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County administrator candidates down to 3

Posted: May 5, 2011 4:36 p.m.
Updated: May 6, 2011 5:00 a.m.

One of four candidates for the position of Kershaw County administrator has dropped out. Kershaw County Council Chairman Gene Wise confirmed that Josh Kay, most recently manager for the city of Clinton, had withdrawn his name from consideration. According to media reports from the Upstate, Kay has accepted a similar position with the city of Washington, N.C.

Washington is approximately 20 miles from Greenville, N.C., and has a population of 13,000.

The need for a new Kershaw County administrator came when former administrator Clay Young decided earlier this year to return to the position he previously held in Dillon County. Former Camden City Manager Frank Broom has been acting as interim county administrator.

Wise also confirmed that council was scheduled to interview the three remaining candidates Thursday afternoon. The Chronicle-Independent will have a report from council chambers Monday. The remaining candidates include Steve Vincent, who has held the office of Kershaw County treasurer since 1997. Prior to first being elected, he was a captain with the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office.

Interim Abbeville County Director Victor Carpenter is also one of the three remaining candidates. Prior to working in Abbeville, Carpenter served as Greenwood County administrator for three years; he was Anderson County’s assistant administrator prior to that. A Feb. 16, 2011, article in the (Greenwood) Index-Journal reported that Carpenter resigned as Greenwood County administrator after contract negotiations failed. The Index-Journal reported Carpenter wanted a repeat his previous four-year contract, but that Greenwood County Council was trying to negotiate a single-year contract. Two days later, the Index-Journal reported that Carpenter had accepted the interim position with Abbeville County.

The third candidate is Alfred Green, former county manager for Union County, N.C.

The C-I has learned that Green’s contract was not renewed by the Union County Board of Commissioners last year. An August 11, 2010, news release available on the Union County website stated that during a work session held that day, the board had “appointed Union County Internal Auditor Wes Baker as interim county manager. Earlier in the meeting, commissioners approved a separation agreement with County Manager Al Greene whose contract was scheduled to expire on Sept. 30.”

An examination of the work session’s minutes, also available on the county’s website, noted that the executive session was held, the board’s vice chairman moved to approve the separation agreement, the motion passed on 3-2 vote and Greene left the meeting immediately afterward.

According to the minutes, a discussion followed during which Baker was named interim manager, also on a 3-2 vote. The minutes then went on to record a long discussion over recruitment efforts for a permanent manager.

Six months earlier, a February 20, 2010, Charlotte Observer article reported that Greene had withdrawn his name from consideration for Horry County manager just one day after confirming he was a finalist. The article stated Greene dropped out for “personal reasons” but declined to elaborate. It also reported that Union County, N.C., board chairwoman Kim Rogers wasn’t aware of Greene’s seeking the Horry County position until a reporter sought comment from her.

A brief in the August 12, 2010, edition of the Observer noted that commissioners had been “displeased” to learn of Greene’s Horry County candidacy. An Oct. 29, 2010, Observer article on the board’s naming of a permanent county manager said Cindy Coto was replacing “Al Greene, whose contract was not renewed last month after he acknowledged he was looking for a new job in South Carolina.”

As early as February 2009 -- a year before he applied to the Horry County position -- The (Monroe, N.C.) Enquirer-Journal reported that Greene’s job was “in jeopardy” as a newly elected majority dealt with Greene’s performance evaluation. The article said the evaluation came at a time when Union County was dealing with a $15 million budget deficit due to the shrinking economy, a wave of layoffs and cutbacks.

Wise said council would likely discuss the interviews in executive session either Thursday or Tuesday and that a vote on who to hire was possible Tuesday.

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