[Chtechcomm] Chapel Hill manager will retire

Gregg Gerdau gregg at gdgerdau.com
Thu Feb 16 07:23:55 EST 2006


The Herald-Sun
February 15, 2006   10:13 pm 


CHAPEL HILL -- Town Manager Cal Horton, Chapel Hill's top administrator for
more than a decade, plans to announce his retirement today. 

In a letter that council members received Wednesday, Horton said he planned
to retire Sept. 1. The letter said he would tell the heads of town
departments of his plans Wednesday, and that he would make a public
announcement today. 

Chapel Hill Town Council members said they heard from Horton on Wednesday
and knew he planned to make an announcement today, but they largely deferred
comment until after that time. 

"I really want to defer to him, and let him make the announcement," said
council member Laurin Easthom. "I think he's done an amazing job." 

However, council member Sally Greene was asked about the matter after it was
mentioned Wednesday on a popular local blog. Greene said Horton called her
that day and said he wanted to let council members know in advance that he
planned to retire. She said Horton did not tell her at that time he didn't
want the news to be public until today. 

Greene said she posted the news on an e-mail listserv that she has for
council matters. That information then was picked up and posted on the blog.


Greene said she subsequently discovered Horton wanted to make the public
announcement today, and Greene said she would not have posted the
information on her listserv had she known that. Later in the day, she
received the letter from Horton, in which he announced his plans. 

"It has been an honor to serve as the Town Manager of Chapel Hill and I am
grateful for the experience," Horton wrote. "I am particularly grateful for
the opportunity to work with such engaged Council Members and for the
support of a truly outstanding staff." 

Horton's decision to retire follows closely on the heels of a similar
announcement by long-time Orange County Manager John Link Jr., who said last
week he would leave his post at the end of August. Link has been county
manager for 18 years. 

The town of Chapel Hill also lost its longtime planning director last
summer, when Roger Waldon retired after 21 years to work in the private
sector. 

Horton, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening, first came
to Chapel Hill in the late 1980s as public safety director. He became town
manager a few years later. 

In that position, he is responsible for coordinating all day-to-day
operations of the town and has been responsible for the overall management
of town services under the direction of the mayor and council. The manager
is also responsible for various support services to the mayor and council
and directs, coordinates and evaluates the performance of town services. 

One of the most critical duties of the manager is crafting an annual budget
proposal, and carrying out the budget that is ultimately adopted by the
council. 

URL for this article: http://www.herald-sun.com/orange/10-702324.html 

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