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Elm City town administrator resigns

Elm City recently hired John Edwards as a part-time town administrator. Edwards is a captain with Wilson Fire/Rescue Services and has served on the Elm City town council in the past. Brie Handgraaf | Times (Elm City recently hired John Edwards as a pa

ELM CITY — John Edwards has submitted his resignation, departing about a year after starting work as town administrator.

According to Elm City Mayor Tawanda Moore, Edwards turned in a resignation letter at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

“I was totally surprised,” Moore said. 

Edwards succeeded Jonathan Russell, who resigned in 2018 after serving as town administrator for eight years. 

“We had not had a town administrator for a number of years,” Moore said.

Town Clerk Dena Owens served as town administrator in an interim capacity.

Edwards, a Wilson Fire/Rescue Services captain, was hired for the part-time leadership role in August 2021.

Moore said she immediately called Elm City Board of Commissioners members individually, then held a meeting with town employees to reassure them that their jobs are secure. 

“It did me well to see an immediate sigh of relief,” she said.

Moore said Edwards is a former town commissioner.

The mayor called a special commissioners’ meeting set for Thursday to deal with the issue of hiring another town administrator.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., and commissioners will immediately go into closed session to take up the personnel matter, Moore said.

Moore said Edwards scheduled his last day for Aug. 9. It isn’t clear whether Edwards will work at Town Hall through his departure date or use paid time off to conclude his tenure. 

Moore said she couldn’t elaborate about Edwards’ decision to leave the post.

Elm City doesn’t have any pressing concerns that will require a town administrator’s attention immediately, she said.

Moore said town officials would work through the issue.

“Challenges only come to make us strong,” she said.