Ken Larking, currently the budget and performance manager for Hickory, will start his new job on May 6. It will be his first time as a town manager.
On a 3-0 vote, the Board of Commissioners officially approved Larking for the position. Commissioner Jacqueline Roberson abstained and Commissioner Patsy Hamer was absent.
Mayor Lillie McKoy said that Roberson abstained because she had been a candidate for the position.
Pearson's last day was Feb. 15. After six years serving Maxton, Pearson accepted a town manager position in River Bend, a small town south of New Bern.
Jim Perry, the executive director of the Lumber River Council of Governments, has served as the interim, part-time town manager since Pearson's departure.
"Mr. Perry has really been an asset to the town of Maxton, along with Ms. (Rachel) Thompson," McKoy said. Thompson, the town clerk, has served as the contact person when Perry was unavailable.
Larking, who is 29, has been with Hickory since 1998. He began as an intern, according to a statement by the town of Maxton.
After his internship, Larking was hired by the city to work in the city manager's office, where he worked with the manager on the city's annual budget, coordinated the annual strategic-planning process for the City Council and department heads, facilitated citywide performance assessment activities and served as a staff liaison to the Hickory Youth Council.
Larking has a bachelor's degree in English and a master's in public administration, both from Appalachian State University.
Larking will be moving to Maxton with his wife, the former Michelle Cox, and his 9-month-old son, Alex.
"When I interviewed, I got the feeling they had a progressive attitude," Larking said. "This is an excellent opportunity to start over in a place like this. Working with this board, I should be able to do a pretty good job."
Before becoming interested in government, Larking was sports editor of the Alleghany News in Sparta and a local government reporter for the Newton Observer-News Enterprise. He said that during his stint as a government reporter, he decided he wanted to "become a little more active in running the government."
County Commissioner Noah Woods attended the meeting to announce that he would hold a citizen's quarterly meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Town Hall.
Woods, who is chairman of of the Robeson County Board of Health, also invited everyone to the Robeson County Health Department from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday for the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the first rural health department in the United States.
Police Chief Paul McDowell announced that the next Neighborhood Watch meeting will be at the town library on Saturday at 4 p.m. McDowell said the purchase of Neighborhood Watch signs will be discussed at the meeting.
In other business, the board:
-- Approved two conditional-use permits for doublewide mobile homes, at Lot 6 E. Rockingham Road and 430 Croom Road.
-- Approved a motion to change any occurrences of Pearson's name in the town's finances to Larking's name, and give Larking authority to sign town checks, effective May 6.
-- Approved a motion to name Palmer Drug Prevention's board of directors as the official drug prevention coalition of the town of Maxton. Palmer's executive director, Tom Norton, asked the board for the motion, saying that it would help Palmer pursue grants.
-- Announced a $57,375 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to the Maxton Rescue Squad for a new ambulance.