant in Tarheel. Then pull up a chair and watch the fun begin.......

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 20, 2011

    Good idea, since it only take one bad manager to really ruin a town or county.

  • lovesanimals Jul 20, 2011

    From a resident in one of the former towns he has worked for... way to go Smithfield...cause we sure don't want him back in our town.

  • MECU0905 Jul 20, 2011

    Sherlock, I think it is smart of them to hire a new interim, because then they have a chance to really look at all of the candidates and give the decision the weight it needs. If he is really good then they can hire him permanently, but giving him a test drive first is prudent and a good conservative decision. I would rather the town err on the side of caution, then hire someone who might not be the right fit.

  • Sherlock Jul 20, 2011

    If this individual is good enough to be the interim why not just give him the job and save the money? Bad leadership here, but that is Smithfield.