RED SPRINGS — With Mayor John McNeill casting a tie-breaking vote, the Red Springs Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a contract for James Bennette as the town’s new manager.
Commissioners Eula McNeill, Murray McKeithan and Ed Henderson voted in favor of approving the contract, while Commissioners Duron Burney, Robert Hollingsworth and David Shook voted against.
According to McNeill, Bennette has “extensive background” in human resources. He has served as assistant county manager for Anson County, worked with the N.C. Association of County Commissioners and is currently the interim town manager for Marshville.
The Red Springs commissioners became familiar with Bennette in the fall when it conducted a search for a new town manager that led to the hiring of Bob Schaumleffel, who resigned in April.
“He was one of the finalists in that search, and was the only other finalist that received any votes by the commissioners as a top candidate,” McNeill said. “… He has a strong work ethic. He’ll be an integral part of our community, which we’ve been missing since Wayne Horne left Red Springs to go to Lumberton.”
McNeill said he believes that those voting against approving the contract “did so not directing at Mr. Bennette, but feeling that we should open the whole application process all over again.”
McNeill said he worried that any delay might have led to Bennette getting the Marshville job on a permanent basis.